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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.
Click to enlarge 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 Microsoft's 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 too, 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.
Click to enlarge 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.
Proton Calendar beta now available for all ProtonMail users
by Paul Hill
The company behind ProtonMail has announced that all users of the e-mail service can now access a beta version of Proton Calendar on the web and Android with an iOS version due soon. Similarly to ProtonMail, Proton Calendar uses end-to-end encryption to keep your information secure while remaining easy to use.
Proton Calendar has been in the works for a while now. Back in 2019, the company released a beta version of Proton Calendar for paying customers but it has now been extended to all users of ProtonMail. To access the calendar, you can go directly to calendar.protonmail.com or you can go to beta.protonmail.com and use the App Selector to go to Proton Calendar.
While the main appeal of Proton Calendar is the security, it also comes with most of the features you expect from a calendar product, you can:
Create, edit, and delete events across devices Set reminders Send and respond to event invitations (web only but expected on mobile) Set up recurring events annually, monthly, weekly, daily, or at a custom interval The option to switch to dark mode Import existing calendars ProtonMail integration so that you can respond to event invitations In terms of the items that are covered by the end-to-end encryption, Proton Calendar will protect event details including titles, descriptions, locations, and the people you invite. All encryption is performed on your device so not even the firm behind Proton Calendar can see what has been added to your calendar.
Google's Nest devices can now help you find your iPhone
by João Carrasqueira
Google is introducing five new features for Google Assistant today, promising to make small day-to-day tasks easier. A notable one is the ability for Nest devices, like the new Nest Hub, to find your iPhone. You can ask the Google Assistant to find your phone, and it will ring it with a custom ringtone, even if the phone is set to silent or Do Not Disturb. You will need to enable notifications and critical alerts for the Google Home app on your iPhone, though.
Another notable addition for the Assistant is more Duplex functionality on the web. If you remember, Duplex was initially shown off as a way for the Google Assistant to handle certain types of phone calls, such as making reservations at a restaurant, but in 2019, some of that intelligence was brought to the web, making it easier to buy movie tickets in the U.S.
Now, it will also be making it easier to buy takeout and food delivery online. Basically, once you've chosen what you want to buy and hit the checkout button, the Assistant will navigate the website and fill in your payment and contact information automatically. For now, this will only work with select restaurant chains, though Google says it will expand to even more places across the U.S. later in the year.
The other updates are arguably smaller in scope, but it's now possible to create Assistant routines based on the sunrise or sunset time in a specific location, such as turning on the lights in your home once the sun sets. Google will also start showing suggested actions in the Google Home and Assistant apps, which can help you come up with ideas for routines based on them.
Finally, there's a new feature that lets you ask about this year's Oscars ceremony, such as nominees for individual categories and when the show is airing. Google didn't explain how this will make your day easier, though.
By Rich Woods
TCL expands its 20 series with three new phones
by Rich Woods
TCL 20 Pro 5G Today, TCL is announcing three new smartphones as part of its 20 series, the TCL 20 Pro 5G, the TCL 20L, and the TCL 20L+. First up is the TCL 20 Pro 5G, which is at the top of the lineup with its Snapdragon 750G chipset that powers that 5G connectivity.
It comes with a 6.67-inch AMOLED display, using TCL's NXTVISION 2.0 technology, also supporting HDR10 video playback for streaming your favorite shows on platforms like Netflix. It has a quad rear camera, although that includes a 5MP macro camera and a 2MP depth camera. The two cameras that actually count are the 48MP Sony IMX582 main sensor and the 16MP ultra-wide lens. It also comes with a 32MP front camera.
TCL is promising a full day of battery life, and it supports wireless charging, something its predecessor did not do. It will be available tomorrow in the UK, Italy, and Portugal for €549 in Marine Blue and Moondust Gray.
TCL 20L+“Our new 20 Series smartphones are outstanding examples of how TCL continues to deliver innovative technologies created to meet and exceed the needs of consumers,” said Stefan Streit, General Manager of Global Marketing at TCL Communication. “We’re constantly developing new mobile offerings designed to enhance the connection you have with your smartphone, especially while staying connected in a virtual or socially distanced world.”
Next up is the TCL 20L+. It also comes with a 6.67-inch FHD display, and it's powered by a Snapdragon 662 chipset. On top of that, it comes with a 64MP main camera and an eight-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, along with two sticker-cams, meaning that they're 2MP sensors that only exist so OEMs can say they have a certain amount of cameras. It will be available tomorrow in the UK, Italy, and Portugal for €269 in Milky Way Grey and North Star Blue.
Finally, the TCL 20L is more of a budget phone, also including a 6.67-inch FHD display, but with a 48MP camera. Coming in Luna Blue and Ellipse Black, it will be available in the UK, Italy, and Portugal tomorrow for €229.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft's Surface Duo is coming to more European markets
by Rich Woods
Microsoft had its spring Surface announcement today, where it unveiled the Surface Laptop 4 and a bunch of peripherals like the Surface Headphones 2+. In the penultimate paragraph of the blog post, the firm mentioned that its Surface Duo smartphone is coming to business and education customers in more markets.
Specifically, those regions include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland. And again, this applies specifically to business and educational customers, although presumably, consumers will still be able to get one through certain channels.
You might not want to though. Microsoft released its dual-screen smartphone to customers in the United States in September, and even then, the hardware was a generation old with a Snapdragon 855 chipset and a lack of 5G. At this point, it's two generations old while still charging prices that put it on par with the latest from Apple and Samsung.
Indeed, the business market probably just makes more sense for the aging hardware, as commercial customers tend to lean more towards long-term use than consumers do. There have already been reports of a second Surface Duo handset, so that's the one that consumers would want to wait for, assuming that Microsoft launches it in more markets like it does with the rest of Surface.