MacOS Sequoia’s wildest update – iPhone mirroring – might be more useful than you think

When Apple introduced macOS Sequoia and its new iPhone Mirroring capability, I didn't get it. Now, though, after seeing it in action and considering some non-obvious use cases, I may be ready to reconsider.

Apple unveiled the latest AI-infused version of macOS during its WWDC 2024 keynote, which also saw major updates to iOS, iPadOS, visionOS, tvOS, and watchOS. It also served as the launch platform for Apple Intelligence, an Apple-built and branded version of artificial intelligence. I get that Apple's been building AI PCs for a while (ever since the M1 chip, they've included an on-board neural engine), and there are many features, including a better Siri, powerful photo editing features, and smart writing help, to look forward to but I found myself fixating elsewhere.

Apple was putting the iPhone on your Mac, or, rather, an iPhone screen floating in the middle of the lovely macOS Sequoia desktop. In a way, this is the most significant redesign of the new platform. It puts an entirely different OS – a mobile one, no less – on top of a laptop or desktop. 

Wow. And also, why?

I admit that I had a hard time conceiving what utility you could gain from having a second, live interface on an already busy desktop. Apple has said in the past that they build features, in some cases, based on user requests. Who had ever asked for this?

After the keynote, I had the chance to take a deeper dive, which helped me better understand this seemingly unholy marriage and why, in some cases, it might make perfect sense.

Making it so

WWDC 2024

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Apple built a new app to connect your iOS 18-running iPhone to your macOS Sequoia Mac. In a demo I saw, it took one click to make it happen. Behind the scenes, the two systems are building a secure Bluetooth and WiFi connection. On the iPhone, there is a message that mirroring is live. On the Mac, well, there's the iPhone screen, complete with the dynamic Island cutout (a strange choice if you ask me – why virtualize dead space?).

I was honestly shocked at the level of iPhone functionality Apple could bring to the Mac desktop.

You can use the Mac trackpad to swipe through iPhone apps.

You can click to launch apps and run them inside the iPhone screen on your Mac desktop.

Pinch and zoom on the Mac trackpad works as expected with the iPhone apps.

There's even full drag-and-drop capability between the two interfaces. So you could take a video from the Go Pro app on your mirrored iPhone screen and drag and drop it into another app, like Final Cut Pro on the Mac.

Essentially, you are reaching through one big screen to get to another smaller one – on a different platform – that is sitting locked beside your desktop. It's stange and cool, but is it necessary?

WWDC 2024

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Not everything makes sense. You can search through your mirrored phone screen, but why not just search on your desktop?

You can use the mirrored iPhone screen in landscape mode and play games. However, there's no obvious way to tell someone trying to play a game that uses the iPhone gyroscope that this is a bad idea.

I like that there's enough awareness that while the iPhone screen can look exactly like the screen on the phone, you can click to access a slightly larger frame that allows you to control the mirrored screen.

It's not the kind of mirroring that locks you in. To end it, you just pick up and unlock the phone to end the connection.

Even seeing all this, though, I wondered how people might use iPhone Mirroring.

Even seeing all this, though, I wondered how people might use iPhone Mirroring. There's the opportunity to play some games that aren't available on Mac. Multi-player word game fans might like that if they get a notification, they can open the mirrored phone screen, make a move, and then return to work.

When macOS Sequoia ships later this fall, you'll even be able to resize the mirrored iPhone window, which I guess could be useful for landscape games.

Notifications from your phone sounds redundant, especially for those of us in the iCloud ecosystem where all our Apple products get the same iMessages. But the system is smart enough to know it shouldn't repeat notifications on both screens, and you'll have the option to decide which iPhone notifications appear on your Mac.

Some notifications only appear on your iPhone, and others appear in both places, but you can't always act on them on the Mac.  This new feature might bridge that gap. A fellow journalist mentioned that iPhone mirroring would finally give him a way to jump from a notification he saw on his Mac for his baby cam app, where this is no cam app, to the live feed on the iPhone. This finally struck me as truly useful.

