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Chromebooks Get at Least 10 Sweet New Features

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Google has reached mid-week form by announcing that Chromebooks are getting several new features you are bound to get excited about. We’re talking about video editing in Google Photos, light and dark themes, new PDF editing features in the Gallery, easier ways to change your Chromebook’s wallpaper, better calendar integration, and quite a bit more.

Let’s dive into it all.

Google Photos gets a video editor

For real! Google Photos is getting a video editor (first on Chromebooks) where you can make movies out of both video clips and photos. The new editor will try and “intelligently” select clips or moments for you, but you can also go full manual control and make something from scratch.

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You’ll find themes or blank templates, tools for trimming, and controls for things like brightness, contrast, white balance, shadows, and highlights. There are Real Tone filters as well, with options for music and title cards to finish everything off. The clips available to use could be those from the on-device Gallery or Files apps, and a simple click should let you switch them over to Google Photos.

Google was specific in saying that this new Google Photos video editor was first on Chromebooks (this fall), so that could mean we’ll get a phone version later or similar capabilities on other computers.

LumaFusion coming to Chromebooks

Need more in video editing than what Google Photos is offering above? Google says that LumaFusion is coming soon to Chromebooks. This is an award-winning, professional-grade video editor that lets you edit multitrack video, add graphics and visual effects, transitions and distortions, audio tracks and effects, narration, color grading, and who knows what else.

LumaFusion is currently a $30 iPad app. Once we know more about its launch on Chromebooks, we’ll let you know.

So many other new features

Chromebooks PDF Editor

Everything else coming in August:

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  • Light and dark themes: With new light or dark themes, Chromebooks are entering 2018, so going forward you’ll be able to choose either theme at any time or you can have the OS “auto” switch as your day turns to night. “Some” wallpapers are also made for both themes and should shift in lightness as you switch themes too.
  • Google Photos wallpapers: You can now set wallpapers from Google Photos albums on Chromebooks, with the option to automatically change daily. You can also set favorite pictures in new screensaver photo frames too.
  • PDF editing in Gallery: In the Chromebook Gallery app, you’ll soon (“next week”) be able to fill out forms, highlight text, add annotations, and sign documents.
  • Screencast app: A Screencast app will now let anyone record, view, and share transcribed videos and presentations.
  • Cursive app: If you have a stylus-enabled Chromebook, you’ll be able to capture, edit, and organize handwritten notes, including copying and pasting notes to other apps or sending as a PDF.
  • Calendar integration: When tapping on the Chromebook shelf, a monthly calendar will now show on the side of your screen. If you select a date, you’ll see your events and their details without needing to open an app or browser tab.
  • Notifications: Notifications are getting larger buttons (for easier actions) and when they arrive from the same sender they will now be grouped together.
  • Virtual desktop saving (coming in September): Chromebooks will soon let you save entire desks, including windows and apps. Re-opening happens with a simple tap, plus this will give you the power to close everything at once.

Chromebooks Calendar

That’s a lot of stuff, right? So again, most of the stuff is coming in August, outside of virtual desktop saving (September) and the Google Photos video editor, which will be here in the fall.

// Google



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First Galaxy Z Flip 4 Color Sells Out

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The entire suite of new Galaxy products has been up for pre-order since Wednesday and we keep checking to see if any of it is selling out. So far, not much has outside of a single online exclusive color of the Galaxy Z Flip 4, while the Fold 4 and both Galaxy Watch 5 watches can still be had with August 26 launch day delivery.

The first color of the Galaxy Z Flip 4 to sellout is the “Navy” colorway. The pre-configured version with navy is listed now as “out of stock,” plus if you try and use the Bespoke tool to capture a Flip 4 entirely in navy, it’ll show there as soldout too. Interestingly, if you Bespoke tool a Flip 4 and only put navy as a single panel, you’ll get a 3-4 weeks estimate.

The only other item with even a slight delay is the goofy burgundy Fold 4, but it appears to be sticking to the advertised 3-4 week delivery. I wouldn’t actually consider it much of a delay.

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Whatever the situation is here, I’ve got to admit that I’m surprised that more of the new Samsung devices aren’t soldout or with extended shipping times. As of right now, all four of the main Flip 4 colors will arrive on time (see here), as will the three main Fold 4 colors (see here) and the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro in all configurations (see here).

