Sean Endicott

You can now install YouTube as a progressive web app

Google continues to swap its services to progressive web apps.

What you need to know

YouTube is now a progressive web app.
At this time, there aren’t any meaningful new features that come from the swap to a progressive web app.
Progressive web apps support downloading content for offline use, but the YouTube progressive web app does not support that at this time.

YouTube is now a progressive web app (PWA), making it easier to “install” on your computer. The change was first spotted by 9to5Google and is a small improvement to the YouTube experience within a browser. At this time, the change to a PWA doesn’t include any meaningful features, apart from the ability to “install” YouTube with the click of a button. While there aren’t many meaningful features that come with the swap, there are other benefits of switching to a PWA.

While the swap to a PWA doesn’t bring any new meaningful features at this time, that doesn’t mean there won’t be additions to YouTube in the future. PWAs su…

OtterBox’s Xbox gaming accessories now available for preorder

Gaming on the go just got more comfortable and convenient, thanks to OtterBox’s new lineup of accessories.

What you need to know

OtterBox’s new mobile gaming accessories are available for preorder.
The accessories are designed to improve the mobile gaming experience for Xbox and smartphones.
OtterBox first previewed its gaming accessories at CES 2021.

OtterBox is known best for its rugged phone cases and accessories, but the company recently announced a partnership with Xbox. First announced at CES 2021, OtterBox has several mobile gaming accessories to improve Xbox and smartphone gaming on the go. Now, the new accessories are available for preorder. The new accessories should start shipping in mid-February.

For people who use an Xbox controller as part of their mobile gaming setup, OtterBox has an Easy Grip Controller Shell ($40), Gaming Carry Case ($45), and Mobile Gaming Clip $30. For those that prefer to game with just a phone, OtterBox has an Easy Grip Gaming Case ($55). A…

The discounted Samsung Q80T is an excellent TV for your Xbox Series X/S

QLED tech helps this 4K TV deliver a great picture without breaking the bank.

If you recently picked up an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S, you may be on the hunt for a TV to show off those impressive gaming visuals. The Samsung Q80T nears the top of our list of the best 4K TVs for Xbox Series X and Series S as the best premium TV for the new consoles. Right now, you can snag the Samsung Q80T in several sizes for up to $250 off. If you go up to the 75-inch model, you’ll even get a $400 Amazon credit.

QLED and color

Samsung Q80T

From $898 at Amazon

The Samsung Q80T comes ready for the future, rocking all the next generation’s fundamental features, presented with 4K and 120Hz.

The current discount for the Samsung Q80T varies depending on the size that you get. It’s available in 49, 50, 55, 65, 75, and 85-inch models. The 50-inch version is a solid choice at just over $200 off with the 85-inch model discounted by $250. The 75-inch version isn’t discounted directly but gets yo…

Microsoft executive vice president Kurt DelBene will leave in June

Yet another Microsoft executive is leaving the company.

What you need to know

Kurt DelBene will leave Microsoft at the end of this fiscal year.
DelBene is Microsoft’s executive vice president and head of corporate strategy and core services engineering
DelBene is also on Microsoft’s Senior Leadership Team.

Kurt DelBene, Microsoft executive vice president and head of corporate strategy and core services engineering, will leave the company at the end of the 2021 fiscal year. DelBene will not be replaced by one individual. Instead, his job is being split between multiple executives. In addition to these roles, DelBene is also a member of Microsoft’s Senior Leadership Team.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told Microsoft employees about DelBene’s plans on January 25, 2021 (via ZDNet).

DelBene first joined Microsoft in 1992 and later led the companies engineering and marketing for Office. In 2013, DelBene left Microsoft and became a senior advisor to the Secretary of Health and Human Se…

You can now switch profiles in PWAs on Edge Dev and Canary

Progressive web apps have a new profile switching option on Microsoft Edge Dev and Canary.

What you need to know

Microsoft is testing a feature for switching profiles within Microsoft Edge PWAs.
The feature is currently available in Microsoft Edge Dev and Canary.
You can use the feature to swap between work and personal accounts for PWAs.

Microsoft is testing a new feature for Microsoft Edge that allows you to easily swap between profiles on progressive web apps (PWAs). The feature is currently available in Edge Dev and Canary, according to OnMSFT, though Microsoft’s Tech Community post on the topic only mentions that you have to be running Windows 10 version 2004 or later. We did not spot the feature on the stable version of Edge in our testing.

