Computers

Windows 10 gains support for Linux GUI apps

For developers struggling with Windows 10

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Historically, Microsoft has been averse towards the free and open-source operating system Linux. It’s become a popular choice for developers and enthusiasts, making it a “threat” to Windows. Over the years, however, Microsoft seemed to change course. Nowadays, the company has been embracing Linux and integrating it right into Windows.

In its latest Build conference, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 is gaining support for Linux GUI apps. This is a big deal for most developers since they don’t have to dual-boot or run Linux in a virtual machine to run Linux-exclusive apps. Take note though, that Windows 10 already supports Linux apps through the command line. GUI apps for Linux can run on Windows 10, though it requires a hefty workaround for most.

Support for Linux apps is possible through the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) that Microsoft developed and improved over the years. The second version of WSL will have a full Linux kernel, allowing apps to run natively on Windows.

Elsewhere, Microsoft is also bringing GPU hardware acceleration for Linux apps running on Windows. There’s also a brand-new terminal app and a package manager coming to Windows 10. Developers who rely on Linux-exclusive developer tools will now find it easier to develop and compile code on Windows as a result.

Support for Linux apps, hardware acceleration, and more will come on future updates to Windows 10.

A native GTK app running alongside Windows 10 apps | Photo from Microsoft

Embracing developers

The reason for Windows embracing Linux over the years is to attract more developers. Microsoft’s recent stance towards open-sourcing its products is another indication of this strategy. The latest move will only make Windows 10 a viable option for most developers who have to resort to dual-booting Linux or buying a Macbook to suit their workflow.

h/t: The Verge

Computers

LG UltraGear 25” Gaming Monitor review: Enough to get you started

Comes with key features for your first gaming PC build

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I’ve seen a ton of people purchase full gaming PC setups since the pandemic took center stage in our lives. I’m pretty sure a lot of these people spent the past few months saving every peso they could for it. Of course, I also did it with all the money I saved up and planned every purchase very carefully.

In getting your gaming PC build, one of the more important peripherals to consider is your monitor. Most people will tell you that any monitor is okay, but experts will say that you shouldn’t just get any monitor. Apart from color accurate and bright displays, your monitor should have a high enough refresh rate to keep up.

It’s exactly what the LG UltraGear 24” Gaming Monitor brings to the table, at least on paper. But is this worth checking out, especially for first time PC setup builders? Here’s a rundown of the specs:

It has a 23.6-inch TN FHD panel, with a 144Hz refresh rate

It comes with two HDMI ports and one DisplayPort

The design, on its own, is nothing spectacular

The LG UltraGear 24” Gaming Monitor comes in a package you normally expect from most lightweight gaming monitors. A hardened-plastic enclosure covers the display, and the monitor even comes with a metal stand in gray and red accents. Upon unboxing, I found it relatively easy to set up and position alongside my PC setup.

Immediately, the first and only thing I noticed was the thick bezel surrounding the display. To be honest, it’s a relatively minor issue for me ever since other brands started reducing theirs. Although I would have appreciated a little more screen space, especially while playing games.

A display that meets expectations for the most part

Most gaming monitors come with high refresh rates to keep up during pressure situations. Fortunately, the LG UltraGear Gaming Monitor comes with a 144Hz panel which is more than enough. Also, it even sports a 1ms response rate so you’re able to stay at the top of your game. 

Most games I tried with this monitor performed with relative ease and no visible sign of image tearing. FPS games like CS:GO and Valorant, in my opinion, work best with this setup given that you can run these games on low-end setups.

Also, it’s quite bright and color accurate which is great for content creators. Although, in some cases, I felt that it didn’t handle dark color areas well. I tried to compensate by simply adjusting the brightness, but it didn’t do anything significantly different. At least it’s an anti-glare TN panel, so you don’t have to worry about the sun.

Comes with features that works depending on the other hardware

This monitor supports AMD’s FreeSync technology which further improves gameplay experience. Honestly, I felt this should be a standard for most gaming monitors — including those that support NVIDIA GSync. Also, there are other optimizations like Dynamic Action Sync (DAS) and motion blur reduction.

