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CNET 26 September, 2021 - 06:00am 33 views

Is Windows 11 released?

The official release date for Windows 11 is October 5, but Microsoft is planning to roll it out gradually over the next few months to prevent widespread problems. The build number in the Release Preview channel is 22000.194, the same version released to the Beta channel on September 16. Ars TechnicaWindows 11 hits the Release Preview Insider channel as official release nears

How do I get Windows 11?

Head back into Settings > Update & Security, and you should see a new banner with the optional update to Windows 11. Click the download and install option and follow the prompts to get Windows 11 early. The VergeHow to get the free Windows 11 upgrade early

Apple’s newly-upgraded base iPad model may look identical to last year’s version. But a key upgrade to its front-facing camera, as well as engine improvements, make it a relative bargain.

The new iPad 9 can do almost everything that pricier iPad can do for much less money. Photo: Adrian Weckler

The iPad 9 has a slightly faster engine that last year’s model and works with Apple Pencil 1.

iPad is designed to work with Apple Pencil

The basic iPad, with its Centre Stage ultrawide camera, is a relative bargain

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The new iPad 9 can do almost everything that pricier iPad can do for much less money. Photo: Adrian Weckler

For the last four or five years, Apple’s basic iPad has been the best value tablet you can buy. It essentially does everything that tablets two or three times as expensive do, just not as instantly or with as much capacity. It has proven to be a robust, reliable mini-computer with a lifespan beyond most laptops.

Apple clearly thinks that the package has life left in it. Because with the exception of a (much) better video-call camera, more storage and a slightly faster engine, its 9th generation edition is almost identical to last year’s model.

Things like the 10.2-inch screen, weight, shape, frame design and charging port haven’t changed at all. And the most important accessories — the Smart Keyboard case and Apple Pencil 1 — are also exactly the same.

It’s a bit more powerful, thanks to the A13 chip under the hood (the same one as you’d find in an iPhone 11 Pro).

But otherwise, you couldn’t physically tell this apart from last year’s iPad if they were side by side. And unless you’re on a FaceTime or Zoom call (where there’s a big difference), you’d scarcely pick one from the other when using them, either.

The iPad 9 has a slightly faster engine that last year’s model and works with Apple Pencil 1.

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The iPad 9 has a slightly faster engine that last year’s model and works with Apple Pencil 1.

It’s also a little more expensive (€10) than last year’s iPad. But for twice the storage, a faster engine and a far better videocall camera, it feels like it’s worth it.

Here are some of the most common questions that a potential buyer is likely to have.

(i) Is it worth upgrading from last year’s iPad? No, unless you really need a much better videocall camera.

(ii) If there isn’t much difference, is it better to look for last year’s model at a discount? Right now, there’s only €10 in the difference, which isn’t good value — I’d only consider last year’s model if it was at least €70 cheaper.

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(iii) Should I get this or the new iPad mini? This is better for anyone who needs to use a keyboard as there is none (from Apple) for the mini. The iPad mini is more powerful and a more modern design.

(iv) How does this compare to Android tablets around the same price, like Samsung’s S6 Lite? It’s better in performance, but doesn’t have as much storage.

Arguably the biggest upgrade on the iPad is the front-facing 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, which is a big boost from the last model’s puny 1.2-megapixel toy lens. That means proper-looking Zoom and FaceTime calls without fuzzy, blurry, orangish hues. I know that there are some who don’t necessarily like really good cameras for their Zoom or FaceTime calls, but this is one of the most valuable feature additions Apple could have made. The only quibble I had with this is that the camera is still on the side if you’re using a keyboard; you have to place it vertically to have the camera in a more flattering, natural position (on the top bezel).

The basic iPad, with its Centre Stage ultrawide camera, is a relative bargain

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The basic iPad, with its Centre Stage ultrawide camera, is a relative bargain

The new iPad uses Apple’s A13 Bionic chip and has a modest 3GB of Ram. That’s a decent bump on last year’s model and is good enough to comfortably do almost any everyday task, including ordinary work stuff. (I prepared this entire review, including photo-editing and multi-tasking browser fact-checks using this iPad and a Smart Keyboard.)

Tests I ran online suggest that the new iPad’s engine matches an iPhone 11 Pro Max or the previous 11-inch iPad Pro for some tasks, while lagging both those devices for more complex operations.

This is now also the only iPad in the range that still uses Apple’s proprietary ‘Lightning’ cable. However, it’s faster to charge because Apple includes a USB-C cable in the box.

