Meta’s Quest 3 headset could feature color cameras for more lifelike pass-through video

Meta’s Quest 3 VR headset won’t arrive until later this year. However, now we have a better idea of what to expect from the device courtesy of Bloomberg’sMark Gurman, who says he went hands-on with a prototype to better understand how Quest 3 will stack up against Apple’s forthcoming mixed-reality headset. Gurman reports the prototype, codenamed Eureka, “feels far lighter and thinner” than its predecessor. He says the head strap “seems a bit stronger,” too, and uses fabric on the sides instead of plastic like the Quest 2.

More consequentially, the front of the device reportedly features a new design incorporating an enhanced sensor suite. Three “vertical pill-shaped sensor areas” house two color video pass-through cameras, two standard cameras and a depth sensor. As Gurman notes, that’s a significant upgrade from the Quest 2, which doesn’t come with color pass-through or a depth sensor. The presence of the former means you won’t need to designate the walls in your play space.

The front lower sides of the headset feature tracking cameras, while the bottom has a volume rocker and a wheel to adjust interpupillary distance. That means you can tweak the Quest 3’s IPD without taking the headset off, something you can’t do with the Quest 2.

“The actual clarity and VR displays within the Quest 3 feel similar to those in the Quest 2 — despite the resolution being rumored to be slightly higher,” Gurman writes, while noting pass-through for mixed reality applications and overall performance is significantly improved over the Quest 2. Speaking to the former, he says there’s a “night-and-day improvement” thanks to the added dual RGB cameras. “I was even able to use my phone while wearing the headset, something that often feels impossible on a Quest 2,” he adds. As for performance, Quest 3 reportedly features Qualcomm’s next-generation Snapdragon XR2 chipset, leading to shorter app launch times and more consistent frame rates in games. 

Notably, Gurman says the Quest 3 doesn’t include face and eye tracking, which means the headset won’t support foveated rendering. That’s a feature you can find on the Quest Pro. It allows the system to prioritize its limited computing resources on areas where you’re looking. Another feature the Quest 3 won’t carry over from the Quest Pro is controller-mounted cameras, though Gurman says Meta is trying to improve peripheral tracking in other ways.

“Meta hasn’t yet settled on pricing for the device, but people involved in its development believe it may come in higher than the Quest 2’s $400,” Gurman notes, adding the company could keep the Quest 2 around “at a lower price.” He adds Meta doesn’t plan to release a new Quest Pro “anytime soon since the first version bombed.” The company reportedly plans to announce the Quest 3 sometime in October, which aligns with what company executives have said in the past when asked when consumers can expect a new Quest headset.

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Apple’s free My Photo Stream service will shut down on July 26th

Apple plans to shut down its My Photo Stream service on July 26th, 2023, the company announced on Friday. The free service has been available since the release of iCloud in 2011. You can use My Photo Stream to upload the last 30 days of images and videos – up to a limit of 1,000 – from your Apple devices to iCloud. My Photo Stream predates iCloud Photos and gave Apple users a way to access their images and video clips on more than one device. Notably, content uploaded to iCloud through My Photo Stream do not count against your iCloud storage cap, though they’re not saved at full resolution.

In a support document spotted by MacRumors, Apple says My Photo Stream will stop automatically uploading photos to the company’s servers on June 26th, 2023. At that point, your photos and videos will remain on iCloud for 30 days until the official shutdown on July 26th. Since every image and video uploaded to iCloud through My Photo Stream is stored in its original format and resolution on at least one of your Apple devices, you won’t lose any cherished memories as part of the shutdown process. That said, if you want to have access to a specific image on a particular device, Apple recommends you save it to that device’s Photo Library before July 26th.

On iPhone and iPad, you can save an image from your My Photo Stream by opening the Photos app, navigating to the My Photo Stream album, selecting the photo you want to save and then tapping the Share button to save it to your Library. Apple ends the support document by noting, “iCloud Photos is the best way to keep the photos and videos you take up to date across all your devices and safely stored in iCloud.”

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Bluesky now lets you choose your own algorithm

Bluesky, the Jack Dorsey-backed decentralized Twitter alternative, has released one of its most significant updates to date: the ability for users to choose their own algorithms. The service, which is still in a closed beta, released its “custom feeds” feature, which allows people to subscribe to a range of different algorithms and make their own for others to follow.

