Microsoft is finally rolling out x64 emulation on Windows 10 on ARM. With the launch of the Surface Pro X earlier this year, the company first discussed its plan to bring x64 emulation to Windows PCs. Though it is available today, there’s still a catch. The x64 emulation is available only to Insiders in the Dev Channel.
“We’re releasing the first preview of x64 emulation for ARM64 devices to Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel starting with the Build 21277,” said Hari Pulapaka, the Partner Group Program Manager, Windows in the official blog post. What does this mean for users? Well, the x64 emulation will enable you to use 64-bit apps that aren’t compiled for Windows 10 for ARM devices.
This is a major step towards making ARM devices running Windows 10 a little more competent, especially when Apple has switched its MacBook lineup over to ARM with its in-house Apple M1 chip. Apple provides Rosetta 2 to make Intel apps accessible on the Mac. You can read how Rosetta 2 and Windows x64 emulation compare in our in-depth explainer right here.
“With developers increasingly supporting ARM64 apps natively, emulating x64 apps is an important step in our journey with Windows 10 on ARM,” added the blog post. Microsoft cites the example of productivity apps like Autodesk Sketchbook and games like Rocket League. It is now possible for you to run these x64 apps on your Windows 10 ARM computer with much ease. Your existing x32 apps, like Chrome, will switch over to 64-bit once you have installed the required software.
For those interested in testing out x64 emulation on your ARM-based PC, go ahead and install the latest Windows 10 Insider build. We currently have no information on when Microsoft plans to bring this to the stable channel.
Google has announced the winners for its Best of Play Store 2020 awards, with the ‘Best App for 2020’ going to ‘Sleep Stories’ by Bengaluru-based developer, Touchkin, known for its wellness app, Wysa. Some of the other notable inclusions in the honor lists include Microsoft Office, Chef Buddy and Legends of Runterra, which won the ‘Best Game of 2020’. Here are the highlights:
Best App of 2020 – Sleep stories for calm sleep – Meditate with Wysa (download)
Users’ Choice App of 2020 – Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint & More (download)
Best Game of 2020 – Legends of Runterra (download)
Users’ Choice Game of 2020 – World Cricket Championship 3 (WCC3) (download)
Best apps for Personal Growth 2020 – Apna – Job Search (download)
Best Hidden Gems – Chef Buddy: Smart App for Chefs & Food Businesses (download)
Best App for Fun – Free Audio Stories, Books, Podcasts – Pratilipi FM (download)
Best Casual Games – Asian Cooking Star: New Restaurant & Cooking Games (download)
Alongside the aforementioned categories, Google also opened an ‘App for Good’ category this time around, which is more poignant than ever given the way this year has gone. The winner in this category is ‘InnerHour Self-Care Therapy’, a wellness and self-help app developed by Mumbai-based developer, InnerHour. You can check out the entire lists by visiting Google Play Store announcement.
It is worth noting that both Google and Apple announce their best apps list every year to highlight some of the most popular, promising and innovative new apps and services on their respective platforms. Last year, an app called Ablo had won the Best App award, while Call of Duty: Mobile had won both the Editors’ Choice and Users’ Choice awards in the best game category.
It’s no doubt that Android is right now, the most popular mobile operating system, but if any other mobile OS that’s capable of competing with Android is iOS. iOS is right now the second-best mobile operating system which powers only Apple devices.
Like Android, iOS has a massive app ecosystem, and you will find apps for every different purpose on the iOS app store. Some of the apps were meant to utilize the iPhone to its maximum capacity, which we call utility apps.
If you are into some foreign business and make regular international calls and video conferences, then Klock might be the best pick for you. It is an app that allows you to select different time zones to keep an eye on. With this app, you can see different time zones, which could help you plan any video conference or international call to foreign clients.
1Password is one of the best and popular password manager app available on the iOS App Store. The best thing is about 1Password is that it helps users to generate and save strong passwords. Not just that, but 1Password can also sync your saved passwords across different cloud services.
If you are looking for an iPhone app to manage data consumption accordingly, then My Data Manager & Security might be the perfect pick for you. Guess what? My Data Manager & Security allows users to put restrictions on apps that consume internet data. Not just that, but the app also shows a brief overview of how much data each app consumed.
