New Maps, Ways to Search, and Updated Edge

This weeks tips for desktop and mobile.

Magic Earth - Maps for Mobile With Privacy

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Of all the things I do with my phone, maps and navigation are in the top 10. I have a nice GPS in my truck, but I never use it anymore. Until lately, maps meant Google Maps. I used it, but I didn’t like Google tracking my movements all the time. I have found a great alternative called Magic Earth. I’ve been testing it for a few weeks, and it’s great. I’ve deleted Google Maps from my phone. It has a lot of options that are better than Google, including dash-cam functions. If you are looking for a privacy-focused map, I recommend it. It supports iPhone, Android, and Apple Watch.

A Chrome Edge

Do you like the Chrome browser and hate Microsoft Edge on Windows 10? Well, here’s some news - Microsoft abandoned their own browser engine, took the open-source Chromium engine that Google uses, and replace Edge. For all practical purposes, Edge is now Chrome. It uses Chrome extensions, it’s just as fast, and web sites look the same in both browsers. I’ve been testing the beta version for a few months now, and it’s very good. Microsoft is rolling it out with automatic Windows updates, so you’ll automatically see it sometime in the next couple of months. If you’d like to upgrade right now, there is a link to download the new Edge browser here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/edge

DuckDuckGo

As an experiment, I switched my search engine to DuckDuckGo. I like it, the search results are good and there are less ads than Google. The privacy angle is good too, I’m really trying to lower my footprint in Google’s tracking. There’s even a cool trick to search directly on Google (or hundreds of other sites) straight from the DuckDuckGo search. They call it Bangs. In the programming world, we refer to the exclamation point as bang. Why? I dunno, probably the same reason the asterisk is called a star, and the period is called a dot. But, I digress. On DuckDuckGo, you can preface any search with a bang and a letter code to quickly search a particular site.

For example, !g cats will search for cats on Google, and !w cats will search for cats on Wikipedia. Here’s a full list, and if you start any search with a bang, you’ll get a pop-up of the most popular options.

Image Search Anything On Your Screen

One overlooked feature in Windows 10 is the ability to do a reverse image search of anything on your screen. It’s tucked away in the search screen with the icon in the lower right.

Click the search icon in your task bar, and then click the image search icon. You have an opportunity to capture the full screen, a single window, or crop a small section of the screen using the toolbar that appears at the top. Once you make the selection, Windows will fire off a reverse image search to Bing. It can be really handy.


Thanks for reading!

This is published by David FinsterI’m the friendliest tech guy in Florida. Each edition will bring you something practical, something fun, and hopefully something you’ll want to share. There are no advertisements, no spam, and I don’t share your email address with anyone.

I’ll be back in a week or two with more Beyond Technology. If you have a topic you’d like investigated, please email david@finsterbt.com.

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