How to use Microsoft Teams to send text messages | Digital Trends

How to use Microsoft Teams to send text messages | Digital Trends


Using Microsoft Teams to talk with your colleagues is pretty simple thanks to the built-in chat feature. You can chat with your teammates, share documents, and even initiate voice calls if and when you need them.

Its initial design focused on communicating between team members, hence the name, however, being able to talk with other businesses or clients can be limited with Microsoft Teams. Now, thanks to a recent update, you can invite people via SMS on Microsoft Teams for free. In fact, you can start an SMS conversation with participants in multiple countries, including Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Great Britain, India, Mexico, and the U.S.

How to send an SMS in Teams

Starting an SMS conversation is really simple:

  1. Select New Chat in Microsoft Teams.
  2. Enter the participant’s telephone number you want to send an SMS to in the To: field.
  3. Enter the participant’s name in the Add contact name field.
  4. Send your first message to create the one-to-one SMS chat.

The participant you’re sending the SMS to will receive an SMS from Microsoft Teams. This will indicate to them that you want to chat. If they want to accept, they can click the link in the SMS to join Teams via the app.

How to start group SMS chats in Teams

As well as starting individual SMS chats, you can invite multiple participants to an SMS group chat. In fact, the process is quite similar to starting a group chat on WhatsApp or Messenger.

  1. Select New Chat in Microsoft Teams.
  2. Select the New group chat option.
  3. You can take or add a photo to apply to the group. When you’re done, selectNext.
  4. Enter the participant’s telephone number that you want to add to the group in the To: field.
  5. Enter the participant’s name in the Add contact name field.
  6. Repeat the above steps to add more members to the chat.

To finish creating a group SMS chat in Microsoft Teams, simply send a message in the chat. All of the invited SMS participants will receive an SMS from Microsoft informing them that they have been added to the group chat.

If you have an existing group chat that you want to add further participants to, you can do this by clicking on the group chat’s name and then selecting the option to Add people.

How to link your Android phone in Teams

You can also link your Android device to Microsoft Teams, making it easier to manage meetings and communications from one place. This will collate your SMS messages, contacts, and Meet links in one easy-to-access place, rather than bouncing between devices and platforms.

  1. On your Windows 11 device, open Chat from the taskbar.
  2. Select What’s new and more at the top of the Chat window, then select Link your phone.
  3. When the QR code appears on your desktop, use your phone to scan the QR code.
  4. Enter the verification code that appears on your desktop and enter it on your phone, followed by your Microsoft Account (MSA) password.

You’ll need to accept the permissions notifications on your Android device so Teams can access features like SMS, contacts, etc.

Once you’ve linked your Android phone in Teams, you can see SMS messages under Recent.

If you no longer want your Android phone linked in Teams, you can unlink it.

  1. On your Windows 11 device, open Chat from the taskbar.
  2. Select Open Teams.
  3. Navigate to More options at the top of the window and select Settings > Mobile device.
  4. Select the option to Disconnect SMS messages to unlink your Android device in Teams.

After connecting your Android phone to Microsoft Teams using Link to Windows, you can access your contacts easily. Here you can read, reply, and receive SMS notifications. This also enables you to create a Meet link so you can initiate video chats, whether they are on Teams or not.

Third-party SMS solutions for Microsoft Teams

A screenshot of the Text Bot app featured in the Teams app store.
Digital Trends

Rather than simply inviting customers and colleagues to Teams via SMS, there are third-party apps like Text Bot that actually allow you to text, SMS, and MMS into and out of Teams.

Text Bot allows you to send messages that get delivered straight to Teams. Any replies via text will be shown in Teams, and replies will be sent to the text number.

YakChat SMS is another third-party app that allows you to send and receive SMS messages from Teams and connect with all of your contacts.

You can download either of these apps by clicking on the Apps menu item in the sidebar of Teams. From there, just find the app and select Add to install it.

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Apple TV with Zoom means it’s finally time to call your mother | Digital Trends

Apple TV with Zoom means it’s finally time to call your mother | Digital Trends

Zoom on Apple TV uses your iPhone as a camera (sweet dog blanket not included). Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Zoom is now available on Apple TV, complete with Continuity Camera. That means you can use your iPhone camera as, well, the camera and your TV as the screen on which to see the folks on the other side of the call. And because Zoom is a cross-platform app, it means you don’t have anymore excuses for your Android-wielding family.