However, this monitor actually benefits you only if you’re currently rocking an AMD Radeon graphics card. Ideally, it would still work pretty well when you plug it to an NVIDIA card but expect some image tearing. It wasn’t a big issue for me since I could still apply the reduced motion blur and DAS.

Port selection for this monitor is more than enough for a normal PC setup. Two HDMI ports are available at your disposal, which is great if you want to use it for your consoles. The added DisplayPort provides more connectivity, especially since most graphics cards support it. Keep in mind though: if you plan to plug your console, don’t expect the 144Hz refresh rate.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

For PhP 12,599 (US$ 257), the LG UltraGear 24” Gaming Monitor ticks all the necessary boxes. What you have is a high refresh rate monitor with good color accuracy, and fully optimized for gaming. Combined with a great selection of ports, this monitor is a great option for your first PC build.

However, if you have strict preferences for your monitor, this might not be what you’re looking for. If you’re not a fan of thick bezels or you’re more conservative with your money, I wouldn’t practically recommend this. Also, you wouldn’t be able to fully maximize its potential if you don’t own an AMD graphics card.

All things considered, it’s enough to get you started on your gaming PC setup. Even with cheaper alternatives out there, I still recommend you give this a shot.

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Computers

Apple’s macOS Big Sur Public Beta is now available for download

It can still run on your old 2013 MacBooks and iMacs

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Good news for MacBook and iMac users, you can now start testing out the Public Beta release of Apple’s macOS Big Sur.

Here’s a list of supported devices:

  • MacBook (2015 and later)
  • MacBook Air (2013 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (Late 2013 and later)
  • Mac mini (2014 and later)
  • iMac (2014 and later)
  • iMac Pro (all models)
  • Mac Pro (2013 and later)

If your Mac is supported, you can head over to Apple’s Beta Program Website to enroll your device for download.

Just a refresher, Big Sur is the latest macOS update that was announced during Apple’s WWDC 2020 event together with iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and watchOS 7. Other than performance improvements, you also get a revised look with a simpler and more seamless UI compared to older versions of California-touting macOS versions including  Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, and Sierra.

Another addition to Apple’s continuous Mac improvements are the newest 27-inch iMac with Intel’s latest Core i9 chipsets, before they ditch Intel-based architecture and completely rely on their in-house ARM chipsets — starting with the upcoming Apple Silicon-powered MacBook that should be available in the market as early as 2021.

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Computers

Microsoft’s Your Phone app brings Android apps to Windows 10

This is what the future looks like

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Your Phone app will be able to run Android apps on your laptop or computer by streaming your phone’s screen. You can open an app, pin it to the taskbar, or quite literally do anything you want to. The feature will be extremely handy since it actually ports two completely different ecosystems into one.

Samsung just announced its top-tier offerings, including the Galaxy Note 20 series, Galaxy Tab 7, and the Galaxy Fold2 5G. They also announced further partnerships with Microsoft that’ll not only bundle Office apps on Samsung phones but also bring Android apps to a Windows computer.

Samsung has always marketed the Note-lineup as productivity-focused. With the Windows integration, you can complete work on-the-go with a Note 20 and quickly sync data with your primary machine.

This kind of looks like how Huawei Share works between a Huawei phone and laptop.

The more exciting part is the feature won’t be limited to the flagships. The list of compatible phones include but are not limited to the following:

  • Samsung Galaxy Note10
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold
  • Samsung Galaxy S20
  • Samsung Galaxy S20+
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
  • Samsung Galaxy A70
  • Samsung Galaxy A50s

The total number of supported devices stands at 33 at the moment.

There will also be new notification badges for your Android phone apps that you have kept open on the Windows machine. However, Microsoft does warn that certain apps may block this functionality considering they do limit the ability to cast screens to other devices.

This will also help you reduce app duplications. Simple apps like Spotify, WhatsApp, and Slack can be installed on one device and used seamlessly, without reaching out to another device.

The app is shipping to testers as part of the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 20185 and is rolling out to Windows Insider testers at this time. With this app, Microsoft is not only advancing the experience of its own operating system but also ensuring its core products like Office are used the most on rival platforms like Android. To do so, it’s tapping Samsung’s potential as a phone maker.

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