Presence is another excellent utility app that every iPhone user would love to have. Basically, it’s a surveillance camera app which requires two iPhones to work. The first one would be to record videos, and the second one to view the live feeds. If you have multiple iOS devices or any old iPhone, you can use Presence to set it up as a home camera.
Fing is a network scanner app that will provide you a complete overview of all connected devices to your WiFi network. The app is mostly used to find devices that are connected to your WiFi network. It gets to the connected device and pulls important information like the device name, MAC address, and IP Address.
Grammarly Keyboard is one of the leading keyboard apps that’s available for both Android and iOS devices. Compared to other keyboard apps, Grammarly offers some more features. It’s not a keyboard app that focuses on the look; instead, it focuses on improving users’ grammar. The functions of Grammarly Keyboard includes spell-checker, grammar-checker, auto-correction, etc.
CamScanner is an iOS app that you can use to scan, store, sync, and collaborate on various devices. It’s basically an OCR app that’s available for both Android and iOS devices. Students widely use the app to scan important study notes, assignments, and other types of documents.
Are you looking for the best note-taking app for your iOS device? If yes, then Evernote might be the best pick for you. Guess what? Evernote is one of the leading note-taking app available for Android and iOS that syncs data between devices. With Evernote, you can stay productive for sure.
Since we subscribe to lots of packages online, Bobby helps us to track all our subscriptions. Not just that, but Bobby for iOS can also monitor the recurring expenses. Bobby can show you the monthly expenses at the bottom of the screen at the end of every month.
Pocket is another useful app for iOS that allows users to save the latest news, magazines, and every other thing that you read or see on the internet. The app can really help you be more productive because it saves all important things for later use. Not only that, but Pocket can also read articles in different languages.
Ever since PUBG Mobile was banned in India close to three months ago, the netizens have been looking forward to a homegrown ‘Atmanirbhar’ alternative. Dubbed FAU-G, short for Fearless and United Guards, has been in the works for a long time and teased online on multiple occasions. And today, on the occasion of Gurupurab, FAU-G is now up for pre-registration on the Google Play Store.
FAU-G Pre-Registration Is Now Live
The developer of FAU-G, Bengaluru-based nCore Games, made the announcement via its official Twitter account a few hours ago. The game has earlier confirmed to arrive in the month of November. However, it seems like there will be one final delay and eager users can register their interest to be the first ones to play the game.
The pre-registration link for FAU-G going live on the Google Play Store suggests that the game launch is closer than ever before. You can see how to register for the game down below.
This suggests that FAU-G will initially be available for Android users and eager iOS users might have to watch from the sidelines. The pre-registration link for Apple App Store has not gone live just yet.
FAU-G Gameplay Details
Apart from the pre-registration, FAU-G’s app description gives us a brief idea about what to expect from this homegrown PUBG Mobile alternative. “Join a special unit of FAU-G commandos on patrol in dangerous border territory. Come face-to-face with India’s enemies as you engage with hostile invaders on Indian soil. Fight for survival against the unforgiving terrain and the implacable enemy.”
The Play Store listing not only reveals how you will fill the shoes of patriotic soldiers at the border but also gives us a brief look at the game’s homescreen UI. FAU-G will have a clean UI with your character front and center, a store button at the bottom left, and a ‘Play’ button at the bottom right. There will be two types of in-game currency as well – seen at the top right.
We still do not get a good glimpse at the gameplay but do know that the first level will see you set foot in Galwan Valley. For those unaware, Galwan Valley was the location where the Indian and Chinese forces skirmished, resulting in 20 Indian soldiers being martyred.
If you’re eager to play FAU-G when it launches in India, head to this link and register to receive a notification whenever the game goes live. You can also choose to have the game automatically installed on your smartphone.
It will be interesting to see whether PUBG Mobile’s India version will make its much-anticipated return before FAU-G or not. Also, will FAU-G’s story-driven gameplay be able to captivate the attention of netizens? Stay tuned for more information.
Since the rise of Bluetooth speakers, we have seen many companies build numerous portable speakers to catch the attention of the consumers. However, unlike the generic Bluetooth speakers, a small team of designers from Sweden known as Transparent Sound wanted to develop a portable Bluetooth speaker that does more than just play music. The result is a unique portable speaker with a lantern-like design that looks aesthetic AF.
