Thurrott Daily: November 19

Posted on November 19, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS, Mobile, Windows 10, Xbox, Xbox One with 2 Comments

Thurrott Daily: November 19

Our Windows Weekly meet-up at Wortell near Amsterdam this week.

Tech tidbits from around the web.

11/19/2016 10:00:59 AM

Microsoft improves Ink support in Windows Maps

Microsoft talks up some Ink improvements in the Maps app that is included with Windows 10.

Now, with Maps, you can you can easily measure the distance as you trace a route on the map with your pen. It’s great for when you need to know how long your jog, bike or even kayak route will be.

If you need to draw perfectly straight lines on the map there’s now a ruler tool to make that fast and easy. Rotate it and adjust it however you want for the angle you need, and you’ve got a perfect straightedge.

Finally, you can quickly calculate directions between two points by drawing a line between your start point and your destination. Now, the Maps app will automatically convert your drawn line into a real route and give you directions. Voila! No need to type or search for your destinations if you already know where they are on the map.

Battlefield 1 enjoys one month in the sun before release of new Call of Duty game

Windows Central takes a look at NPD’s list of best-selling video games (which is U.S. and retail only, and doesn’t include electronic downloads).

Here’s a closer look at this month’s best-selling titles, ordered by dollar sales.

  1. Battlefield 1
  2. Mafia III
  3. Gears of War 4
  4. FIFA 17
  5. NBA 2K17
  6. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  7. WWE 2K17
  8. Civilization VI
  9. Titanfall 2
  10. Madden NFL 17

Google touts security in its Pixel phones

Google points out that the new Pixel and Pixel smartphones are encrypted by default, and how this improves the user experience, performance, and security of the device.

One of the security features introduced in Android Nougat was file-based encryption. File-based encryption (FBE) means different files are encrypted with different keys that can be unlocked independently. FBE also separates data into device encrypted (DE) data and credential encrypted (CE) data.

Direct boot uses file-based encryption to allow a seamless user experience when a device reboots by combining the unlock and decrypt screen. For users, this means that applications like alarm clocks, accessibility settings, and phone calls are available immediately after boot.

Starting in Android Nougat, all disk encryption keys are stored encrypted with keys held by TrustZone software. This secures encrypted data [by] enforcing the Verified Boot process [and by] enforcing a waiting period between guesses at the user credential, which gets longer after a sequence of wrong guesses.

Google Play Newsstand gets a big update, comes to the web

While all news aggregation apps are, by nature, problematic in that they skew towards your preferences instead of just providing actual news, I find Google Play Newsstand to be pretty much the best option. And it just got a big upgrade on mobile, and is now available on the web for the first time too. Google explains:

Today, we are announcing a complete redesign of Newsstand that focuses on three big improvements: personalization, rich media, and the extension of our platform to the web.

We are applying the power of Google machine learning to Newsstand’s rich catalog in order to find and recommend the most timely, relevant stories for you based on your individual interests.

We have not only included Android and iOS in this update, but have extended Newsstand 4.0 to the web with our brand new web app. No matter which platform or device you use, all of your personalization and favorite sources are just a tap or click away.

8 Android gestures that speed up everyday tasks

I joked earlier on Twitter that the only gesture an Android user needs to know is to “drive to the Apple Store and buy an iPhone,” this PC World article might actually be useful to Android users.

Navigating your way around a new Android device will get a lot easier once you’ve mastered a few handy touchscreen gestures.

For example, you can switch between Chrome tabs with a single swipe, while a two-finger swipe will add a whole new perspective to Google Maps. No sign of the virtual Home button? There’s a gesture that’ll bring it back. Read on for all that and more.

Enjoy.

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    burog25c Alpha Member #2145 - 2 weeks ago

    Huh... here I thought the only Google gesture I'd need was the one-fingered salute to let them know they are... uh,.... #1 of course. ;-)