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Microsoft keeps making Windows 8.1 more user friendly, with new mouse and keyboard updates

Microsoft keeps making Windows 8.1 more user friendly, with new mouse and keyboard updates

At a recent Microsoft Build developer conference in San Francisco, the Washington based company formally unveiled the release date for the latest updates to its Windows 8.1 OS. As of April 8th, those updates are live and can be downloaded by anyone through Windows Update under the name “Windows 8.1 Patch 1”.

So what are we getting with the new Patch 1 updates? Well, the core user interface for 8.1 has finally been tweaked to make it more accessible and friendly to mouse and keyboard users! Some of the changes include the following improvements:

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  • Apps designed to be used from the full screen Metro interface can now be transferred to the desktop taskbar and used straight from there, eliminating the need to enter the tile screen on machines without a touch interface.
  • The taskbar can now also be used from within the “Metro” apps tile screen and the screen itself will have its own dedicated power and search buttons
  • Best of all, machines without a touch screen capability that use Windows 8.1 can now be set to start up directly to the desktop screen, letting users avoid the Metro tile display completely at least when turning on their computer.

At 700 MB, the patch is pretty heavy so be sure to dedicate more than a few minutes to getting it installed and yes, you need to have your Windows 8.1 update installed first before you can access “Patch 1”

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Check out this Arstechnica post for more details on the 8.1 changes

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Mouse and keyboard-friendly Windows 8.1 Update arrives April 8 

-via Arstechnica

Featured photo credit: Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 13/Intel in Deutschland via flickr.com

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Published on January 18, 2019

Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

Learning a new language is no easy feat. While a language instructor is irreplaceable, language learning apps have come to revolutionize a lot of things and it has made language learning much easier. Compared to language learning websites, apps offer a more interactive experience to learn a new language.

The following language learning apps are the top recommended apps for your language learning needs:

1. Duolingo

    Duolingo is a very successful app that merged gamification and language learning. According to Expanded Ramblings, the app now counts with 300 million users.

    Duolingo offers a unique concept, an easy-to-use app and is a great app to accompany your language acquisition journey. The courses are created by native speakers, so this is not data or algorithm-based.

    The app is free and has the upgrade options with Duolingo Plus for $9.99, which are add free lessons. The mobile app offers 25 languages and is popular for English-speaking learners learning other languages.

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    Download the app

    2. HelloTalk

      HelloTalk aims to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the stresses of a real-time and life conversation. The app allows users to connect to native speakers and has a WhatsApp like chat that imitates its interface.

      There is a perk to this app. The same native speakers available also want to make an even exchange and learn your target language, so engagement is the name of the game.

      What’s more, the app has integrated translation function that bypasses the difficulties of sending a message with a missing word and instead fills in the gap.

      Download the app

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      3. Mindsnacks

        Remember that Duolingo has integrated gamification in language learning? Well, Mindsnacks takes the concept to another level. There is an extensive list of languages available within the app comes with eight to nine games designed to learn grammar, vocabulary listening.

        You will also be able to visualize your progress since the app integrates monitoring capabilities. The layout and interface is nothing short of enjoyable, cheerful and charming.

        Download the app

        4. Busuu

          Bussu is a social language learning app. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS. It currently supports 12 languages and is free.

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          The functionality allows users to learn words, simple dialogues and questions related to the conversations. In addition, the dialogues are recorded by native speakers, which brings you close to the language learning experience.

          When you upgrade, you unlock important features including course materials. The subscription is $17 a month.

          Download the app

          5. Babbel

            Babbel is a subscription-based service founded in 2008. According to LinguaLift, it is a paid cousing of Duolingo. The free version comes with 40 classes, and does not require you to invest any money.

            Each of the classes starts with with a sequential teaching of vocabulary with the help of pictures. The courses are tailor made and adapted to the students’ level, allowing the learning to be adjusted accordingly.

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            If you started learning a language and stopped, Babbel will help you pick up where you started.

            Download the app

            Takeaways

            All the apps recommended are tailored for different needs, whether you’re beginning to learn a language or trying to pick back up one. All of them are designed by real-life native speakers and so provide you with a more concrete learning experience.

            Since these apps are designed to adapt to different kinds of learning styles, do check out which one is the most suitable for you.

            Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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