Windows 11 22H2, Microsoft operating system update for PCs available: all new features

With autumn comes updates for all operating systems. After those of Apple, iOS 16 in the lead (here are all the tricks you need to know), it’s time for news also for Microsoft, which has launched the long-awaited annual update to Windows 11, code 22H2 (which stands for the second half of 2022) presented in June 2021 and available since 5 October. Greater user-friendliness, improved flexibility of certain functions, a focus on productivity, creativity and accessibility, and a focus on work security are the keywords of the update released by the Redmond company. Windows 11 2022 is available in 190 countries worldwide, including Italy. However, some of the announced novelties will only be operational in the coming weeks.


AirPods Pro 2, the case

The dimensions of the case are exactly the same as the first generation, but the weight goes up by 5 grams (50 g total). The first-generation AirPods Pro fit perfectly into the new case, but don’t think about doing this because then the association between the case and the headphones won’t work.However, it is quite easy to distinguish between the two generations of AirPods Pro. This is a solution that many third-party manufacturers had adopted on protective cases for AirPods and which Apple now adds directly to the case, which also acts as a charging station for the earphones. At the moment, Apple does not sell an official lanyard directly and, when asked during a briefing, a company representative told us that this is not in the pipeline, at least not any time soon. On the Apple Store, however, a compatible product is already on sale and many more are sure to arrive on Amazon and other online marketplaces.


AirPods Pro 2, what they look like

The 2nd generation AirPods Pro retain the duck-head shape typical of the Pro, with a more curved and shorter neck than the traditional AirPods. As we said, they are in-ear, the kind of earbuds that have a silicone grommet at the end, designed to “plug” the ear canal. This isolates, mechanically, from external noises and is a necessary pre-condition for the proper functioning of ANC, the active noise cancellation, or that ‘magic’ that greatly reduces external sounds. One of the distinguishing features of AirPods Pro. Not everyone likes in-ear earbuds, because plugged ears generate a sort of ‘underwater effect’ that is annoying in the long run. Apple has retained its solution from the first AirPods, with a ventilation grille designed to alleviate the hollow effect. It works but only up to a point. If you know you don’t like in-ears, better to head for the traditional AirPods (find a guide to buying AirPods here) or other similar models (a type sometimes called open fit), even if you lose the ANC.
In the box there are now also XS grommets (in addition to the pre-mounted M and S and L ones: four sizes, then). Choosing the right ones is crucial for the Pro to work well and there is the usual test (now copied by many other manufacturers) that recommends the most suitable size.
On the stems remains the pressure control to switch ANC, play/pause, Siri on and off. With a very welcome novelty: by sliding your fingertip up and down on the control area, you now control the volume. A function that has never arrived on the AirPods, with the need until now to operate the iPhone or Apple Watch, or to ask Siri for help. The control works, on both earbuds, although it is not always comfortable to ‘grip’ the AirPods to handle the volume. There is also audible feedback, similar to that of the AirPods Max when you turn the digital crown, but it is not easy to hear with loud music or podcasts. If, on the other hand, you change the volume during playback, it is perfectly audible.


Windows 11, with the 2022 update, is truly an operating system for everyone. We tested the new features

More attentive to people with disabilities

On the accessibility front, for instance, comes real-time transcription via machine learning of everything that passes through the sound card. It is activated by pressing the Windows + Control + L key combination and initially asks for a local vocabulary download: the system works even without a permanent Internet connection.

While most video content already has subtitles, even automatic ones, this does not apply in the case of Teams meetings, for example, or Zoom. Thanks to real-time transcription, a deaf person can follow the conversation without any problem.

The ‘caption’, as it is called in Italian, occupies the upper part of the desktop but can be repositioned like a normal window. Among the special features of the system is the possibility to include one’s own microphone and, above all, to automatically filter out vulgar content. The only limitation at the moment is the presence of the English vocabulary only: it cannot be used with other languages.

Drag & drop on the taskbar at last, but tabs in Windows Explorer only in a while

Windows 11, we had seen last year, was a bit of a work in progress: old apps hidden under a newer theme, ‘dark’ mode not flawless in its management, and many other small limitations that held back many users, who preferred to stay with Windows 10. With the update, many of these things have been revised, especially in the menu and toolbar areas. The latter, and here many will be able to breathe a sigh of relief, finally supports drag & drop: if you drag a Jpeg file onto the Photoshop icon the app will be brought to the foreground and you can then automatically open the file, or a group of files.


Windows 11, starting to look right

Windows 11 was an excellent work in progress, and with this update we can say that we have almost completed the work. Microsoft is aware that the platform is evolving and that it still needs to work on many aspects, especially in removing everything that, graphically, is legacy, but it is doing so slowly, so as not to bring down a delicate castle. The new Activity Manager panel, for example, is a small sign that slowly all traces of old Windows, there is still something of Windows NT, will disappear. Some were sceptical about the upgrade, and decided to stick with Windows 10: this new version could be the push to make the leap.


How do I avoid a swollen battery?