Is that enough of a reason to have your iPhone screen pasted on your Mac desktop? I don't know.  It might take up too much real estate on my MacBook Air 13-inch, but it would be kind of cool on a 27-inch iMac, if I had one.

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I created an AI app in 10 minutes and I might never think about artificial intelligence in the same way again

Pretty much anything we can do with AI today might have seemed like magic just a year ago, but MindStudio's platform for creating custom AI apps in a matter of minutes feels like a new level of alchemy.

The six-month-old free platform, which you can find right now under youai.ai, is a visual studio for building AI workflows, assistants, and AI chatbots. In its short lifespan it's already been used, according to CEO Dimitry Shapiro, to build more than 18,000 apps.

Yes, he called them “apps”, and if you're struggling to understand how or why anyone might want to build AI applications, just look at OpenAI's relatively new GPT apps (aka GPTs). These let you lock the powerful GPT-3.5 into topic-based thinking that you can package up, share, and sell. Shapiro, however, noted the limits of OpenAI's approach. 

He likened GPTs to “bookmarking a prompt” within the GPT sphere. MindStudio, on  the other hand, is generative model-agnostic. The system lets you use multiple models within one app.

If adding more model options sounds complicated, I can assure you it's not. MindStudio is the AI development platform for non-developers. 

Watch and learn

MindStudio

Choose your template. (Image credit: MindStudio)

To get you started, the company provides an easy-to-follow 18-minute video tutorial. The system also helps by offering a healthy collection of templates (many of them business-focused), or you can choose a blank template. I followed the guide to recreate the demo AI app (a blog post generator), and my only criticism is that the video is slightly out of date, with some interface elements having been moved or renamed. There are some prompts to note the changes, but the video could still do with a refresh.

Still, I had no trouble creating that first AI blog generator. The key here is that you can get a lot of the work done through a visual interface that lets you add blocks along a workflow and then click on them to customize, add details, and choose which AI model you want to use (the list includes GPT- 3.5 turbo, PaLM 2, Llama 2, and Gemini Pro). While you don't necessarily have to use a particular model for each task in your app, it might be that, for example, you should be using GPT-3.5 for fast chatbots or that PaLM would be better for math; however, MindStudio cannot, at least yet, recommend which model to use and when.

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MindStudio

Connect the boxes (Image credit: MindStudio)
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MindStudio

And then edit their contents (Image credit: MindStudio)

The act of adding training data is also simple. I was able to find web pages of information, download the HTML, and upload it to MindStudio (you can upload up to 150 files on a single app). MindStudio uses the information to inform the AI, but will not be cutting and pasting information from any of those pages into your app responses.

Most of MindStudio's clients are in business, and it does hide some more powerful features (embedding on third-party websites) and models (like GPT 4 Turbo) behind a paywall, but anyone can try their hand at building and sharing AI apps (you get a URL for sharing).

Confident in my newly acquired, if limited, knowledge, I set about building an AI app revolving around mobile photography advice. Granted, I used the framework I'd just learned in the AI blog post generator tutorial, but it still went far better than I expected.

One of the nice things about MindStudio is that it allows for as much or as little coding as you're prepared to do. In my case, I had to reference exactly one variable that the model would use to pull the right response.

MindStudio

Options include setting your model’s ‘temperature’ (Image credit: MindStudio)

There are a lot of smart and dead-simple controls that can even teach you something about how models work. MindStudio lets you set, for instance, the 'Temperature' of your model to control the randomness of its responses. The higher the 'temp', the more unique and creative each response. If you like your model verbose, you can drag another slider to set a response size of up to 3,000 characters.

The free service includes unlimited consumer usage and messages, some basic metrics, and the ability to share your AI via a link (as I've done here). Pro users can pay $ 23 a month for the more powerful models like GPT-4, less MindStudio branding, and, among other things, site embedding. The $ 99 a-month tier includes all you get with Pro, but adds the ability to charge for access to your AI app, better analytics, API access, full chat transcripts, and enterprise support.

