Microsoft Making It Easier to Take Screenshots

Microsoft Making It Easier to Take Screenshots

Windows 10 users may have just gotten the Spring update, but Microsoft is already talking about some of their upcoming plans. Microsoft has now announced they want to make taking screenshots easier and more intuitive.

In the past, users could open the Snipping tool and screenshot certain areas of their screen, then make some slight modifications before saving the image.

In a blog post, Microsoft outlined their plans for taking screenshots. In the future, Windows 10 users will be able to use a keyboard shortcut to open up a “snipping toolbar.” This snipping toolbar will let you screenshot whatever area of the screen you choose. The screenshot will then be saved to your clipboard so you can do whatever you’d like with it. The shortcut is WIN + Shift + S, but you’ll also have other options, including changing your settings to make the Print Screen button open the snipping toolbar.

The new snipping options will also integrate better with Screen Sketch. According to their blog post, Screen Sketch is now becoming its own separate app. With Screen Sketch, you can annotate your screen using a customizable pen, eraser, ruler, and more, then save your annotated image and share it. With the new snipping setup, you’ll be given the option to go straight to Screen Sketch to make your annotations.

These changes are just a few Microsoft is introducing in their Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17661. The preview build is only available to select people, including certain Windows Insiders. It’s unclear when the updates will come for everyone and what the changes will actually look like by then. But it is promising that Microsoft is specifically focusing on making their screenshot capabilities easier to use.

iTunes is Now in the Microsoft Store

iTunes is Now in the Microsoft Store

If you use Windows 10, you can now find iTunes in the Microsoft Store.

According to Ars Technica, iTunes is now available to Windows 10 users in the Microsoft Store. Ars Technica notes that bringing iTunes to the Microsoft Store was actually supposed to happen by the end of 2017, making its addition now a bit late. But it seems to be a welcome addition.

The program still works the same way as iTunes does if you download it straight from Apple, says Ars Technica, but they also note downloading from the Microsoft Store has some advantages. In particular, you won’t get prompts asking you to download other Apple products, plus it won’t install things that run in the background (which can seriously bog down a computer).

iTunes was previously available for Windows and MacOS. This means it was likely already accessible to many people who can find it in the Microsoft Store now. But there were also some people who now have access who didn’t before: those using Windows 10 S devices. Windows 10 S devices can only install programs from the Microsoft Store, so these users can now download iTunes. This is useful since iTunes is still a hugely popular service. It’s not just a music service, either; you can download music, movies, shows, podcasts, and more.

The Microsoft Store previously already offered other popular music programs. You could already find the streaming services Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, SiriusXM, TuneIn, and more. So if you’re simply interested in streaming and you have an account with any of these services, the addition of iTunes may not excite you much.

But if you specifically enjoy iTunes and like having a way to organize your media and access more than just music, this new platform may be good news for you. You can find iTunes in the Microsoft Store right now.

The Week in Microsoft News

The Week in Microsoft News

Microsoft has been in the news quite a bit over the past week! Here’s your chance to catch up. Microsoft owns many different well-known services, including XBOX and SwiftKey, many of which were recently updated or will be updated soon.

Here’s a quick roundup of some of the Microsoft news you might have missed recently!

XBOX Live avatars will soon offer more options

More player avatars will be coming to XBOX Live in April. The Verge is reporting that these avatars will include a host of new options, making it easier for everyone to build an avatar that suits them.

The Verge specifically notes that there is a focus on diversity with the upcoming avatar options. For instance, there are options for prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs. Aside from these options, there will be more to choose from when customizing an avatar’s body shape, clothing, accessories, and more.

Windows 10 update coming in April

Speaking of April, more updates are coming to Windows next month. Also reported by The Verge, the next big update to Windows 10 is coming in April. The update will very likely be called the “Spring Creators Update,” and it will have a number of new features. The Verge mentions new features like Timeline. According to Windows Central, Timeline compiles your activity on your computer into a timeline that goes back up to 30 days. Using Timeline, you’ll be able to jump right back in where you left off in a program or app. Windows Central also notes how useful it is to be able to use Timeline across different devices. Aside from Timeline, there will also be other improvements to the operating system in the upcoming update.

SwiftKey has been updated

SwiftKey, the keyboard app run by Microsoft, has received an update. GeekWire is reporting that there are many new features in the SwiftKey update. One new feature includes the new Toolbar for quicker customization of the keyboard. The update also includes a bigger focus on different visuals. For instance, the app page on Google Play notes that you can now create your own stickers in the app. This update is a fairly notable one for the app that has been downloaded millions of times and is a top contender in the third-party keyboard app field.

Edge Browser Released for Mobile Devices

Edge Browser Released for Mobile Devices

Edge Browser, Microsoft’s replacement for Internet Explorer, is now available on smartphones. You might remember that I recently wrote about how to choose a browser, and Edge was included in the list of options. If you chose Microsoft’s browser offering, you will now be able to use it across your devices! If you didn’t choose it, its new mobile versions might just be enough to finally convince you to give it a try.

According to Mashable, the apps started being tested publicly in October of this year. Now Microsoft is officially releasing the apps. As this article is being written, the app has already been rated a couple hundred times on Google Play and has just over 4 out of 5 stars, while the App Store shows over a hundred ratings and gives the app 3.5 out of 5 stars. Of course, the apps were only just fully released, so time will tell how the ratings will change as more people take the opportunity to give Microsoft Edge a chance.

The release of these apps is just another step forward in pushing Edge and trying to draw in new users. As I mentioned in my previous article, Microsoft Edge simply has not gained a decent following yet. It followed a widely disliked browser (Internet Explorer) and it has had its setbacks since its release.

However, Microsoft Edge certainly has some good features (like tab previews, Cortana, and the fun trick that lets you draw on pages before sending them to people). And according to their Google Play app page, Edge on mobile devices has something called “Continue on PC,” which lets you “seamlessly mov[e] content” back and forth with your mobile version and your browser with an updated version of Windows 10. That means you could be browsing websites on your mobile device, decided to hop on your computer instead, and just switch over what you’re doing without hassle.

If you haven’t tried Microsoft Edge yet (or even if you have), this might be a good opportunity to try it out without going through the trouble of installing it on your PC. Head over to the App Store or Google Play to download Microsoft Edge and see what you think.