In practice, the feature works a bit like pinning different lists to your home timeline on Twitter in that users can subscribe to multiple feeds and easily swipe between them in the app. But custom feeds, because they’re algorithmic, are also more powerful than simple account lists.

For example, there’s a feed dedicated to posts from your mutuals —people you follow who also follow you back. That may sound like a list, but unlike a Twitter list, the feed should change as you gain more mutual followers. And while Bluesky’s app stills defaults to the chronological “following” timeline, most custom feeds are not chronological.

Screenshot if the Bluesky app with custom feeds.`

The feeds also provide a window into the different communities forming on Bluesky, as well as what’s trending on the platform. There are already custom feeds devoted to furries, cat photos, queer shitposters, positive thoughts and the hellthread. Early adopters have been able to experiment with the feature for awhile thanks to third-party apps, like SkyFeed and Flipboard, which added the feature before BlueSky’s official app.

For now, creating a feed for Bluesky is open to anyone, though it’s “currently a technical process,” Bluesky’s protocol engineer Paul Frazee said in a post. “In future updates we'll make it easy for users to create custom feeds in-app.”

The update could end up being a defining feature of Bluesky. Jay Graber, CEO of Bluesky, has said that algorithmic choice could address “backlash against the perceived algorithmic manipulation of people’s timelines.” It also offers a hint of what’s to come for the early-stage platform. Graber has outlined a similar vision for content moderation with users in control of the level of moderation and filtering they want.

“Our goal is to assemble a social media architecture that composes third-party services into a seamless user experience, because an open ecosystem is likely to evolve more quickly than a single approach to curation or moderation developed within one company,” Graber wrote. “By creating the interfaces for innovation in these areas, we hope to provide a dynamic and user-driven social experience.”

The idea of custom algorithms is one that’s long been embraced by Jack Dorsey, who floated the idea of allowing users to choose their own algorithms multiple times while he was still running Twitter. It also comes as there is industry-wide scrutiny on how social media algorithms impact users and whether the companies running major platforms are, even inadvertently, putting their thumb on the scale for one group of users. The appeal of custom algorithms is that users know upfront what each feed is prioritizing and can easily move between different experiences, most of which are not controlled by the platform.

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The best Memorial Day tech sales we could find

Apart from being a time to honor those who've served our country and the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day also brings a number of sales on various appliances and electronics. As we round into the holiday weekend, we've sorted through the cruft and picked out the best tech sales we could find ahead of this Memorial Day. The notable deals include $50 off Sony's excellentWH-1000XM5 headphones, Amazon's Fire TV Stick 4K Max back at an all-time low of $35 and Apple's iPad Air down to $500. There are a few sweeping sales on other gear we like as well, including Solo Stove fire pits, Ooni pizza ovens, Samsung storage devices and PC games from the Epic Games Store. 

Amazon Fire TV streamer deals

Amazon has discounted all of its Fire TV streaming devices ahead of Memorial Day. The standout is the Fire TV Stick 4K Max for $35, which is a price we've seen several times before but still matches the device's all-time low. This is the fastest streaming stick Amazon sells, plus its remote comes with Alexa voice control baked in. If you just want a cheap way to put apps on an older 1080p display, the Fire TV Stick Lite is also worth considering at $20, which is $5 more than the lowest price we've seen. 

Beyond that, the base Fire TV Stick 4K is down to $32, the standard Fire TV Stick is down to $25, and the Fire TV Cube, which blends a 4K streamer with an Alexa smart speaker, is down to an all-time low of $120. All Fire TV streamers tend to prioritize Amazon's own content and stuff their UI with ads, so we generally recommend Roku and Google streamers to most people. (The Roku Streaming Stick 4K is an OK value at its current deal price of $40, though we've seen it go for less in the past.) Still, if you use services like Alexa and Prime Video on a regular basis, or if you just want to save a few bucks, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max is mostly on par with its peers in terms of performance and app support. 

Sony headphone deals

Sony has put a number of headphones and earbuds back on sale, including the flagship WH-1000XM5 for $348. While that's not an all-time low, it's the first notable discount we've seen on the noise-cancelling over-ears since February and a $50 drop from the pair's usual going rate. The XM5s are the top pick in our guide to the best wireless headphones, and we gave them a review score of 95 last year thanks to their powerful ANC, lightweight design, punchy sound and deep feature set. 

