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Edge PWAs can now have tabs in the latest Canary build; here's how to enable them
by João Carrasqueira
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) on the Chromium-based Edge browser are getting the ability to be open as tabbed windows. With the latest update released in the Canary channel of the Edge Insider program, version 88.0.678.0, the feature has been added under a hidden flag, originally spotted by Reddit user Leopeva24-2.
Currently, a PWA can only work as regular window, so any click that would cause links to open in a new tab would take you back to the main Edge window. With tabbed windows for PWAs, opening links in new tabs will open a new tab inside the PWA, as long as the link itself is part of the same website as the PWA itself. So, for something like Twitter, you may be able to open tweets and or user profiles within the same Twitter window, but opening articles from within Twitter will still take you to a regular Edge window.
In order to enable this feature, you'll need to enter edge://flags in your address bar, then search for "Desktop PWA tab strips". Once you enable the flag, you'll be prompted to restart the browser.
Now, when installing a new web app, such as Twitter, the prompt will ask whether you want it to behave as a tabbed window or not. Check the box and the installed app will now be able to open multiple tabs. It's worth noting that the change won't retroactively affect your installed apps. If you want to turn your current PWAs into tabbed windows, you'll need to uninstall them and install them again.
Based on our testing, there are still some slight visual glitches, such as the page title being displayed behind the open tabs and extending to the whole tab strip. That shouldn't be much of a surprise since the feature is only available in the Canary channel and hidden behind an experimental flag. The experience should be more fleshed out by the time it's more widely available.
Do you find tabbed PWA windows useful? Let us know in the comments!
By Jefferson Mangubat
Microsoft Teams adds new Caller ID, spelling suggestions, and more on iOS
by Jefferson Mangubat
Microsoft Teams has received a new update on iOS that introduces a slew of fresh features meant to boost productivity and privacy. There are new capabilities as well to let you access call controls more quickly.
The app now prevents message previews from appearing on notifications in order to protect personal data, courtesy of Microsoft Intune. Teams has also added support for caller ID for voicemail messages.
In addition, Teams now supports natural language when you search for messages. It will also suggest the correct spelling of words when you enter search terms that are often misspelled. You will also see call controls like hanging up or muting on the screen all the time during a call. On iPads, Teams will show more options for handling a call.
Here's the update's full changelog:
The updated Teams app is now available to download via the App Store. The latest change bumps up the app version to 2.0.24.
By Abhay V
Here's how you can install the Windows 10 October 2020 Update right now
by Abhay Venkatesh
Microsoft began rolling out the Windows 10 October 2020 Update this week, bringing a few new features such as a refreshed Start Menu design that is now theme-aware, improvements to the notifications interface, Alt+Tab multitasking enhancements for the Edge browser, and more. You can read through the complete list of features here.
The update is not a major one since the features are already baked into the May 2020 Update (version 2004). The 20H2 release, just like version 1909, is an enablement package that lights up the hidden features in the OS – which installs just like a monthly cumulative update – unless you are upgrading from a release older than version 2004. However, as is the case with recent releases, Microsoft is performing a staggered rollout of the update, so not all users will receive the update immediately.
If you want to check if the update is being offered to you, or install it regardless if it isn’t, here are some ways you can go about downloading and installing the October 2020 Update.
Through Windows Update
The way most users update their PCs is through Windows Update. Unlike older versions, feature updates are no longer force installed until the currently installed version reaches the end of support. To check if the October 2020 Update is ready to be installed through Windows Update, perform the following steps:
Head to Settings (via the Start Menu or the Win + I shortcut) Click on Update & Security Click on Windows Update Click on Check for Updates If the feature update is available to install, a card with a Download and install now prompt will be available (example screenshot below) For users running version 2004, the update package will be a quick download. However, those on older versions of the OS will go through the full-fledged download and install process that will take much longer. Since Microsoft is gradually rolling out version 20H2, not many people will see the update show up right away, including those running the May 2020 Update – even though the two versions are technically the same.
Users upgrading from older versions could be blocked from being served the update owing to incompatibilities such as driver version conflicts or more. The known issues and update blockers are documented here. These users will be prompted for an upgrade when their devices are “ready”.
For those that do not see a prompt in Windows Update, there are a couple of other options to install version 20H2. However, it must be noted that forcing an update through these methods could cause problems due to incompatible drivers, so it is advised that you go ahead with these methods only if you are aware of the risks and are familiar with rolling back feature updates, in case something goes wrong. It is always a good idea to perform a backup of your data as well.