All of which means: it’s time to call your mother.

OK, so there have been other ways to call home via video, of course, even using your iPhone in conjunction with Apple TV. FaceTime has worked on tvOS with Continuity Camera with the rollout of tvOS 17. And it’s very cool. But if you’re looking to talk with someone who isn’t on an iPhone, or who just prefers a different app for this sort of thing? Zoom is going to be a very cool option.

And because we’re talking about Continuity Camera and not just static lens that’s pointed in your general direction, it’ll zoom in on most important face (or faces, if you’ve got the family on the couch with you), and even track your ugly mug if and when you start to drift a little bit.

There’s not much you have to do to get things going. It just requires Zoom on your Apple TV — which, by the way, is our pick for the best streaming device — and then a few taps to get things going (you don’t even have to log in if you don’t want to). Then you approve using your phone as the camera, and Bob’s your uncle.

One strong recommendation, though: If you’re at all serious about this sort of thing — whether using Zoom or any other video calling app with Apple TV, and whether you’re alone or with family — spend a few bucks and invest in a basic tripod that’ll hold your phone. Nobody wants motion sickness because you’re weaving all over the place. And going hands-free lets you pay more attention to what’s really important — the family on the other side of the call.

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How to find archived emails in Gmail, return them to inbox | Digital Trends

How to find archived emails in Gmail, return them to inbox | Digital Trends

If you’re looking to clean up your Gmail inbox, but you don’t want to delete anything permanently, then choosing the archive option is your best bet. Whenever you archive an email, it is removed from your inbox folder while still remaining accessible. Here’s how to access any emails you have archived previously, as well as how to move such messages back to your regular inbox for fast access.

screenshot/Anita George / Digital Trends

Finding archived emails via the web

If you access Gmail via a web browser, it is a straightforward process to recall any emails you may have archived. For starters, if you choose to use the search bar at the top of the page, search results will include any archived emails. Alternatively, you can access all of your available mail, including archived pieces, under the All mail option.

Step 1: Visit the Gmail website and sign in.

Step 2: On the left side of the screen, select More.

Step 3: Select the All mail option.

Step 4: On the right side of the screen, you may now browse your email; it will include all emails in your account, including archived content.

Selecting the All Mail option in the Gmail app for Android.

screenshot/Anita George / Digital Trends

Finding archived emails via mobile apps

If you are using the Gmail mobile app on your iOS or Android device, you can also access archived content easily. As on the web, you can use the search bar displayed above your mail to initiate a search that will include archived content. Otherwise, if you wish, you can access all of your available mail, including archived content, under the All mail option.

Step 1: Open the Gmail app on your device.

Step 2: At the top of the screen, select the Menu button; it is displayed as three horizontal lines.

Step 3: Select the All mail option from the menu that appears.

Step 4: You may now browse your emails on-screen. This will include all emails in your account, including archived messages.

Selecting the Move to Inbox option in Gmail for web.

screenshot/Anita George / Digital Trends

Moving an archived email to the inbox via the web

If you change your mind, you can always move any archived content back to your inbox. Follow these steps to move archived emails back into your inbox using the Gmail website:

Step 1: Visit the Gmail website and sign in.

Step 2: Locate the email you wish to relocate.

Step 3: To the left of the email, check the Small box icon.

Step 4: At the top of the screen, select the Move to inbox icon. It looks like an inbox tray with a downward arrow inside of it.

Your archived email will then be moved back to the inbox for regular viewing. If you wish to return the piece of mail to the archive, hover over the email once again and select the Archive button (pictured as a small box with a down arrow).

Selecting the Move to Inbox option in Gmail for Android.

screenshot/Anita George / Digital Trends

Moving an archived email to the inbox via mobile apps

You can also change your mind about archived emails while you are out and about using Gmail’s available mobile apps for iOS and Android. Follow these steps to move the archived email back into your inbox within Google’s official Gmail app for Android:

Step 1: Open the Gmail app on your device.

Step 2: Locate the email you wish to relocate and select it.

Step 3: Select the More button in the upper-right corner of your screen (shown as three vertical dots), not the message.

Step 4: Choose the Move to inbox option from the menu that appears.