If you want to save a little extra cash, the XM5's predecessor, the WH-1000XM4, is also worth a look at $278. Again, that's not the lowest these headphones ever been, but it's still $70 below their typical street price. This pair is slightly bulkier than the XM5, its sound is a bit boomier out of the box and it has a worse mic for phone calls. Its ANC, battery life and general feature set are similar, though, and it can fold up for easier storage. The XM5s also use an automatic ANC adjustment system, which some may prefer to avoid. We gave the XM4 a score of 94 back in 2020.

Samsung storage device deals

Samsung has kicked off another round of deals on its microSD cards, SSDs, thumb drives and other storage devices. The offers include the 128GB Samsung Pro Plus, the top pick in our best microSD card guide, paired with a USB reader for $18. That's $8 off its MSRP and a new low. (You can also get the card without the reader for a dollar less.) If you don't need something quite as fast, the Samsung Evo Select is the top value pick in that guide; its 256GB model is down to an all-time low of $18 as well.

Besides microSD cards, the Samsung Fit Plus, an ultracompact flash drive we recommend in our best SSDs guide, is back at a low of $15 for a 128GB model. A 2TB version of the T7 Shield, a rugged version of one of our favorite portable SSDs, is down to $120, while the 4TB model is available for $220. If you're looking for a PCIe Gen 4 SSD to upgrade a PlayStation 5 or high-power gaming PC, the 2TB version of the 980 Pro with an integrated heatsink is about $20 less than usual at $150. The speedier 990 Pro, meanwhile, is down to $100 for a 1TB unit, another all-time low.

Solo Stove sale

Solo Stove is running a site-wide Memorial Day sale that takes up to 45 percent off a number of its popular (mostly) smokeless fire pits. The discounts include the Bonfire 2.0 for $250, which is $150 off the medium-sized pit's MSRP and $50 off its usual street price. What's more, you can add the company's Mesa tabletop fire pit for no extra cost if you add it to your cart and use the code FREEMESA at checkout. Normally, the device goes for $120. The sale also includes the Pi Pizza Oven for $400, which is $100 off its typical going rate. We've sung the praises of Solo Stove's fire pits multiple times in the past, and we currently recommend the Pi in our pizza oven buying guide.

Ooni pizza oven sale

Ooni makes several of the other picks in our pizza oven guide, and this week it's discounted a couple of those as part of its own Memorial Day sale. The deals include the Fyra 12 for $244, which is $105 off its MSRP, and the Karu 16 for $639, which is a $160 discount. Both do well to actually make pies, but we recommend the former if you'd prefer a more compact oven that runs on wood pellets, while the latter is a larger and more versatile option for bigger servings that can use wood, charcoal or gas. We also recommend the Karu 16 in our guide to the best grills and grill accessories.

Epic Games Store Mega Sale

The Epic Games Store has rolled out its latest "Mega Sale," bringing discounts on a number of PC games. While the promotion includes a handful of decent price drops, its real value comes from the "Epic Coupon," which takes 25 percent off most purchases of $14.99 or more. The offer applies whether you buy one or multiple games at a time and stacks on top of any existing discounts. This brings many games back around their best prices to date: Red Dead Redemption II, for instance, is already on sale for $20, but with the coupon it drops to an all-time low of $15.

The coupon also works on games that aren't otherwise part of the sale, so you can take 25 percent off newer titles like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor and Dead Island 2, which haven't received major discounts elsewhere. (The former's PC port has had a rocky launch, to put it mildly, though a few patches have helped stabilize it.) And because the coupon renews after each eligible purchase, you can use it continuously until the promotion ends on June 15. It won't work on pre-orders, though. If you prefer to get your PC games through Steam, meanwhile, note that Valve's Summer Sale will kick off on June 29.

Apple Gift Card

If you pick up a $100 Apple gift card at Best Buy, the retailer will throw in a $10 Best Buy gift card for no extra cost. The offer also includes a few extended trials to Apple's TV+, Music and News+ subscriptions for new and returning subscribers. We see this deal periodically, but if you shop at Best Buy anyway and plan to use services like the App Store, Apple Music or iCloud, it essentially gets you a bit of free money. Just note that the deal only applies to digital gift cards, not physical ones.

Razer Huntsman Mini

The top pick in our guide to the best 60 percent keyboards, the Razer Huntsman Mini is down to $70 for a model with Razer's Clicky Optical switches. That's $5 more than the ultracompact gaming keyboard's all-time low but still about $15 less than its usual street price. If you prefer a quieter switch with a smoother feel while typing, a variant with Linear Optical switches is on sale for $80, which is about $20 below its typical going rate. Either way, we like the Huntsman Mini for its sturdy build quality, smooth PBT keycaps and per-key RGB backlighting.

