Apple says it isn’t slowing down your old iPad, Mac or Watch

With Apple having confirmed that it’s slowing down iPhones with aged batteries you might understandably be worried that the same thing is happening to your iPad, MacBook or Apple Watch, but you can rest assured that it’s not.

On a support page detailing the ‘feature’, Apple has confirmed that “This power management feature is specific to iPhone and does not apply to any other Apple products.”

So why is the iPhone affected and nothing else? Well, we don’t know for sure, but Apple is slowing older phones down to stop them unexpectedly shutting down, which can happen during performance peaks when the battery is older or at a low state of charge.

Bigger is better

GSMArena notes that as iPads have larger batteries than iPhones they’ll be better able to handle performance peaks, and they also tend to be charged less frequently than a phone, which means their batteries don’t wear out as quickly, all of which means that slowing them down should be less necessary. The same should also apply to MacBooks.

The Apple Watch, with its tiny battery, would presumably be susceptible to the same issues as an iPhone, especially since the battery could wear out similarly fast thanks to the regular charges it’s likely to get, but nonetheless Apple won’t throttle it – at least for now.

There’s no guarantee that the company won’t start slowing down other devices in future though, with the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus – all of which are currently too new to need slowing down – likely to be next in line.

      

Microsoft’s OneDrive could soon help defend against file deletion disasters or ransomware

Microsoft OneDrive

It looks like Microsoft is planning to give OneDrive a nifty new feature – hopefully for all users – which allows for restoring files in the cloud service back to any point in the past, potentially helping to combat nastiness such as ransomware.

According to a presentation and subsequent tweet from Stephen Rose, senior product marketing manager for the OneDrive team, the ‘Files Restore’ feature will allow you to roll your OneDrive storage account back to any point you want, and it should be arriving in the next couple of weeks.

If this happens, it would be a major revamp of the existing ability to restore deleted files in OneDrive, which is currently limited to 30-days for most users (or a maximum of three months for those signed into work accounts, depending on admin settings).

It means that if users lose data perhaps by mistakenly having deleted something, or indeed as noted by Rose, via the ravages of ransomware, OneDrive could be a potential avenue of rescue, with file recall theoretically extending back indefinitely.

Although note that at this point, it’s not clear if the feature will be enabled for all OneDrive users, or just those subscribed to OneDrive for Business.

Data disasters

Some folks may be slightly alarmed at some of the privacy ramifications here, as it prompts the question: if files can always be restored, is nothing ever permanently deleted from the OneDrive servers?

Some may fret about that prospect, but most folks will doubtless welcome the capability as another handy safety net to guard against data disasters.

Microsoft is certainly working on making OneDrive a more tempting cloud storage proposition, and towards the end of last year, finally brought placeholders back for Windows 10 users (a capability that had previously been present in Windows 8, but disappeared with the launch of the new OS).

Via MS Power User

  • Some of the best laptops out there are powered by Windows 10

      

Best Linux desktop of 2018

Note: Our best Linux desktop round-up has been fully updated. This feature was first published in November 2013.

The desktop is a critical aspect of your Linux experience, providing you with a user-friendly way to interact with your computer. Unlike Windows or Mac, Linux doesn’t tie you to a single desktop. Switching desktop environments is incredibly straightforward – just install a new one, log out and choose it from the login screen. You can install as many desktop environments as you like, although you can only use one at a time.

In this guide, we’ve rounded up seven of the most popular desktops, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. Before you dive in, however, take some time to think about what you want from your desktop.

A desktop environment is more than the wallpaper which appears when you log in. It also includes a window manager and usually a set of utilities. It may come in the form of a pre-assembled package, such as Gnome or KDE, or it may be assembled by the distro maintainer, such as CrunchBang++’s Openbox or Puppy’s JWM.

Most desktops can be tweaked and skinned to look radically different, so if you like your current desktop’s look but not much else, you can probably customise – or even source a special version – of another environment to keep that familiar look and feel. Even when desktop environments come as part of a pre-assembled package, they may vary between distributions. KDE, in particular, can look radically different depending on your chosen flavour of Linux.

Functionality is another key concern. What features does the desktop offer, both in terms of the desktop itself and any core apps it bundles, such as a file manager or text editor? User-friendliness is another – how easy is the desktop to use? Are items laid out logically to your liking? Do you find yourself having to perform more clicks to access the key parts of the system?

If you have an older or slower machine, also consider how responsive your chosen desktop will be. Your PC may benefit from a lightweight environment such as LXDE rather than one with many visual effects such as KDE.

