Apps

How to experience ‘Dark Mode’ in Google Chrome

Here’s a simple guide

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Dark mode is not new, but it’s becoming really popular. With more people appreciating how easy it is to the eyes with a dark background, we get flooded with questions asking how to activate this mode. Facebook recently rolled out its dark mode feature for its popular Messenger app, which triggered the curiosity of clueless users.

Another well-known desktop application will soon have its official dark mode: Google Chrome. There’s no exact release date yet for the browser’s upcoming feature, but there are ways to experience it now. If you use Chrome, you might find these tips very useful.

Apply “Just Black” theme

There are a lot of black or dark themes on the Chrome Web Store. Even before dark mode was a thing, black themes were already available for Chrome, at least for its desktop version. Although, not all dark themes are created equal. There are some that aren’t dark enough and some are too complicated.

Just Black theme | Image credit: Google

Thankfully, there’s no need to dig inside the Themes section of the Web Store because Google has its own dark theme called Just Black. The theme is available to download for free and it’s one of the 14 official themes made by Google’s Chrome team.

Like other themes available in the Web Store, the Just Black theme skins the surface of the browser including the title bar, start page, and tabs. What’s not darkened are the drop-down menus and the settings panel. If you want a deeper dark mode, check out the next option.

Try out Google Canary

In order to try out the official dark mode that’ll come to Chrome in the coming months, you’ll have to be adventurous and “get on the bleeding edge of the web.” I’m not talking about Chrome Beta or Chrome Dev; the official dark mode is in such an early stage that you’ll have to download Chrome Canary. This version of Chrome is experimental, but it’s usable.

Chrome Canary 74 in dark mode | GadgetMatch

Canary’s dark mode is dynamic and it adjusts accordingly to your operating system’s setting. Both Windows and macOS have their respective dark options, so you’ll have to turn them on in order to activate Canary’s dark mode.

As mentioned, the official dark mode of Canary goes deeper, which means even the settings panel and menus are darkened. It’s slightly different from the Just Black theme and is more similar to the dark mode of Android Pie and YouTube. The official dark mode has gray tones with blue highlights.

Chrome Canary can be very unstable, but it gives you an early look at the upcoming dark mode for Google’s well-loved browser.

Go incognito

One of the earliest and easiest tricks to enjoying a dark-themed Chrome is to hit Ctrl+Shift+N or select “New incognito window” from the browser’s menu. Incognito mode has been around for years and it saves us a trip to the delete button in the browser’s History section. 😉

If you’re using the default theme of Chrome, the instant dark theme of incognito also helps in distinguishing which of your Chrome windows is not recording your visits.

Bonus: Dark mode for all websites

Even if your theme is now dark, it doesn’t mean that the websites you’ll visit will darken as well. Most websites today have a plain white background (like ours) which means it’ll contrast with your dark theme. If you prefer to make the websites dark as well, there’s an extension for that.

The extension is aptly called Dark Mode and it’s free on the Chrome Web Store. It adds a toggle beside the browser’s omnibar. It works on most websites, but it’s not perfect in some cases. Still, it helps reduce eye strain when you’re browsing a website in the dark.

SEE ALSO: Here’s how you can enjoy Dark Mode on Facebook Messenger

Apps

How to get NBA League Pass with your telco provider

There are two package options

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NBA action is in full swing. In fact, it has been since August when the season restarted following a shut down that was caused by the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic. As of writing, we’re in the thick of the Conference Finals series. If you want to catch all the action, here’s how you can get NBA League Pass through different telecomm providers in the Philippines.

It’s now easier than ever to get access to the games legally. All of Smart, PLDT, and Globe are offering the same price packages.

PhP 85 — Watch any three games of your choice
PhP 485 — 30-day pass for all games including live and on-demand

Here’s how to get the subscription for each provider.

Smart Postpaid and Prepaid
(Also works with TNT and SUN Postpaid)

  • Download the NBA app (iOS / Android /APKPure)
  • On the app, click on the icon at the top-right corner
  • Click sign-in
  • A banner on top of the page will appear for Smart, Sun and TNT subscribers
  • Click ‘Get Started’
  • Enter mobile number for verification and a one-time PIN which will be sent to your mobile number
  • Choose your provider: Smart, TNT or Sun.
  • Choose your NBA League Pass Package (3-game or 30-days) and enter mobile number
  • Confirm your payment by entering the one-time PIN sent to your mobile number
  • Click NBA logo and start watching

PLDT Home

  • Go to pldthome.com/nbaleaguepass
  • Select your preferred package
  • The amount will be added to your next bill
  • PLDT will give a voucher
  • Download and sign-in to the NBA app
  • Enter the voucher in the promotion code field
  • Click NBA logo and start watching

Globe

  • Open the GCash app
  • Go to Buy Load
  • Look for the PayTV tab
  • Choose your preferred package. (Note: The chosen package is valid for 90 days).
  • Confirm payment
  • Open the NBA app and enjoy!

As mentioned earlier, we’re no in the Conference Finals with four teams remaining. Dueling in the West are the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. Meanwhile in the East, it’s a battle between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics.

A new NBA champion will likely be crowned in the next 30 days so now is the best time to subscribe!

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Twitter is probing its AI’s racial bias in picture previews

They’re working on improving it

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Twitter uses a neural network to show you relevant previews of all the pictures that are posted on the microblogging platform. If the image contains text, the area is prioritized for a preview. Similarly, human faces are also given preference.

The preview makes it easier for the viewer to get a gist of the tweet without the compulsion of opening the entire picture. Although, the feature isn’t up-to mark since a lot of users have complained about the AI’s racial bias.

Several users posted a picture that has both, a white man and a black man’s face. But the preview often shows the white man’s face only. Users noticed the difference after a similar anomaly was observed on Zoom, where the facial recognition technology failed to identify a black man’s face, but had no trouble when the skin tone was changed.

 

Liz Kelley from Twitter’s communication team said they had tested the neural system for bias, but didn’t come across gender or racial bias during testing. She also confirmed that they’ve got more analysis to do and shall be open-sourcing all the work for others to review and replicate.

Twitter’s Chief Design Officer Dantley Davis and Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal were quick to acknowledge the shortcoming and said they’re “investigating” the neural network.

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Apps

TikTok and WeChat will be banned from app stores in the US

So, did the Oracle deal go through?

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After months of escalating, the US Commerce Department has announced it’ll ban business transactions with TikTok and WeChat. The two apps are owned by Chinese giants ByteDance and Tencent, respectively.

Practically, you won’t be able to directly download the app via stores like Play Store and App Store. Furthermore, companies are also barred from hosting these apps in the US. Essentially, the user won’t be able to download the app from third-party websites that are hosted in the US.

It also blocks US companies from providing services through WeChat “for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S.”

However, it remains unclear whether the announcement means the Oracle-TikTok deal won’t be going through. The Trump administration wanted ByteDance to sell its local TikTok operations to an American company.

In the last few months, multiple American giants like Walmart, Twitter, and Microsoft were interested in getting their piece of TikTok. But things haven’t moved smoothly and the Chinese government isn’t keen on handing over TikTok’s algorithm to an American company.

While Oracle has been chosen for a deal with ByteDance, the latter continues to maintain that the ongoing process isn’t an acquisition and Oracle shall be a technology partner. This is in stark contrast to what President Trump envisions as a business takeover.

The app ban could be a tactic to pressure the Chinese, but we can’t be certain of that right now. Going by the latest statements, it’s clear that the administration wants to completely block user’s access to these apps and is willing to go the extra mile.

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