Surface Book 3 15-inch review: Beautiful, yet limited

Surface Book 3 15-inch review: Beautiful, yet limited

Take the new hardware. The Surface Book 3 features Intel’s quad-core 10th generation Ice Lake CPUs, which max out at a 3.9GHz Turbo Boost speed. (Those chips also appear in the Surface Laptop 3, an ultraportable that doesn’t even pretend to handle heavy lifting). The MacBook Pro 16-inch, on the other hand, offers Intel’s recent six and eight-core CPUs, including the monstrously powerful 5GHz Core i9. Dell’s XPS 15 can also be configured with similar chips reaching up to 5.1GHz. You do the math. There’s just no way the Surface Book 3 can compete in a CPU fight.

At least Microsoft is competitive on the graphics front. You’ve got NVIDIA’s GTX 1650, GTX 1660 Ti and Quadro RTX 3000 as options, the latter of which is much faster than the MacBook Pro 16-inch’s Radeon GPUs. You’ll have to jump through a few more hoops to get that Quadro GPU though, as it’s only available to corporate customers.

I’m not saying the Surface Book 3 isn’t impressive. It still looks and feels like a high-quality machine, though the design hasn’t budged at all since the last model. There’s the same all-metal case, the unique bulbous hinge (that leaves a slight gap open when closed), and a large 15-inch screen. But since we last saw the Surface Book, most PC makers have started seriously slimming down their bezels to fit in larger displays and reduce weight. The Book 3, unfortunately, still has thick screen borders that make it look like a notebook from 4 or 5 years ago.

Surface Book 3

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Previously, I also knocked the 15-inch Surface Book for being heavier than its competitors at 4.2 pounds. But, ironically enough, Apple ended up making the MacBook Pro 16-inch a bit chunkier as well, so it now slightly outweighs the Book 3. But as you’ll see, I think Apple justifies its heft a bit more. And the MacBook Pro is also significantly slimmer — the Book 3 is up to 23 millimeters thick, while the MacBook Pro maxes out at 16.3 millimeters.  As usual, Microsoft’s curved hinge makes things stick out quite a bit.

One benefit of being so large, though, is that the Surface Book 3 is able to fit a wide keyboard and roomy touchpad. It’s all the same hardware we saw a few years ago, but they’re still excellent. The keys have plenty of depth and responsiveness, making them a dream to type on. And the smooth glass touchpad is among the best I’ve used on a Windows notebook.

So sure, there’s a lot to love about the Surface Book 3. But if you want to know why I’m being so critical of its new hardware, just look at the benchmarks. In PCMark 10, it scores a notch below Dell’s recent XPS 13. And even more damning, it scores only a few hundred points higher than HP’s Elite Dragonfly, a 2-pound PC whose performance we called “middling.” If you’re trying to be a powerhouse machine, this isn’t the company you should be keeping. Its Geekbench 5 multi-core speeds also fell behind the new MacBook Pro 13-inch, and it was once again bested by the XPS 13. The Surface Book 3 fared better in Geekbench 5’s Compute benchmark, where the NVIDIA GPU brought it in line with ASUS’s excellent Zephyrus G14 (a much cheaper machine with far better CPU scores).

The GTX 1660 Ti is clearly the lynchpin of the Surface Book 3’s performance, and it also means the notebook can finally handle some decent gaming. Running in 1080p, I clocked between 110 and 130 FPS in Overwatch with “epic” graphics settings. The Hitman 2 benchmark also delivered a solid 72 FPS with maxed out settings. To be clear, you can get similar performance from gaming notebooks that cost half as much. But at least Book 3 owners will be able to get some fragging done alongside their creative work.

The best fitness trackers you can buy

When I say “focus,” I’m alluding to the fact that fitness trackers are made to track activity well and anything else is extra. They often don’t have the bells and whistles that smartwatches do that would distract from their activity tracking abilities. They also tend to have fewer sensors and internal components, which keeps them smaller and lighter. Fitness trackers are a better option for those who just want a less ostentatious device on their wrists all day long.

Battery life tends to be better on fitness trackers, too. Most fitness bands will last five days to one week on a single charge — and that’s with all day and all night use.

When it comes to price, there’s no competition. Most worthwhile smartwatches start at $175-$200, but you can get a solid fitness tracker starting at $70. Yes, more expensive bands exist (and we recommend a few here), but you’ll find more options under $150 in the fitness tracker space than in the smartwatch space.