Using the Update Assistant
The Update Assistant allows users to perform an in-place feature update through a wizard. It must be noted, however, that the tool downloads the entire OS package regardless of what version you are on. So even if you are upgrading from the May 2020 Update, the tool will perform the complete installation process instead of applying the enablement package.
The tool also checks for major compatibility issues and can block the user from updating to the latest version of Windows 10 if there are any major issues. You can head to the download page here and click on the Update Now button to download the Update Assistant. Then, perform the following steps to initiate the update:
Download and open the Update Assistant and hit Update Now Though the company updated the naming convention for the version number starting with this release, the tool specifies a certain "version 2009", which is nothing but the October 2020 Update (20H2) Hit Next if the tool certifies your PC as compatible Let the tool complete the download and initialization process for the update The tool will then prompt for a restart Unlike Windows Update, it is possible that dismissing the restart prompt could immediately trigger a restart and the wizard might not obey your pre-set active hours. It is best for you to keep an eye on the progress and save all your work beforehand. The system will then restart multiple times and then boot into version 20H2.
Using the Media Creation tool
Users that are upgrading from older versions of Windows 10 or those who want to perform a clean installation can also use the media creation tool. You can head to the download page here and click the Download tool now button under the Create Windows 10 installation media section. The tool lets users perform an in-place update for their own system or create bootable media for use on other PCs or virtual machines. The installation media can also be used as a means to install Windows 10 on new, custom-built machines or bricked devices.
For this guide, we will cover the steps needed to be performed to initiate an in-place upgrade for users’ own machines. Here are the steps to be performed:
Download and open the Media Creation tool Accept the license terms If you want to upgrade your PC, choose the Upgrade this PC now option Let the tool download and run the update process Follow further instructions to restart the system Just like with the Update Assistant, the system should go through a series of restarts for the update to be installed. If you want to create an installation media for backup purposes or creating a bootable disc for another PC, here is how you do it:
Under the What do you want to do? step, choose the Create installation media… option Either use the recommended option or select the desired language, edition, and architecture Choose the kind of media you want to create Do note that a USB flash drive must be 8GB in capacity or larger. You can save the ISO file locally if you wish to use it to set up Windows 10 on a virtual machine.
If you are not offered the update via Windows Update and are facing hiccups with getting through the compatibility checks in either of the tools, it is best to give it some time. The Redmond company constantly serves cumulative updates to fix bugs and remove update blocks and will offer the update to compatible devices when it deems the configuration ready.
Minecraft Java Edition will soon require a Microsoft account
by João Carrasqueira
The original release of Minecraft, now called Minecraft: Java Edition, is soon going to require a Microsoft account to play. The announcement was made on the Minecraft blog, and it means that existing players will start to be moved to Microsoft accounts next year. The move will be mandatory, so you won't be able to play the game if you don't switch to the new account.
To justify the decision to move its player base, Minecraft developer Mojang said that Microsoft accounts offer a range of benefits compared to a regular account. These include additional security thanks to two-factor authentication, linking different games in the Minecraft universe to the same account, improved parental controls, and the ability to block chat messages and invitations.
Aside from using a Microsoft account, there won't be any big changes with the transition. Existing skins and mods will continue to work, and users get to keep their current username. In fact, Microsoft is giving players a small reward for going through the process - a special cape for your character. The company is also teasing that more rewards may be revealed later. You can learn more about the transition in this FAQ.
For new players, the Microsoft account requirement will come into place this fall, meaning you'll need one to create a new account. Because there are a lot of players on the Java Edition of Minecraft (in 2019, the company reported that 30 million copies of the game had been sold), existing players will be moved in batches starting next year. Users will receive emails with instructions on how to make the move when their turn comes.
Here's what's fixed, improved, and still broken in Windows 10 build 20241
by João Carrasqueira
As per Microsoft's Wednesday tradition, a new build of Windows 10 is rolling out Insiders in the Dev channel today, this time being build number 20241. As usual, the list of new features is small, but there are some visual changes and improvements to the Settings app.
However, the build also comes with the usual lists of improvements, fixes, and known issues, which might be useful to know before you rush to install it. Starting with the improvements, there are some for Narrator and the Japanese IME:
As for the fixes in this release, there's a pretty long list to take a look at:
Finally, there are still some known issues:
If you're not in the Insider program, Microsoft released a new Windows 10 feature update, version 20H2, just yesterday, and we've rounded up all the new features in it. There are also some known issues for it, but nothing new if you were already using Windows 10 version 2004. It'll likely be a few months before the features in these new Insider builds make their way to the general public.