Xbox Games with Gold & Deals with Gold: October 2017

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For the month of October, Xbox Live Gold members will receive four new free games – two on Xbox One and two on Xbox 360 – as part of the Games with Gold program. You can play both Xbox 360 titles on your Xbox One with Backward Compatibility.


On Xbox One, Xbox Live Gold members can download Gone Home: Console Edition ($19.99 ERP) for free during the month of October. The Turing Test ($19.99 ERP) will be available as a free download from October 16th to November 15th.


On Xbox 360, starting October 1st, Rayman 3 HD ($9.99 ERP) will be free for Xbox Live Gold members through October 15th. Then on October 16th, Xbox Live Gold Members can download Medal of Honor: Airborne ($19.99 ERP) for free through October 31st.


Updated 27/10 -  Looks like that initial list was completely incorrect! I won't be so quick to post next time :p


EA Access Games in the Vault for Xbox One

Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Games


Xbox Games with Gold & Deals with Gold: September 2017

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I hope this is true, I've wanted to play Shadow of Mordor for an age! Missed it last time it was on sale so now I can own it and never have time to play it instead :D

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Impressive month if true (Y)


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George P
10 hours ago, Skiver said:

I hope this is true, I've wanted to play Shadow of Mordor for an age! Missed it last time it was on sale so now I can own it and never have time to play it instead :D

I'm with you, I almost got it once when it was up on sale but held off, this would be good if it's true.

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More games being added to Game Pass on 01 Oct




  • Street Fighter IV
  • State of Decay
  • Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell
  • The Bug Butcher
  • Costume Quest 2
  • Maldita Castilla EX – Cursed Castle

  • Tower of Guns

Good to see that there is still no sign of removing games, unless they've done it quietly. 

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On 9/25/2017 at 1:08 PM, dipsylalapo said:

Updated 27/10 -  Looks like that initial list was completely incorrect! I won't be so quick to post next time :p

Castlevania was the giveaway; only its sequel is available on GonD. That and the lineup was way too good to be true for GwG :laugh:

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Here are this week’s games and add-on deals on the Xbox Games Store. Discounts are valid now through 09 October 2017. 



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Gone Home...was hoping for more and instead I get a let down story and a short one as well.   Glad it was free...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here are this week’s games and add-on deals on the Xbox Games Store. Discounts are valid now through 23 October 2017. Great bargain for The Witcher 3: GOTY edition. A bargain at $20 or around £14.



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If I wasn't so skint at the moment I'd probably pick up fortnite, loved the look of that since footage of the beta started showing up. I know it's coming next year for free but I don't mind paying for something if I'll get good time out of it and I'm almost certain I will.

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Here we go! The first 13 Xbox (original) titles that will be backward compatible have just been announced and will be available tomorrow (24/10)


Either insert the disc or if you have it digitally (?), both will work. They'll also be available to purchase via the store for $9.99. 


A few snippets from IGN - all titles will be 1080p with better or smoother frame rates and faster loading times. MP via System Link will still work, including across the Xbox Family - so you can play with friends who have the original Xbox, Xbox One and Xbox One S. All games will still be in their original aspect ration (4:3) except Ninja Gaiden, which will be 16:9


  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  • Ninja Gaiden Black
  • Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
  • Fuzion Frenzy
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
  • Psychonauts
  • Dead to Rights
  • Black
  • Grabbed by the Ghoulies
  • Sid Meier’s Pirates!
  • Red Faction II
  • BloodRayne 2
  • The King of Fighters Neowave


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Here are this week’s games and add-on deals on the Xbox Games Store. Discounts are valid now through 31 October 2017. Shocktober Sale this week :p



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    • By Rich Woods
      Surface Pro 7+ review: Iris Xe graphics and 4G LTE make a big difference
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      Indeed, there's no real change there. Microsoft sent me the Platinum color again, and it's still got the chrome Microsoft logo on the back of the kickstand. But when you lift up the kickstand, that's where the actual change is.