When to enter Smartwatch Land

If you need a bit more from your wearable you’ll want to opt for a smartwatch instead. There are things like on-watch apps, alerts and even more robust fitness features that smartwatches have and fitness trackers don’t. You can use one to control smart home appliances, set timers and reminders, check weather reports and more. Some smartwatches let you choose which apps you want to receive alerts from, and the options go beyond just call and text notifications.

But the extra fitness features are arguably the most important thing to think about when deciding between a fitness tracker and a smartwatch. The latter devices tend to be larger, giving them more space for things like GPS, barometers, onboard music storage and more. While you can find built-in GPS on select fitness trackers, it’s not common.

Engadget picks

Best overall: Fitbit Charge 4

Fitbit Charge 4 fitness tracker.

Valentina Palladino / Engadget

While on the expensive side for a fitness tracker, the $150 Fitbit Charge 4 has all the features you’d need from an activity band and more. Its major selling point is built-in GPS. it will track outdoor runs, bike rides and more on its own and automatically upload maps to the Fitbit app. It has a good heart rate monitor as well that works all day and all night to record pulse data. Fitbit’s new active zone minutes will also let you know when you’ve moved into a different heart rate zone while working out, which can be really motivating mid-run.

The Charge 4 also includes Spotify control and Fitbit Pay as standard features, so you can pause and play tracks while you’re working out and pay for a coffee on your way home without having your wallet. Lots of competing trackers don’t have features like that (especially NFC payments), so we think they, along with its litany of other fitness features, justify the Charge 4’s higher price tag. We also appreciate that the Charge 4 gets roughly five days of all-day and all-night use on a single charge, and you’ll be able to get a couple days of battery life even when using the GPS regularly.

Buy Charge 4 at Amazon – $150

Alternative: Garmin Vivosmart 4

Garmin Vivosmart 4 fitness tracker.

Engadget

A more subtle-looking alternative is the $130 Garmin Vivosmart 4. It’s thinner than the Charge 4 and fits in a bit better with bracelets and other jewelry you might wear regularly. But its attractive design is only part of its appeal — Garmin knows how to track fitness, and the Vivosmart 4 is proof that you don’t need to drop hundreds on one of the company’s fitness watches to get a solid device.

Like the Charge 4, the Vivosmart 4 tracks all-day activity and sleep and has a pulse ox sensor for blood oxygen saturation measurements. It has only connected GPS capabilities, and it has universal music controls that can control the playback of most anything. The band is also waterproof and can track basic swim workouts, plus it also has a battery life of up to seven days. While it’s similar to the Charge 4 in that the Vivosmart 4 works with both Android and iOS devices, it’s a bit more flexible as it syncs with Apple Health (the Charge 4 and other Fitbit devices do not).

Buy Vivosmart 4 at Best Buy – $130

Best budget: Fitbit Inspire HR

Fitbit Inspire HR fitness tracker.

Engadget

If you only have $100 to spare, the Fitbit Inspire HR is the best option. It strips out all the luxury features from the Charge 4 and keeps only the essentials. You won’t get built-in GPS, Fitbit Pay or Spotify control but you do get excellent activity tracking, automatic workout detection, smartphone alerts and plenty more. The “HR” designation means it includes an optical heart rate monitor — you could save an extra $30 and opt for the Fitbit Inspire, which doesn’t track pulse, but we recommend the Inspire HR if you can afford it.

The Inspire HR is thinner than the Charge 4 but it also has interchangeable bands, so you can switch up its style whenever you feel like it. It has connected GPS instead of a built-in sensor, so you can map workouts — you just have to bring your smartphone along for the ride. Its design is also swimproof and it should last up to five days on a single charge. All of these features make it the best value fitness tracker you can get.

Buy Inspire HR at Amazon – $100

Alternative: Samsung Galaxy Fit

Samsung Galaxy Fit fitness tracker.

Cherlynn Low / Engadget

The $100 Samsung Galaxy Fit band is almost like a more affordable Garmin Vivosmart 4. The two trackers share the same skeletal design but the Galaxy Fit looks a bit more utilitarian — you can swap out its bands, though — something you can’t do on Garmin’s device. Engadget’s Cherlynn Low was impressed with the tiny tracker: the Tizen-based interface is colorful and easy to use, and plenty of people will appreciate its durable, no-nonsense design. It tracks a bunch of workouts as well and even has auto-exercise recognition. That’s on top of its daily activity tracking and sleep monitor, all of which uses the built-in heart rate monitor to collect pulse data throughout the day. Samsung estimates a seven-day battery life on the Galaxy Fit, which means constant charging will not be a concern. Samsung isn’t as comprehensive as Garmin is when it comes to fitness data collection and analysis, but the Galaxy Fit is a good option for those that want an easy to use tracker that sticks to the basics.