Microsoft Edge already allows you to sign into the browser with multiple accounts. You can then jump between your accounts, such as work and personal profiles, within the browser. This new feature brings that same functionality over to…

Drag and drop support rolls out between Outlook and Microsoft Teams

Moving files from Outlook to Teams just got a whole lot easier.

What you need to know

Microsoft Teams now supports dragging and dropping files from Outlook.
The feature’s request on UserVoice received over 11,000 upvotes.
The feature was originally requested in November 2016.

Microsoft Teams just gained a useful new feature that helps it work better with Microsoft Outlook. Following a recent change, you can now drag and drop file attachments from Outlook into Microsoft Teams. The functionality should make it significantly quicker and easier to move files around between the two Microsoft apps.

The ability to drag and drop file attachments from Outlook to Teams was originally requested on Microsoft’s UserVoice in November 2016. Since then, the request has received over 11,500 upvotes. Despite the large number of upvotes, the feature took over four years to roll out.

Before drag and drop support between Outlook and Teams rolled out, people had to download a file attachment and th…

You can save over $70 on Sony’s incredible Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones

One of the only drawbacks of these headphones is their price, and they’re currently $70 off.

The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones are an impressive sequel to the already beloved WH-1000XM3 cans. The WH-1000XM4 headphones top our sister site Android Central’s list of the best noise-canceling headphones and improve upon their predecessors in a few key areas.

The WH-1000XM4 can pair to two devices at the same time, have an improved algorithm for noise cancelation and have some nifty new features, such as wear detection to automatically pause music when you take the headphones off. You’ll also have a bit more room to wiggle your ears inside the WH-1000XM4 headphones than their predecessor, thanks to slightly larger earcups.

Usually, the WH-1000XM4 headphones retail for $348, but you can grab a pair now for $278 from several retailers.

Subtly better

Sony WH-1000XM4

$278 at Amazon
$278 at Best Buy
$278 at Walmart

Incremental improvements

The WH-1000XM4 are easily the best over-ea…

Check out these videos of Windows 10X on the Lumia 950 XL

Developers continue to get Microsoft’s old phones to run things they were never meant to.

What you need to know

Videos have emerged of Windows 10X running on a Lumia 950 XL.
Developers managed to get Windows 10X to support cellular connectivity on the mobile device.
Windows 10X will not officially come to any existing hardware.

Developers continue to show off Windows 10X running on devices that it was never meant to touch. Twitter user Gustave Monce, and expert on running unsupported software on things, recently shared several videos of Microsoft’s new version of Windows running on the Lumia 950 XL.

Windows 10X won’t ship to any current devices, and it especially wasn’t meant for a smartphone from a dead platform, but Monce’s videos are here, nonetheless. In the videos, the Lumia 950 XL handles touch, running apps, and multitasking fairly well.

When people first managed to get Windows 10X to run on the Lumia 950 XL, some key features weren’t working, including cellular connect…

EE UK is offering Xbox Game Pass and more with a Galaxy S21

EE is throwing in everything but the kitchen sink when you buy a Samsung Galaxy S21.

What you need to know

EE’s Gaming Unleashed bundle includes 12 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and a Razer Kishi.
The bundle is available for people who purchase a Galaxy S21 series smartphone with a Smart Plan from EE.
People who preorder a Galaxy S21 device can also get a free SmartTag tracker and a free pair of Galaxy Buds Pro or Buds Live.

If you’re on the hunt for a flagship phone, British mobile network operator, EE, has quite the deal on the Samsung Galaxy S21 series of flagship phones. If you purchase one of the new phones on an EE Smart Plan, you’ll receive a Gaming Unleashed bundle which includes 12 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and a Razer Kishi. A separate deal from EE also nabs you a SmartTag tracker and a free pair of Galaxy Buds Pro or Buds Live when you preorder one of the phones before January 29, 2021.

The Gaming Unleashed bundle is a new offering from EE, and it pairs w…

Latest ad from Microsoft has Surface Pro 7 and MacBook Pro go head-to-head

Microsoft’s latest ad pits the Surface Pro 7 against the MacBook Pro.

What you need to know

Microsoft’s latest advertisement compares the Surface Pro 7 to the MacBook Pro.
The ad ran during the NFC and AFC championship games for the NFL.
It focuses on the Surface Pro 7’s touchscreen, price, and detachable keyboard.

If you joined the millions of people that watched the NFC and AFC championship games for the NFL over the weekend, you likely saw Microsoft’s latest advertisement for the Surface Pro 7. In the spirit of competition, the ad places the Surface Pro 7 and Apple’s MacBook Pro against each other. The ad focuses on several ways that the Surface Pro 7 stands out against the MacBook Pro, including a full touchscreen.