Apple iPad Air

The latest iPad Air is once again down to $500, matching the second-best price we've seen and coming in $100 below Apple's MSRP. We gave the Air a review score of 90 last year and call it the best tablet for most people in our iPad buying guide. While it lacks the top-tier M2 chip, 120Hz refresh rate and improved speakers of the iPad Pro, it provides a similarly elegant design at a much lower price, with a better display, faster processor and wider accessory support than Apple's lower-end tablets.

Apple Mac Mini

Apple's entry-level Mac Mini is back on sale for $499, which matches the compact desktop's previous all-time low. This model includes Apple's M2 chip, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Those specs (along with the device's lack of upgradeability) mean you'll want to stick to relatively light workloads. However, if that's all you need, this is the most affordable route into a competent Mac desktop. If you need more storage, a version with a 512GB SSD is also on sale for $679, which is another all-time low. We gave the Mac Mini with a faster M2 Pro chip a review score of 86 earlier this year, but outside of the CPU bump and a couple extra Thunderbolt ports, the devices are virtually identical.

Apple Pencil

The Apple Pencil has dropped to $85, tying the lowest price we've tracked for the iPad stylus. This is roughly $15 below the device's typical street price in recent months and $44 below Apple's MSRP. We recommend the Pencil in our best iPad accessories guide: For digital artists and note-takers, it's a consistently accurate pen and the only stylus to offer pressure sensitivity across iPadOS. It's also easy to charge and pair, since it can attach to the side of a recent iPad magnetically. Just make sure your iPad is compatible with this second-gen model if you want to take the plunge.

Intel and AMD CPU deals

If you're looking to build or upgrade a PC, we're seeing a handful of good prices on both Intel and AMD processors. Among the better deals available, the Intel Core i5-13500 is down to $210, which is about $40 below the chip's usual going rate and an all-time low. For something more powerful, the Core i7-13700F is available for a new low of $330, which is about $40 less than its typical street price. This is a strong performer for both gaming and productivity at that price; just note that it lacks an integrated GPU. If you prefer an AMD build, meanwhile, the Ryzen 7 7700X might be worth a look at $297. It's not as good of a value as something like the i7-13700F, especially since it requires an AM5 motherboard and DDR5 RAM to work, but it's still a solid mid-range option for gaming if you must have a Ryzen PC. 

Dashlane Premium sale

A password manager is a simple but effective way to boost your online security and simplify the amount of login credentials you need to remember. Dashlane is one of the better options available; in fact, it'll soon be a pick in an upcoming buying guide. If you want to give the service a try, you can get a year of Dashlane Premium for $30 when you use the code MEMDAY23 or MEMORIAL23 at checkout. That's a 50 percent discount. Though Dashlane has a free tier, the Premium plan lets you use the service across multiple devices. It also includes a bundled VPN, a password strength analyzer and "dark web monitoring," which lets you know if your email addresses have been leaked in data breaches.

Paramount Plus and Showtime bundle

Paramount has rolled out a promotion that gives new subscribers three months of its Paramount+ Premium + Showtime bundle for $6 per month, or $18 in total. That's half off its usual going rate. With the glut of streaming TV options available, it's hard to call Paramount+ essential, but we do list it in our guide to the best video streaming services for its growing sports coverage, kid-friendly Nickelodeon shows and original fare like Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Showtime, meanwhile, has its share of shows and movies worth checking out, from Yellowjackets to Billions to the recent Oscar winner Everything Everywhere All at Once. This offer is set to run until June 4. If you end up not digging the service, remember to cancel before the trial ends so your subscription doesn't auto-renew at full price.

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Apple’s AirPods Max are $99 off at Amazon

Apple's high-end, over-ear headphones may be a bit over the top, but they are one of the best pieces of audio gear for Apple enthusiasts. The catch is that you have to be willing to shell out quite a bit of cash for them, which is why we always recommend waiting for a sale like the one happening now ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. Apple's AirPods Max are $99 off at Amazon right now, bringing them down to $450. That's about $20 more than their record-low price, and most colors are on sale as well, making now a good time to buy if you've had your eye on them.