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MindStudio

Look, may, I made an AI app. (Image credit: MindStudio)
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MindStudio

It’s smarter than I am. (Image credit: MindStudio)

I can imagine small and medium-sized businesses using MindStudio to build customer engagement and content capture on their sites, and even as a tool for guiding users through their services.

Even at the free level, though, I was surprised at the level of customization MindStorm offers. I could add my own custom icons and art, and even build a landing page.

I wouldn't call my little AI app anything special, but the fact that I could take the germ of an idea and turn it into a bespoke chatbot in 10 minutes is surprising even to me. That I get to choose the right model for each job within an AI app is even better; and that this level of fun and utility is free is the icing on the cake.

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Think Windows 11 is too bloated? This 100MB version could be worth a try – or drive you bananas

NTDEV, the team behind the Tiny11, is back and has achieved an incredible feat – compressing Windows 11 down to just 100MB. While impressive, we wouldn’t recommend trying to run the developer's latest take on Microsoft’s latest operating software because well – it's a bit bare, to say the least. To shrink Windows 11 to such a size they’ve had to strip away much of what we’re familiar with and reduce it down to a text-only version.   

In a YouTube video posted by NTDEV (via PC gamer) you can get a better idea of what it looks like. Gone is the normal GUI (graphical user interface) that we all know and love (well, depending on who you ask) and it has been replaced with an almost entirely black background and lines of white text – essentially turning Windows 11 into a command-line operating system like DOS (an old PC operating system which was popular before Windows 3.1 arguably killed it off).

So, there’s no windows, no colorful greeting screen, and no desktop. You won’t have a menu to select from or a taskbar to search for apps- instead, you’ll have to write exactly what you want to do, similar to how you would the command line app of your PC. 

There are no pre-installed apps either, of course, so forget about firing up Microsoft Paint. With the GUI gone, you lose everything except the very bare bones of Windows 11. Of course, NTDEV is not doing this to allow people to download and use the itty bitty OS for their everyday lives, but instead to just show that it is even possible. Most people who work office jobs or in fields that require daily computer use probably don’t want to add hours to their work week having to type in a command prompt to bring up everything they’d normally be able to access with a single mouse click. 

This could be a fun project, however, for users who’ve always wanted to bring newer versions of Windows to life on some very old computers. Nick Evanson of PC Gamer makes a point that most people are probably not thrilled with AI making a jump to almost every app and potentially future generations of Windows (more so than we’re seeing already), so perhaps this is a potential solution for users who want to go back to the basics – like, very basic. 

Still, it's a very cool ‘proof of concept’ to see and makes one nostalgic for 1980’s computing aesthetics, and could provide a point of reflection for everyone to look back at how far we’ve come in the world of computing. However, I do prefer my Windows to actually have windows!

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Think Google and Samsung are sleeping on Apple Vision Pro? Qualcomm has news for you

Among the new chips I saw from Qualcomm last year, the most impactful may have been the Snapdragon AR1 Gen 1 and Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipsets, found in the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses and the Meta Quest 3 mixed reality (MR) headset, respectively. With Apple Vision Pro promising a new concept of spatial computing sometime this year, of course, Qualcomm is getting ready for the competition. Today it announced a new Snapdragon XR2 Plus Gen 2 chipset that will power new products from Google, Samsung, and others. 

Qualcomm did not name any headsets specifically, only those important partners, with more on the way soon. It said that products with the new XR2 Plus Gen 2 chipset, which is clearly aimed at taking on Apple Vision Pro, could hit the market as soon as 2024, but we will definitely see new devices in 2025. 

Unlike Apple’s super-expensive Vision Pro, which costs close to $ 3,500 in the US, Qualcomm says devices that use its new chipset will be priced closer to today’s XR2 offerings. The Meta Quest 3 starts at $ 500.

The Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 has more graphics power

Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Plus Gen 2 reference design headset and logo

The reference design for a Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 headset (Image credit: Qualcomm)

What can the improved Snapdragon XR2 Plus Gen 2 offer that today’s chipset can’t handle? It’s all about the graphics performance. Qualcomm says its new platform can drive two displays at 4.3K resolution up to 90FPS. It's so advanced that Qualcomm admits the display technology doesn’t even exist today to support the chipset’s maximum capability, but they expect more advanced displays will hit the market soon. 

Improving the graphics performance on mixed reality displays is important because it makes the experience more comfortable in so many ways. Whether that is reducing motion dizziness, improving the clarity of details in the digital image, or even producing more natural colors and color gradations, every bit of performance improvement is necessary to create a world that not only looks real but also feels real and comfortable when you interact with digital objects. 

Qualcomm goes on to tout the advanced capabilities of the Snapdragon XR2 platform, like its ability to manage up to 12 or more separate camera input channels. Of course, until Samsung or Google (or maybe both working together?!) create a headset with 12 cameras on board, those capabilities are just for white papers and prototypes. It will take a manufacturer to bring this to market. 

Analysis: Qualcomm wants to be the 200lb gorilla

While folks with little mixed reality experience were totally blown away by the Apple Vision Pro headset, the MR industry was much more skeptical. If you’ve had a chance to try the Meta Quest 3, a product that costs less than 15% of what Apple’s headset will cost, you can understand why. 

The Meta Quest 3 isn’t as magical as Apple’s offering, but it’s much closer to achieving real magic than you’d expect, and we’re still very early in that headset’s lifespan. 

While all of the attention will certainly be focused on Apple Vision Pro this year, it’s unlikely you’ll actually be able to buy one (you might be able to test-drive it in an Apple Store, though). Most of us don’t have that kind of cash for a secondary device, especially one that runs an unproven computing concept.

Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Plus Gen 2 reference design headset and logo

Qualcomm’s announcement dropped big hints (Image credit: Qualcomm)

However, when the next holiday season rolls around, Qualcomm might be the brains behind a new Google or Samsung headset that gives you 80% of the Vision Pro experience, for 20% of the price.

Qualcomm was champing at the bit to tell us more about new products on the way and dropped a lot of “sooner rather than later” hints, so we might see more product news as early as CES. We’ve had our eyes on Google and Samsung, both of whom offered VR headsets in the past but no longer, to re-enter the market and take on Vision Pro and Meta Quest.

If you’re saving up for a cool mixed reality headset this year, keep saving, but don’t skip meals and sell your kidneys just to afford the Apple Vision Pro, not yet. Qualcomm has started 2024 with a promise that MR is going to get more interesting, and more affordable, all at once.

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Windows 10 might get Copilot sooner than you think

Windows 10 should get Microsoft’s Copilot AI – a feature that was previously exclusive to Windows 11 – in the near future, and some users might benefit from the desktop-based assistant quicker than you think.

As you may have noticed, Copilot came to Windows 10 last week, but only in testing for consumers (Windows 10 Home, and non-business Pro editions). And we’ve just had a clarification about how Copilot will be deployed to Windows 10 users.

As Windows Latest spotted, in a blog post penned earlier this week, Microsoft tells us: “Copilot will begin rolling out to devices running Home and unmanaged [consumer] Pro editions of Windows 10, version 22H2 in the near term. We will roll out this experience in phases using Controlled Feature Rollout (CFR) technology over several months.”

Notice that the full rollout will begin in the ‘near term’ so that certainly suggests we’ll be seeing Copilot in Windows 10 soon enough.

However, it won’t be for everyone. As noted, Copilot will be pushed out in stages, so only some users will get it, and then its reach will gradually be expanded.

In short, a lucky few – presuming you want Copilot, mind – could be getting the AI assistant quite soon indeed.

