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Everything you need to know about PS4 system software update 5.50, launching today

Custom wallpapers, play time management, Quick Menu enhancements and more

Custom wallpapers, play time management, Quick Menu enhancements and more

The 5.50 update rolls out today and to give you a closer look at some of the key features, including a few new additions, take a look at what you’ll be enjoying from today.

Custom wallpapers from USB
One major feature that was included with the 5.50 update beta trial was the ability to customise the PS4 home screen with your own images from a USB stick.

To get started, save your pictures into a folder named “IMAGES” on your USB stick. Ensure this folder is at the top of the USB directory, i.e. not saved within another folder. Note the max image resolution is 1920×1080 for PS4 and 3840×2160 for PS4 Pro.

Then with the USB stick connected to your PS4, select Settings > Themes > Select Theme > Custom > Select Image > USB Storage Device. Once your image is selected you can zoom and crop it, all while seeing in real time how it looks on the home screen.

You can also customise the thumbnail of group message threads with images taken from USB. Select Messages > Select Message > Group Settings >Image> Change Image> USB Storage Device.

Play Time Management
Another major update is Play Time Management. This feature gives Family Managers (and adult family members set as Guardians), the ability to control when and for how long each individual child can play for. Playtime can even be set to vary depending on the day of the week, for example you could allow your child to play for two hours between 4-7pm during the week and then for 4 hours between 8am-8pm on the weekend.

This joins a long list of parental management features already available, including the ability to individually set what each child in your family on PlayStation Network (PSN) plays, watches and accesses online. All these features can be accessed on your PS4 via Settings > Family Management.

What’s more, you can also monitor and change these settings on the go from your PC or Smartphone via the PSN account web portal – giving parents greater flexibility and peace of mind.

Play Time for Today

Play Time for Today

Library improvements
New tabs and filters are also being added to the Library, to make it easier to organise and find content.

New “This PS4” and “Name/Avatar” tabs allow you to split content between everything you own and what’s currently installed on your PS4.

There is now a dedicated PS Plus tab too showing all Monthly Free Games you have access to, along with the ability to hide certain apps under the “Purchased” tab – such as old trials or demos of games.

Quick Menu enhancements
The Quick Menu is also getting some UI enhancements. You’ll shortly be able to access the custom friends drop down list directly from it, making it easier to see who’s online and send them messages or invitations.

Furthermore, if you’re using Spotify on PlayStation Music, the ‘square’ button will now serve as the shortcut for volume control. And when you’re on the Media Player or the USB Music Player, ‘triangle’ will work as the shortcut for play or pause, and the ‘square’ button as the volume control.

Notification management
You can now permanently remove old notifications from your PS4 – to help you keep on top of game invites, status of downloads etc. Just go to Notifications and press the ‘triangle’ or “OPTIONS” button to open up a menu that will allow you to select a single or multiple notifications you’d like to delete.

Tournament page improvements
In addition to being able to import your pictures from USB to use as your Team Logo or tournament page background, some further UI improvements are coming too. For example, with 5.50 you can now schedule events directly from the tournament page, and more easily filter between Team vs Team and 1v1 events.

As a reminder to set your tournament team logo and background, head over to Events > Teams > select your team > Edit Team Profile.

PS VR Support Icon
Never miss out on an opportunity to augment your experience with PlayStation VR. After this update, a PS VR icon will be shown next to all content on your dashboard and library which support the headset.

Supersampling Mode for PS4 Pro
The system level optional mode gives more control to the player, helping them further benefit from the power of PS4 Pro, even if they don’t have a 4K TV.

Once enabled, all games output at a higher resolution, which for many PS4 Pro enhanced titles is above 1080p, and up to 2160p. Then, with up to 4x the amount of visual and colour information to work with, the PS4 Pro is able to deliver a more refined image when down-scaling to HD.

As a result some games will receive a clarity boost, feature sharper details and benefit from a reduction in jagged edges on objects. Performance will vary by title, as games are optimised differently for PS4 Pro.

To enable supersampling select Settings > Sound and Screen > Video Output Settings > Supersampling Mode.

Supersampling Mode for PS4 Pro

Supersampling Mode for PS4 Pro

Source: PlayStation Blog (Europe)

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Google Home ariving in the UK by June

Google Home (Made By Google)

The cover over the base is modular, and is available in various colors with the purpose of blending it around home decor. The current colors available are mango, marine, and violet (fabric-covered), carbon, snow, and copper (metal).

Google has confirmed it will launch its smart speaker in the UK before the end of June

Google Home “is a voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant. Ask it questions. Tell it to do things. It’s your own Google, always ready to help” Home (Made By Google) was released in the US on November 4, 2016 for $129 USD, but has yet to go on sale elsewhere.

The search giant disclosed its roll-out plan to the BBC at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona.

It will compete with Amazon’s Echo range, which became available in the UK in September. Microsoft has also previewed a speaker powered by its virtual assistant Cortana.

Google Home is 5.62 inches (143 millimetres) high, and 3.79 inches (96 millimetres) in diameter. It weighs 16.8 ounces (480 grams). The design represents a modular cylindrical shape, and has 4 LEDs on the top that are in the same colors as Google’s logo that indicate power. The top surface is a capacitive touch panel, which can be used to pause music, adjust volume, trigger the Google Assistant and includes dual microphones, and for privacy concerns, has a mute button for the microphone to silence all communications to it.

Google’s device is powered by a version of its Assistant artificial intelligence software.