The Light Speaker
Dubbed as the “Light Speaker”, this fire lantern-like device mimics the light coming from a flame, as it plays your favorite music. The creators say that, as fire is something around which people have been gathering since the beginning of time to have a good time with their loved ones, they wanted to simulate the natural element inside the electronic device.
Years of Research on Flames
To do so, the designers observed and studied various kinds of flames, their key properties, the light temperatures, and various other factors for years. So now, they have finally implemented their vision in the Light Speaker and the result looks pretty amazing.
So, as per the team, the light inside the device sits on the woofer and glows “like a real flame” based on the music that is playing. It is designed to move and glow as per the beats of the song which you are listening to.
A Speaker With an Electronic Fire Inside
Now, other than being an electronic fire-lantern, the device is also a Bluetooth speaker that plays your favorite songs or podcast episodes. Hence, it features a 3-inch woofer at the bottom of the cylinder-shaped contraption that comes with borosilicate glass, covering the middle portion. At the top, there is a 2.5-inch full-range driver to deliver a 360-degree surround sound experience.
It also has Bluetooth 5.0 for faster and more stable wireless connections. Moreover, the device comes with the company’s proprietory “Transparent sound” tech to “channel the true intention of the artist”.
Now, as the Bluetooth speaker focuses on sound as well as light, there are two different knobs to control the elements. Turning the volume knob adjusts the sound and turning the light knob adjusts the brightness of the fire-mimicking light inside.
Modular and Environment-Friendly
Moreover, keeping the environment in mind, the designers made the Light Speaker completely modular. This means that if any one of the components of the speaker gets damaged, it can be replaced separately.
The company also plans to release more upgrades for the speaker in the future to help users completely modify it according to their needs, instead of throwing it away as e-waste.
Price and Availability
Transparent Sound is currently running a Kickstarter campaign and has already raised over $120,000 from 428 backers, as of writing this article. So, if you want one for yourself or for your loved ones, you can pledge $230 (~Rs. 17,019) for the project to pre-book it. Once it becomes commercially available, it will retail for around $370 (~Rs. 27,379). The company plans to ship the initial orders from April 2021.
Valorant is one of those games that you can’t stop playing because of its competitive approach. Once you start playing Riot’s first-person shooter, you get addicted to it in no time.
But after a while, things get hectic in Valorant, especially in Competitive matches. Just one small mistake, and your teammates can make your soul cry bombarding you with their toxic comments. Despite that, most players constantly work on their game sense to climb ranks in Valorant.
Keeping all good things aside, I sometimes feel like quitting the game. The reason why I am disappointed with Valorant is, of course, Smurfing.
Valorant Is The First FPS I Held Onto, Just To Get Stomped By Smurfs
Many players, getting into first-person shooter for the first time with Valorant, and I, fall into the same category.
Of course, I’ve played other FPS titles such as Apex Legends, PUBG, Warzone, etc. However, I never stuck to those games for long, maybe because not many of my friends play those titles; and starting with Multiplayer games without friends gets boring too often.
On the other hand, several of my friends play Valorant. That’s because Riot’s FPS title runs efficiently on systems with low specifications, well, mostly.
So, I have been playing the game since the day it was released globally. No doubt, grinding in Valorant to improve your skills in something you can’t compare with anything else.
Besides working on your aim and crosshair placement, you have to be creative with your agent’s skills. Overall, you have to work on a lot of factors to be good at Valorant.
Also, the best thing about Valorant is that if, at some point, the game feels boring, you can move on to a different agent. That way, you’ll feel like you’re playing the same game, but with a different set of eyes.
However, all these good things about Valorant stands to nothing when an Iron player has to go against a Diamond level payer. Why? Because several players feel the need to stomp on new players by making a bunch of smurf accounts.
What Is Smurfing In Valorant?
In Multiplayer games such as Valorant, several players intentionally aim for lower ranks on their secondary accounts. Then, despite being higher rank players, they get to play at low ranks, which is called smurfing.
The situation gets even worse and humiliating when all the five players in the opponent team are smurfs. These smurfs often boast about their skills in the chat and ask the other team to surrender.
For instance, in my case, these smurfs asked us to surrender because, according to them, “We were wasting their time by playing against them.”