Your archived email will then be moved back to the inbox for regular viewing. If you wish to return the piece of mail to Archived, reopen the email and select the Archive button (pictured as a small box with a down arrow).

iOS devices

Note: For iOS devices, the process is a bit different. Here’s how to do it according to Google:

Step 1: Find the email you want in All mail.

Step 2: Select the sender’s profile icon on the left of the screen.

Step 3: Select the More icon (three dots).

Step 4: Select whether you want to Move to inbox or Move to > Primary.

Selecting the Mute option in Gmail for web.

screenshot/Anita George / Digital Trends

Archiving an email vs. muting an email

You may have heard of the ability to mute an email and archive an email discussed in the same breath. Both features will remove messages from your inbox to keep things tidy, but archived emails will return to your inbox if someone replies to them. On the other hand, muted messages will stay out of your inbox permanently. Follow these steps on either the web or a mobile app if you wish to mute an email:

Step 1: Access your Gmail account.

Step 2: Open the email you wish to mute.

Step 3: Select the More button (shown as three vertical dots). For the web, it is important that you select the More button that is located toward the top of your screen, just under the search box.

Step 4: Select the Mute option.

You can follow these steps on both iOS and Android phones and tablets. The only minor difference with iOS devices is that the More icon for iOS is not three vertical dots, but instead is three horizontal dots.

If you wish to unmute an email conversation, you can do so on the web by following the steps given above, but you’ll need to select the Unmute option in step 4. You’ll still need to select Move to inbox if you want the email to return to your inbox. Unmuting an email doesn’t move it to a different folder in Gmail, so it will remain in All Mail if you don’t move it yourself.

You can also unmute an email in the Gmail app for Android, but you won’t find an Unmute option. You’ll have to select the More icon and then Move to inbox instead. Doing so effectively unmutes the message and moves it back to the inbox.

All of your muted conversations are grouped so that you can easily access them by searching for them under the name “is:mute” in the Gmail search box.

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Windows 11 may replace a favorite shortcut with more AI | Digital Trends

Windows 11 may replace a favorite shortcut with more AI | Digital Trends

Microsoft is currently testing removing a popular Windows 11 feature and swapping it out for AI.

The brand recently rolled out the Windows 11 preview build for the Dev Channel. In the build, the shortcut to Copilot is a primary feature of the operating system. The shortcut will be located in the bottom-right corner of the screen and will replace the “Show desktop” button, which has been commonplace on Windows since 2009, according to Neowin.

Microsoft / Digital Trends

The Show desktop feature has been an easy shortcut to minimize all apps and allows you to return to your desktop with one click. However, Microsoft is looking to make its Copilot AI-assistant more efficient and present on the Windows desktop. Its position on the desktop will put it near the notification center and the time and date, potentially making it easier to locate and use.

The once default Show desktop feature is now turned off in the preview build update, however, it is still available in the system and can be enabled manually.

You can enable it by selecting Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar behaviors > Select the far corner of the taskbar to show the desktop. You can then attach it where you like on your taskbar.

Though Microsoft is testing this setup, there is no guarantee it will make it to a public Windows build. The current Windows look has the Copilot icon located to the right of the search bar, which is a more centered frame of reference on a standard desktop.

Neowin noted that Microsoft developed and tested the Show desktop feature for some time before rolling it out to the public. Perhaps a final version of the Copilot icon placement will allow Show desktop to remain enabled in some form, especially considering Microsoft’s AI assistant also includes the voice activation function as an accessibility feature.

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Google Pixel Watch 2 just got its first proper discount | Digital Trends

Google Pixel Watch 2 just got its first proper discount | Digital Trends

Joe Maring / Digital Trends

If you’re on the hunt for smartwatch deals, here’s an offer that you should definitely consider — the Google Pixel Watch 2 for $300, down from $350 at Best Buy We think there’s a lot of shoppers who have been waiting for the wearable device’s first proper discount since its October 2023 release, so if you want to pocket the $50 in savings, you’re going to have to be quick with your purchase.

Why you should buy the Google Pixel Watch 2

The Google Pixel Watch 2, Google’s follow-up to the Google Pixel Watch, lets you access your favorite Google apps like Google Maps and Google Calendar on your wrist, on a 1.2-inch screen with a 320 pixel-per-inch density and a maximum brightness of 1,000 nits. It comes with Fitbit as its fitness platform, and emergency features such as fall detection and real-time location sharing. The Google Pixel Watch 2 just received an update to enable notifications to your Android phone when it’s fully charged, which is a sign that owners can look forward to more additions in the future.

