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windows

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Picture-in-Picture now enabled by default in Chrome for Mac, Windows, and Linux

It's a popular feature on Android, especially useful if you want to watch YouTube videos while you do other things, and now Picture-in-picture (PiP) is officially coming to the desktop. As of version 70, when you're watching a video in Chrome, you'll be able to minimize it and carry on pretending to do some work.

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Microsoft Launcher v5.0 beta adds Timeline support for syncing between mobile and PC

Windows Phone might be a thing of the past, but for those who still love Microsoft's operating system, you can get a rough approximation with Microsoft Launcher. The launcher employs a distinctive Windows aesthetic and provides access to features that are particularly handy to users deep in the Microsoft ecosystem. Case in point, the new beta — v5.0 — adds Timeline, a feature that syncs your recent activity between mobile and Windows desktop. 

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Microsoft announces Android app mirroring on Windows with the 'Your Phone' app

Microsoft unveiled a slew of new and updated products at an event yesterday, curiously including laptops without USB-C ports. It's not normally our place to cover Microsoft announcements, but there was one interesting tidbit that is relevant to us. An app called 'Your Phone' got some brief stage time, and it will enable app mirroring from an Android phone to a Windows computer.

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[Update: Only being tested] Windows 10 now begs users to stick with Microsoft Edge when installing Chrome or other browsers

Microsoft really, really wants you to use its Edge browser. When you search for the Chrome download page in Edge, you get a giant banner telling you how great Edge is. When you're on a laptop, Windows 10 tells you that Chrome is draining your battery. Now Microsoft is about to get even more invasive, by showing a full alert message whenever you try to change the default browser.

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You'll be able to log into Windows using your Google account (eventually)

Windows 10 includes a variety of methods, referred to as 'Credential Providers,' for logging into user accounts. This includes passwords, Windows Hello (fingerprint/face recognition), and PINs. Microsoft also allows third-party apps to create their own credential providers, and it looks like a future Chrome update will do exactly that.

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Two unofficial desktop apps for YouTube Music and Android Messages

An unofficial yet popular Google Play Music app for desktop has picked up YouTube Music support. Developer Samuel Attard updated the app Monday — just weeks after YouTube Music officially debuted. The app makes it easier to enjoy Google’s streaming service without having to deal with the fiddly browser experience.

Separately, a desktop app for Android Messages has also been launched.

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SwiftKey makes its way from phone to PC in latest Windows 10 Insider Preview

Entering text on touchscreen devices used to feel like quite the chore, but modern on-screen keyboard software has gone a long way towards making us forget about hardware keyboards. Over the years we've seen the arrival of developments like improved text prediction, better tap analysis, and swipe-based gesture input. SwiftKey has helped to popularize many of those advancements, and now it's time for the software to take what it's learned on smartphones and bring some of the same improvements to PCs, as Windows 10 picks up SwiftKey support of its own.

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Google is working on ‘AltOS’ mode for Pixelbook that could allow it to run Windows

Google’s flagship Pixelbook is one of the finest laptops money can buy, but it’s not an option for those who still don’t consider Chrome OS to be a real operating system. That may soon change thanks to an “AltOS” mode that could allow Pixelbook users to run Windows instead.

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Google Drive File Stream update adds bandwidth limit settings, sync pause, and more

The Google Drive desktop client isn't very great (at least on Windows), and if you want to access a file, it has to be stored on your computer at all times. Google announced a new client called 'Drive File Stream' last year, which adds all your files to your computer, but only downloads the data when you want to open something (similar to OneDrive on Windows 8). Unfortunately, Drive File Stream is only available to G Suite users, so us normal people can't try it out.

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Wine, the popular Windows compatibility layer, can now be installed on Android

If you're not familiar with it, Wine is a free and open-source compatibility layer for running Windows programs on Unix-like operating systems. It has been in development since 1993, and can run a wide variety of Windows programs on Linux and macOS (though modifications or tweaks are sometimes required).

CodeWeavers has been working on porting Wine to Android for the past few years, and the first alpha release arrived in August 2016. Although the company's products are commercial software, it does contribute many of its improvements back to the Wine codebase. Wine 3.0 was just released, and it's the first version you can install as an app on Android. Opening the app gives you a full-screen Windows display, much like the first builds of CrossOver for Android, with a Start menu at the lower-left corner.

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