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Windows 11: Taking The Microsoft OS To The Next Level – Forbes

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Microsoft is launching the latest iteration of the ubiquitous Windows operating system this week with Windows 11. I am a child of the 80’s and a fan of the movie This Is Spinal Tap—so I can’t resist the opportunity to quote Nigel Tufnel (played by actor Christopher Guest) in the iconic discussion about the amplifiers: “These go to 11.

Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer for Windows + Devices for Microsoft, shared in a blog post, “Today marks an exciting milestone in the history of Windows. As the day becomes October 5 in each time zone around the world, availability of Windows 11 begins through a free upgrade on eligible Windows 10 PCs and on new PCs pre-installed with Windows 11 that can be purchased beginning today.”

As you should expect with a new version of the operating system, there are a variety of new features and capabilities. Some are minor cosmetic tweaks, and some are game-changing features that dramatically improve the Windows computing experience. Let’s take a deeper dive on a few of the ones that stand out for me.

Task Bar and Start Menu

One of the things you will notice immediately when logging in to a Windows 11 PC is that the icons on the Task Bar are centered by default. I don’t know if Microsoft was influenced by MacOS and I doubt they would admit it if they were, but it reminds me of the default layout of icons when using a MacOS computer. You can go into the Task Bar settings and move them back to the left if you prefer, but in theory having them centered keeps them front and center as you’re working with Windows, which should streamline things and help you function more efficiently.

Widgets

You will also notice a few additional icons enabled by default on the Task Bar—Task View, Chat, and Widgets. Each of them can be disabled in the Task Bar settings if you would prefer not to have it displayed.

Widgets are a pretty cool way for you to have at-a-glance access to everything that is important or interesting to you. You can customize and mix-and-match the widgets that are shown so you have easy access to the information you want: weather, traffic, news, sports scores, your Outlook calendar or a to-do list. The overall experience is not fundamentally different than what you could accomplish by configuring the Start Menu in Windows 10. I recommend you give Widgets a try. Set it up the way that works best for you and it will quickly become your go-to for staying on top of things.

Chat

It seems like the major players are embracing—or at least attempting to embrace—the idea of cross-platform communication. With the launch of iOS 15, Apple recently expanded the capabilities of FaceTime to allow iOS users to invite people to join in FaceTime communications even if they use Android or Microsoft Windows. For Microsoft’s part, they added the Chat feature as a default icon on the Task Bar—-which includes the ability to chat, voice, or video call with people regardless of the platform they’re on—Windows, MacOS, Android, or iOS.

Snap Layouts

I have been a fan of the ability to snap a window to one side or the other of the display since Microsoft introduced the feature—but Snap Layouts in Windows 11 is a significant upgrade. When you hover over the maximize icon at the top of an application, Windows 11 will display various layout options you can choose from to snap your applications. I spend most of my time in Windows with all of my applications snapped to the left or right half of the display in a 50/50 split, but I can see getting a lot of use out of some of these other setups. For example, I have an ultrawide monitor, so I can comfortably fit three applications across the display—each taking up exactly one-third of the display. Or, I can use the middle 50% for my main application, and have applications open on either side that take up just 25% each for reference.

Windows 11 and Free Ice Cream

These are just a few of the new features and capabilities in Windows 11. Microsoft also enhanced the operating system for accessibility, improved gaming on Windows 11 with features like Auto HDR, and improved security features to keep your Windows 11 PC protected in our new hybrid work-from-home world.

Microsoft will begin rolling out Windows 11 as a free upgrade for eligible Windows 10 PCs beginning tomorrow, October 5. Panay outlines all of the various ways you can get Windows 11 in his blog post.

I am nowhere near New York, personally. But if you are you also have a chance to celebrate the arrival of Windows 11 with some free ice cream. Microsoft teamed up with New York City-based ice creamery Mikey Likes It to create a limited-edition flavor called “Bloomberry.” Mikey Likes It will be handing out free scoops of Bloomberry ice cream on October 5 while supplies last.  

If you are using a Windows PC, I recommend you take a look at what the new version has to offer. To paraphrase Nigel Tufnel, this one goes to 11.

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Apple Shares New 'Movie Magic' Shot on iPhone 13 Pro Video – MacRumors

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Apple today continued with its long-running “Shot on iPhone” series, uploading another “Experiments” video that focuses on the camera capabilities of the iPhone 13 Pro.

The “Movie Magic” video features Dong Hoon Jun and visual artist James Thornton explaining how they shot a short sci-fi film. The video highlights various effects that can be captured with the ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌ and a set of props like hyperspeed, an outer space look, anti-gravity, a cloudscape, and more.

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Everything New in iOS 15.1 Beta 3: ProRes Video and Macro Mode Toggle for iPhone 13 Pro Users

Apple today released the third beta of iOS 15.1 to developers for testing purposes, and the update introduces some new camera features for iPhone 13 Pro users.
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Today’s beta adds support for ProRes video capture with the standard iPhone camera app. It can be toggled on by opening up the Settings app and selecting the “Camera” section. From there, tap on “Formats” and toggle on…

Shooting 4K ProRes Video Requires iPhone 13 Pro With at Least 256GB Storage

The new iPhone 13 Pro models support 4K ProRes video recording, but there’s a catch if you want to capture video at the highest quality – you need an iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max with at least 256GB of storage space.
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You May Not Want to Buy the 128GB iPhone 13 Pro: Here’s Why

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AirPods 3 make it easier to skip songs. Here's how to use the force sensor – CNET

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AirPods 3 give you another way to control audio playback.


Apple/CNET

Apple unveiled the AirPods 3 on Monday at its October launch event (here’s how to buy the new AirPods). The latest wireless earbuds sport a new design, spatial audio for a more immersive listening experience, faster charging and better battery life, as well as sweat and water resistance. 

Apple’s force sensor, featured on the AirPod Pro stem, is also now available on the AirPods 3, which means it’s easier to play or pause music, skip songs (or audiobooks and podcasts) and answer and end calls. 

Here’s how it works.

Control audio with force sensor on AirPods 3 earbud

  • Play or pause audio: Press the force sensor on the stem of one of your AirPods once.
  • Skip forward: Double-press the stem.
  • Skip backward: Triple-press the stem.

Phone calls with force sensor on AirPods 3 earbud

  • Answer a call: Press the force sensor on the stem.
  • Decline a call or send it to voicemail: Double-press the sensor on the stem. 

For more, check out how to buy the new AirPods 3 and everything that was announced at Apple’s October event.

Correction, Oct. 20: A previous version of this article mistakenly said that the new AirPods case contained a force sensor. The force sensor is only found in the new AirPods 3.

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U.S. lawmakers urge speedy action on U.S semiconductor chips funding

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A bipartisan group of 38 U.S. House lawmakers on Thursday urged leaders in Congress to immediately set a path to advance legislation providing $52 billion for U.S. semiconductor production including $2 billion in support for chips used by the automotive industry.

The  U.S. Senate voted 68-32 in June to approve a sweeping package of legislation intended to boost the country’s ability to compete with Chinese technology, including providing $52 billion for chips, but the measure has stalled in the House.

The House lawmakers in a letter warned of the “dire consequences the automotive industry as a whole—and the nation—faces if we fail to advance legislation soon.”

 

(Reporting by David Shepardson)

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