Ultimately your chosen desktop environment is a matter of personal taste and what your machine can handle. Take some time to explore the options listed here. If none of these seem to fit, we’ve also listed a few alternatives for good measure.

LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) is a desktop environment specially designed for older machines and those with few resources. Similar to the Cinammon desktop environment, the default layout is one panel at the bottom of the screen. You can also launch applications with a menu button at the bottom-left, exactly as you would in classic versions of Microsoft Windows. Emphasis has been placed on efficiency above all else. This is reflected in the choice of OpenBox as the default window manager.

This all makes for a fast and very memory-efficient desktop. Pixel, the desktop environment of choice for the Raspberry Pi operating system, is a modified version of LXDE. LXDE is also the desktop environment of choice for ‘Lubuntu’ – a lightweight version of Ubuntu. This is one of the main benefits of choosing LXDE as it’s highly customisable. After installing the desktop, you can choose to install new wallpapers, icon sets and even certain desktop themes using the specially designed LXAppearance.

Other core applications designed specifically for use with LXDE are extremely efficient too. The file manager (PCMan) opens quickly and supports dual panes. You can also run commands via the ultra-lightweight LXTerminal.

As it’s designed for barebones efficiency, any unnecessary features such as complex window effects or visually rich themes have been stripped away from LXDE. This may make for a rather stark desktop if you’re used to environments with more features such as widgets and animations.

Verdict

Best for: Low resource use
Avoid if: You like graphical effects
Try on: Lubuntu
In a nutshell: A great desktop for older PCs

Gnome 3 is a revamped version of its predecessor (imaginatively named Gnome 2). The key user experience revolves around the new ‘Gnome Shell’ – the graphical part of the desktop environment. The shell does away with the old system of navigating via panels and menus in favour of a sidebar for quickly launching programs, an application ‘switcher’ and support for widgets.

When you arrive at the Gnome desktop, you’ll see a sparse top panel – click Activities to reveal a launcher, shortcuts to all the apps on your system, and a Search box. It won’t take you long to master this – ultimately one of Gnome’s strengths is its user-friendliness. On the other hand, it lacks features found elsewhere, and its quest for minimalism has led to core apps like the file manager losing key functionality such as split-screen views for easy file transfers.

Gnome is highly configurable, although you’ll need third-party apps such as the Gnome Tweak tool to get the most from it. It also supports shell extensions, but you can only install these through your browser, and they often break when Gnome gets a major update – other desktops handle such add-ons more adeptly.

If you don’t spend much time at the desktop and want to focus on your apps, then Gnome 3 will appeal, but it’s not for those who prefer a more traditional interface.

Verdict

Best for: Minimalism
Avoid if: You like to see what’s going on
Try on: Fedora
In a nutshell: Less is more

Cinnamon – the official desktop for Linux Mint – is forked from Gnome 3 with the focus very much put back on the desktop user. It utilises the underlying technology of Gnome, including forked versions of its core applications to ensure that they remain more functional than the native Gnome versions.

This ensure it’s able to deliver a polished desktop that’s immediately recognisable, particularly to users switching from Windows, with a menu button, app shortcuts and a system tray all packed into a panel that runs along the bottom of the screen.

It’s also highly configurable through a series of “spices”: themes, extensions, applets and floating desklets (Cinnamon’s equivalent of KDE’s widgets), all of which are managed directly through its own System Settings tool.

Although Cinnamon has made great strides in souping up its performance (the most recent release uses a pre-load mechanism to start swiftly after booting, for example), its reliance on Gnome 3 means it’s still relatively resource-heavy, while it has also acquired a reputation for being slightly buggy, although recent releases have steadily improved its robustness.

For our money, though, if you’re looking for a polished, instantly accessible desktop that takes the best bits of Gnome and wraps them up in a traditional setting, then Cinnamon is the desktop to try.

Verdict

Best for: Hipsters
Avoid if: You have an older machine
Try on: Linux Mint
In a nutshell: A traditional desktop

If you like the idea of the traditional desktop look, but want something that’ll run on slower or older machines, then Mate (pronounced ‘Ma-tay’, after the South American plant) is a potentially excellent alternative to Cinnamon. The developer website for Mate describes the project as an attempt to keep alive the classic Gnome 2 desktop.

It’s also forked from Gnome, but in this case, Mate is based on the older Gnome 2 release. This helps reduce its overheads, but you’re given a choice of flavours to install, including a “core” build with little in the way of extras to bog your system down, although all the key features are still covered (including Caja – a twin-paned file manager forked from Gnome’s Nautilus).