      This is the first Intel-powered Surface Pro to have removable storage, something that we've already seen in the Surface Pro X, Surface Laptop 3, and Surface Laptop Go. While you could technically use this to get around Microsoft's exorbitant prices for storage tiers, that's not recommended. This can be a way to replace defective storage, and in fact, Microsoft is now selling replacement SSD kits so IT can swap out the faulty drive right away.

      The other key thing that this allows for is destroying sensitive data. Obviously, this PC won't be around forever, and there will come a time when your business recycles it, and you won't want some bad actor getting their hands on it and recovering any data that was stored on the device. Now, you don't have to worry about it.

      The panel to access the SSD opens with a SIM tool, but the nano-SIM slot isn't under that panel like it is on the Surface Pro X. Instead, it's on the side, and as mentioned, there's no more microSD card slot. Personally, I'd take a nano-SIM slot any day.

      Also on the right side are all of the ports that you need, including USB Type-C, USB Type-A, and Surface Connect. Unfortunately, the bad news is that they're all the 10Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 2. While I appreciate that in the USB Type-A port, since so many premium PCs are still using the 5Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 1, I really do wish that Microsoft would start using Thunderbolt 4.

      With Thunderbolt 4, you can connect dual 4K monitors or one 8K monitor to a single port, or you can connect an external GPU. When you look at the kind of performance that Intel's 11th-gen processors can deliver, this kind of expandability starts to sound more and more attractive.

      On the left side at the top is the 3.5mm audio jack, and that means that it's time to talk a bit about port placement, because I'm not a fan. The same goes for the Surface Book. These things are clearly designed to be used as tablets, an odd choice when Windows 10 isn't. Putting ports like a headphone jack at the top means that you have wires dangling while you're trying to use it, and it's a pain point.

      Frankly, the same goes for if you're charging via the USB Type-C port, which is the only one I'm willing to use. Naturally, it does ship with a Surface Connect charger, but like all review units that offer USB Type-C charging and ship with a proprietary charger, I just use USB Type-C.

      On the top, there's just a power button and volume rocker. This is another design element that clearly comes from an age when Microsoft thought that people buying this would spend a lot of time holding it in portrait orientation, but it's fine.

      Finally, on the bottom, we have our Type Cover port, and you can still use any Surface Pro Type Cover (or Touch Cover, for that matter) that's ever existed. If you use a Type Cover that was made for the 16:9 Surface Pro or Pro 2, it certainly won't cover the screen, but the keyboard will still work. Indeed, the Surface Pro 7+ has all of the legacy components that your business needs if it's standardized around Surface, including the same Type Cover port, Surface Connect, and more.

      I've spent a lot of time wondering why this is a business PC. Sure, I get that the new business features are awesome, such as removable storage and 4G LTE, which is way more secure than public Wi-Fi. But why not sell it to consumers too, even if it's just the Wi-Fi only model? This is entirely speculation, but it's possible that there's an actual Surface Pro 8 planned that doesn't have some of the legacy components that I described above; it could be a properly redesigned Surface Pro, and it would also explain the off Pro 7+ naming.

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      Once again, the Surface Pro 7+ has a 12.3-inch 2736x1824 PixelSense display. PixelSense is sort of Microsoft's version of what Apple calls Retina. It has a 267ppi pixel density, which is pretty great, as there's no visible pixelation. In fact, considering how small the screen is, it's pretty high resolution in the world of FHD laptops.

      Also, Microsoft is very good at making displays. It's one thing that it always pulls off pretty well. That means that you're getting accurate colors here, something that really comes in handy in photo and video editing work. It's incredibly glossy though, and that actually applies to the entire lineup.

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      Other companies are improving their designs on a yearly basis, often finding new and innovative ways to chop down the bezels a bit more and make the footprint just that little bit smaller.

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      Microsoft sent me the black Type Cover, which is the only one that doesn't come with Alcantara fabric, so it's not considered to be a Signature Type Cover. Of course, black is a more subtle cover for businesses.