Buy Galaxy Fit at Best Buy – $100

Most fashionable: Withings Move

Withings Move fitness tracker.

Engadget

All of the previously mentioned fitness trackers are attractive in their own way (bonus points to those that have interchangeable bands), but they share a similar look. There aren’t many alternative designs for these devices anymore. The $70 Withings Move watch is an exception, and one of the most traditionally fashionable fitness trackers you can get. It’s an analog watch with a couple of health monitoring features including step, calorie, distance and sleep tracking, connected GPS, auto-recognition for more than 30 workouts and a water-resistant design. But we really love it for its button-cell battery, which can last up to 18 months before needing a replacement.

Buy Withings Move at Amazon – $70

Specs at a glance

The Morning After: Samsungs Terrace TV takes 4K outside

The event space in Fortnite has already hosted live shows and DJ sets, but Thursday night it rolled out the red carpet to premiere a trailer for Christopher Nolan’s next movie. Warner Bros. is still focused on releasing the IMAX-ready flick in theaters first, but for now the big screen experience of Tenet came inside Fortnite.

Fortnite / Tenet

I tuned in to watch the experience live (you can see a clip right here), and while the quality was certainly good enough, the hassle of clicking through Fortnite’s menus was a bit more work than just waiting another five minutes to see it in full-screen on YouTube. Still, we’d expect to see more events like this in the future, and Nolan apparently plans to screen one of his flicks in the game later this summer.

— Richard

Samsung lets you ignore nature with its 2,000-nit outdoor QLED TV

4K meets the backyard.

Terrace TV

Samsung

This Terrace TV comes in 55-, 65- and 75-inch models and is starting to go on sale in the US and Canada. Along with QLED tech and 4K resolution, the Terrace has a weather resistance rating of IP55, provides 2,000 nits of brightness — enough to see clearly in daylight — and includes an anti-glare coating. The 65-inch model’s sticker price is about $5,000.
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DaVinci Resolve 16.2 can take on Premiere Pro CC

It’s now much faster and easier to use.

DaVinci

Engadget

Since Blackmagic Design’s Resolve 16 came out last year, a lot of video editors may have been tempted to ditch Adobe Premiere Pro CC. The biggest reason might be their bank balance: Resolve 16 is free, and even the $300 Studio version costs less over time than Adobe Premiere Pro’s obligatory monthly plans. 

According to Steve Dent, the cost isn’t the whole story, though. Resolve 16 is quite an improvement over the last version, especially when it comes to ease-of-use. And while Premiere Pro CC seems to get slower and buggier with every release, Resolve 16 has become cleaner and snappier. Steve tests out both.
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Netflix will start canceling long-dormant subscriptions

If your account is collecting dust, it’ll ask if you want to keep paying.

If you signed up to Netflix at least a year ago but haven’t watched anything, or you haven’t streamed something on the platform in the last two years, Netflix will ask you via email or app notification if you want to keep subscribing. If you don’t respond, it’ll automatically cancel your plan. Only a few hundred thousand accounts (less than 0.5 percent of total Netflix users) meet these criteria. So, why announce it? 

It’s a good thing, sure, but I can’t unravel the business sense in it. Guess I shouldn’t complain.
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Sponsored Content by Spot On

Spot On Virtual Smart fence

Amazons multiplayer Pac-Man game is made for Twitch streaming

Amazon Games showed it’s a serious competitor with the new shooter Crucible and has an MMO on the way, but its next game is the one that makes the most sense for Twitch streaming. That’s because Pac-Man Live Studio is not just a variant of the arcade classic, it’s apparently going to be playable directly in its own Twitch channel — perfect for sharing and interaction between streamers and viewers, or just friends teaming up from different locations.

Pac-Man Live Studio - Classic Mode
Pac-Man Live Studio – Classic Mode

Amazon Games

Tonight’s announcement describes three modes, with an Endless mode that allows you and friends to team up and try to progress through as many levels as you can — as long as one person survives, everyone keeps going. A custom Maze Creator will encourage players to make maps and vote up the most popular ones, and Classic mode lets you take on everyone in the world in a battle to stay atop the leaderboard.