Mate opens with two panels – top and bottom – and you can add more, plus place them on either side of the screen. By default the bottom panel displays open windows while a series of menus in the top left-hand corner provides handy shortcuts to key parts of your system. Panels can also be extended via a number of additional applets, such as task launcher, power button, weather and so on.

A handy Control Centre shortcut gives you access to most system settings, including the few easily customisable parts of Mate itself (look under Appearance for options on switching and tweaking the theme). For maximum customisation, Ubuntu users might even want to try Ubuntu Mate, a specially built version designed to more seamlessly integrate with Ubuntu.

Ultimately Mate offers a reasonable compromise between the configurability of Cinnamon and the no-frills approach of lighter desktops like LXDE and Xfce – speaking of which, if Mate is still too rich for your PC’s tastes, read on…

Verdict

Best for: Older computers
Avoid if: You like GTK 3
Try on: Ubuntu Mate
In a nutshell: Gnome 2 lives!

Xfce has been around since 1996 and like Gnome is based on the GTK toolkit. It’s designed as a fast desktop environment which is low on system resource usage, but is rather eclipsed by LXDE, which is slightly more efficient while managing to look that bit more modern.

Nevertheless, Xfce has still got enough about it to stand apart: the main panel sits at the top of the screen by default, and we like the way its Application menu can be clicked easily from the top-left. The file manager Thunar has recently been enhanced and responds with lightning speed when opening folders or performing searches, although by default it doesn’t support more advanced features such as dual panes.

There’s little in the way of configurable options here, but where Xfce may win fans is with its highly customisable panels (via xfce4-panel). Right click on any panel to add more items such as a CPU monitor or mail notifier. The xfce4-panel utility also supports multiple panels, so you can have one at the bottom of the screen or on the side as a ‘deskbar’ if you wish. Control is granular: you can define the width, height and exact placement of each panel.

The window manager Xfwm is ultra-sleek and even includes its own compositing manager. It runs at similar speeds to other super-efficient window managers such as OpenBox, but is much more user-friendly.

Other bundled applications include the awesome graphical calendar app Orage, and Xfburn which can be used to author DVDs. You can also run commands via Xfce-Terminal which while being very sleek, also supports colour modes and even a dropdown interface similar to more advanced programs like Guake.

Verdict

Best for: Not too minimalist minimalism
Avoid if: You like a high level of configurability
Try on: Xubuntu
In a nutshell: Aims for simple, but not too simple

If you want to exert complete control over your desktop then KDE Plasma 5 is the desktop to choose – in some ways it’s more like a framework for building your own custom desktop than an actual desktop, although version 5 does ship with sensible defaults that give you something to start from. Note that some distros still offer version 4 by default, so be prepared to source it yourself (for example, via the kubuntu-ppa/backports repository).

Once started, the world’s your oyster – you’re presented with a single panel at the bottom of the screen and a handy tool box button in the top right-hand corner. From here great things can be made. KDE is largely based around widgets, which can be pinned to panels or left floating on the desktop itself. A large number are provided, but you can easily download more through the desktop too.

KDE also makes use of “activities”, which resemble virtual desktops, allowing you to customise your desktop for specific purposes – say when browsing the web or editing images.

KDE is unique among desktops in this roundup in being built on the Qt toolkit rather than GTK – this means it’s a little more resource intensive, particularly when updating; you may also find your existing apps don’t share KDE’s elegant look.

As a result, those searching for a fuss-free desktop with not too many bells and whistles will be better served looking elsewhere, but if you’re itching to build a desktop from scratch, then KDE should be first on your list.

Verdict

Best for: Customisation
Avoid if: You like GTK
Try on: OpenSuse
In a nutshell: Tweaker’s heaven

Are you still searching for the perfect desktop? Try these alternatives…

Enlightenment

There’s no way to hide the fact that Enlightenment is about eye candy. Things fade, pop and shimmer with glee any time you do anything. Some people find all these distractions and window dressing (sic) a bit too much, but for others it adds a sense of humour to their computing.

Enlightenment describes itself as a desktop shell, which means it’s a desktop environment without any applications supplied. Since the styling is so different from the others (from which you’ll need to take software) this means the result is a system that looks inconsistent. However, if you like desktop effects, but don’t like KDE, Enlightenment may be for you.

