Showing posts from March, 2017

This New Windows 10 Setting Automatically Frees Up Disk Space as It Runs Out

There's no shortage of ways to clean useless files from your Windows machine. If you're using a smaller hard drive, you know the pains that come from regularly having to manage low disk space. Whether you use the popular CCleaner or stick to Windows' built-in tools, cleaning old files has been a manual job unless you paid for premium software. In the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft has added an automatic cleanup feature so you don't have to waste time running the Disk Cleanup on your own. If you're a Windows Insider, you can access this now. Head to...
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Microsoft will let users manually download the Creators Update on April 5th

Microsoft is prepping for a gradual, multi-stage rollout of the Windows 10 Creators Update starting on April 11th. But if you're eager to get your hands on it a bit early, you can manually download it on April 5th. The company said in a blog post today that it will make the Creators Update available through its Update Assistant so anyone who is using a licensed version of Windows 10 can install it one week ahead of the official rollout.
You can download the Creators Update a week early You can, of course, already do so if you're willing to download and mount an ISO file off Microsoft's servers. Windows forum users were able to locate files for Windows 10 build 15063, which is generally considered to be the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build number for the finished Creators Update. Head here to download that, so long as you're a member of the Windows Insider Program.
For everyone else, the Creators Update is being pushed out on April 11th, first to newer PCs and onw…

How to Get the Windows 10 Creators Update Early

Image: Microsoft You don't have to wait around like a normal person for the Creators Update to drop—it's available to download right now, if you're a Windows Insider. The Windows Insider program lets you beta test advance versions of the OS for free, if you don't mind the occasional bug, and here's what you need to do to get enrolled.
There are no specific requirements to be a Windows Insider and there's nothing to pay. It's for anyone who wants to get the latest Windows features first, but you have to be prepared to put up with a bug or two. You can leave the program at any time.
Microsoft doesn't recommend running beta software on your main PC, so you do so at your own risk. You also need to have a proper Microsoft account set up on your computer (with a Microsoft email address attached), rather than a local account.
Image: Screenshot Open up the Settings app on Windows 10, select Update & security, and then click the Windows Insider Program headin…

Apple is upgrading millions of iOS devices to a new modern file system today

Apple's iOS 10.3 is rolling out today, with a new find my AirPods option and CarPlay improvements. Most of the features in iOS 10.3 aren't major, but Apple is actually undertaking a pretty huge shift for all iPad and iPhone users today. Within iOS 10.3, Apple is moving supported devices to its new Apple File System (APFS). It's a file system that was originally announced at WWDC last year, and it's designed with the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, and Apple TV in mind.
Apple has been using its 31-year-old Hierarchical File System (HFS) for iOS devices so far. It was originally designed for Macs with floppy or hard disks, and not for modern mobile devices with solid state storage. Even its successor, AFS+, still doesn't address the needs of these mobile devices enough. Apple's new APFS is designed to scale across these new types of devices and take advantage of flash or SSD storage. It's also engineered with encryption as a primary feature, and even support…

Apple Releases macOS Sierra 10.12.4 With New Night Shift Mode

Apple today released macOS Sierra 10.12.4, the fourth major update to the macOS Sierra operating system that launched on September 20. macOS Sierra 10.12.4 has been in testing since January 24, with Apple having seeded eight betas ahead of its public release.

macOS Sierra 10.12.4 is a free update for all customers who are running macOS Sierra. The update can be downloaded using the Software Update function in the Mac App Store.

macOS Sierra 10.12.4 brings iOS's Night Shift mode to the Mac for the first time. Night Shift, first introduced on iOS devices in iOS 9.3, is designed to gradually shift the display of a device from blue to a subtle yellow, cutting down on exposure to blue light. Blue light is believed to interrupt the circadian rhythm, disrupting sleep patterns.

Night Shift is activated through the Displays section of System Preferences, where a setting to have it come on at sunset and turn off at sunrise is available. It can also be set to turn on and off at custom times…

Apple Releases watchOS 3.2 With Theater Mode and SiriKit

Apple today released a new software update for the Apple Watch, upgrading watchOS 3.1.3 to watchOS 3.2. watchOS 3.2 is the second major update to the watchOS 3 operating system that was released in September of 2016. watchOS 3.2 has been in testing since January 30 and Apple seeded seven betas ahead of release.

watchOS 3.2 can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General --> Software Update. To install the update, the Apple Watch must have at least 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it must be in range of the iPhone.

An iPhone running iOS 10 or later is required to download the new software, but it is available for all Apple Watch models.

watchOS 3.2 introduces Theater Mode, which is designed to let Apple Watch owners mute the sound on their device and disable Raise to Wake, preventing the screen from lighting up with arm movement.