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      I'd like to give a shout-out to Brydge, even though I don't always give call-outs to third-party peripherals in reviews. Brydge is known for making keyboards for tablets and making them feel more like laptops, and the Brydge 12.3 Pro+ is actually the first third-party keyboard that's Designed for Surface.

      As you can see in the image, it slides into two clamps on the keyboard and they have a tight hinge. It feels like a proper laptop to use. It does connect via Bluetooth though, so you're giving up that direct connection that you get with the Type Cover.

      Of course, a Surface Pro doesn't actually come with a keyboard, so you can buy Microsoft's, Brydge's, or someone else's. You can choose any keyboard that you want.

      Performance and battery life
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      When you look at a tablet that's a third of an inch thick and weighs in at 1.75 pounds, you probably wouldn't expect it to pack much of a punch, and indeed, it sure didn't back in 2015. But today, I'm truly amazed when I see these PCs in tiny form factors that can do things that I'd have needed dedicated graphics for just a couple of years ago. Intel wasn't lying when it said that you can do FHD gaming on Iris Xe.

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      With 11th-gen and Iris Xe, the Core i7-1165G7 and Core i5-1135G7 both have Iris Xe, but despite both being called 'G7', the former has 96 EUs while the latter has 80 EUs. It's just something to be aware of when choosing between the two options.

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      It's also a security feature. You don't have to worry about connecting to public Wi-Fi networks that are often insecure; moreover, you don't have to worry about your employees doing it.

      For benchmarks, I used PCMark 8, PCMark 10, Geekbench, and Cinebench.

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      One of my biggest issues with the Surface Pro is that it still hangs onto all of that legacy stuff. It's still got the massive bezels, and it still has the Surface Connect port instead of going all-in on USB Type-C. But of course, these things are exactly what businesses want. They want the old chargers they have lying around to work in the new model, and they want their Type Covers to work so they don't have to buy new ones. It all makes sense for a business audience.

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    • By Sszecret
      Microsoft Weekly: No more 3D Objects folder, mailbox throttling, and Halo insider flights
      by Florin Bodnarescu

      The week that’s just about to end has brought with it news about one of Windows 10’s special folders, details about productivity solutions Microsoft is planning on implementing, and even some gaming news. You can find info about that, as well as much more below, in your Microsoft digest for the week of February 21 –27.

      No more 3D Objects folder

      Let us begin our trek up the hillock of news that surfaced this week by talking about one of the default folders in Windows 10, the 3D Objects folder.

      Cast your mind back to 2016 when Windows 10 was a year old, and Microsoft was keen to introduce folks to all the great things that could be done via the fancy new Paint 3D – as an extension to its HoloLens / Windows Holographic unveil. As such, the company also introduced the 3D Objects special folder in File Explorer.

      Much to the chagrin of the three people who actually use the folder, it will soon no longer be shown inside File Explorer. Microsoft has begun de-emphasizing it via its latest Dev channel build, 21322, but says that it should still be accessible in the user folder – by typing %userprofile% in File Explorer – or via the Navigation Pane > Show all folders option in the ribbon’s View tab. Whether this change will be implemented soon or “Microsoft soon™” is still unclear.

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      You can catch our discussion about the various Insider and preview builds released this week in the latest episode of the Neowin Podcast.

      As far as the non-insider part of OS servicing is concerned, the Redmond firm also pushed out an optional cumulative update for those running 2004 (May 2020 Update) or 20H2 (October 2020 Update), the two latest versions of the OS.

      Detailed under KB4601382, the update will bring folks running 2004 to build 19041.844, and those on 20H2 to build 19042.844. As usual, the major build number differs, but the revision number is identical.

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      Another limit-related bit of news concerns Microsoft To Do, which now lets you share lists between your personal and work accounts. Keep in mind this does not go both ways, so work lists won’t be shareable to personal accounts.

