[From the January 16th, 2020 Wiretapped newsletter.]
Welcome to the second to last workday of the week. The tech news cycle has increased in speed, and that means I have more headlines to share with you. I’ve got a good roundup today, too, because it involves both Microsoft’s future web browser ambitions and the fact that Jack Dorsey just doesn’t know how to please his users.
Let’s get started.
Microsoft releases new Chromium-based Edge web browser
Microsoft Edge isn’t a brand new piece of software, but the version Microsoft just released is. It keep the name of the default browser in Windows 10, but it adds a new icon and a new engine: Chromium, the same one powering Google Chrome. Microsoft has finally given up on its own browser engine and has adopted the one that millions of users are already familiar with.
A ton of features are available at launch such as favorites, password syncing, address storage, Collections (the ability to collect pictures from around the web), and even Chrome extensions. There are some features like history syncing that aren’t yet available, but Microsoft says it’ll add those features later this year.
I’ve been using the Edge Chromium browser for quite some time, and I have to say, it’s a really solid browser. Granted, it isn’t exactly like Chrome since you don’t get the full-on Google integration and stuff, but as a web browser, it’s really well done. I’m actually tempted to switch all my computers over to the new browser.
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey says an edit button “probably” isn’t coming
Twitter users have been asking for an edit button for over a decade, yet the company just won’t commit to building one. That’s even more evident now that co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey has essentially confirmed the button will never arrive. During a Q&A with Wired, Dorsey said “the answer is no” when it comes to adding an edit button. He understands the advantages of having the button, “but we’ll probably never do it.”
Either this guy’s being serious or he’s pulling everyone’s leg because it’s already in development and he doesn’t wanna spoil the surprise. I’ve never been one to ask for the edit button since I’ve never really cared about having one, but I do wanna see the day where they finally add it just to watch everyone go nuts. Hopefully, it does arrive at some point.
Google is adding call recording to its phone app
New code inside the Google Phone app suggests the company will add native call recording in the future. XDA first spotted the new code which hints that the feature is being developed. On Android, you used to be able to record calls with third-party solutions, but law makers got in the way and essentially forced Google to remove the ability to do so from the core of Android. I don’t know how Google’s getting around the laws with its own call recording, but I’ll guess we’ll have to wait to find out.
Google will kill Chrome apps in June 2022
If you use apps built for Chrome, I have some semi-bad news for you. This week, Google confirmed that in June 2022, the company would end all support for Chrome apps, therefore killing the feature. If you’re unfamiliar, Chrome apps are a way for developers to build simple Chrome-based apps that run in their own window outside of your Chrome browser. They were popular for a while, but have since died down, especially after Google announced it would be killing the apps in 2016.
The termination will roll out in phases which you can read about here. Even if you use Chrome apps, there’s a good chance the developers behind them have proper web-based alternatives you can resort to, so you shouldn’t have a painful transition period whatsoever.
Spotify can make a playlist for your pet
Ever leave your pet home alone and think, “man, I wish I had a Spotify playlist to keep them entertained while I’m gone”? Whelp, today’s your lucky day.
Spotify has added a new Pet Playlist generator to its web app that literally lets you generate a playlist based on what kind of pet you have, what their interests are, how energetic they are, and so on. I don’t have a pet so I’m not trying it, but if you have a dog, cat, iguana, bird, or hamster, give the feature a go.
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