It’s time to bring one of Google’s most successful properties to modern design standards.

YouTube is refreshing its interface across the web and smartphones, undertaking a complete Material Design refresh to make the experience cleaner and easier to focus on videos. The main layout of the website is remaining intact, but the entire look is simpler, flatter and cleaner than ever before — something that should come as no surprise if you’ve used Google’s other websites or Android apps lately.

The big focus is making YouTube simple and approachable for everyone, which visuals that don’t distract you from the reason you’re there in the first place: to enjoy the videos. YouTube can historically seem a bit busy or confusing to casual users, and this redesign should hopefully help with that. It also brings a visual consistency to Google’s other properties, which is always important.

Two words: dark theme.

Perhaps the best thing heavy YouTube users will find about this redesign is the inclusion of a complete dark theme, which will dramatically cut down on eye strain when watching videos at night. All you have to do is toggle it on through the account menu, and the entire interface goes dark permanently.

If you want to try out the new YouTube look before anyone else, you can head over to to opt in. If you don’t find it to be to your liking right now, you can return to the “old” interface for the time being from your account menu.

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All the major announcements Microsoft made to take on the Chromebook, Chrome OS, and more!

Microsoft held a live event in New York City this morning to announce a slew of new products and options for the education market. The #MicrosoftEDU event was covered by our pals over at Windows Central, and here’s a rundown of the major announcements made!

New version of Windows 10

Microsoft unveiled Windows 10 S, a new edition of its current operating system which is primarily aimed at schools and the education market. The main difference between Windows 10 S and its standard edition is that this new version is locked to the Windows Store for all apps and games (kind of like Windows RT from back in 2012), meaning you’re only able to install what’s available from Microsoft’s app store. Students will have the option to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro from a Windows 10 S installation (free until the end of 2017), which is actually cheaper than upgrading from Windows 10 Home to the Pro edition.

This OS is part of Microsoft’s attempt to tackle the Chromebook, which are a big deal within the education market.

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New Surface Laptop

The Surface Laptop rounds out Microsoft’s Surface lineup, which includes the Surface Pro tablet, the Surface Book 2-in-1 convertible, and the Surface Studio desktop.

The Surface Laptop appears to be aimed at higher-education students and professionals looking for a more traditional laptop experience from the Surface line. Featuring a 13.5-inch PixelSense display and measuring in at only 14.47mm at its thickest point, this is an extremely portable computer that Microsoft says features 14.5 hours of battery life with an Intel Core i5 CPU for the low-end model, with options to upgrade to an Intel Core i7 CPU for those requiring more performance. Read the full specs.

The Surface Laptop will start at $999 and comes pre-loaded with Windows 10 S.

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More low-end PCs for education

Along with the new education-focused version of Windows 10, Microsoft announced that they’ve partnered with the likes of Dell, HP, Samsung and more to offer affordable PCs for schools that start at just $189.

These PCs will run Windows 10 S and come with a free subscription to Minecraft Education Edition, along with Office 365 for Education. They also announced that Windows 10 S will be offered as a free upgrade for any genuine Windows Pro PCs already in use in schools.

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What does this mean for Chromebooks?

That’s the big question here. Will these $189 PCs running Windows be able to disrupt a market that is heavily entrenched in Chromebooks already? With developers being forced to convert some of their traditional desktop apps to work in the Windows 10 S environment, it may be some time until we see a big impact, but at the very least this announcement will force Google to invest even more heavily in Chromebook and Chrome OS marketing and development.

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With a little more than two weeks to go before the official unveiling of the HTC U 11, a mock-up of the phone’s packaging has leaked. Specifically, the leak shows the back of the box which highlights nearly all of … Read More

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It’s our first look at the yet-to-be-named Fitbit smartwatch.

Fitbit has yet to officially announce its next smartwatch, but thanks to Yahoo Finance, we’ve got some new leaked renders to ponder over for the time being. Based on what we’ve seen here, it looks like Fitbit has gone with an evolved design of the 2016 Fitbit Blaze.

From the leaked images, it looks like Fitbit is combining the Blaze’s angular design with a one-piece design for the strap. Fitbit has moved away from the clunky cage that you could remove from the Blaze body. The watch face is built around a square screen with a bezel sporting the Fitbit logo just below, with two textured buttons visible on the right side. The watch housing is made of metal, while the strap appears to be the same elastomer material as other Fitbit bands.

According to Yahoo, the Fitbit design team has faced several challenges putting this new product together, specifically including GPS and waterproofing. The Verge has also reported issues on the software side of things, with a long-awaited app store for third-party apps unlikely to be ready for the new device’s launch in the fall.

What do you think of the design of the new Fitbit smartwatch? Let us know in the comments.

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