Sugar

When Nicholas Negroponte founded One Laptop Per Child, the project kicked off with extremely limited hardware, so the developers set about creating a desktop environment that was both very light on resources and very child-friendly. Given that most of their target users had never seen a computer let alone used one before, it had to be easy to use as well.

Sugar is the result of this. It’s a little too simplistic for most uses, but it’s excellent for kids with its big blocky icons and a high-contrast colour scheme that make it great for their first digital steps. Try a Fedora spin here.

Openbox

We said at the outset of this article that a desktop environment is a tricky thing to define. Openbox (pictured above) is a perfect example of the reason why. A number of the other desktop environments, such as LXDE, use Openbox as a window manager. However, with some configuration, it can be turned into a desktop environment in its own right – which is what the developers of CrunchBang++ have done.

It’s a stripped bare environment that perhaps has something in common with Gnome 3, though not quite to that extreme. Its minimalism has endeared it to sysadmins and hardcore users who appreciate the lack of desktop bloat.

Puppy Linux

This distro has built a desktop environment around JWM, a slim window manager that’s not used in many other setups. As you may be able to guess, this is one designed to be frugal with resources. The end result is pleasant, though not spectacular, and works admirably on older hardware.

Puppy Linux is designed in the traditional fashion and does a good job of just staying out of the way. It can look a bit dated when compared to its more resource-intensive cousins, but many people find that endearing rather than annoying. Not many folks would pick this for a new machine, but it does a great job of keeping PCs running that would otherwise be scrapped.

Xmonad

If there’s one desktop environment that stands out from all the others we have here it’s this one. Before you start using it, it’s best to forget everything you think you know about how a desktop should work. Right, have you done that?

The desktop in Xmonad is split into tiles, each of which contains an application. You can shuffle the tiles around, change their size, and focus. You can also use the mouse within the tiles, but not to sort out the desktop like you would with windows. The result looks a little peculiar, but it is surprisingly usable once you get used to the new layout.

LXQt

So far we have explored a range of lightweight desktop environments for Linux, almost all of which use the GTK toolkit. This can cause problems for those environments based on GTK 2 as development has shifted to the newer, bulkier GTK 3.

Many people also prefer the look and feel of Qt. LXQt attempts to fill this particular gap. The current incarnation of LXQt is a culmination of the original project and code from an older project known as RazorQT. The stated goal of both projects is using the same Qt toolkit as KDE but without any bloat.

At present there aren’t many bundled applications, although it does incorporate its own terminal. There are also third-party tools such as the ‘lxqt_wallet‘ password manager which you can install after downloading the desktop environment itself.

LXQt currently doesn’t come with a window manager, but the project’s Github page reassures users that it will work with any arbitrary one such as Openbox, or Xfwm4 (the window manager for Xfce). The software is still in its early stages but is certainly one to watch.

If you ask ten computer users what they want from a computer interface, you’ll get ten different answers, so why should they all use the same desktop environment? The answer is simple – they shouldn’t.

Because of this, we’re not limiting ourselves to a single ‘best desktop’ because we don’t think there is one, but we’re not completely copping out. We’re going to pick our favourite desktop in four categories: traditional, new style, tweakers and outlier. We feel this recognition of different styles of computer use has become especially important in the past couple of years as the desktop possibilities in Linux have diversified significantly.

There has always been a range of desktops, but now, more than ever before, there are a range of good desktops. Not all of them will suit everyone, but everyone, we think, will be able to find a desktop that works well for them.

For the traditionalists

We have to say that there are no bad choices in the category at the moment. Xfce, LXDE, Mate, Cinnamon and KDE are all great desktops. They all have good and bad points, but we think that most traditionalists would be happy with any of them. However, there has to be a winner, and we’re picking Mate for the way it continues the Gnome 2 feel through to the present day.

For the brave new world

If you’re unafraid of new and avant-garde desktops, Gnome 3, with its upgraded graphical shell, is a clear winner. Although the initial desktop seems to be stripped bare, you can easily arrange windows into separate workspaces and launch different applications. Gnome also supports switching themes and adding widgets, though not to as great an extent as KDE (see below).

For the tweakers

Let’s be honest, there was only ever going to be one winner here and it’s KDE. Although an honourable mention should go out to Cinnamon now that it includes desklets. Enlightenment is another option, though we feel it doesn’t match KDE as a complete desktop environment. Maybe next time, KDE will have a challenger.

