You can finally get unlimited Google Photos storage but there’s a catch

A new Google One membership is on the way, offering users unlimited Google Photos cloud storage – however it’s only available to T-Mobile customers in the US, and it’ll cost $ 15 per month. 

Google Photos delivers one of the best photo cloud storage services – ideal for users who upload a lot of high-res images. T-Mobile’s latest Google One membership plan, which the mobile network provider says is launching soon, will also give users 2TB of cloud storage across Gmail and Google Drive. This matches the current top-tier Google One subscription package offered to all Google account holders.

What makes the mobile brand’s announcement unique is that not even Google is giving away unlimited Photos storage for high-quality uploads. 

The One membership

It wasn’t that long ago that Google Photos used to offer unlimited high-quality uploads – a promise it had kept since its unveiling in 2015. 

However back in June 2021, the company started limiting basic users to just 15GB free cloud storage across Google Photos, Drive, and Gmail. 

In a move that mirrors Apple’s own iCloud expanded storage subscription options, media-heavy users looking to expand or upgrade their cloud storage options must join the Google One subscription service. 

Google One is billed as ‘one membership to get more out of Google’. The packages, which are available on a Basic, Standard, and Premium subscription tier, includes perks like expanded Google Drive cloud storage and a VPN for Android and iOS – all of which can be shared with up to five family and friends.  

Finding the right Google One plan

The newest option builds on T-Mobile’s two existing Google One packages: $ 5 a month nets customers 500GB of storage, while a monthly fee of $ 10 delivers 2TB of cloud storage without unlimited Google Photos. 

However, if it makes you feel better, note that T-Mobile’s unlimited photo and video storage plan is only available to the main account holder. 

T-Mobile’s unlimited Google Photos plan will be available from April 26 2022. 

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

PC doesn’t meet Windows 11 requirements? There’s a tool to fix that

Got a PC that fails the Windows 11 system requirements? Thanks to an unofficial tool, you can create a Windows 11 image that will bypass the TPM system requirements that Microsoft set, enabling your ineligible PC to upgrade to the operating system.

Since Windows 11 was announced in June 2021, Microsoft was adamant that all PCs would have to meet its system requirements, such as enabling TPM, in order for the update to be eligible.

But according to Windows Latest, the Rufus tool will allow you to create a bootable USB drive thanks to an official Windows 11 image file, with checks in place that will allow your PC to bypass the system requirements.

But with this much power in one tool, we don't actually recommend using this to upgrade your PC to Windows 11 for now, unless you're certain you know what you're doing, and what the risks are.


Analysis: Unforeseen consequences could occur

Windows 11 with Rufus

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Microsoft's communication around explaining the requirements for Windows 11 in 2021 was poor at best, especially when it came to TPM. It also didn't help when its app to check if your PC was eligible to upgrade wasn't accurate in its results.

But there's still a wide pool of users who are on Windows 10 and don't see the need to upgrade their PC to use Windows 11, especially if they use their device for the occasional web browsing or gaming.

While this tool will grant these PCs a path to upgrade, we don't recommend using Rufus. The features that are in Windows 11, alongside what's coming up with its major upgrade, codenamed 'Sun Valley 2', will require some PCs to use more of the CPU, memory, and GPU in order to run the operating system in an efficient way.

This could cause a strain on the hardware, and you could have an incompatible PC running Windows 11 very slowly, to the point where it's an irritation. Microsoft has also made it be known that it will make updating unsupported PCs running Windows 11 difficult in the future, which could lock you out from getting important security fixes.

Perhaps you can use Rufus as a 'trial' for Windows 11, to see what you think of the update before you go all-in on a new PC. But as something to bypass the system requirements, we recommend holding off.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Windows 11 is more popular with gamers, but there’s bad news for Intel in Steam survey

Windows 11 is gaining some decent momentum with gamers, at least going by the latest stats from Steam, although Intel has slipped slightly compared to last month’s Steam survey.

The hardware and software survey for January 2022 showed that Windows 11 is now used in 13.56% of the gaming rigs evaluated for this report, which is up quite strongly on December’s figure of 10.15%.

That’s good news for Microsoft, of course, but the survey produced somewhat disappointing results for Intel on the hardware front.

In December’s stats, Intel actually witnessed an increase in its processor market share among Steam gamers to the tune of 0.82%, with Team Blue securing 69.27% in total.

That looked significant given how dominant rival AMD Ryzen processors have been in recent times, stealing a lot of turf from Intel in the desktop PC world – but the upward movement has ebbed for Team Blue, as it dropped slightly to 69.02% in January 2022, albeit that only represents the loss of a quarter of a percentage point.


