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By Usama Jawad96
Mouth-watering user concept of Windows 10 File Explorer has Reddit salivating
by Usama Jawad
File Explorer in Windows 10 is an essential program that is widely utilized by users of the operating system. While Microsoft updates it from time to time, the changes are usually minor, and related to icon redesigns. This is probably why user concepts of File Explorer surface frequently, re-imagining what the program could look like, should Microsoft decide to fully redesign it at some point.
Today, we are taking a look at a new and sleek user concept for File Explorer created by Reddit user u/Alur2020 that has hundreds of users salivating on the Reddit thread. Have a look below.
The first of two images for the design presents a sleek File Explorer that embraces Fluent Design concepts while maintaining a minimalist look. Key points include the usage of new icons, as well as tags in the pane on the left. As can be seen, this can be utilized to mark and color-code your files and folders, making them easier to spot and presumably, group.
Similarly, another noticeable feature is the addition of tabs, which not only enhances productivity-focused scenarios but also gives it a more browser-based feel which most users will be comfortable with adapting to. It is important to note that Microsoft announced Sets back in 2017, which was supposed to be a new idea for tabbed interfaces in Windows 10. However, the project was shelved in 2019 and doesn't seem to be a part of the Sun Valley update for the operating system later this year either, based on current information.
Other interesting tidbits include minimalist icons, as well as the settings and profile buttons on the top. Overall, the look is familiar but enhanced to increase productivity and general sleekness.
The second image deals with the UI you get when you open a folder. As can be seen, clicking on an item opens the options at the top where the user can decide what they want to do it with it. This uses the same minimalist icon design seen in the pane on the left.
Talking about the pane on the left, perhaps the most noticeable thing is nested folders. Essentially, users can click on a folder and get a view of the children folders in it. This is especially beneficial if you want to quickly shift between nested folders without having to go back to the root directory again and again.
Overall, the File Explorer user concept has received extremely positive response on Reddit with most lauding it as the best design that they have seen so far. With over 1,500 upvotes so far, many have also directed praise at how organized it looks and is not "blown up". Minor nitpicking is aimed at keeping the settings and profile buttons too close to the minimize button, but feedback has been generally positive and constructive so far.
It is important to note that while this is a user concept, it would be interesting to see if Microsoft takes inspiration from it and implement some of these features and UI enhancements at some point in the future, especially given the positive feedback seen so far.
OneDrive sync client gets 64-bit support on Windows
by João Carrasqueira
Microsoft has released a new public preview of the OneDrive sync client for Windows, making it available in a 64-bit variant. The 64-bit client is recommended for users who deal with large files or a high number of files on OneDrive, since 64-bit apps can use more of the system's memory.
For those unaware, the OneDrive sync client is included with Windows 10 and can be installed on older versions as well, and it lets you sync files from OneDrive down to your local machine easily. It integrates with File Explorer on Windows, so managing OneDrive files and folders should feel the same as using a local folder.
To use the 64-bit variant of OneDrive, you'll need a PC with an x64 (technically, AMD64) processor that's running a 64-bit variant of Windows. It's worth noting that Windows on ARM devices - while they use a 64-bit architecture - don't yet support apps designed for x64 processors, so you'll need to keep using the 32-bit client. Microsoft has been working on x64 emulation for ARM64 devices, and that's currently being tested with Insiders in the Dev channel.
You can download the 64-bit version of the OneDrive sync client here, and it will install over your current version if you already have it installed. You'll need to be running a version that's older than the one you're installing, though.
By News Staff
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by Steven Parker
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By Usama Jawad96
Windows Community Toolkit 7.0 is now live with a new MVVM library
by Usama Jawad
Back in 2016, Microsoft announced UWP Community Toolkit, a project that enables developers to collaborate and contribute new capabilities on top of the Windows 10 SDK. It simplifies some tasks that developers have to perform when building UWP and .NET apps. Microsoft rebranded it to Windows Community Toolkit in 2018 and has been rigorously updating it with new features in every release.
Now, the company has announced version 7.0 of the utility, which contains a whole bunch of new features and enhancements.
Microsoft has refactored numerous packages in order to decouple dependencies when only a small number of components are being utilized in the app. In most scenarios, this has resulted in an 80-90% decrease in footprint size of the application. Most of these changes affect the Animations and Controls packages, so it is advisable that developers refer to Microsoft's documentation here in order to identify any breaking changes to their apps.
Windows Community Toolkit v7.0 also comes with a new MVVM library built on the foundations of platform-agnosticism, modularity, flexibility, and performance. The Microsoft.Toolkit.Mvvm package contains this library and since it targets .NET Standard, this means that it can be utilized on any platform that supports it, including UWP, WPF, Xamarin, and more. You can find out more about the new MVVM library here.
Other notable changes include improved notification support for Win32 and .NET 5 apps, an improved ColorPicker, a TabbedCommandBar navigation interface, a new AnimationBuilder class, and SwitchPresenter to better organize your XAML.
In terms of what's coming next, Microsoft says that it is releasing previews of the Toolkit which work with version 0.5 of Project Reunion Preview. Over the coming weeks, the company will also be releasing an updated version of WinUI 3 controls to NuGet for Project Reunion 0.5. These will be packaged in the "WinUI" root rather than "UWP", with the latter's packages being deprecated eventually. You can find out more about how to get started with Windows Community Toolkit here.
By Usama Jawad96
Google starts enforcing offline experiences for installable PWAs in Chrome 89
by Usama Jawad
Google continually updates its Chrome browser to offer new features and enhancements to users. For example, a major change in Chrome 88 was that it featured better password protection. Apart from making customer-facing changes, the company also updates its software to make it easier for developers to offer new capabilities in the browser.
Now, Google has rolled out Chrome 89 in the stable channel. It contains multiple enhancements to the developer and, subsequently, user experience.
A major change in Chrome 89 is that Google has started warning developers to offer offline experiences with their installable Progress Web Apps (PWAs). Previously, developers were able to skirt this condition in some cases but now Google will be cautioning developers in DevTools in the Issues tab, and will begin enforcing it as a mandatory requirement of the PWA installability criteria from Chrome 93 later this year. This change does not affect developers who already offer offline experiences for their installable PWAs.
WebHID, WebNFC, and Web Serial have hit the stable channel on Chrome as well. These APIs allow website developers and hardware manufacturers to create engaging experiences between the two platforms with minimal lines of code. This also removes certain dependencies on driver updates and software installation when you get a new piece of hardware you'd like to link to a webpage on Chrome.
Another significant addition to Chrome 89 is the availability of Web Share and Web Share Target APIs for desktop. These enable users to share their content to other apps on the device. For example, a user will be able to share photos from Google Photos to Twitter. This capability was already available on mobile, but has now made its way to Chrome OS and Windows as well.