For the outliers

We’re going to pick the desktop that adds the most to the world of desktops. That is, the one that has the most useful features that can’t be done in any common environment. The winner offers a radically different way of doing things that we found surprisingly usable. In fact, we were tempted to switch. Hats off then to Xmonad (pictured above).

      

The best cryptocurrency wallets in 2018

Bitcoin Core

Once you’ve bought Bitcoins (BTC) or other cryptocurrencies via an exchange (like Bitstamp), if you plan to spend your cryptocurrency right away, you can do so directly from the exchange. If you prefer to hang on to your digital assets, you’ll need a secure wallet to which you can transfer your virtual coins.

In this guide, we’ll explore five of the very best cryptocurrency applications available today for storing your digital wealth. Each of these programs allow you to generate private keys, which you can store safely, rather than trusting an online exchange which can be hacked or go out of business.

All of these clients are known as ‘hot’ wallets in that by default they’re connected to the internet at all times. If you are moving large amounts of Bitcoin, consider creating a ‘cold’ offline wallet to store your assets (see our guide to creating a secure cold storage Bitcoin wallet).

  • We also show you

    Bitcoin Core is the original BTC client and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Core is a ‘full node’ Bitcoin client, meaning that on first-run it will download the current version of the blockchain (currently around 160GB) by connecting to other nodes. It will then continue to download and process data about Bitcoin transactions.

    One advantage of this is that it’s much more difficult to link a specific BTC payment address to your identity as Core downloads data about all Bitcoin transactions everywhere. This also protects you against certain types of fraud such as someone trying to spend the same BTC twice, or fooling you into believing you’ve received funds you haven’t actually got.

    Core comes preconfigured to run through the Tor anonymizing network. This makes it very difficult for anyone to link sending or receiving BTC to your home IP address, ensuring your privacy. All this requires huge amounts of bandwidth – Core must be connected to the internet every day to stay in sync with the network.

    On first launch, Core will create a wallet file (wallet.dat) containing your private keys. By default anyone can access it, but you can encrypt the wallet with a password if you wish. (We’ve got a handy guide on setting up Bitcoin Core).

    Electrum has been around since 2011 and works with Windows, Mac and Linux. It’s one of the most popular ‘thin’ wallet clients, in that instead of downloading the entire Bitcoin blockchain, it connects securely to other servers to verify your BTC balance and process payments. This means you can set it up in minutes and it takes up very little space on your hard drive.

    Electrum uses a ‘hierarchical deterministic wallet’, in that when you first launch the program it generates a random ‘seed’ of 12 dictionary words, from which it derives the keys necessary to spend and receive BTC. Electrum displays the seed as you create your wallet and requires you to write it down. This means that if you lose access to this version of Electrum, you can easily reinstall it on another machine and use the seed to restore your BTC.

    Unlike the Bitcoin Core client, Electrum offers you the option to encrypt your wallet file during setup, although you can choose to leave it unencrypted if you wish. You can also use Electrum in ‘cold storage’ mode to create a ‘watching only’ wallet. This allows you to receive Bitcoin payments and see your balance, but not spend the coins, which may be useful if you’re buying BTC as a long-term investment.

    As a ‘thin’ client, Electrum relies on other servers for payment information, making it more vulnerable to certain types of hacking than ‘full nodes’ such as Bitcoin Core. See here for more information about how Electrum tries to protect you from this.

    Jaxx

    Jaxx was first developed in 2014 and serves not only as a Bitcoin wallet but an app which can store multiple cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash. Ripple is not currently supported but the Jaxx team have hinted they may support this feature in the future. (For a full list of supported currencies see here).

    When first run, Jaxx displays a 12 word ‘master seed’ similar to Electrum which you can write down and use to restore your wallets if you lose access to the original program.

    The interface is deceptively simple in that you can quickly and easily switch between wallet balances. Jaxx has also integrated Shapeshift support. This functions as a built-in currency exchange, allowing you to quickly exchange crypto balances, for instance to convert DASH to BTC. You can view your updated balances as soon as processing is complete.

    Jaxx is available as a Chrome extension as well as for Windows, Mac and Linux. There’s even a mobile app, so it’s likely you can view all crypto balances from a single device.

    The software is closed source, however, so cannot be reviewed by the community in order to hunt for security bugs. Note that one such bug was discovered in June 2017 which allows someone with access to your machine to extract your master seed and steal your coins. Until this is fixed we recommend using Jaxx only for storing and exchanging small amounts.

    Rippex

    Ripple is one of the top five cryptocurrencies in terms of capitalization and although it was designed to facilitate transactions between banks, many individuals also use it for speculation and to make payments.

