TechSummit Rewind #061

Editor’s Note: This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.

Windows Ink, Cortana improvements arrive in latest Windows 10 build

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Microsoft has rolled out a new Insider build of its PC and mobile OS, allowing users to try Windows Ink for the first time.

Ink includes the ability to create sticky notes, draw on whiteboards and in a sketchbook, annotate and draw on web pages in Microsoft Edge, Maps, and more, and is also integrated with Office. With the update, those using a device with an active pen like the Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book can use the Windows Ink workspace, which is now enabled by default. According to Microsoft, this is accessible in the taskbar’s notification area if/when an active pen is paired with your device (or by right-clicking on the taskbar).

From the Workspace, you’ll be able to sketch out drawings and ideas on a blank canvas, pull up a digital ruler for drawing straight lines, then save and share your work. A new Screen Sketch feature lets you draw on screen captures of your desktop, which allows for collaboration on documents/photos. With the feature, you can draw, crop, and mark up images, then share them with others.

Also arriving today is a new Sticky Notes experience, which you can customize the size/color of, then save. However, these notes will get a lot smarter with Cortana and Bing integrations. That means that you’ll be able to write down phone numbers that are then ready for calling, turn items into checklists, write down flight numbers updated with flight info from Bing, and more.

Finally, the Workspace will display a “Get Pen Apps” link, so you can discover pen-enabled apps.

For non-touch users, the most visible feature is a new, visual Start experience that merges the “Most Used” and All apps lists into a single view on the top of the user interface. Key functions (power, settings, file explorer) have also been moved around to be always visible in the Start menu.

The Recently Added section has been tweaked to show three entries instead of one, and a way to expand it, while additional folders configured to show up will now be immediately available on Start instead of requiring you to open the hamburger menu to access them.

The full-screen All Apps list also makes a return for tablet users.

Cortana is now available on the lock screen, so you can bug the virtual assistant without having to unlock your device. The lock screen will also offer access to Media Controls, and no longer display your email address.

Instead of having to set up or sign in, you can start using Cortana right away to ask questions, perform searches, tell jokes, or look for documents. Reminders have also been made easier, and cross-device features should now work properly. You can also search across OneDrive for files in the cloud, instead of just those on the device.

Windows 10 insider build 14328 is now available to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring.

Microsoft, Google agree to stop complaining to regulators about each other

Microsoft and Google have recently reached an agreement where they will drop pending regulatory complaints against one another across the globe. The pair also agreed to attempt to work among themselves to settle future issues before going to regulators.

Amazon won’t sell non-Prime members certain popular movies/video games

Amazon logo

Amazon won’t sell non-Prime members certain video games and movies, like the Blu-ray version of Birdman or Grand Theft Auto V.

Non-Prime members can still buy these titles from third-party sellers on Amazon’s platform.

A partial list of affected games includes:

  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Far Cry Primal
  • Minecraft
  • FIFA 16
  • Dishonored: Definitive Edition
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
  • Elder Scrolls Online
  • Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
  • Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes
  • Battlefield Hardline
  • Farming Simulator

All Apple Watch apps must be native starting June 1

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Apple has informed developers that starting on June 1, all watchOS apps submitted to the App Store must be native apps built with the watchOS 2 SDK or later.

Facebook usage over Tor passes a million monthly users

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According to Facebook, the number of people using anonymizing browser Tor to access Facebook has passed the million users/month mark for the first time this month.

The growth of Tor over the past few years has been “roughly” linear, according to the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company, noting that roughly 525,000 people access the service via Tor in June 2015.

“This growth is a reflection of the choices that people make to use Facebook over Tor, and the value that it provides them. We hope they will continue to provide feedback and help us keep improving.”

-Facebook

Twitter integrates with Yelp for UK/Japan location tags

Twitter HQ

Yelp has announced a Twitter integration in the UK and Japan that will give Twitter users the option of selecting places provided by Yelp when they tag a location in their tweets. When users click on places when reading tweets, they get a separate card with more details like address and Yelp rating, along with a deep link to go directly to view that venue on Yelp itself.

The integration is live now on Twitter’s iOS and Android apps and is coming to Twitter on the web soon, according to Yelp.

Facebook adds ability to turn off live notifications

Facebook is rolling out the option to turn off live video notifications.

“We are starting to roll out a new setting that lets people turn off the Live notifications, through their Notifications settings, that will be available to all people soon.”

-A Facebook spokesperson

Uber will pay $100 million to settle lawsuits in two states

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Uber has settled a pair of class-action lawsuits from California and Massachusetts drivers, which will pay $84 million to the plaintiffs, along with an additional $16 million if the company goes public and its valuation exceeds a set amount.

The San Francisco-based company will continue to classify their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, and provide more info to drivers on their ratings and how they compare to other drives and explain what can get drivers banned. Finally, it will also form a driver’s association in these states, and meet with them quarterly to discuss issues.

Microsoft earnings: Surface up, Windows Phone down

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Microsoft’s Q3 2016 earnings are in, with the company making $3.8 billion in net income on revenue of $20.5 billion. Both are down from the same period last year, but the company’s services and cloud products continue to help generate revenue.

Surface-related revenue is up 61 percent year-over-year to $1.1 billion. Both the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book helped push sales. However, Microsoft’s phone woes continued with the company’s Lumia sales dropping 73 percent year-over-year to 2.3 million. This caused Microsoft’s revenue from phones to decline 46 percent.

Windows OEM revenue declined two percent, which outperformed the rest of the PC market. According to the company, it was due to a “higher consumer premium device mix.”

Office commercial and cloud services grew seven percent this quarter, thanks to Office 365. Consumer versions of Office grew six percent, with 22.2 million customers using Office 365 subscriptions. Server products and cloud services revenue increased 5 percent, with Azure revenue increasing 120 percent.

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