Compare this launch to the Galaxy S22 from earlier in 2022 and they couldn’t have hit differently. Samsung’s dates for the exclusive online colors of the S22 Ultra started slipping almost immediately, which we know first hand because of Tim’s struggles to land one. Within a week, the dates further moved with estimates a full month out or even later.

We’ll keep an eye on shipping times over the next week or so to see how this launch changes. Will the situation start to match the Galaxy S22 launch or are the minor improvements in this year’s foldable line-up not enough to get people to bite? In my first couple of days with the Flip 4, I can tell you that the phone is very much like the Flip 3, but that doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying the hell out of it.



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Telegram’s Big Update is for the Emoji Lovers

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A new update is rolling out to Telegram today and it is all about emoji. If you love emoji, custom emoji, animated emoji, or any other type of emoji, you are in for a special treat.

Telegram announced its new Emoji Platform “where anyone can upload custom packs with unique art styles and characters for Telegram Premium users.” Folks can use these uploaded custom emoji packs in messages or captions, plus premium users are getting access to another 10 emoji packs.

To make it more obvious that all of these new custom and animated emoji are available, you’ll see the sticker shortcut in the message box turn into an emoji shortcut as you type. That shortcut leads to a new emoji panel, where you’ll see suggestions and be able to browse your various packs. To make things (potentially) easier, typing shortcuts like :smile or :lol will give you all of the available options too.

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And finally, custom emoji can be interactive in 1-on-1 chats, so “any user can tap to play synchronized, full-screen effects” from all of the emoji you spam off to friends.

For iOS users, there are new sticker, GIF, and emoji panels “with separate tabs for stickers, GIFs and emoji – just like on the Android, desktop and web apps.”

In other Telegram Premium feature news, users will find a setting that allows them to control who is able to send them voice and video messages. The options now are Everyone, My Contacts, or Nobody.

There are additional controls that will let you choose specific people or groups, and of course, you can always convert audio messages in to text. The settings for all of this are in Settings > Privacy and Security > Voice Messages.

The last new feature for Premium users is an option to “share the experience with friends, family and coworkers by sending them a prepaid subscription for 3, 6 or 12 months – at a discount.” To do so, you can tap on the profile image of someone in a chat, then the 3-dot menu to “Gift Premium.”

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These updates appear to be rolling out right away, as I’ve already seen the update on Android.

// Telegram



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First Early Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Review Arrived

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Of the two new Galaxy Watch 5 models announced, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the one we’re most interested in. Not only is Samsung marketing it as an “outdoors” watch for the active type, they also gave it “Pro” name, as if it packs a number of extra features over the regular model. We don’t have one in for review (we did order one) yet, so we’re doing that thing we often do with Samsung launches – looking elsewhere for early impressions.

Thanks to Ray from DC Rainmaker, one of the best at reviewing sports watches, we have a first early Galaxy Watch 5 Pro review to analyze. He took the watch for a run to test GPS and heartrate accuracy, as well as battery life. The video he posted also compares some features of the Watch 5 Pro to the Watch 5, in case we didn’t do a good enough job of that earlier in the week.

The takeaways from this early and not-at-all-final review, show that the new Compass feature might have some initial issues, GPS accuracy is not bad and performs far better than the Apple Watch Series 7, heartrate accuracy was quite good after a slowish start, and that GPS battery life is probably closer to half of what Samsung is advertising. Daily battery without GPS is likely closer to 2.5 days vs. the 3.5 days advertised. Again, these are all early, first look numbers that could change over the coming weeks with more testing.

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The video also dives into “Pro” features here and laughs a bit at what that even means because there aren’t really any pro features when you compare to other outdoor-focused sports watches. And I would tend to agree with that. In fact, Tim and I were joking earlier in the week about Samsung’s forced “outdoors” push for this watch, when almost nothing about the watch makes it better for outdoors than other Samsung watches except for GPX support and backtracking when navigating. These are not “pro” features and the rest of the watch is just the same as the Watch 5. It’s just silly branding.

Anyways, we’ll have our Watch 5 Pro soon enough and will do out own testing. If you were trying to decide now to get in on this awesome pre-order promo ($50 credit, free Charger Duo, and $240 off trade-in) , give the video below a watch.



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