The deployment of Copilot in Windows 10 will mirror that of Windows 11, we’re also told, meaning that it’ll only come to the US and North America first, as well as parts of Asia and South America. Other regions will be covered down the line.


Analysis: Driving adoption of Copilot

It makes sense that Microsoft would want to get Copilot live in Windows 10 as soon as possible.

After all, witness the remarkable turnaround from the previous announcement that Windows 10 would get no major new features, to suddenly adding the biggest new feature of all from Windows 11. This is presumably the result of Microsoft wanting to drive up the numbers of those using its AI – and Windows 10 users are a billion strong, of course. That’s a very big number indeed.

If this is true, and Microsoft is looking to tap into the Windows 10 user base to this end, then the company will likely want to move sooner rather than later.

More broadly, it seems that Microsoft wants to jam Copilot into pretty much everything it can. As an example, Windows Latest also flagged up the addition of Copilot to the command line in Windows 11 (and presumably Windows 10 eventually).

The theory is that Copilot in Windows 10 will be pretty much equivalent to the Windows 11 version, but as we stand at the beginning of the porting process to the older OS, that isn’t yet true, and the initial incarnation is more limited. Mind you, it’s still a barebones affair in Windows 11, truth be told, and Microsoft has a lot of work to do to fulfill its vision of an AI that can manipulate all manner of settings at the user’s request.

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The Meta Quest 3 is here, and I think it’s the best VR headset yet

At Meta Connect 2023 we finally got a full look at the new Meta headset the Meta Quest 3 – a headset the company has called its most powerful yet. Best of all it’s available to preorder right now starting at $ 499.99 / £479.99 (Australian pricing to be confirmed by Meta), with the headset set to ship on October 10

While this Oculus Quest 2 successor costs slightly more than Quest 2 did at launch – it was just £299 / $ 299 / AU$ 479 for its cheapest 64GB model and was later the same price for a 128GB headset – the Quest 3 comes with a whole host of upgrades to help justify its price.

The star of the show is the new Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset, which offers a two-and-a-half times better graphical performance compared to the Quest 2’s XR2 Gen 1 chip. Plus with its now 8GB of RAM this means VR experiences can offer more realistic physics and lighting, as well as fuller environments for you to explore and interact with.

These improved graphics will be shown on a new and improved pair of LCD displays which now boast 2,064 x 2,208 pixels per eye (up from the Quest 2’s 1,920 x 1,832 pixels per eye). Best of all this display has a variable refresh rate that can get as high as 120Hz.

The Meta Quest 3 and controllers on their charging station which is itself on a wooden desk next to a lamp

The Meta Quest 3 and its charging station (which is sold separately)  (Image credit: Meta)

You’ll also find the design has been given a few upgrades. Not only is the headset 40% slimmer which should help to make it more comfortable to wear but it’s easier to adjust the headset to suit your needs. There’s a lens adjustment scroll wheel that you can turn while wearing the headset so you can set the lens to perfect spacing apart and a built-in adjustable spacer that makes room for glasses if you’re wearing a pair.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, the Meta Quest 3 is a mixed reality-focused device with new full-color passthrough capabilities and a depth sensor to make it better than Meta’s previous headsets at mapping out your real-world space. Mixed reality has always felt a little gimmicky, but with its improved capabilities and new features like Augments – these sort of mixed reality widgets – the Meta Quest 3 might finally make us care about MR as much as VR.

As I mentioned above, preorders are live now with the new Meta headset set to ship on October 10, 2023. You can pick up the base 128GB version for $ 499.99 / £479.99 (Australian pricing to be confirmed by Meta), or you can buy the 512GB Quest 3 for $ 649.99 / £619.99 (Australian pricing to be confirmed by Meta). You can also pick up a range of accessories including a Quest 3 Elite Strap, and the one I’m most excited about, the charging dock (as the Quest Pro charging station was a massive help).