Unlike Amazon’s rival Alexa, it can support conversations in which the user asks follow-up questions to their initial request, and also taps into the firm’s market-leading Google Search service.

Google Home is a smart speaker developed by Google as part of its “Made By Google” product line: https://madeby.google.com/home.

Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) v6.1 – It’s here!

Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) v6.1

Synology today unveiled the public release of their new NAS operating system. DiskStation Manager (DSM) v6.1 has been in testing for a new months but becomes available for all to download today.

The latest iteration of the software focuses on enhanced security and ease of use, with a range of new under the hood and user-taregted features available for modern Synology NAS servers. Here’s a run down of what’s new:

Next-generation file system: The extended coverage of the Btrfs file system enables advanced data protection technologies on more Synology NAS models, including file self-healing and instant SMB server-side copy.

Active Directory Server: Transform your Synology NAS to serve as a domain controller and streamline IT maintenance by creating policies to automatically install certain software or system updates on all of your employees’ computers without having to visit each one individually.

Shared folder encryption: Encrypt pre-existing shared folders, including the homes folder, whenever you need. For higher security and convenience, you can now mount encrypted folders automatically using a physical USB flash drive without having to memorize encryption keys.

Seagate IronWolf Health Management (IHM): Synology has partnered with Seagate to exclusively bring Seagate’s IronWolf Health Management tool to NAS products. With intelligent analysis and user-actionable information, the status of IronWolf and IronWolf Pro hard drives on Synology NAS with DSM 6.1 and above can be closely monitored, keeping users’ data continuously safeguarded. Matt Rutledge, senior vice president of storage at Seagate, commented, “The Seagate and Synology partnership is raising the bar for NAS storage even further. Seagate’s IronWolf NAS-optimized specialty drives and IronWolf Health Management is one of many steps by Seagate and Synology to deliver the best possible NAS user experience.”

New Apps:
Synology Universal Search: A powerful search tool (Ctrl + F) that helps users find everything including multimedia/applications on their Synology NAS and offers quick preview into file contents and metadata with just one click.

USB Copy 2.0: For those who often store data on USB drives, USB Copy is a convenient tool that allows users to back up files to or from a Synology NAS by simply plugging in a USB storage device. The customizable rules allow users to specify exactly which folders should be copied.

Refined data protection

Snapshot Replication: Snapshot Replication in DSM 6.1 introduces encrypted shared folder replication for data-sensitive businesses, local replication for an additional layer of protection, and automatic pause/resume during replication to efficiently optimize network bandwidth.

Hyper Backup: The latest version of Hyper Backup keeps backups safe thanks to advanced integrity checks, reduces storage consumption with enhanced data deduplication, and allows users to customize and fine-tune version retention policies.

Synology High Availability: When deploying a high-availability cluster, Synology High Availability supports running S.M.A.R.T. tests and enabling SSD TRIM on both of the servers, and allows users to add a quorum server to effectively reduce the occurrence of split-brain, thus maximizing service continuity and data consistency.

Virtual DSM Manager: The beta release allows users to seamlessly migrate virtual instances of DSM between two Synology NAS while keeping data stored on a third machine in order to avoid service downtime. In addition, by leveraging snapshot technologies available on Btrfs volumes, Virtual DSM Manager can clone and restore entire machines within seconds.
More great features: The advanced NAS operating system also introduces RAID F1 for XS-series and SMB 4.4 upgrade for sparse file support.

You can find out more about the new features in DSM 6.1 at: https://www.synology.com/en-uk/dsm/6.1/features.

Here Come the April Fools’ Jokes

April Fool 2015

April Fool 2015

Well, get ready for it – April Fools’ 2015 has already started. Google is in on the act as usual, with a Pac-Man version of Google Maps that went live moments ago. Samsung is playing as well today, with the introduction of the Galaxy BLADE edge.

We’ll try to keep track of some of the best as we see them.


You can play Pac-Man on Google Maps by visiting Google Maps on the web and then clicking the Pac-Man icon in the bottom left corner.

Pac-Man is also on Google Maps for Android and iOS. You should be able to play in the newest version of Google Maps, but you have to search for locations that you might think Pac-Man would be. Google offers up a whole guide to Pac-Man in Google Maps here. They also provide clues on where you can find him (just go search for “Arc de Triomphe” and you’ll be able to play). Also, more info at the Google Maps blog.


Samsung Galaxy BLADE edge

Samsung Galaxy BLADE edge

As for the Samsung Galaxy BLADE edge, you are looking at a clear, glass-like phone with a foldable handle, is ergonomic and ceramic, has a diamond edge, is waterproof (unlike the S6 and S6 Edge), and even has a thermometer stylus!


Amazon Dash Button (real or?)

Amazon Dash Button (real or?)


Amazon has introduced the “Dash Button” which are 1-click buttons to help you instantly and directly order the things you need the most…from Amazon Prime. Major news outlets think this is actual real. I still think it’s a joke. Amazon remains saying it’s a real thing!


Google unveiled the Google Panda at a fake press event in Japan.


Introducing Smartbox, by the Inbox team! A smart mailbox


Reddit’s Android subreddit just went Apple. (April Fools)

Reddit’s Android subreddit just went Apple. (April Fools)


Reddit’s Android subreddit just went Apple.


Motorola just gave us custom selfie sticks

Motorola just gave us custom selfie sticks


Motorola just gave us custom selfie sticks.

Seeing any other April Fools’ jokes yet? Let us know in the comments and we will add them!

Source: Droid-life, Seeing any other April Fools’ jokes yet?

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