Between the Google Pixel Watch 2 and Google Pixel Watch, we recommend going for the second generation of the smartwatch despite no visible changes between the two models. That’s because the improvements are mostly under the hood, with a processor upgrade to the Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 for faster performance and better battery efficiency, an entire ensemble of new and improved sensors for fitness tracking, and Google’s Wear OS 4 pre-installed.

The Google Pixel Watch is just nearly two months old, but you can already get this new piece of tech with a $50 discount from Amazon, Best Buy, or Target. It’s down to its lowest price so far of $300 from $350, but probably not for long as we expect a lot of demand for the smartwatch. There’s a chance that stocks are already running low, so if you’re already looking forward to wearing the Google Pixel Watch 2 on your wrist, there’s no time to waste — lock the price in as soon as possible.

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This is the first serious AI app for writers on the Mac | Digital Trends

This is the first serious AI app for writers on the Mac | Digital Trends

Image used with permission by copyright holder

In a year where virtually every tech company in existence is talking about AI, Apple has been silent. That doesn’t mean Apple-focused developers aren’t taking matters into their own hands, though. An update to the the popular Mac writing app iA Writer just made me really excited about seeing what Apple’s eventual take on AI will be.

In the iA Writer 7 update, you’ll be able to use text generated by ChatGPT as a starting point for your own words. The idea is that you get ideas from ChatGPT, then tweak its output by adding your distinct flavor to the text, making it your own in the process. Most apps that use generative AI do so in a way that basically hands the reins over to the artificial intelligence, such as an email client that writes messages for you or a collaboration tool that summarizes your meetings.

Things are a little different with popular writing app iA Writer, though — and the result is a nuanced and ethically minded take on generative AI that feels like something Apple could end up doing itself.

“Working responsibly with AI”

So, here’s how it works. Any text pasted from ChatGPT is grayed out by iA Writer. Any text that you change or replace turns black, indicating that you have written it yourself. The developer of iA Writer says this will turn ChatGPT into a “dialogue partner” rather than a ghostwriter, where there’s a risk that “it takes over and you lose your voice.”

The app won’t automatically recognize pasted text as coming from ChatGPT, though — you have to mark it yourself by right-clicking and selecting Paste As > AI > Enable Authorship. There are also options for marking pasted text using keyboard shortcuts and menus.

If you leave the writing app and ask ChatGPT to edit a paragraph created in iA Writer, you can let the app know by right-clicking and choosing Paste Edits From > AI. And if you want to tell iA Writer that the words you are inserting were created by yourself rather than AI, you can select Paste As > Me.

The developer of iA Writer says that assigning authorship in this way is “new, useful, and prerequisite to working responsibly with AI text generation.” They continued: “We think that everyone would benefit from a future where we can see what the machine processed and what humans felt, thought, and expressed with their hearts and minds.”

All of this means that iA Writer’s update is not designed to detect AI plagiarism. Indeed, the developer says that “it’s up to you to decide how honest you want to be with yourself.” Done properly, though, it could turn ChatGPT into a handy assistant that improves your writing without drowning out your own voice.

The future of Apple AI

This update to iA Writer is starting on macOS, iPadOS, and iOS, but it will be coming to Windows and Android at some point too.

And of course, iA Writer isn’t the only third-party Mac app around, nor will it be the last. But it is a preview of the kind of thing Apple will need to address in full at some point. It has its own first-party apps that are all starting to look a bit outdated compared to its competitors. Google, Adobe, and Microsoft have all embraced generative AI wholesale, integrating it into nearly every piece of software. Windows Copilot is, of course, the supreme example. Apple’s own solution for bringing AI more fully into its products will likely look different — but surely it’ll need to do something.

We’re expecting it to be a major focus at WWDC 2024 next June, where we’ll hopefully see a broader vision of how Apple tackles AI.

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Duolingo Year in Review 2023: how to find yours right now | Digital Trends

Duolingo Year in Review 2023: how to find yours right now | Digital Trends

Duolingo, the wildly popular language learning app, just added a big new feature. No, it’s not a melting face app icon again — it’s the Duolingo Year in Review for 2023!