To help incentivize you to make a preorder, Meta will give anyone who orders a Meta Quest 3 before January 27 a free copy of Asgard’s Wrath 2. If you order the 512GB model you’ll also get a six-month subscription to Meta Quest Plus – a service that gives you new free VR games and apps every month that you can play as long as you’re subscribed.

What I thought of the Meta Quest 3 

You can read my full hands on Meta Quest 3 review for a more in-depth rundown of my initial Quest 3 reaction, but the TL;DR is this device seems like a major step forward compared to what Meta has produced before and I think it could be the best VR headset out there.

Hamish striking a disco dance pose while wearing the Meta Quest 3 headset

Samba de Amigo on the Quest 3 is silly fun (Image credit: Meta)

Visually, the Quest 3’s graphics look almost night and day compared to the Oculus Quest 2. The most obvious improvement is for text – it’s actually really easy to read words on documents you find in-game now – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Shadows and reflections behave much more realistically, and objects have a crisper look to them that helps the world feel significantly more real than they did on Quest 2.

Mixed reality has received a massive bump up too. Passthrough footage of the real world is more color-accurate and less grainy than with the Meta Quest Pro. It’s still not life-like but it's a leap in the right direction. This higher quality makes mixed reality feel less gimmicky – I loved the mixed reality experiences I tried for Stranger Things VR and First Encounters, and I’ll definitely be trying out more MR content when I get my hands on the Quest 3 again.

The performance also feels solid. While booting up Assassin’s Creed Nexus did take a while, once the game had loaded the Italian city I explored as Ezio felt alive with characters and interactable props without any noticeable stuttering to break my immersion.

As for the design and comfort, again the Quest 3 excels. The headset has an IPD wheel so you can gradually adjust the lens spacing while wearing the headset – saving a lot of hassle compared to the Quest 2, since you no longer have to keep taking the headset on and off to make changes. The slim design also seems to help with comfort. Generally, the Meta Quest 3 feels less bulky compared to the Quest 2, though I wasn’t using it for a super long time and didn’t get a true sense of how easy it would be to wear it for a long stretch of time.

Hamish wearing the Meta Quest 3 as he stands in front of a plant. He's looking at something in VR with wonder.

Mixed reality is a blast on the Quest 3 (Image credit: Meta)

I’ll need to spend longer than a roughly 30-minute demo with the headset to know how impressive the Meta Quest 3 really is, but there is certainly a lot to love about the headset.

Previously I’ve always recommended people buy Meta’s Quest 2 because of the value for money it offers – and it is still a solid value option. But if you can afford to splash out a little more (or are happy to wait longer to save up) the Meta Quest 3 looks like a worthy successor and a VR gadget that more than justifies its higher cost. I can’t wait to try it out again.

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Microsoft blames PC makers for broken Windows 11 update – but I think that’s a copout

A recent Windows 11 update (which also came to Windows 10) has been causing some serious problems for some users – and it seems Microsoft is trying to pass the buck.

As Bleeping Computer reports, some people who installed the optional August 2023 updates for Windows 11 or Windows 10 were getting the dreaded Blue Screen of Death, where their PC stops responding, with the error being labelled as an ‘UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR’ issue.

In a statement posted on its ‘Release Health’ website, that tracks known issues, Microsoft states that the “’UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR’ error was not caused by issues in KB5029351 and is limited to a specific subset of processors.”

Microsoft claims it is “collaborating with device manufacturers (OEMs)” by pausing the update being offered to Windows devices that may be affected.

If the KB5029351 is already installed and causing an issue, it will automatically uninstall, which should fix the issue.

Whose fault is it anyway?

Microsoft is usually pretty good at being transparent about Windows 11 problems, so it’s interesting that with this one, it’s saying that the error isn’t being caused “by issues in KB5029351” and that you should “contact your device’s processor manufacturer” if the problem persists.

That seems to be washing its hands of the problem a bit. After all, this issue only affects the KB5029351 update – and presumably these unsupported processors work fine with other Windows 10 and Windows 11 updates.