If I was looking for something to moan about, I might mention two things. First, the unreconstructed frame, with its big fat bezels, is starting to look seriously dated. Apple makes the valid point that bezels are useful on a tablet as an area of the screen that you can hold without interfering with what’s happening on the display. But these margins are way larger than any of Apple’s newer tablets, from the mini right through the Air and Pro models. The other mild crib would be that it still uses Lightning, where all other iPads now use USB-C. This isn’t a major deal, but USB-C is more flexible. Apple’s Lightning Pencil 1 is also arguably a little awkward to charge compared to the superb, neat mechanism that the Apple Pencil 2 has, with it clip-on magnetic system.

iPad is designed to work with Apple Pencil

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iPad is designed to work with Apple Pencil

A Smart Keyboard (€179) or any third party keyboard (from the likes of Logitech or Zagg) is a good investment. I used Apple’s Smart Keyboard with this test model and it’s generally very good. It doesn’t let you take advantage of the iPad’s cursor control, though, and the keys aren’t backlit. Furthermore, if you’re doing video calls, the upward-facing angle that the Smart Keyboard places the iPad at can be unflattering.

Despite its awkward charging system, Apple’s Pencil 1 (€99) is still a useful accessory for a lot of things on the iPad.

This iPad’s battery life is fine and should last you the guts of a day in normal use. There’s also a cellular (4G) version you can buy for €140 more. There isn’t much change from last year in terms of the quality of the 10.2-inch display. It does support True Tone, though, which makes it a little easier on your eyes over long periods. In terms of colours, you’ll have to reserve that for any cover or folio case you buy -- it’s only available in silver or space grey.

Despite its ageing aesthetic, this is still the best-value iPad -- actually, the best value tablet -- you can buy. I can literally work on this in almost the same way as I can most laptops, while it’s still light and slim enough to be a casual couch or bed accessory. Sure, if you have the money, the iPad Air (an extra €279) looks amazing, is a bit more powerful connects to better keyboards. But this has a better front-facing camera and is something of a bargain. I would buy one of these, for example, as a catch-all iPad before I would get the new iPad mini, despite the latter’s extra power and cute design.

Read full article at CNET

Microsoft is giving its Your Phone app a great redesign for Windows 11

BetaNews 26 September, 2021 - 09:14am

Nick Saban’s early appraisal of the Southern Miss touched on how stingy it had been in the ground game. Though playing sub-SEC competition, the Golden Eagles had the nation’s No. 3 rush defense allowing just 46.0 yards a game.

With Alabama’s backfield nibling but not biting off big chunk plays, this could’ve been spun into a test a week before the much-anticipated visit from Ole Miss.

Playing without starter Brian Robinson, the Crimson Tide backfield found its gear and a few big plays in the 63-14 pounding of Southern Miss. It finished with 213 rushing yards on 32 attempts after passing Southern Miss combined allowance for the first three games (138 yards) before halftime (151).

That paired with Bryce Young’s 20-for-22 night that included 313 passing yards and five touchdowns and Alabama was never threatened.

The pace slowed after halftime when Alabama was chewing clock in more obvious rushing situations. The Tide was averaging 9.0 yards per carry after the first drive of the third quarter before that number finished a 6.7 per attempt.

Roydell Williams, the second back in the rotation Saturday, became the first Alabama running back to hit the 100-yard mark this season and he did it by halftime. He needed nine carries to go 102 yards before the intermission and finished with 110 on 11 attempts.

Saban said Williams’ speed makes him a great change-of-pace player coming off the bench. He said Williams’ fumble in the Miami game “set him back a little bit,” in terms of confidence but this game helped fix that.

McClellan nearly joined him in the century club before finishing with 97 rushing yards on 12 carries. He also added a nine-yard receiving touchdown.

The 213 total rushing yardage bettered the previous season-high of 158 from two weeks ago against Mercer. A week ago, Florida’s stout front seven held the Tide to 91 yards on 28 carries but got the tough yards, in the end, to grind down the clock.

Perhaps more significant were the chunk plays.

Entering Saturday, Alabama didn’t have a running play of longer than 23 yards but it eclipsed that mark twice in the first quarter. First, Jase McClellan broke a 27-yard run on one of the first four Alabama drives ending in a touchdown.

Then it was Roydell Williams, a Hueytown product, who broke free for a 55-yard sprint to the 1-yard line on the last play of the first quarter. McClellan later added a 25-yard run on the first play of the third quarter.

“We broke some runs,” Nick Saban said. “I think our consistency in the running game is something we still need to continue to work on and continue to improve. Again, we played a team that moves a lot up front and sometimes that gave us problems but for the most part, we got a hat on a hat and thought guys did a really good job. I see progress being made and I see improvement.”

With Robinson out after getting banged up at Florida, it was a two-back night with McClellan and Williams. Trey Sanders came off the bench in the fourth quarter to run it five times for 12 yards.

“The O-line did a great job of protecting for me and moving the line of scrimmage and really dominating the front,” Young said. “That was something we emphasized during the week, something we wanted to establish and they responded to that. The running backs did a great job too being able to read those blocks and make those cuts.”

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