Vivo explains the X50 Pros gimbal-like camera stabilization

Specifically, this micro gimbal mechanism consists of a magnetic frame controlled by voice coils (similar concept to conventional OIS but further refined), along with a suspension bracket connected to the base with double ball bearings. Together, these enable X- and Y-axis tilt angles of up to 3 degrees each, which is apparently three times that of traditional OIS.

Vivo X50 Pro micro gimbal camera

Vivo

Another challenge here is that the sensor’s ribbon has to be extended and folded into a dual-S shape, in order to ease any tension from twisting during stabilization. Hence the extra surface area (363mm²) taken up by the entire module, though Vivo and its supplier managed to keep the thickness at 4.5mm.

The main benefit of this micro gimbal camera is obviously the more powerful optical stabilization, especially when shooting videos in low-light conditions — the combination of the dual-axis micro gimbal and 3-axis electronic stabilization vastly reduces shakiness. You can see for yourself in Vivo’s demo clip.

Likewise, still photos apparently work a lot better in the dark as well thanks to this technology, with Vivo claiming that a 1/50-second shutter speed here closely matches the results of a 1/8-second setting with traditional OIS. That’s a 6.25-time boost in capture speed under that test condition. Vivo added that even when extended to 1/4 seconds, the X50 Pro’s shots looked just as good as the 1/8-second shots with traditional OIS. And when pushing to 1/2-second long exposures in the same low-light condition, the X50 Pro still maintained a 64-percent performance, whatever that means.

Google Maps will highlight accessible locations with a wheelchair icon

Google Accessible Places

Google

Since 2016, Google has done a better job of making Maps more useful to wheelchair users and those with limited mobility. In 2018, for instance, it added a feature that lets you find accessible transit routes. With the help of crowdsourcing, the company says Maps now has accessibility-related information on more than 15 million places across the world. As the company points out, highlighting locations that make entering and exiting easy is useful to a variety of people (as parents with strollers can attest), not just those who depend on wheelchairs. 

Google says it plans to roll out the accessible places functionality to users gradually beginning today with people who live in the US, Australia, Japan and the UK, with availability in other countries to follow. 

Samsungs 2020 soundbars include models with Alexa and object tracking

For some, the most interesting models may be the decidedly more affordable Lifestyle models. The S series (pictured above) has a friendlier-looking round design covered in the Kvadrat textiles used for one of Samsung’s Galaxy S20 cases. The S60T also throws in Alexa voice control as well as a wide-range tweeter. That model costs $330, although a simpler S40T is available for $180.

The T series replaces the earlier R series and covers the low-to-mid-range lineup. You won’t find Atmos, Alexa or a special design, but they do pack wireless subs. The higher-end T550 and T650 models are also HDMI-capable and support DTS Virtual:X spatial surround sound. These start at $200 for the no-frills T450 and scale up to $400 for the T650.

Samsung Q800T soundbar

Samsung

Myzones virtual fitness classes can tell if you’re slacking

I was equipped with Myzone’s MZ-3 chest tracker ($150) which, according to the company, has 99.4% percent accuracy at measuring your heart-rate. The app, available on iOS and Android, connects to the wearable and tracks your exertions, calibrating to the user and scoring your effort.

If you’re going all out, you’re in the red, while if you’re taking it easy you’ll likely be in the blue or green. (If you’re just resting, it’ll be grey.) The longer you spend in these colors, the more effort you’re putting into the workout, and the more ‘effort points’ you earn. That’s the simplified end result — a point score. And unlike Peloton, it’s based entirely on your own heart rate variation, nothing to do with your current weight, height or age, although these stats are factored into your calorie burn figures. Myzone CEO Dave Wright, who led the virtual briefing, compared this effort score to a golf handicap.

This part of the setup is already in place in gyms, but the ability to tap into the same ‘competitive’ mindset as you’d experience in an IRL HIIT class, tracking your progress, but at home, is a tempting one.

I’ve sweated it out in several different classes that use Myzone’s wearables to track your efforts and score them, including F45 and the Blaze classes at the David Lloyd gym chain in the UK. I have no issue with being ranked against others, although I often find personal trainers ‘pushing’ me to go further often makes me belligerent and angry. Of course, your mileage may vary, just don’t ask me for one more rep.

That’s less of a problem here. As your efforts are displayed on-screen (while still being weighted to your own fitness levels), it’s almost the perfect amount of motivation. The trainer, who leads the workout and shows the exercises can call out participants based on how hard they’re working out. The company is considering the ability to show participants’ videos to the trainer, so they could advise on form. The video stream component is all powered by Zoom, which means it works like it should, even if you’re not entirely sold on the video conference service.

