You can now choose which drive to install Windows Store apps

You can now choose which drive to install Windows Store apps

Microsoft has changed the way large games and apps are installed from the Windows Store, so users can now select which drive they wish to use rather than being stuck with the default.

This is a pretty basic feature that should have been in there from the start, to be honest, but at least now it's arrived – in preview versions of Windows 10, that is.

Insiders testing Windows 10 are able to pick which drive they want to install their app or game on, providing it's a large download (smaller apps will still install automatically on the default system drive).

Basic functionality

This works on preview builds 14361 and 14366 of Windows 10, Neowin reports, and quite possibly others. But also note that you only get to pick a drive (any drive), you don't get to specify a directory or anything further.

Still, for those with multiple drives, and perhaps a small system drive – it can often be the case that folks will use a small SSD for the OS and primary apps – the ability to freely choose which disk to install a huge game on is an obvious boon.

Presumably this feature will be going live on the full release of Windows 10 with the big Anniversary Update coming next month, so even if you're not a tester, you've not got long to wait now.

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Need help making a video advert? YouTube’s got an app for that

Need help making a video advert? YouTube's got an app for that

YouTube has introduced a new suite of three products designed to allow small businesses to produce professional-looking video ads on a shoestring (or even non-existent) budget, with no filming or editing expertise required.

The central element of this new initiative is the YouTube Director for business app for iOS (an Android version is in the pipeline – as you would imagine, given that this is Google), which lets you create an advert simply using your smartphone.

The app is dead simple to use and boasts various templates to help you get going. It's a simple matter of pointing and shooting, with the software providing step-by-step instructions on how to polish your video advert and embellish it with things like text and animation.

All you have to do then is upload the video clip, and one of Google's AdWords experts will be on hand to help you formulate your advertising campaign.

YouTube Director Professional

Pay for a professional

For those who want to step things up another gear, there's also a YouTube Director on-site service which will send a pro filmmaker over to your premises to make an ad – the only stipulation being you must be spending at least $150 (around £105, AU$200) to advertise on YouTube.

Do note that this service is only available in certain cities in the US at the moment: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC. (The app is also only available in the US and Canada right now, but should hopefully be rolling out to the UK pretty soon).

The third prong of this SMB advertising initiative is YouTube Director automated video, whereby Google will do everything for you and create a video advert from the likes of logos and app screenshots.

All in all, this seems a useful initiative to help spread the word about your business in a world which is increasingly video-centric. As Google itself noted, its own statistics for YouTube in 2016 show that the time spent watching videos on the site is up over 50% year-on-year.

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Round up: The best free VPN service 2016

Round up: The best free VPN service 2016

The very best free VPN service

The best free VPN

With the eyes of ISPs growing ever more suspicious and government monitoring fast becoming something tangible and terrifying, the 'private' part of Virtual Private Network has never been more important. But hiding your internet traffic inside an encrypted tunnel isn't the only reason you might want to run a free VPN tool on your machine.

Perhaps you want your network traffic to appear to emanate from elsewhere in the world in order to use region-locked services (presuming, of course, you can do so legally). Maybe you're looking to seamlessly access your home network while on the road, or don't trust the security of public Wi-Fi access points. The VPN tag covers a lot of potential uses.

Bear in mind that using a free VPN does come with certain disadvantages, primarily that you'll experience slower internet speed as your traffic is encrypted and routed through the servers of your chosen provider. Free options usually end up throttled compared to their paid-for siblings and might also serve up ads or, in some cases, track your browsing habits to sell on to third parties.

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CyberGhost 5 is the best free VPN service

1. CyberGhost 5

The best VPN tool to keep your browsing activity private

CyberGhost is a free VPN that truly has its users' ideals in mind: the company proudly declares that it doesn't track your activity, and publishes a transparency report to back up its claims.

The best VPN software - download CyberGhost freeYou can even use its interface to restrict the amount of information you're passing on to the sites you visit, shutting down tracking cookies, malicious websites, and more. If you want your traffic private and protected, this is our number one choice.

It's also supremely easy to use, with a simple interface which allows you to select the location of your new IP address, and good visual indication of what's going on. That said, CyberGhost does run a reasonably limited number of servers, with selections mainly focused in Europe – at the time of writing, the free version offers no location option for Canada or any servers located in Asia.

Download CyberGhost freeYou're also restricted to three hours per session, with a moderate delay and a few ads before you're able to connect – a small price to pay for privacy.

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Download TunnelBear free

2. Tunnelbear

Tunneling made simple - but watch out for the data limit

Tunnelbear is, as its dev crows, 'really really simple' to use. It's probably the most friendly free VPN you'll find, with straightforward apps available for for Windows, MacOS and mobile devices. It's also one of the most well-travelled, with a truly worldwide network of tunnels to connect to, routing your data everywhere from Hong Kong to Norway – only its Australia and India nodes are restricted in the free edition.