Batteries are consumable, and no matter how well you take care of them, they will eventually need to be replaced. You can never be sure that your laptop battery will never swell – it can happen to any device. You can make sure you’re using your device in a proper way to minimize the risk of damage. Here’s what you can do:
1- Don’t leave your laptop plugged-in. charge the battery properly (do not wait until it’s completely discharged, do not leave your device connected to a charger all day). Lithium-ion batteries are meant to a cycle of charge and discharge. Keeping them plugged in all the time stops them to use the capacity and hence its cells can enter into sleeping state.
2- Use the correct power charger with parameters compatible with the laptop. Finding a cheaper version of your laptop’s charger may seem like a savvy money saver but having the wrong charger can cost you in the long run which may not have a same power output which can damage the battery.
3- Replace the battery immediately if its damaged or not performing as it should. there is a standard life span of a battery so don’t expect more from it, replace it immediately.
4- Store the device in a cool, dry environment. .When you are using a laptop, you can use a radiator. Or put a wet towel at the bottom of the notebook and turn on the air conditioner, try not to block the vents on your laptop when you are using, and try to keep the battery cool. Always keep it away from flammable materials and high temperature conditions.
5-avoid overheating. always note the battery condition – if you see it’s overheating or drains too fast, consider getting a replacement
6-This is especially important when using the device for the first time. when you get a new battery, please insert adapter before the battery is completely discharged. Wait for the device to turn off before you start charging the battery.
7- If you want to leave the laptop idle for a long time, please remember to remove the battery and store it separately.


How to use the battery

1-After the new battery is installed, please use the original adapter to activate it. Please charge for 8 hours for the first three times, then discharge to 10-15%, and cycle three times
2-Please charge the battery in time when the battery power reaches 10-15% in normal times to avoid low-voltage discharge and prolong battery life
3-Use battery to work at least 2-3 times a month. It is easy to swell if not used for a long time
4-After the computer shuts down at night, try to unplug the adapter power, because the adapter current will always impact the battery power supply chip
5-The computer should not be placed in a high temperature environment for a long time, because the polymer ultra-thin battery cell is easy to expand
6-Please put waste batteries in a special waste battery recycling bin, because the pollution of batteries is very huge.


What to do with a swollen battery?

The only correct and best way to resolve an issue of a swollen battery is replacement of the entire battery. The swollen batteries cannot be fixed or healed – just recycled and replaced. Even if your device still works, the battery must be replaced immediately. Using the device or leaving it connected to power can pose risks.

Once a battery starts to swell, it is considered compromised in every way and a replacement is the only way to avoid further damage to your laptop. And most important: At the first sign of battery swelling, back up any crucial data ASAP, discontinue the use of the laptop and discharge it by disconnecting the AC Adapter and letting the battery drain.

Do not press on the swollen battery (or screen or casing that’s popping up).

If your device has a user-removable battery, you can try to carefully remove it and place it in a container in a safe cool place. Be sure to wear eye protection and gloves. Place the device on a flat surface, previously removing all the flammable objects from the vicinity. The laptop should first cool down. Later you could try removing the battery – remember to be careful. Don’t try wedging it up or prodding it with sharp devices, or flex it in a swollen state, and whatever you do, do not puncture the swollen battery—some of the gases could be harmful.

If you’re not 100% sure whether the battery is at fault, you find it hard to remove the battery or are afraid to do it on your own – take your laptop to a service store.


Is my battery swollen?

A variety of problems—some rather subtle, or impossible to ignore—can indicate that the internal battery is swelling, such as the screen not closing properly, a gap between the upper and lower parts of the case(enclosure splitting), a failure to sit perfectly flat, system rocking when placed on an even surface, touchpad or keyboard lifting or not working properly, and keyboard and touchpad might begin to warp or could start protruding. Sometimes it may be accompanied by: overheating, fast-draining battery.

If your system has gone through 500-600 charge-discharge cycles, you should replace the battery on priority basis, some users who wait till the battery backup comes down to 5 minutes and don’t consider to replace the laptop battery then the battery can swell.

With an iPhone or iPad, a swollen battery is usually obvious because it starts to warp the case and can even crack the screen—it all depends on where the swelling takes place and what part of the device gives way first.

In some cases, a swollen battery may also leak, resulting in a very pungent strong smell of metal. This can easily damage other components to the point where it may be unable to be used.
If you smell burning or metal, it is best that you immediately stop all operations on your laptop and let it be looked at by a professional.


Why Do Laptop Batteries Swell?

It is known to all that almost all batteries are lithium batteries now. When charging, the lithium electronic polymer will produce a small amount of gas when it is discharged, which will cause a slight expansion, that’s normal. Overtime that gas will build up and cause the battery to expand.
Other Causes of Laptop Battery Swelling

1- overcharging.
2- Manufacturing defect, such as no protective plate inside, unreasonable distribution of positive and negative plates, uneven distribution of lye (electrolyte),etc.
3- Exposure to high temperature, the battery will be overheated and deformed.
4- Deep discharge.
5- Damage to the battery, such as damage to the membranes that separate the internal layers of the battery.
6- Natural aging.
7-Using a charger of the wrong voltage rating.