Zoom’s involvement also helps explain how Myzone was able to launch this app in roughly nine weeks and means classes can contain 20-50 participants, although that would make it harder for the trainer to offer feedback during the session.

Me, crushing it at 90% effort.

Me, crushing it at 90% effort. Credit: Myzone

Cleverly, you can still play your own music as the workout happens, which is great. The app pulls in Spotify and Apple Music, too. You can also screen share the workout to a TV for a better view of the workout and scores.

At this point, there are still some limitations. While there are some bare social network bones here, it’s no Strada or Nike app. You’re locked into participating in virtual classes for whatever organization your Myzone wearable is registered to — and for now, that can only be one network.

If Myzone’s remote classes get into enough gym chains (or even corporate wellness programs), it could be a powerful way to get your workouts in while at home — and make them effective. I’ve been averse to ‘online workout’ Zoom streams and videos as I know my heart won’t be in it. Why bother? But, score my efforts? I can get behind that.

There appears to be a credits system inside the app, so there’s the potential to pay as you go for workouts if you already own a MZ-3 chest sensor, but that’s not working for me at the moment.

Because MZ-Remote shows everyone’s efforts on screen, it’s almost the perfect amount of motivation, and less intimidating than the real-world version at your gym. Myzone tech is already used in thousands of gyms across the US — it’s half the company’s business. Expect to hear more about it soon.

DaVinci Resolve 16.2 can take on Premiere Pro CC

Next up is color correction, which really is a strength in Resolve. It was originally designed as a color correction application, and the industry has used it for that since 1985.

For simple color adjustments in Resolve, you drop into the Color workspace, adjust your shots and see the results immediately. You can also create and track “power windows” to adjust specific parts of an image. It also has a warp stabilizer to adjust shaky footage, a dust, blemish and noise remover (Studio version only), along with lens and aperture effects. Resolve Color automatically works with RAW footage, lets you apply LUTs and easily work in HDR, both with Dolby Vision and HDR10. 

Premiere, on the other hand, uses the Lumetri color module. It’s more like Lightroom color correction than any dedicated video system. It also offers some basic secondary color correction and the ability to mask and track parts of an image. Overall, it’s adequate for most jobs and is relatively easy to use, especially if you’re used to Lightroom. 

The bottom line is that Resolve’s color tools are more powerful than you’ll find in Premiere. However, if you’re more of a casual user, Adobe Premiere Pro is easier to understand and use. 

According to Schodt: “I always get vastly better results in Resolve, especially for log or RAW footage, than I do in Premiere.” 

He added that the free Resolve version doesn’t include noise reduction, which is “really powerful,” while noting that “Premiere doesn’t have any functional noise reduction at all.”

When it comes to VFX, Resolve’s Fusion beats what’s built into Premiere Pro. However, many Premiere users also have access to After Effects via Creative Cloud subscriptions, so let’s compare that. 

It’s certainly more convenient to hop over to the Fusion page than it is to switch over to After Effects, even when using Adobe’s Dynamic Link. However, both Fusion and After Effects take time to learn. If you depend heavily on After Effects, it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to switch to Resolve, considering the investment of time required to learn Fusion. 

Both effects apps have their strengths. Fusion is better for pure VFX work thanks to its true 3D workspace and advanced keying, rotoscoping, lighting and other effects. After Effects is better for 2D and motion graphics work and also supports a vast number of plugins for anything from warping to aged film effects. Resolve, meanwhile, offers a more limited selection of plugins. 

From Chris: “Fusion is so complicated. After Effects is also a huge, complex program, but the layer/clip/timeline setup is a little easier to grasp coming from a video background.”

Text

Premiere versus Resolve shootout Resolve Text+ tool

Steve Dent/Engadget

A lot of creators focus on motion graphics and text, making it a key feature on any editing system. Premiere Pro has a great reputation for how it handles text, especially since it added a new Photoshop-like text tool several years ago. That lets you type text directly on to your video, then manipulate it using video effects or filters. Even without any extra apps, Premiere Pro can handle text better than Resolve. 

Should you need more, After Effects is available via a Creative Cloud subscription — if you pay for it. It’s the most widely used program for advanced text and motion graphics effects, with an enormous range of controls, scripts and third-party apps available. 

With Resolve 15, Blackmagic Design offered editors more control over typography with the Text+ function. That feature offers animated text, write-on effects and more, all in a 3D space. You also gained better control over things like kerning, outlines, text color and other properties, along with some 2D and 3D text animation presets. 