Much like CyberGhost, Tunnelbear promises high-end encryption and a complete absence of traffic logging. There's a pretty big kicker: the free version only offers 500MB of data transfer per month, so it's going to be reasonably useless if you're using it as a location-spoofing tool to watch geo-restricted video.

Download TunnelBear freeFor those moments when you're doing light browsing in a coffee shop, though, Tunnelbear's simplicity – and mobile compatibility – may come in very handy as long as you can cope with its slightly twee collection of bear puns.

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Download VPNBook free

3. VPNBook

VNPBook is a simple, convenient way to protect your privacy

If you're a confident computer user or want to protect more than just a Windows device, VPNBook is a great option. It doesn't even require any specific software – you just plug the appropriate info into your machine's system settings and you're connected.

It uses your choice of point-to-point-tunneling (PPTP) or OpenVPN to encrypt your traffic and fire it out of one of six servers, three in Europe and three in North America.

Being rough-and-ready, though, VPNBook does have its issues. We can't vouch for the specific encryption used, for a start, and its open nature (and potential for abuse) means it uses a password which changes frequently.

Try VPNBook online freeIf your ISP blocks PPTP connections, you'll need to use OpenVPN's client software – which pretty much nullifies the benefit of its compatibility with phones and games consoles. But for an ad-free, no-nonsense free VPN connection it's a great choice.

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Download OpenVPN Server free

4. OpenVPN Server

Setting up your own VPN server is an enterprise-level option

While the OpenVPN team produces a more user-friendly free VPN option in the form of PrivateTunnel – which offers only limited data transfer in its free form – and many of the other options here use OpenVPN tech to get the job done, it's worth putting in the (considerable) effort to install an OpenVPN server on a home machine. You'll need to stump up some cash if you want to make use of more than the two client connections included with the server installation, but this is a proper VPN.

Set up its server properly, connect to it with the OpenVPN client software, and you'll not only encrypt your network traffic but gain access to your home network as if you were connected locally -- all your shares, files and machines at your fingertips.

Try OpenVPN freeMake no mistake, though: building your own OpenVPN server is enterprise-level stuff, certainly not for the faint-hearted given the amount of configuration required, and its absolute overkill for most purposes. But if you're in this for the 'network' side of VPN, look no further.

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Download Hotspot Shield Free

5. Hotspot Shield Free

A promising VPN tool, but the ads and toolbars are overbearing

It's been around for a while and has something of a mixed reputation: Hotspot Shield is a cracking free VPN, but suffers some pretty heavy drawbacks that are required to contribute to its upkeep.

However, Hotspot Shield dev Anchorfree has recently made steps to improve its service to free users. While you'll have to put up with a decent number of ads and frequent pleading to upgrade to its Elite version, some of the more insidious aspects – browser toolbars, page-injected advertising – are on the outs.

Download Hotspot Shield FreeWhile it's quick, easy to install and available in a neat Chrome extension version, we still struggle to recommend Hotspot Shield Free fully. There's a 750MB data cap per day, a single USA output locale, and access to many video streaming sites is hidden behind the paid Elite subscription.

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Microsoft calls time on new features to ready Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Microsoft calls time on new features to ready Windows 10 Anniversary Update

With the latest preview build to be released for Windows 10 (version 14366), Microsoft has said that it's now fully focusing on ensuring the big Anniversary Update ships on time.

In other words, there will be no new features added to preview builds of the OS for some time, as Redmond's Windows team and testers concentrate on fixing bugs and generally smoothing things out for said major update.

You can expect builds in the near future to simply chuck in a load of fixes and tweaks for better performance.

In a blog post, Microsoft also announced that the 'June Bug Bash' is now underway, the second such event which aims to squash even more bugs as work on the OS intensifies.

Give me a quest

Redmond has gamified the bug hunting process, meaning that over the next few days, Insiders will see a number of 'quests' appearing in the Feedback Hub. Some of these quests will be labelled as advanced affairs, meaning they may require messing with the system configuration and they shouldn't be attempted by more novice testers (as if things go wrong, it may be a task to get your machine running normally again).

Redmond is certainly stressing the importance of user feedback in honing Windows 10, which has been a big theme since the OS was first conceived, and is all part of the drive to make folks forget about Windows 8 (many people felt Microsoft definitely wasn't listening to users when it conceived and implemented this predecessor).

Dona Sarkar, Software Engineer, Windows and Devices Group, who took over from Gabe Aul as Windows Insider chief, commented: "As I've been talking to our engineering team all week, I keep seeing big smiles and lots of excitement as people talk about how awesome it is to include Insiders as part of our team activities because you *are* a part of our team. We're shipping this product together and I again stress how valuable your feedback is."