    Unlike more popular currencies like Bitcoin, the official desktop client is no longer maintained by the original creators. Fortunately the community has continued to maintain it in the form of Rippex.

    Aside from being seemingly the only desktop client available for Ripple, Rippex is very easy to set up. On first-run it generates a ‘secret key’ which you can write down to restore your wallet in case anything happens to it. The client also requires you to encrypt your wallet file with a password, making your money harder to steal.

    In order to activate your wallet you have to pay a fee of 20 XRP (around $43 at current exchange rates, which is about £32). Once you’ve done this, you can set up a ‘cold’ offline wallet if you prefer to store your secret keys offline for safety reasons.

    If you want to store your XRP outside an exchange but don’t want to pay the fee for Rippex, you can also generate a paper wallet instead from http://ripplepaperwallet.com. The website will load the necessary code into your web browser – be sure to disconnect from the internet before creating the wallet.

    Rippex is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

    Exodus

    Exodus is a multi-currency wallet and can hold various types of coins and assets. The setup process is very simple. Like Jaxx, you create a 12 word ‘master seed’ which you can write down and use to restore your wallet if you’re no longer able to access the original. (Incidentally, if you’ve previously created a master seed using Jaxx, Exodus can restore these too). Once setup is complete, Exodus will also prompt you to choose a password to protect your wallet.

    Your digital assets are shown in a user-friendly pie chart. Unlike the other wallets we’ve discussed here, you can also choose different ‘skins’ to make your client easier on the eye. Use the localization settings to change the default currency (USD) to your home currency if necessary.

    The wallet software also supports exchanging crypto-assets and currencies using Shapeshift, and even lists the percentages of assets you hold as part of your ‘portfolio’. Sadly Dogecoin is no longer supported.

    Exodus is also not 100% open source. The company claims on its website that doing so would give away trade secrets and make it easier for hackers to create bootleg versions of its wallets. In light of this, if you use Exodus you’ll have to trust that there are no undisclosed security bugs or backdoors built into the software.

          

Windows 10 preview beefs up do-not-disturb feature and sharpens Edge browser

Windows 10 Quiet Hours

Microsoft has pushed out a new preview build of Windows 10 to fast ring testers containing quite a number of changes, including work on the operating system’s do-not-disturb feature, and further tinkering with the Edge browser.

Build 17074 beefs up the Quiet Hours feature which, when turned on, prevents the user from being interrupted because they’re busy working hard (or perhaps gaming hard), only allowing notifications to come through from ‘important’ contacts or apps (and blocking the rest).

With the new preview build, you can set your own schedule for when Quiet Hours kicks in – and customize the relevant priority list to make sure notifications from important sources always get through.

Quiet Hours also engages automatically when you are playing a full-screen game, or when you’re duplicating your display (so that you won’t be interrupted during a presentation). These are certainly nifty added touches.

Edging forward

Microsoft has made another bunch of improvements to the Edge browser, including an overhauled Hub view that displays more content, and is more intuitive to use.

Edge has also got the ability to save and auto-fill credit (or debit) card details on website payment forms, with Microsoft noting that card information is securely saved (if you request the browser to do so). Also, the CVV security number on the rear of the card is never saved.

Furthermore, reading ebooks in Edge – as well as PDF files and web pages in Reading View – has been much improved with new Fluent Design elements introduced to improve aesthetics and generally streamline the experience. It’s now possible to enjoy ebooks or Reading View pages in full-screen, too.

Microsoft also modified the Start menu to show links to the Documents and Pictures folders by default.

Nearly-there-share

The Near Share feature that allows you to easily wirelessly share files between PCs in close proximity – it’s basically Microsoft’s take on Apple’s AirDrop – has also been worked upon to make it more reliable. If you found this feature too flaky before, Microsoft is urging you to try it again in this new build.

There are a ton of other tweaks and adjustments in Build 17074 of Windows 10, like the ability to write with a stylus directly into a text field in the UI, so you can scribble straight into a search bar (which is enlarged when you tap on it with your pen to make writing inside it easier – as some of those interface bars can be pretty small).

For the full exhaustive rundown of changes, along with potential issues affecting this build, see Microsoft’s blog post.

Speaking of issues, note that this preview build has been blocked for PCs running older AMD processors. This is because it contains some further tweaks in terms of defending against Meltdown and Spectre, and the patches against these critical bugs have been known to cause boot failure in some machines running older AMD chips.

      

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