      In a bid to increase productivity, Microsoft has also added the ability for Word on the web to generate PowerPoint presentations from text files, made PowerPoint’s Presenter Coach available for Mac Office Insiders, and revealed plans to roll out support for text predictions in Word starting next month.

      Also worth noting is the fact that Pinterest content can now be embedded in both OneNote and Word on the web, and that the company’s chat-based workspace solution, Teams, is set to soon use AI to suggest polls to users based on a meeting’s purpose.

      Halo insider flights

      As per 343’s promise, the first Halo: MCC Insider flight of 2021 is now live, under session version 1.2159.0.0. It’s available across console and PC (both Steam and the Microsoft Store) and brings two new maps to Halo 3 (Waterfall and Edge), added from the now defunct Halo Online initiative.

      Cosmetic content for Season 6 and community-requested features (like FOV sliders for consoles) are also being tested in this build, with the custom server browser scheduled for a later update.

      If that’s not quite your thing, there are always Deals with Gold to peruse, covering the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Apex Legends, Dishonored 1 and 2, Kerbal Space Program, and more.

      And if not even those are to your liking, you can nab Metal Slug 3 and Warface: Breakout (part of the Games with Gold March wave, with Port Royale 3 and Vicious Attack Llama Apocalypse available later), as well as some of the February titles like Gears 5, Resident Evil, Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition, and Lost Planet 2.

      Dev channel
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      In the aftermath of the Solorigate cyber attack, Microsoft, VMware, and other affected vendors began investigating the attack, with the Redmond giant now concluding its investigation. Microsoft stated that no customer data was compromised, but that a subset of Azure, Intune, and Exchange code files were accessed. To further help out with the ongoing investigations, the company has open-sourced its CodeQL queries, which it used for system-wide querying during the investigation.

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      Missed any of the previous columns? Be sure to have a look right here.

    • By indospot
      The console wars grand finale: Xbox 360 versus Xbox One versus Nintendo 3DS
      by João Carrasqueira

      Welcome to the final round of the console wars. For the past month, we've asked you to choose your favorite consoles in a series of polls, and your votes have brought us to the grand finale. Of course, that means it's up to you again to choose the true winner.

      First, let's recap what happened in round two. The first matchup saw the Xbox 360 pulling an undisputed victory with nearly 50% of the votes. In second place, the PlayStation 2 won over just 24% of the voters, giving the Xbox 360 a crushing win. An interesting result, to be sure, considering the PlayStation 2 is the best-selling console of all time.

      The second match pitted the original PlayStation, the Nintendo 64, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch against each other, and once again, Microsoft pulled a convincing. The battle was a bit more balanced here, but the Xbox One still got over 34% of the votes, with the Nintendo Switch slightly edging out the PlayStation for second place with roughly 27% of you choosing it.

      Finally, the third match was focused on handhelds, and all of them were made by Nintendo, so there was only one possible winner. More specifically, victory went to the Nintendo 3DS, with roughly 34% of our readers voting for it. In second place, the Game Boy Advance had about 26% of the votes, and it's certainly interesting that sales numbers don't correlate to the poll winners at all in any of these matchups.

      With that being said, we now have the three finalists - the Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Nintendo 3DS. You can vote for them right now, but since we're down to the final three, we'll also introduce you to each of the contestants below the poll.

      What is the best console of all time?
      Xbox 360 Xbox One Nintendo 3DS Submit Vote Meet the contestants
      Xbox 360

      The Xbox 360 was Microsoft's second foray into the world of game consoles, following a relatively lukewarm reception to the original Xbox. Microsoft kickstarted the seventh-generation of consoles, having announced the Xbox 360 in May of 2005, and releasing it in North America, Europe, and Japan later that year. As such, it was the first console to feature HD graphics and it also ushered in the era of online gaming with Xbox Live, though the service was already available to some extent on the original Xbox.

