PC Pro April 2021

PC Pro is the UK’s number one IT monthly magazine and offers readers a healthy variety of tech news updates, tests, reviews, best buys and even bonus software in every issue. The editorial team are experts in their field and they’re dedicated to creating the most authoritative reviews and keeping you up to speed on the latest technology developments.

United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
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12 Issues

in this issue

3 min
i bring a hopeful message from the future

OF COURSE, the main thing 2021 will be remembered for is the invention of the time machine. I realise that you don’t know this yet, so you’ll just have to take my word for it: 13 August 2021, a cry of “Eureka!” from a lab in Cambridge, a small explosion and, when the dust settled, the world had access to a time machine. Now it’s finally my turn to use it, so I’m sending back this letter to explain what life is like in the year 2051. First of all, and it pains me to say it, what a bunch of panic-mongers you guys were! High streets closed? Ha, if only you could see them now. What actually happened after the Covid-19 pandemic (the Time Travel Laws forbid me from explaining…

1 min

Barry Collins Challenger “banks” have shaken up the world of finance in many different ways, but you might be taking a financial risk without realising it. Barry reveals all on p26 Gary Rayneau It’s time for IT to tackle a longstanding problem: a lack of diversity. Guest Real World Computing columnist Gary explains the mistakes we make and steps to fix them on p116 Dick Pountain Has lockdown finally got to Dick? He explains why a picture of a loo roll isn’t actually a loo roll, and why that really does matter in the world of technology. Turn to p20 Paul Ockenden Paul goes several steps beyond our Wi-Fi 6 group test (see p74) by introducing a wireless technology that works across valleys. Head to p111 to find out more…

4 min
privacy fears spark whatsapp exodus

Millions of users have fled Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp due to a perfect storm of privacy concerns. However, there are fears that people are joining rivals that have poorer privacy features. The messaging upheaval was sparked by two issues at WhatsApp – Apple highlighting the amount of data the app collects, combined with a change in WhatsApp terms that many people wrongly construed as plans to share the content of messages with Facebook. WhatsApp built its reputation on end-to-end encryption (E2EE), which meant only the recipient and sender could access the content of messages. Although WhatsApp won’t be sharing message content with Facebook, it was still a PR disaster for the company, with rival messaging services suddenly shooting up the App Store charts as WhatsApp users sought alternatives. “This is a privacy movement,”…

2 min
windows 10x leak promises chrome os battle

Microsoft looks set to take on Google’s Chrome OS with the launch of Windows 10X later this year, but experts believe it won’t just be targeting Chromebooks. Microsoft’s stripped-down Windows 10X was teased for months as the OS for the delayed dual-screened Surface Neo, but according to a polished-looking version leak, the changed global market means the first outing for the OS could be far more utilitarian. “The initial target was the dual-screen Surface Neo, but Windows 10X was flexible enough to be repackaged for a variety of use cases,” said Stephen Kleynhans, vice president for digital workplace infrastructure and operations at analyst firm Gartner. “One of these uses was a pared-down laptop experience designed around a web-based interface and a simplified user experience, such as the 10X version which has leaked.” Kleynhans…

1 min
can those with computers get online?

Home-learning hardware is largely useless without broadband, but DfE officials face further criticism after missing out on free broadband from BT because it didn’t take up a voucher offer in spring 2020. BT revealed the snub while defending itself from criticism it was profiting from home learning, telling Labour MP Sarah Owen of its surprise. “BT was the first telecoms operator to have an offer for vulnerable families,” BT CEO, Marc Allera, wrote in a letter to Owen. “Unfortunately, the DfE struggled to distribute these vouchers effectively and handed them back to us.” The DfE claims BT’s service offer didn’t provide “reliable and consistent internet connections” and finally, in January 2021, announced data deals with some service providers offering unpaid access to education sites and waiving data limits. EE, O2, Sky Mobile, Tesco…

6 min
where have all the school laptops gone?

The government’s plans to get laptops into the hands of every homeschooling child who needs one have fallen desperately short, according to experts. The government rollout of laptops, tablets and networking hardware to underprivileged children who don’t have their own equipment – estimated by Ofcom to be up to 1.78 million students – leaves pupils trailing their peers and forces them back into schools that are supposed to be closed for all but key workers’ children. “My students are being hamstrung by this [third] lockdown, possibly more than the first because of lessons being on [Microsoft] Teams,” John Bohan, a teacher at the comprehensive Bishop of Hereford’s Bluecoat School, told PC Pro. “Students are now being set work through lessons that need explanation, whereas in March to July [2020] we just set work…