Now, it’s true that there’s skill-based matchmaking in Valorant. So, smurfs get opponents based on their previous matches’ performance. However, from my personal experience, matchmaking is rarely accurate. Thinking that in Valorant, both teams will have an equal number of smurfs with similar skill levels is as crazy as thinking that the Earth is flat.
Not All Valorant Smurfs Play To Win
Just imagine, you log into Valorant in hopes of having a good Ranked match. But unfortunately, one player in your team doesn’t care about winning. Well, let me explain this kind of situation with an example.
A few days back on Reddit, a player told that one of his teammates was smurfing at Diamond rank. Strangely enough, unlike other smurfs, this particular player wasn’t playing to win. Instead, the player sabotaged the entire Ranked match by giving away his teammates’ location on chat.
Now, you might be thinking why this player doesn’t care about winning. Well, he confirmed that he bought the Diamond account through a website for less than $100. So, his intention after buying the smurf account was to ruin other players’ experience.
When I read about this on Reddit, I considered myself lucky for not getting these kinds of teammates. Well, guess what, that feeling didn’t last long. That’s becauselast week, one of my teammates, who was playing with Skye, sabotaged our full Ranked Valorant match.
In every round, this player was intentionally blinding us whenever we confronted the enemy team. Moreover, he was giving away our location by randomly shooting at walls. When that wasn’t enough, he informed the enemy team of our health and location through text chat.
My teammates, along with all the opponent players, reported that smurf. But guess what, even several warnings didn’t stop him from ruining our experience. His exact response was, “LOL people have been reporting me from the last 4 matches, nothing happens, chill.”
Halfway through the match, we tried quitting the game by initiating the ‘Surrender’ vote. Well, it should come as no surprise, but the player didn’t even let us surrender by voting ‘no.’ In short, that 30-40 minutes Valorant match made us hate smurfs even more.
Smurfing: A Good Content For Valorant Steamers?
Unfortunately, several streamers on YouTube are part of this whole Valorant smurfing problem. Apparently, titles like ‘Solo queue from Iron 1 to Immortal 1’ guarantees more viewers. Mostly, when you watch their streams, you’ll find them scoring Ace against new Iron players and calling them “noobs.”
Once these streamers reach Radiant rank, they don’t play with that account because the thought of getting ranked down scares them. So, they create a smurf account and aim for the lowest ‘Iron 1’ rank.
To be honest, I don’t think that they play all 20 Unranked matches themselves either. Instead, they can ask their subscribers or moderators to give them ‘Competitive ready’ smurf accounts for a shoutout or a small compensation.
Well, for these YouTubers, it’s “content,” but imagine a new Valorant Iron 1 player going against these streamers in their initial Ranked matches. I am sure most of the new players get demotivated in their very first match, thinking that “Valorant is not for them.” In short, these smurfs rob new players of an honest Valorant gameplay experience.
To be clear, not all Valorant streamers support smurfing. For instance, Hiko, a professional Valorant player, addressed the Valorant smurfing issue. According to him, smurfs are basically “ruining the competitive experience.”
Several players smurf because they want to queue with their friends at lower ranks. However, as Hiko said, if you want to do that, then play Unrated. If you want to teach your friends how to play the game, then ‘Unrated’ is the perfect game mode. As for competitive, instead of pushing your friends’ rank by smurfing, ask them to queue Solo. That’s the only way they will truly improve their skills.
Of course, Riot won’t do anything about smurfing; they would have already introduced 2FA if they wanted to control this behavior. So, the players who love this game will have to discourage smurfing to create a healthy competition in Valorant.
We’ve all been there. You turn on your PC, and instead of getting straight to work, you’re faced with horrific slowdown and loud-running fans. Hit Ctrl + Shift + Escape, and you will see that your CPU usage is inexplicably at 100%.
It’s a common problem that’s, luckily, not usually too hard to solve. Here are several fixes for the 100% CPU usage problem.
WMI Provider Host Using 100% CPU
The WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) Provider Host is a core service on Windows 10 that links up with various software on your PC to send it information about your operating system. In other words, it’s a very important process, and you shouldn’t disable it lightly. If, however, you see in the Task Manager Processes tab that it’s using a lot of CPU, then of course you should do something about it.