There's a lot to like about the AirPods Max if you get get beyond their price. They have a unique, comfortable design that's more attractive than most high-end headphones, and they have excellent audio quality. Those who like "natural" sound from their cans will appreciate what the AirPods Max bring to the table, and we like that they also support spatial audio. Active noise cancellation is similarly solid, and there's a button on the headphones that let you switch between ANC and Transparency Mode.

The AirPods Max also have Apple's signature H1 chip inside that enables features like hands-free Siri and a host of other iOS/macOs-specific features. If you work with mostly Apple gadgets, you'll get a lot of use out of the quick pairing and switching between those devices. Battery life is good as well: we had no problem reaching 20 hours on a single charge when we first reviewed these headphones, and that was with spatial audio and ANC enabled.

We'd be remiss, though, if we didn't acknowledge that the AirPods Max are not on our list of best wireless headphones, and that's mostly due to their high price tag. They're certainly a better buy when on sale like this, but if you'd rather invest in a better all-around option, Sony's WH-1000XM5 (our current top pick) is on sale for a record low of $348 right now.

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Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8+ falls to an all-time low in Amazon sale

Amazon is running a sale on two Samsung Galaxy tablets for a limited time: the Tab S8+ and the Tab S6 Lite. The 128GB Galaxy Tab S8+ with Wi-Fi has reached an all-time low with a 33 percent cut dropping the price from $900 to $600. The sale is for the Pink Gold model only and includes an improved Samsung S Pen, with a latency of only 2.8ms, compared to prior models' 9ms.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ as a whole was well-reviewed by Engadget when it came out in 2022. The 12.4-inch OLED display, 2,800 x 1,752 screen and microSD trays made it stand out against its competitors. It's also smaller than its predecessors at 1.24 pounds with a 0.22-inch thickness and, Samsung claims, has a 33 percent harder frame than the S7 models. According to our tests, the 10,090 mAh battery will last for about six and a half hours of regular use.

There's no denying that, even at $600, the Galaxy Tab S8+ is still an expensive purchase. If you're looking for a simpler — and much cheaper – option, the 128GB Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is currently on sale for 37 percent off. While it's an older tablet, we can say it scored highly in our review back in 2020. For $270, you get a 10.4-inch display, 2000 x 1200 screen, a 7,090 mAh battery, and weighs in at about one pound. Plus, it also includes an S Pen with your purchase.

The Galaxy Tab S6 Lite sale is the same across the three available colors, Oxford Gray, Chiffon Rose and Angora Blue. Though the 64GB model is also discounted, the $160 price drop actually makes the 128GB cheaper than its smaller alternative.

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Twitter says startups can ‘experiment’ with its data for $5,000 a month

Twitter’s API roller coaster under Elon Musk continues. The company announced a new “Pro” tier for developers today. At $5,000 per month, it falls between the $100-a-month Basic and custom-priced Enterprise plans.

The new Twitter API Pro plan offers monthly access to one million retrieved tweets and 300,000 posted tweets at the app level. It also includes rate-limited access to endpoints for real-time filtered streams (live access to tweets based on specified parameters) and a complete archive search of historical tweets. Finally, it adds three app IDs and Login with Twitter access.

However, the $5,000-a-month pricing for companies wanting to “experiment, build, and scale [their] business” leaves an enormous gap between it and the $100-a-month basic plan, the next tier down. The latter only offers a tiny fraction of the access in the Pro plan, leaving small businesses to choose between a level that may not provide enough for a $100 monthly fee versus a $5,000 plan that stretches beyond many startups’ budgets. 

Some users also voiced their belief that its limits were too tight for that price. “That’s cool, but you already killed most Twitter apps by now,” Birdy developer Maxime Dupré responded to Twitter’s announcement. “And 5K is still too much for most of us. A 1K plan could make sense... but then again it’s too late.” The pricing also doesn’t likely do much for researchers, who the platform has been trying to charge tens of thousands of dollars for access.

Twitter’s recent API changes have created quite a bumpy ride for developers who still want access to the company’s data. First, the company effectively killed most third-party clients in January before quietly updating its terms to reflect the change. Then, it announced in February that it was ending free API access, only to delay the move after widespread blowback while promising that a new read-only version of the free tier would remain available for “testing” purposes. (The old version of the free API was cut off entirely in April, although Twitter reenabled it for emergency services in May.) The platform rolled out the new API’s initial three tiers (free, basic and enterprise) in March before adding today’s $5,000 pro tier. However, as the company has already alienated many of the developers that once relied on its platform, it remains to be seen how effective it will be at luring new customers — especially smaller operations — into the expensive new plan.