Analysis: Nothing too worrying for Intel, and serious momentum building for Microsoft

With the Intel figures, while the chip giant might be slightly disappointed that growth hasn’t continued – and that new Alder Lake CPUs aren’t sparking a continued upswing – it’s not a huge surprise.

This is only a very slight loss for Intel, after all, and in recent times, the figures for Team Blue have been rather up and down anyway (even before Alder Lake came out, we saw some decent upticks with Rocket Lake). Really, this is a pretty minimal downward dip, and could be put down to the typical margin of error that Valve’s survey is doubtless working with.

Windows 11’s progress is a more clearly defined growth spurt, and with an increase of 3.41% for January 2022, that’s almost double the gain Windows 11 witnessed from November to December (1.87%).

In short, there’s a clear suggestion that more and more gamers are making the move to Microsoft’s newest OS, despite the early bugs which we’ve written multiple reports about (mind you, some of these are now fixed up, and it’s not like Windows 10 doesn’t have bugs either).

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

There’s an all-new free version of Google Workspace for work

Workers looking to experience a host of the most popular Google Workspace software can now try for free thanks to a new offering from the company.

The new Google Workspace Essentials plan provides access to the likes of Meet, Chat, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and more as the company looks to offer its online collaboration tools to more businesses than ever before.

What's more, you don't even need a Gmail account to sign up – and it's absolutely free.

Free Google Workspace

“We’re rolling out a new version designed to help people bring the apps they know and love to use in their personal lives to their work life,” Kelly Waldher, Vice President of Marketing, Google Workspace, wrote in a blog post.

“The new Google Workspace Essentials Starter Edition is a no-cost solution for business users looking to enhance teamwork and unlock innovation with secure-by-design collaboration. With Essentials Starter, we’re making it easy for employees to choose their own productivity tools and bring modern collaboration to work.”

There are some caveats to the plan, as users will only get 15GB of cloud storage, down from the usual 30GB available with the basic Google Workspace Business Starter plan, which typically costs $ 6/user/month.

There's also obviously no access to Gmail either, but users will be able to hold Google Meet video conferences of up to 100 people for up to an hour, as well as access to Spaces, Google Chat, Sheets, Slides and Docs.

The news comes as something of a surprise, given Google had recently said it would be cutting down on users accessing Google Workspace for free.

The company announced that all G Suite legacy free edition users would soon be shifted over to a paid version of Google Workspace from July 1 in order to ensure they kept access to tools such as Gmail, Meet and Docs.

This had upset users who may have recently signed up for the software, particularly non-business users facing having to pay for the first time, with Google saying that anyone not signed up to a paid subscription by the July deadline faced being locked out.

Google Workplace plans start at $ 6/user/month for its Business Starter option, with Business Standard ($ 12/user/month) and Business Plus ($ 18 /user/month) also on offer, providing an increasing level of services with the amount paid.

Google plans to automatically upgrade free users from May 1 to “an upgraded Google Workspace paid subscription”, based on its analysis of the customer's usage and the features it thinks you'll need. The company is also offering businesses who don't want to pay or upgrade the chance to export their data at no extra cost.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Microsoft Teams will soon let you combine both your accounts so there’s no escape

Switching between personal and workplace Microsoft Teams accounts could soon be a thing of the past thanks to a new update to the service.

The video conferencing platform is rolling out changes that will allow users to combine business and consumer Teams accounts, hopefully putting an end to any unfortunate confusion.

Microsoft says the change will allow for much improved communication for Teams users across the world, even opening the door for personal chats whilst on a work network.

Combined Microsoft Teams

“With this update Teams users in your organization will be able to start a 1:1 or a group chat with Teams users who are using their personal accounts and vice-versa,” Microsoft noted in an updated message center notification.

The feature was first announced by Microsoft back in February 2021, but has now entered the rolling out period, meaning users will be able to access it soon. 

“Teams users will be able to chat with team members who are outside their work network and have a Teams personal account,” the official Microsoft 365 roadmap entry for the update added. 

“This is expanding on external access capabilities, enabling Teams users to invite for a 1:1 or group chat any other federated Teams users using an email address or phone number and remain within the security and compliance policies of their organization.”

The update is coming to all Microsoft Teams desktop users around the world, so be sure to keep your program updated to the latest release.

The change is the latest in a series of Microsoft Teams updates as the firm looks to continue helping companies around the world adapt to the new age of hybrid working.

Along with video capabilities, Microsoft Teams also added chat bubbles to its online collaboration tool last year, meaning that users shouldn't miss private messages sent during a video call. Microsoft has also added this feature to group chats so that everyone can keep up with the conversations happening via text as well as those taking place in a video call at the same time, allowing everyone to view chats sent during a meeting on the front of room display in a Teams Room.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Dodgy Wordle copycats are already banned from Apple’s App Store, but there’s more work to do

It’s an age-old adage that if something’s successful, there’s a good chance it’ll be copied. And that’s exactly what’s happened with Josh Wardle’s Wordle game, with copies swiftly appearing on Apple’s App Store.