The first thing you can try is restarting the WMI service. Go to the Services app. (You can get there quickly by typing services in a Start menu search). Scroll down to Windows Management Instrumentation, right-click it, then click Restart.
If that doesn’t work, then the next solution is a little more intricate but also has the potential to offer more long-term solutions for your CPU woes.
If your 100% CPU usage is being caused by the WMI Provider Host process in Task Manager, then you can delve deeper into the problem. Press Win + R ,then open “eventvwr.” Here in the pane on the left, go to “Applications and Service Logs -> Microsoft -> Windows -> WMI-Activity -> Operational.” This will show you all the processes that the WMI Provider Host is dealing with.
Check the middle column, “Operational,” look for errors in the service, then under the “General” tab below that, check the “ClientProcessId” number. This should help you zoom in on the app or process clogging up your WMI Provider Host service.
Go back to Task Manager, click the “Details” tab, then sort the processes by “PID.” Find the process with the error, right-click it and click “Open file location.” This will give you an idea of what software the process is attached to and whether you can reinstall it, uninstall it, update its drivers and so on.
There may be multiple errors like this in the WMI Provider Host, in which case you should repeat the above process to address the different errors. It’s also possible that just one app/process has been hogging your CPU all this time, in which case you should be good to go after you’ve dealt with the culprit.
Disable Superfetch (or Windows Search)
Superfetch is a process by which Windows 10 learns which apps you use most often, then pre-fetches them for you so they load quicker each time you use them. It’s a constant background process that doesn’t usually cause problems, but it doesn’t always play nice with older devices.
To find out whether Superfetch (or another service) is hogging your CPU, open Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Escape), click “More details,” then click “CPU” to order processes by how much CPU they’re using.
If you see that a “Service Host” like Superfetch or something else is using a lot of CPU, you can try right-clicking it and clicking “End process.”
Alternatively, to disable it permanently (or until Windows switches it on again, which can happen after you update the OS), press Win + R, type services, then in the Services window scroll down to Superfetch.
Right-click Superfetch, click Properties, then in its Properties window click the drop-down next to “Startup type,” click “Disabled,” and OK.
You can technically do this to any service that’s hogging CPU, but some services are system-critical, so you need to be careful. Another culprit of high CPU usage is “Windows Search,” which you can safely disable, too.
Reset Your Power Plan
Twiddling around in Windows’s power options can have a substantial effect on your PC performance. If you’re set to “High performance” – particularly if you made tweaks to the “plan settings” – then it’s possible that you’re overloading your CPU. (Again, older devices are susceptible to this.)
Type power plan in the Start search ,bar then click “Choose a power plan.” If you’re on “High performance” or “Power Saver,” then switch to “Balanced.”
For extra certainty, click “Change plan settings,” then on the new screen click “Restore default settings for this plan.”
Check Your Power Supply
This one’s an issue that can affect both desktop and laptop Windows 10 users. If you have a faulty power supply (the mains cable on a laptop, the PSU in a desktop), then it can automatically start undervolting your CPU to preserve power. When undervolted, your CPU can function at only a fraction of its full power, hence the possibility of this manifesting as 100% CPU usage on Windows 10.
To solve this on a laptop is quite simple: unplug your laptop from the power cable, then click the battery icon at the bottom-right corner of your Windows 10 desktop -> Battery Settings -> Power & Sleep Settings -> Additional power settings, and select High Performance. If the issue was with your power supply, the CPU usage should return to normal in the task manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc).
On a desktop things can be a little more complicated, as you’ll need to physically remove the PSU from your PC and test a different one. We recommend going through our other tips listed below before trying this.
Disable Third-Party Antivirus Software
This one may be a bit contentious, but our view here is that if you’re using antivirus software on Windows 10, then you’re probably putting unnecessary strain on your CPU (particularly if its older). It doesn’t usually hurt to have the extra security, but you probably don’t need it.
Every year we write an in-depth feature about Windows 10’s onboard security software, Windows Defender, and every year it gets better and better. At this point, it’s more or less on par with the best antivirus software out there.
Don’t be afraid to disable your third-party antivirus software to see if it helps your CPU usage. If it does, then uninstall it, because Windows Defender should really have you covered.