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TikTok is testing an AI chatbot for content discovery

TikTok could soon have a new way for users to discover content. The company is in the “early stages” of testing an AI-powered chatbot, called Tako, which will be able to recommend videos and respond to queries about what users are watching.

The bot, which was first reported by TechCrunch, is currently being tested in the Philippines, TikTok said in a statement. “Tako is powered by a third-party chat assistant and is designed to help make it easier to discover entertaining and inspiring content on TikTok,” the company said.

Despite being in an early phase of testing, TikTok is apparently featuring Tako fairly prominently in the app. A shortcut to the assistant sits in the main right-hand menu alongside shortcuts for bookmarks, and likes, according to TechCrunch, which got a peek at the feature.

That’s similar to the prominence Snap gave its chatbot, My AI, in its app, pushing it to the top of user’s chats. But unlike My AI, it seems TikTok is positioning Tako as a way to find new content and learn more about what’s being discussed in the clips. Users should “feel free to ask me anything and I’ll do my best to help you find what you’re looking for,” the bot says in a screenshot of the chat interface.

Tako isn’t the only way TikTok is experimenting with generative AI. The company is also testing AI-generated avatars, but hasn’t announced plans for a broader rollout. However it’s for now unclear how serious TikTok is about the technology. In its statement, the company said it has “no current plans for this beyond these early tests" of Tako.

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Google begins opening access to generative AI in search

Google’s take on AI-powered search begins rolling out today. The company announced this morning that it’s opening access to Google Search Generative Experience (SGE) and other Search Labs in the US. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to sign up for the waitlist and sit tight until you get an email announcing it’s your turn.

Revealed at Google I/O 2023 earlier this month, Google SGE is the company’s infusion of conversational AI into the classic search experience. If you’ve played with Bing AI, expect a familiar — yet different — product. Cherlynn Low noted in Engadget’s SGE preview that Google’s AI-powered search uses the same input bar you’re used to rather than a separate chatbot field like in Bing. Next, the generative AI results will appear in a shaded section below the search bar (and sponsored results) but above the standard web results. Meanwhile, on the top right of the AI results is a button letting you expand the snapshot, and it adds cards showing the sourced articles. Finally, you can ask follow-up questions by tapping a button below the results.

Google describes the snapshot as “key information to consider, with links to dig deeper.” Think of it like a slice of Bard injected (somewhat) seamlessly into the Google search you already know.

In addition, Google is opening access to other Search Labs, including Code Tips and Add to Sheets (both are US-only for now). Code Tips “harnesses the power of large language models to provide pointers for writing code faster and smarter.” It lets aspiring developers ask how-to questions about programming languages (C, C++, Go, Java, JavaScript, Kotlin, Python and TypeScript), tools (Docker, Git, shells) and algorithms. Meanwhile, as its name suggests, Add to Sheets lets you insert search results directly into Google’s spreadsheet app. Tapping a Sheets icon to the left of a search result will pop up a list of your recent documents; choose one to which you want to attach the result.

If you aren’t yet on the Search Labs waitlist, you can tap the Labs icon (a beaker symbol) on a new tab in Chrome for desktop or in the Google search app on Android or iOS. However, the company hasn’t announced how quickly or broadly it will open access, so you may need to be patient.

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The second-gen Apple Pencil is once again on sale for $85

The second-gen Apple Pencil is one of the best iPad accessories around, especially for those who do creative work or like to write out notes on their tablet. Best of all, it’s once again on sale. You can pick up the latest Apple Pencil now for $85. That matches a record low and it's $44 off the regular price.

The stylus has a double-tap feature that enables you to quickly switch between tools. Low latency is useful as well, especially if you're trying to quickly sketch out an idea. Other functions include tilt capabilities and pressure sensitivity. If you have the latest M2-powered iPad Pro, you'll also be able to take advantage of a Hover feature. This allows you to hold the Pencil just above the screen and see a preview of what will happen before you actually make changes to your design or document by touching the display with the stylus.

Being able to attach the Apple Pencil to the side of your tablet magnetically is both a neat touch and a convenient way to charge it — you won't have to futz around with yet another charging cable. Most importantly, before you buy the peripheral, make sure it’s actually compatible with your iPad.

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