However, many of the text features have weak controls and lack undo functions, so creating even a simple animation can be a tedious process. And while some of the preset animations are nice, you can’t change any of the properties outside of the color. All told, if you do a lot of fancy text work, then stick to Premiere Pro and After Effects — Resolve 16 still needs a lot of work in that area.

Audio

As I mentioned, Resolve 16 has a standalone tool called Fairlight. Taken alone, it easily beats out the relatively basic audio functionality within Premiere. Again, however, Creative Cloud full subscription owners will have access to Adobe’s Audition, a mature and powerful audio editing tool. 

For most of the audio chores that a video editor needs, both apps do a good job. Audition does have a few useful tools that Fairlight is lacking, like a remixing function that lets you change the length of a sound clip to match the audio. Audition supports more plugins just because it’s been around for a long time, but Fairlight also has a good range of useful plugins.

Overall, I’d give the edge here to Resolve 16 as Fairlight is built right into the app and easier to access. Audition, meanwhile, requires a more expensive subscription, and you need to use Dynamic Link to access it from Premiere Pro. 

Pricing

Premiere versus Resolve shootout Adobe Pricing

Steve Dent/Engadget

Here’s where the philosophies of Blackmagic Design and Adobe diverge the most. Adobe’s main product and source of revenue is its subscription service. Blackmagic, meanwhile, sells (and gives away) Resolve 16 as a compliment to its cameras, control surfaces and other products. 

As such, Resolve 16 pricing is dead simple. The basic version is free, and the Studio version costs $300 for the life of the product. So if you buy a Resolve 16 Studio license now, you’ll be able to install Resolve 17 for free whenever that comes along. Blackmagic Design also gives buyers of the $1,295 Pocket Cinema Camera (and many of its other broadcast products) a Resolve 16 Studio license for free. 

Adobe’s pricing is more expensive no matter which way you look at it. Buying a license for Premiere Pro alone costs $20.99 per month, or $240 per year prepaid. That makes it more costly than Resolve 16 after about 14 months of ownership.

If you want all other apps I’ve mentioned, like Audition and After Effects, you’ll need to spend $53 per month or $600 per year, prepaid. That’s double what Resolve 16 costs after a year, to say nothing of the ongoing costs. That said, you do get other very useful apps, like Photoshop Character Animator and Lightroom, that Blackmagic doesn’t offer at all.

Conclusion

Should you switch from Premiere Pro to Resolve 16? If you lean heavily on After Effects, especially for motion graphics, Resolve simply can’t do those things as well. Video editors who also do photography and lean on Lightroom or Photoshop might also want to stick with Adobe. That said, it’s certainly possible to get a $10 per month Photography subscription (with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom) and then use DaVinci Resolve to do your editing chores. 

For most folks, I think the answer is yes. Feature for feature, Resolve can hold its own against Premiere and is, for now, faster and more stable to boot. Most importantly, it’s just $300 for the Studio version or free if you don’t need the fancier features. Just keep in mind the learning curve, particularly when it comes to color correction and effects.

Facebook Messenger adds pop-ups to warn users about scams

For minors, Facebook will surface the warning when they receive a message from an adult they don’t know. The alert “educates people under the age of 18 to be cautious when interacting with an adult they may not know and empowers them to take action before responding to a message,” the company says.

Facebook Messenger will send warnings when it detects possible impersonation.

Facebook

Messenger will employ the same type of warning to root out potential scammers, warning users to “be wary of claims about money” when they receive a message from someone they aren’t already friends with. Similarly, the app will also look for messages that come from accounts that may be trying to impersonate a Facebook friend. When Messenger detects that this might be happening, it will warn users that the person they are messaging might be pretending to be someone they know.

Impersonation has long been a go-to trick for scammers, and a headache for Facebook, which has at times struggled to catch fakers, so the new messages could help prevent some of the app’s users from being duped. At the same time, fraudsters are constantly evolving their tricks to evade detection, so these kinds of messages likely won’t be as effective as banning problematic accounts altogether.

Detecting this type of behavior has become particularly important to Facebook, as it moves toward a future where messages are encrypted by default. Some safety advocates have criticized that plan, saying that it will only give Facebook less visibility into how bad actors exploit its service. Facebook says it “designed this safety feature to work with full encryption,” and notes that it’s powered by machine learning technology, which looks at users’ overall behavior rather than the contents of their messages.