Microsoft and Apple have a long running rivalry across several form factors and device categories, so it’s not surprising to see Microsoft square up against Apple. The MacBook Pro has garnered attention and adoration from customers and the media, so it’s timely t…

Brad Smith defends Microsoft donations to politicians through MSPAC

Microsoft President Brad Smith says donating to politicians is “the way the political process works.”

What you need to know

Microsoft President Brad Smith discussed Microsoft’s donations to politicians through its MSPAC.
Smith says “you have to write a check and then you’re invited and participate” when speaking about political donations.
Microsoft recently paused donations through the MSPAC in response to criticism from its employees.

Microsoft President Brad Smith defended Microsoft’s donations to political campaigns through its Microsoft Political Action Committee (MSPAC) in a meeting with employees on Thursday, January 21, 2021. These statements come from a meeting that has been transcribed by Pinboard and reviewed by CNBC. Smith states that donating to politicians is “the way the political process works” and that working with politicians benefits Microsoft in several areas.

Microsoft employees can donate some of their income to the MSPAC, but don’t directly influence wher…

You can now see Yammer community notifications within Microsoft Teams

You don’t have to leave Teams to see your Yammer community notifications anymore.

What you need to know

Microsoft Teams can now show notifications from Yammer communities.
The feature supports announcements within communities and @ mentions in conversations.
The Communities app for Microsoft Teams was initially released in April of last year.

Microsoft is rolling out support for Yammer community notifications within Microsoft Teams. The new functionality allows people to get notifications for announcements in communities and @ mentions in conversations. Microsoft released the Communities app for Microsoft Teams last year, which brings Yammer communities and conversations into Teams.

Once you’ve installed the Communities app onto Microsoft Teams, you’ll receive Yammer notifications within the Teams Activity feed. This functionality works across platforms, including the web, desktop, and mobile.

Microsoft shares some examples of how this feature could be used in a Tech Community…

Microsoft To Do and Android snuggle up with new shortcuts

To Do and Outlook just got a bit closer, thanks to new shortcuts.

What you need to know

Outlook on Android now has a shortcut to create tasks in Microsoft To Do.
The new option appears in the “Other options” menu in Outlook.
Microsoft To Do has a shortcut to pen tasks in Outlook.

Managing tasks just got a bit easier, thanks to a new shortcut on Microsoft Outlook on Android. The email app now has a “Create task” shortcut that instantly creates a task within Microsoft To Do. The feature was first spotted by HTNovo. We’ve also seen the new shortcut and tried it out.

Outlook doesn’t seem to have a mention of this feature in its Google Play Store listing. I have the feature on my phone on the non-beta version of Outlook, so it’s at least rolling out to some users on Android.

The feature is simple to use. You just click on the “Other options” menu with three dots while viewing an email and select “Create task.” The task within Microsoft To Do is then made from the subject line and…

Microsoft Airband and AirJaldi are helping close the gender gap in India

Improved internet connectivity is helping hundreds of thousands of people in rural India.

What you need to know

Microsoft is helping connect rural India to the internet with its Airband Initiative.
AirJaldi worked with Microsoft to extend internet access to hundreds of thousands of people.
AirJaldi is the first internet service provider to run entirely on the cloud with Microsoft’s Azure.

Microsoft continues its efforts to bring internet connectivity to unserved or underserved people around the world. Microsoft worked with AirJaldi to bring internet connectivity to rural India and highlights its efforts in a recent news post. AirJaldi now offers connectivity to more than 1,500 villages and 240,00 registered users from eight states across India. AirJaldi is also the first internet service provider (ISP) to run entirely on the cloud with Microsoft’s Azure.

Co-founder of AirJaldi, Michael Ginguld emphasizes the importance of connectivity in the modern day:

Without connectivi…

90Hz OLED screens from Samsung Display are on the way for laptops

You won’t have to sacrifice color to get a fast refresh rate, thanks to new screens from Samsung Display.

What you need to know

Samsung Display announced a 90Hz OLED display for laptops.
Laptops with the 90Hz OLED display will be mass produced starting in Q1 2020.
People generally have to use LCD panels to get refresh rates of 90Hz.

Samsung Display announced that it will soon mass produce 90Hz displays for laptops. The company will start producing the faster displays by the end of March 2021. Joo Sun Choi, Samsung Display CEO, states that the company will initially produce a large quantity of 14-inch 90Hz OLED displays for laptops beginning in March.

