Windows 11 finally catches up with macOS to improve Bluetooth

by Virginia Campbell

Windows 11 is improving how Bluetooth devices are displayed on the Taskbar, with a new interactive overview of battery life and options to connect to these devices in an upcoming update.

Since Windows XP in 2001, there's been a constant Bluetooth icon in the Taskbar that would show you options such as available devices, as well as a link to the Bluetooth Settings in the Control Panel.

But with wireless devices more common than ever before in 2022, Microsoft has decided to make the process simpler by replacing this 20-year method with an overview of the devices that are paired to your PC, without having to leave the app or the desktop.

This is yet another example of the company making processes easier for users in Windows 11, but there's still more work to do in this area, with features that macOS users have had for years.

Analysis: From three clicks to one

Connecting to wireless devices has never been as straightforward as connecting to a Wi-Fi network in Windows. Simply adding a Bluetooth section in Settings or the Control Panel felt unnecessary, especially with smartphones and Macs reducing the process to two steps.

The Taskbar in Windows 11 has had a Quick Settings feature since its launch in October 2021, so you can directly access 'Focus' mode, audio settings, and more without leaving the app you were currently in.

With Bluetooth being available in this panel as well, it will be very handy to those who have multiple devices connected to their PCs. This is rolling out to users who are on Windows Insider build 2567 and above. If you've not signed up to be a Windows Insider to help test early versions of Windows 11, this new and improved Bluetooth functionality will hopefully arrive later this year.

It should be worth the wait, especially if you have multiple game controllers or headphones , it can help alleviate the confusion to be given a quick overview of what's not connected, and quickly resolve that.

Having a battery status for each device will be a great help too in reminding users to charge them when needed.

However, there's still more that can be done in this area. Other features such as switching between noise-canceling and equalizer modes for headphones could be a great help, similar to what Apple users have had on their Macs for a few years.

But it's still a great step in the right direction to start with, and a much-needed feature in a time when many of us use Bluetooth devices almost every day for our PCs.

Via WindowsLatest

Garmin's latest watch is built for the open ocean, city streets, and woodland trails

Garmin has released a new dive computer that doubles as a sports watch to track your health and wellbeing above the surface as well as below. It's been a busy few months for Garmin, with the launch of the Venu 2 Plus in early January, the Epix (Gen 2) and Fenix 7 a couple of weeks later, and the D2 Air X10 and Instinct 2 in February, but if diving is your main hobby then the new Garmin Descent G1 is the one you've been waiting for.

The Garmin Descent G1 and its solar-powered counterpart, the Descent G1 Solar , have multiple dive modes, making them suitable for both newly qualified and experienced divers.

There are modes for single and multiple gas dives, gauge, apnea, apnea hunt, and closed-circuit rebreather. You can see depth, dive time, temperature, no-decompression limit (NDL) and time to surface (TTS) alerts, ascent/descent rate. gas mix, decompression, and safety stop information all on your wrist, with customizable fields to suit your preferences.

Like all Garmin sports watches, the Descent G1 and Descent G1 Solar are GPS equipped, which allows them to automatically mark surface entry and exit points. This data is then logged in the Garmin Dive companion app, where you can also configure the watch's settings, and see popular sites rated and reviewed by other divers.

On the design front, both watches are water resistant to 100 meters, and are operated using specially designed leakproof buttons. The bezel and case are both made from fiber-reinforced polymer, and the face is topped with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal lens.

Wet and dry

Between diving sessions, the Descent G1 and Descent G1 Solar serve as fully featured sports watches, with profiles for activities including running, cycling, golf, yoga, and surfing to name just a few. You even get the dedicated Surfline widget preinstalled, allowing you to see current wave conditions, nearby surf spots, wave height, wind, and more on your wrist.

You'll also get NFC for making contactless purchases through Garmin Pay, app notifications, calendar reminders, and incoming call alerts.

The Garmin Descent G1 is available now direct from Garmin for $549.99 / £479.99 / AU$849 in either Slate Gray or Powder Gray, and the G1 Solar is available in Hurricane Blue or Black for $649.99 / £569.99 / AU$999.

Battlefield 2042’s most-requested feature has been delayed, again

The next major update for Battlefield 2042 has been delayed, pushing back the rollout of several much-anticipated features for DICE’s ailing multiplayer shooter, including a new scoreboard.

The 3.3 patch had originally been scheduled for release later this week, but has been pushed to next week so the Battlefield 2042 dev team can be “best positioned to support in case of any issues that might have cropped up over the weekend”, according to an official forum post .

The update will refresh the UI of the game’s scoreboard, something that fans of the series have been calling for since 2042 released back in November last year. The new scoreboard will now display player deaths and kills, as well as team stats that highlight the leaders of each.

At the same time, the Steadfast Exclusive Legendary Bundle will also be given to players who purchased the game’s gold or ultimate edition, as well as those who bought its Year 1 pass. The bundle is intended as compensation for players who purchased access to the game’s first season DLC before it was delayed by several months .

A range of additional fixes will also go live when the update rolls out next week, which will be detailed in a larger set of patch notes.

Weekly challenges will resume when the 3.3 update goes live after last week’s challenge, which awarded players a skin for a fictional Russian helicopter, was prematurely pulled following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Analysis: not a good look for an already ailing game

DICE’s decision to delay the 3.3 update, even for just a week, will do it no favors among Battlefield 2042’s already irritated community. Players have been asking for a new scoreboard for months, and DICE has already delayed the scoreboard hotfix once to give itself more development time.

Among the slate of technical bugs and gameplay glitches that have riddled the game since launch, the absence of a full scoreboard has been a consistent complaint among players. Many were confused or aggravated that 2042’s scoreboard focused on measuring team performance over your individual player score, in stark contrast to past games of the series.

A fully-fledged scoreboard should go some way to alleviate the disappointment of some fans, but won’t entirely turn around the game’s fortunes. Graphical glitches and game-breaking bugs continue to push players away, as does the absence of what some consider to be vital features, such as voice chat.

The game’s playerbase has plummeted over the last few months, now dropping below that of its nine-year-old predecessor Battlefield 4 . Future updates will have to come thick and fast if DICE wants to cling on to the remaining players.

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