You’d also think it would be easier for Microsoft to release an update that was supported by these processors, rather than have the processor makers build their chips to be compatible with all future Windows updates.

It all seems a bit odd, but there must be some reasoning behind Microsoft’s blame game. The good news, at least, is that this only affects an optional update, which means it’s not going to be forced on you, and the fix seems relatively easy to apply.

Whether or not device manufacturers will be happy with Microsoft pointing the finger at them over this latest Windows 11 problem, however, is another story.

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The most-ignored Gmail tool might not actually be as bad as we all think

Using Google Chat Spaces alongside your Gmail account may actually get to be useful fairly soon thanks to some new updates coming to the tool.

Introduced in 2021 as part of Google Workspace, the replacement for G Suite for Enterprise, Spaces is essentially group conversations for Google Chat users, bringing together groups of co-workers or friends in a single location.

However Spaces has not proved exactly popular so far due to a lack of features or flexibility – at least not until now.

Google Chat Spaces

“We're introducing several improvements for Spaces in Google Chat to help you better organize people, topics, and projects,” the company wrote in a blog post announcing the changes.

Among the new additions is the ability to add “Managers” to look after specific Spaces, acting as an admin over the entire chat. Given to the creator of the Space by default but able to be changed or edited, Managers will be able to oversee the conversations, adding and removing participants if needed.

Google is also offering Managers the ability to add descriptions to Spaces in order to set context or provide information on what will be discussed. Users will also be able to create guidelines so that “safe and effective communication environments” can be created.

“We hope this feature makes it easier to share the purpose and guidelines for a particular space, making it easier for your collaborators to navigate quickly to the appropriate space,” Google added, noting that the new features are rolling out to users now.

The company sees Spaces as a de facto replacement for its little-loved Google Currents tool, which it recently revealed will be gradually shut down over the course of 2022

Starting in 2023, Currents will be found down and its services moved over to Spaces, which Google says offers much better and tighter integration with other tools such as Gmail, Meet and Google Drive.

Via 9to5Google

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I used to think I was too old for TikTok, but now I’m using it for wedding ideas

This week (February 18) marks two years since I was engaged, and since then my devices have been full of apps containing ideas for every part of the wedding.

From the flowers to the colors of the tables at the Wedding Reception we had sorted out plans for everything – putting in a level of work would make you wish you eloped and dealt with the family fallout soon after they find out.

But we had been struggling with some music ideas – especially for when our guests are finding their seats, and unfortunately, my idea of a track from Metal Gear Solid was rejected.

This is where TikTok came to the rescue for me, where discovering artists with covers and their own spin on other tracks has made us both completely redo the Wedding playlist, both for the church and the Wedding reception.

A For You page of Wedding ideas

For those unaware, TikTok is an endless vertical scroll of videos, that its algorithm sources from its millions of users. It could be clips of TV shows from the 90s, or 'life hacks' of how to clean the grill in your oven to name just two of the countless examples of what you can find.

But if you're looking for something specific without the algorithm trying to find something for you, it's the Discover page that shines here.

Typing in 'covers' or 'mashup' brings you a bunch of results of songs that you didn't think would ever work, but they do. This particular track is something that my fiance and I are already planning on using for the day.

@veggibeats

♬ Only girl in september – veggibeats

It's content that I've never found on other social platforms. Facebook is less of a feed and more of photos and 'announcements' from those you've not spoken to in years, while Instagram is more about looking at Instagram Stories to pass the time, regardless of its efforts into short-form video as of late.

But TikTok scratches an itch I didn't know I had – where creators are giving me ideas to use for one of the most important days of my life. It's an app that, at the moment anyway, doesn't cause unnecessary discourse for certain topics, or shoehorns in paid options as I'm scrolling through Gayle and Notorious B.I.G. covers.

The app is already at the front of my iPhone home screen because of this, and once the wedding is accomplished – if there are more covers to as good as the above to find – it's not a stretch to think it may keep me around for a good while longer.

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