Some developers were trying their luck in charging subscription fees for as high as $ 30 a year, which would grant you more words and no ads.

But overnight, after a heavy backlash against a copycat app that mirrored Wardle’s game in name and design exactly, Apple looks to have taken all of them down in one fell swoop. We’ve reached out to Apple for confirmation that it was the App Store team who did this.

Wardle has yet to comment on this, but as he has maintained that he’s not planning on monetizing Wordle, there could still be an opportunity for him to expand the game, offering different word counts or leaderboards with friends for example, but in an official capacity.


Analysis: What about the other copycats?

It’s no secret that the App Store has been here before with copycats – Flappy Bird and Temple Run come to mind as having been shamelessly ripped off in the past.

But this is notable because swift action was taken in the space of an evening. Whether or not it may be because Wordle is a web app, rather than one that can be downloaded from a Store, is up for discussion, as other similar apps that mirror official brands can still be downloaded from the App Store with no penalty.

However, if you search for a popular game or app in the App Store, there’s a good chance you’ll come across another copycat. Searching for Flappy Bird or Tomb Raider comes up with a list of apps that have nothing to do with the original developer, with some even showcasing screenshots of the original app.

Tomb Raider, Sonic and Mario copycats on App Store

(Image credit: Future)

Granted, inspiration can come from anywhere. Steve Jobs would repeat the quote in 1996 of ‘Good artists copy, great artists steal’ from Pablo Picasso to reference Apple’s work on the Macintosh from 1984. But Jobs was also enraged by how he was convinced that Android had blatantly copied iOS in 2008.

But when you take the name of the same app you’re taking inspiration from, taking the same design cues from the app, then tacking on a chargeable fee when the original game is free and open to all, then it’s a major problem.

Apple has a mammoth task in weeding out other copycat apps. Granted, its efforts to improve standards for developers on the App Store, either through reducing approval times or reducing the company’s cut of in-app earnings are encouraging. But removing thousands of apps that blatantly steal from others is going to be something that developers will be watching closely for after the last 24 hours of Wordle copycats disappearing from the App Store.

Via The Verge

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

There’s no cheaper Core i9 PC workstation right now

At just under $ 600 with free DHL delivery(£488.49/AU$ 944.36), you won't find a cheaper Intel Core i9 computer than this one, provided you don’t mind waiting a few weeks for it to ship from China. 

Sold by Shenzhen Helor Cloud Computer Store via Aliexpress, the device features an Intel Core i9-9880H CPU, which has eight cores, 16 threads and uses a 14nm lithography. With a base frequency of 2.3GHz and 16MB cache, it has a TDP of 45W and leans on an Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU.

For context, the cheapest Core i9 CPU we could find retails at around $ 520 – only marginally cheaper than the whole workstation.

This thin client can take up to 64GB DDR4 memory, supports up to three SSD drives and uses a 90W PSU.

It also has two video ports, five USBs (including Type-C), a GB Ethernet connector and an audio port. At 15 x 14.6 x 6.65cm, it is compact enough to be carried around with ease.

Despite its miniscule footprint, the device contains a massive 100mm fan and plenty of slits to cool the CPU, 8GB memory and 128GB M.2 SSD.

Note, like most PCs that ship from mainland China, Windows 10 does not come bundled.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Bitdefender wants to protect your device for just over 7 dollars, but there’s a catch

If you're looking for a great deal on security – Bitdefender has extended its Black Friday sale and its Total Security 2020 platform has never been so cheap.

The company is offering a huge 60% discount, which means you pay only $ 35.99 (excluding taxes) for a year's protection instead of the usual $ 89.99. 

That’s about $ 7.20 per device, or just pennies per day, for one of the best security suites on the market.

While there is a VPN tool includes, it's not the best in town for a number of reasons – and we believe you'd be much better off using a standalone service such as  ExpressVPN.

In a nutshell, you get complete protection across up to five of your devices (Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android). The new version includes webcam and anti-ransomware protection and zero system slowdowns, plus dozens of other features.

Just bear in mind that this deal is only valid for the first year and you will likely pay far more going forward. One way to get around the issue is to use a different email on renewal to pass as a new customer. 

We'd recommend leaving the company's Antivirus Plus 2020 and Internet Security 2020 offerings; both of them are fantastic products but will run you $ 12 and $ 4 respectively. With Total Security 2020, you get a much better all-rounder with extra device coverage to boot.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More