Up to this point, OLED displays on laptops were capped at 60Hz. Samsung Display refers to the upcoming devices that will use the tech as the “world’s first 90Hz OLED laptops.” The faster refresh rate of the upcoming OLED panels will be welcome by people that want the deep blacks and vivid colors of an OLED display without sacrifici…

AI suggestions come to Microsoft To Do on the web

A new section within Microsoft To Do uses AI to help organize your tasks.

What you need to know

Microsoft To Do on the web now supports AI task suggestions in its ‘Tasks that seem important’ section.
The feature identifies tasks that seem important and suggests that you add them to your day.
Suggestions also include starred tasks and tasks with deadlines.

Managing a to-do list can help improve productivity, but only if you actually use it. Microsoft To Do for the web has a new feature that uses AI to suggest which tasks you should add to your day. The new feature should make it easier to make sure that all of the important things you need to do today are on a single list.

Microsoft announced that the feature is rolling out to Microsoft To Do on the web in a recent Tech Community post. The post also explains how the feature works:

We’re committed to making your daily planning experience better and have introduced intelligent task suggestions in My Day on To Do’s web applicat…

HDR support is here for the YouTube app on Xbox consoles

After years of waiting, HDR support finally rolls out to the YouTube app on Xbox.

What you need to know

The YouTube app for Xbox now supports HDR.
HDR support is available on the Xbox Series X, Series S, One X, and One S.
Other media apps, such as Netflix and Prime Video, have had HDR support for some time.

Finally, after years of waiting, the YouTube app for Xbox supports HDR. First spotted by FlatpanelsHD, HDR support for the YouTube app will help videos pop. HDR support should work on both older consoles, like the Xbox One S and Xbox One X, as well as newer consoles like the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. The YouTube app should switch its output to HDR automatically now when a video supports it.

Many of the best 4K TVs for Xbox Series X and Series S support HDR. With HDR, blacks are darker, brights are brighter, and the contrast between them helps create a popping image. HDR also brings a wider color gamut, helping everything appear punchier. It’s a popular feature for bot…

24 new themes for Edge roll out alongside major update

New themes for Microsoft Edge include some of the most popular Xbox games.

What you need to know

Microsoft recently released 24 new themes for Microsoft Edge.
The themes come alongside a major update to Edge 88.
There are themes for popular franchises, including Forza, Gears, Microsoft Flight Simulator, and Halo.

Microsoft rolled out Edge 88 yesterday, which includes several new features. Since this month is the one-year “birthday” of the new version of Microsoft Edge, the update to version 88 is rather large. It includes new features, updated icons and context menus, and even brings better battery life thanks to support for Sleeping Tabs. We covered the update in full already, but it’s worth highlighting a specific addition; 24 new themes.

Microsoft released 24 new themes, including Halo, Gears, Forza, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Sea of Thieves, Grounded, Ori and the Will of the Wisps. The themes are available exclusively on Microsoft Edge and let you easily personalize your b…

Microsoft patent shows tech to create chatbots of dead people

Microsoft may be watching too much Black Mirror.

What you need to know

A Microsoft patent describes technology to create chatbots of specific people.
The technology could be used to create chatbots of dead people, fictional characters, and relatives.
Similar technology has appeared in media, such as Black Mirror.

In one of the more bizarre stories that we’ll cover this week, a Microsoft Patent recently emerged for technology that could be used to create chatbots of dead people (via The Independent). The technology would use content such as “images, voice data, social media posts, [and] electronic messages” to create a chatbot that simulates a specific person.

The concept of AI being used to replicate dead people isn’t new. It was famously shown off in the episode “Be Right Back” of Black Mirror.

Microsoft’s patent even describes tech to create 2-D or 3-D models of a specific person based on images, depth information, and videos.

If this patent does lead to any tangible tech, …

Check out the hidden invitation to coders on the White House website

A hidden invitation is within the code of the new White House website.

What you need to know

The new White House website includes a hidden message inviting people to apply to the U.S. Digital Service.
To see the message, you have to open developer tools for the updated website.
The White House website was updated following President Biden’s inauguration.

Following the inauguration of President Biden, the White House website received a major update. The website includes information about the current administration and the history of the White House but hidden in its code is a secret invitation for people to apply for a job in technology.

If you use the developer tools on your browser to inspect the website, you’ll see a hidden message that states, “If you’re reading this, we need your help building back better.” It then has the text for the United States Digital Service (USDS) job application page.

The USDS is a technology unit that works across the U.S. federal government to i…