There were a couple of changes in build 14366, by the way, including implementing the Office Online extension in the Edge browser, and an update to the Windows Store which has streamlined its resource usage and made the store more stable.

The Anniversary Update should arrive at the end of July, most likely on the one-year anniversary of the launch of Windows 10.

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Linux users are one step closer to universal app marketplace

Linux users are one step closer to universal app marketplace

A new level of collaboration just kicked off in the world of Linux, with Ubuntu's 'snaps' now being supported across multiple distros.

A snap allows for the delivery of an app to a Linux machine, with the software sitting separately alongside the base OS and not interfering with it, therefore dodging the risk of a system-wrecking calamity from the app's installation.

And now the likes of Arch, Debian and Fedora support snaps natively, with more distros in the pipeline (such as Gentoo, Mint and OpenSUSE).

The system is smart because it's easy to create a snap, and with snap packages becoming universal, pushing apps out to Linux systems will be a great deal easier, regardless of the distro in question – plus there are added security benefits.

Secure snaps

Snaps are isolated from each other and the operating system, and are designed with security in mind, only receiving the permissions they need to work. Updating is simple too, with updates to snaps delivered automatically (equally, it's also easy to roll them back to a previous version). Everything is commendably seamless, in other words.

Those security and management benefits will make this innovation of particular interest to developers in the Internet of Things sphere.

Snaps also make it possible to maintain a stable release and beta versions, the latter of which can be easily previewed by curious users. There's a great deal of flexibility on offer here.

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, commented: "Most vendors target Ubuntu because of its popularity. Snaps bring those apps to every Linux desktop, server, device or cloud machine, giving users freedom to choose any Linux distribution while retaining access to the best apps."

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Facebook Messenger for Android wants to be your only chat app

Facebook Messenger for Android wants to be your only chat app

Facebook Messenger for Android is getting a major update today which brings back SMS support.

If you're experiencing déjà vu, it's because Facebook Messenger did support SMS several years ago, but the feature was removed because no one was using it. Hopefully Facebook nailed SMS integration this time so users will find it actually useful.

"A lot of Android texting apps didn't keep up with the evolution of messaging, so we felt like we truly had to make Messenger the best SMS client for Android," says Facebook Messenger lead David Marcus.

What's different this time around is that Android users will be able to send voice clips, stickers and locations via text. Previously, these features required both parties to have Facebook Messenger installed. While all users will be able to receive SMS messages sent from Facebook Messenger for Android, they won't be able to send back any stickers, voice messages or locations unless they're also using Facebook Messenger.

Facebook Messenger SMS support

Google Hangouts also supports SMS, but does it in a more integrated way. Hangouts allows users to combine their SMS and Hangouts chats into one unified thread. Facebook Messenger, however, separates SMS and Messenger conversations. SMS conversations are colored purple, while Messenger conversations are blue. This is similar to Apple's iMessage app which shows SMS in green and iMessages in blue.

Facebook hopes users will stick with Messenger for all their chat needs by adding more and more features. On top of support for SMS, Facebook Messenger also features chatbots that can help you perform tasks like ordering food or getting a ride. Facebook also removed chat functionality from its mobile website, forcing users to download the Messenger app to continue chatting with friends.

The Messenger update is rolling out to Android users in "most countries" starting today so check the Play Store to see if you have it.

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These are the Macs you’ll need to run macOS Sierra

These are the Macs you'll need to run macOS Sierra

As previous rumors indicated, yesterday Apple renamed its desktop operating system and turned OS X into macOS, but the name wasn't the only thing to change – the company also switched up the hardware requirements to run the OS.

The new version, macOS Sierra, is slightly more demanding than predecessor OS X El Capitan, and at yesterday's WWDC keynote, Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering, showed off a slide that detailed the Apple computers which will play nice with the new operating system.

So if you want to run macOS Sierra, when it comes to notebooks, you'll need a MacBook from late 2009 or better, or a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro from 2010 or later.

If you've got an iMac, you'll be okay with a model from late 2009 or better, and as for the Mac mini or Mac Pro, you'll need one from 2010 or later to be home and dry with this new macOS.

Sadly, those of you with laptops or computers older than the specified models won't be getting any Sierra goodness, and will be left mulling a hardware upgrade rather than a software one.

Continuing with Continuity

Apple's macOS Sierra will be arriving this autumn in the form of a free update, as ever, and it brings Siri to the desktop, along with pushing forward with Continuity to tie iOS devices and desktop machines ever closer together.

So for example, with macOS it'll be possible to unlock your Mac simply by being near to the machine with your Apple Watch or iOS device, and you can copy and paste from one device to another with the new Universal Clipboard.

For the full lowdown on Apple's plans, it's worth taking the time to have a read of our macOS Sierra release date, news and rumors hub.

If you can't wait until the autumn, beta testing of Sierra will kick off next month, so you could always sign yourself up to be a tester.

Via: CNET

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