Apple Watch users are still able to receive haptic feedback-based notifications, an…

Apple Releases iOS 10.3 With Find My AirPods, APFS, App Store Review Tweaks and More

Apple today released iOS 10.3 to the public, marking the launch of the third major update to the iOS 10 operating system since it launched on September 13, 2016. iOS 10.3 has been in testing since January 24 and Apple seeded seven betas to developers and public beta testers before releasing the software.

iOS 10.3 is available as a free over-the-air update for all iOS 10 users, and it can also be downloaded via iTunes.
As a major 10.x update, iOS 10.3 includes both significant additions and more minor design tweaks and changes. The biggest new consuming-facing feature is "Find My AirPods," which has been added to the Find My iPhone function to help AirPods owners locate a lost earphone should one be misplaced.

Find My AirPods can play a sound to help users find an AirPod misplaced nearby, and it also saves the last known location of when an AirPod was connected to an iOS device via Bluetooth, but it can't locate the AirPods when the iPhone isn't nearby nor can it loc…

Google Hangouts is getting a major overhaul to take on Slack

If you know anything about Google's messaging strategy in the last few years, you know that it's been a bit of a mess. Allo, the consumer app, launched without the cross-platform features users expect. Text messaging on mobile is mired in inter-carrier warfare. And Hangouts has become a punchline.
On two of those fronts, Google has been making progress. And today, in a bit of a surprise, Google has signaled that it finally decided Hangouts is supposed to be: a business communication tool to complement its consumer apps. We're now getting a glimpse of what that means — and if the early demo I saw is any indication, it might be time to stop making fun of Hangouts. That's because Hangouts is turning into a group chat system that looks a hell of a lot like Slack. Like Microsoft, Google is launching a Slackalike — and like Microsoft, it's betting that deep integration with the rest of its office suite is going to be catnip for IT managers and cost-conscious CFOs. …

Windows 10 Creators Update Dropping on April 11

Microsoft has been very open about the Windows 10 Creators Update. The company announced the feature update last year and has revealed virtually all of its features through previews. However, Microsoft has been coy on exactly when the Creators Update will launch. According to MSPU, the update will start rolling out on April 11.
At launch and over the proceeding months, Microsoft has been vague about specific dates. Indeed, all the company has done is promise a spring 2017 launch for the Windows 10 Creators Update.
MSPU says it has three separate sources who say Microsoft will start the roll out on April 11. Of course, despite Microsoft's silence on specific dates, we have known for some time that the Creators Update would drop in April.
Dell confirmed at CES in January that the update would drop next months. However, MSPU has now added a more concrete date.
An April launch has seemed likely since Microsoft announced its Build 2017 conference will kick off May 10. By time Build …

Visual Studio 2017, Now Available for Download

Today, Microsoft is making Visual Studio 2017 generally available for download. If you want to try out the updated development platform, you can find the application, here.
For those who have Visual Studio 2015 installed, Microsoft says that you can install 2017 alongside the older application. Additionally, you can install Visual Studio 2017 on top of Visual Studio "15" preview and 2017 RC.
Along with releasing the new version of the platform, the company is hosting a two-day online event to celebrate the anniversary of Visual Studio which has been around for twenty years. The event offers interactive technical demos of the new features and will help users get up to speed on all the enhancements of the platform.
Visual Studio 97, which was announced on January 28th, 1997, has grown from an IDE to a suit of services that now includes Visual Studio Team Services, Visual Studio Code, and many others. Microsoft positions this suite of tools as the premier environment for d…

Xbox, Skype, Outlook, and more affected by Microsoft Account issues

Microsoft Account users appear to be experiencing issues with signing into their accounts this morning. Large numbers of Xbox, Skype, and Outlook users have been complaining they're unable to access their accounts, with the login prompt noting that an account doesn't exist. The Verge has tested a number of accounts, and we can confirm there are widespread issues worldwide.
Microsoft has acknowledged the problems in an Xbox Live service status message, simply noting it's "working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible." Microsoft Accounts are the key sign-in process to access services like Office 365, OneDrive, Xbox Live, Skype,, the Windows Store, and many more Microsoft apps. We've reached out to Microsoft for an update on the outage, and we'll update you accordingly.
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Windows 10 Creators Update: No automatic restarts after updates anymore

Microsoft just announced a major change in regards to how updates are delivered once the Windows 10 Creators Update is installed on a machine.
The update to Windows Update prompts users, giving them options to schedule the update for a specific date and time, or to postpone the update for three days straight.
The main idea behind the new options is to avoid situations where Windows Update restarts a PC automatically.
Automatic updates are convenient, but the Internet is filled with user complaints that Windows Update restarted the PC at the least convenient time, for instance shortly before a three day long rendering sequence completed, during a video game, or while holding a presentation.
Some users say that they don't even see the restart prompts to postpone or block them, while others were afk for minutes only to find out that the operating system restarted the machine automatically during that time.
Windows 10 Creators Update: automatic restarts are a thing of the past