      Original Xbox 360 "Premium", Xbox 360 S, and Xbox 360 E The Xbox 360 also introduced a new controller that worked wirelessly and had a significantly improved design that not only negated the criticism towards the original, but actually became one of the most praised controllers for its comfort. The console itself got redesigned a number of times throughout its life, adding more storage, connectivity options, and addressing some reliability issues like the infamous "Red Ring of Death". The most recognizable revision was the Xbox 360 S, launched in 2010, but it also got redesigned to look more like the Xbox One with the Xbox 360 E model in 2012.

      By this point, Microsoft had started to gain recognition for its online service, and it had a hugely popular franchise in the form of Halo, with other franchises like Forza Motorsport and Fable having also started to grow. Between that and other well-known exclusive games like Gears of War, the Xbox 360 had a strong library early on. Combine that with stronger third-party support, an earlier launch than the competition, and a more attractive price than the PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360 led in terms of sales for a long time, barring the casual-focused Wii.

      Kinect for Xbox 360 However, towards the end of the Xbox 360's life, the company shifted its focus towards the Kinect - a motion-sensing camera - trying to lure the casual audience away from Nintendo. Meanwhile, Sony had introduced cheaper versions of the PlayStation 3 and kept investing in games like The Last of Us and the Uncharted series later on. As such, the Xbox 360 ended in third place in its generation, having sold over 84 million units. Still, it's Microsoft's best-selling console officially.

      Xbox One

      The Xbox One was first revealed in May of 2013, and its initial reception was completely opposite from the Xbox 360's early days. Microsoft initially wanted to require a constant internet connection, make reselling games impossible, require the use of Kinect, and the first presentation of the console focused much more on media and television than gaming. Microsoft did try to focus more on games at E3, but then it had to contend with Sony. The PlayStation 4 was revealed to be cheaper than the Xbox One, confirmed support for used games, and focused even more on the gaming crowd, which meant Microsoft was off to a very slow start. The first model of the Xbox One was also mocked for being bulky and looking somewhat bland.

      But Microsoft put a ton of effort into turning things around as the generation went on. The Kinect was eventually removed from the Xbox One package (and ended up being killed off entirely for gaming purposes), and Microsoft introduced two redesigns that made the Xbox One much more appealing. The Xbox One S, announced in 2016, made the console much smaller and gave it an all-new visual identity, along with adding support for HDR and 4K. This also brought an improved Xbox Wireless Controller, now with Bluetooth support, which allowed it to work on PCs and mobile devices easily. Then, in 2017, Xbox One X became the world's most powerful console, with support for native 4K rendering, all while being even smaller than the One S.

      Microsoft also started focusing on games again, and capitalized on its incredibly popular Halo franchise by releasing The Master Chief Collection in 2014, containing almost every game in the series' history so far, with the first two being remade to look the part on Xbox One. Microsoft also finally put its acquisition of Rare to good use with the release of Rare Replay, a collection of almost every Rare-developed game from the 30 years prior, including cult classics like Conker's Bad Fur Day and Banjo-Kazooie. And of course, that's to say nothing of big new games that came out in the next few years from series like Halo, Gears of War, Forza (including the open-world Forza Horizon sub-series), and new franchises entirely like Sea of Thieves and Ori. On top of that, backward compatibility, which was initially missing, would be added later on for both Xbox 360 and some original Xbox games.

      Microsoft stopped reporting sales of its Xbox consoles in October 2015, but estimates point to it having sold 51 million units as of the end of the second quarter of 2020. Far from a failure, the Xbox One ended up in a distant second place from the PlayStation 4, and has also been surpassed by the Nintendo Switch, but it stands as a testament to the mistakes Microsoft made and the lessons it learned in this era.

      Nintendo 3DS

      We already talked about the entire history of the Nintendo 3DS just a few months ago, in honor of the console being discontinued in 2020. You can always read more there, but here's a quick summary. The Nintendo 3DS was first announced via a simple press release in March 2010 and then shown off at E3 that year, but it wouldn't release until March 2011.

      Its headlining feature was support for glasses-free 3D, which required the user to look at the screen from a very specific angle and distance. It also featured higher-resolution displays, better graphics, and new control methods like a Circle Pad and motion sensors, compared to its predecessor. However, the console initially failed to gain traction thanks to its high price point and lack of blockbuster titles in the first few months.

      Nintendo was determined to turn things around, though, and reduced the price from $250 to $170 just a few months later, and with big original games like Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 releasing that holiday season, the 3DS began to exhibit a decent amount of success. It eventually got original games from series like The Legend of Zelda and Pokémon, revived franchises like Luigi's Mansion and Kid Icarus, and expanded the popularity of Animal Crossing, which no doubt contributed to the worldwide phenomenon that was Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch many years later. Even some third-party exclusives, like the Monster Hunter series and Resident Evil: Revelations (which was only exclusive for about a year), were released for the system.

      The Nintendo 3DS received a handful of revisions, including the 3DS XL with bigger screens, and the 2DS, which removed 3D functionality and was more affordable. All models got revised with the "New" branding later on (2015 for the New 3DS and New 3DS XL; 2017 for the New 2DS XL), bringing even more control options, improved processing power, and better 3D support in the 3D-enabled models.

      With 75.94 million units sold, it was far from Nintendo's biggest success in the handheld market, but it was far ahead of its competitor - the PlayStation Vita.

      And those are the finalists this time around. Who will come out on top in the grand finale of the console wars? It's up to you. Cast your votes and we'll reveal the grand winner in a few weeks.

    • By Rich Woods
      Unboxing the innovative new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga
      by Rich Woods

      Lenovo has been expanding its ThinkPad X1 lineup quite a bit lately, and the most recent addition is the ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga, which comes with a 3:2 display as opposed to the more traditional 16:9 display or even the newer 16:10 screen. When it was announced back at CES, you might have just thought it was a ThinkPad X1 Yoga with a titanium lid and a 3:2 display, but it's so much more than that.

      There's a lot of engineering that went into making this product, because it's not just about trying out a new aspect ratio. This is about being good at both being a laptop, and at being a tablet. It's made to be light at just over two and a half pounds, and it's designed to be comfortable to hold with the display folded back.

      It's just 11.5mm thin, so it's not much thicker than a lot of smartphones, and the keyboard is shallower too at 1.35mm. It's even got a haptic touchpad to save on space. Indeed, Lenovo pulled out all of the stops to get this thing to where it wanted it to be.

      Rather than thinking of it as a 3:2 version of the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, I think of it as more of a convertible version of the ThinkPad X1 Nano, which is the company's ultra-light clamshell. Just like the X1 Nano, the X1 Titanium Yoga has lower-powered Intel 11th-gen processors, and just two Thunderbolt 4 ports.

      Check out the unboxing video below:

    • By indospot
      Neowin Podcast Episode 19: Android, Windows, and iOS betas are here
      by João Carrasqueira

      Welcome back to the Neowin Podcast! On episode 19, we're talking about beta season - that wonderful time of the year for tech enthusiasts where major beta updates start to be released.

      As we get deeper into 2021, we're starting to approach some big new software updates, and because of that, there are previews and betas rolling out that you can try out now. The most notable is likely Android 12, the next big Android update which brings along some UI changes and some potential new features - though some of them are hidden for now. Windows 10 is also getting updated to version 21H1 with some minor changes, and iOS is getting its mid-life update to version 14.5, which finally lets you unlock your phone with a mask on.

      If you're interested in learning more about these updates, you can check out our coverage of them in the links below:

      Google announces Android 12 How to install the Android 12 developer preview Microsoft announces Windows 10 version 21H1 How to start testing Windows 10 version 21H1 iOS 14.5 lets you unlock your phone with a mask on and change your default music player with Siri You can listen to the episode below, and the Neowin Podcast is available on iTunes - and apps that rely on its library - as well as Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Music. And if you want to add it to your own podcast library, you can use this RSS feed: · Episode 19 - Beta season is here Do you have a topic you'd like us to discuss on the podcast? Let us know in the comments!