This is something we see from many popular apps toward the end of each year. There’s Spotify Wrapped, Apple Music Replay, Reddit Recap — you get the idea. Lots of apps summarize your activity at the end of the year, and the results are usually pretty interesting.

If you’re a Duolingo user and want to see how you spent your time on the app in 2023, here’s what to do.

Digital Trends

How to find your Duolingo 2023 Year in Review

Accessing your Duolingo Year in Review is quite simple, but we’ll still guide you through the process — just in case.

Step 1: Open the Duolingo app on your smartphone.

Step 2: You should automatically see a pop-up for your 2023 Year in Review. Tap the blue See year in review button.

Step 3: If the pop-up doesn’t appear, tap the Profile button at the bottom of the screen and then tap the See year in review button there.

Step 4: Select Start or swipe up on your screen to browse through your Duolingo 2023 Year in Review.

Step 5: You’ll see stats for how many lessons you completed, how many minutes you spent learning a new language, how many words you learned, and more.

Step 6: Toward the end of the Year in Review, you can swipe up to see your unique “learner style.”

Step 7: On the final page, you can tap Share for a reward to share your Duolingo 2023 Year in Review. If you do share it, you’ll receive a special leaderboard badge.

Step 8: Alternatively, tap the X icon in the top-left corner to leave your Duolingo 2023 Year in Review.

The Duolingo 2023 Year in Review is available to anyone with a Duolingo account, and even if you’ve viewed it once, you can go back and watch it again at any time on your Profile page. Have fun!

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Best Apple TV VPN for 2022 | Digital Trends

Best Apple TV VPN for 2022 | Digital Trends

An Apple TV is a great way to transform your normal television into a smart TV, but whenever you have the capability to connect online, it’s imperative you install and use an Apple TV VPN. A lot of smart TVs come with Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+ subscriptions already built-in to the device, but what about those who have an older TV? Using the Apple TV device, you can hook up your streaming subscriptions and watch in Ultra HD as you relax on your couch. Make sure you stay safe and protected with a VPN for Apple TV so that none of your information or personal data leaks or is compromised.

If you’re interested in which Apple TV VPN is for you, this list will be perfect for you as we’ve researched and compiled all of the VPNs that we think are right for our readers. Alternatively, you can check our best VPN list for a broader range of choices. If you’re on the fence about purchasing a subscription and committing to it, we’ve got you covered with our list of the best free VPN services. You can give any of them a go and test them with your Apple TV to see if it’s right for you.


  • Country of registration: Panama
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, Linux, Apple TV
  • Monthly cost: Standard: $13 / Plus: $14 / Complete $15
  • Number of servers: 5,237+
  • Simultaneous connections: 6

Perhaps the biggest and most popular Apple TV VPN, NordVPN has cemented itself in the industry as the go-to option for customers both new and old. It’s more than likely that you’ve heard of this VPN, regardless of if you have an active subscription yourself. The company flexes its marketing prowess in so many corners of the internet, which brings in a lot of newcomers and brings more attention to the benefits of VPNs.

NordVPN is famous for its sturdy servers and its commitment to user data and protection. Its NordLynx protocol in conjunction with OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec means that you can connect to its servers safely, and more importantly, completely anonymously. When connected, NordVPN’s AES 256-bit encryption ensures stability and prevents any intruders from accessing your precious information.

If you feel safe investing in a subscription from the most popular product in the VPN industry, then there should be no other option for you except NordVPN. It has everything you need, like lightning-fast servers for streaming, world-class security, and great all-around service.


Image used with permission by copyright holder
  • Country of registration: British Virgin Islands
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, Linux, Apple TV
  • Cost: $13 per month
  • Number of servers: 3,000+
  • Simultaneous connections: 5

While typically you could claim that the VPN industry is wide open with only a few titans in the scene, it seems as if ExpressVPN has marketed itself as one of the most complete solutions as an Apple TV VPN. It has a dedicated section of its website regarding connecting your Apple TV to a VPN which is a great way of educating the mass market and making the product accessible.

If you want to unblock geo-locked content, you can do so with ease through ExpressVPN’s 3,000+ servers. If you can’t watch a highly anticipated or popular TV show due to where your location in the world, you are free to bypass that with a VPN for Apple TV. Never worry about buffering and lag when you’re connected to ExpressVPN’s servers, as they are configured specifically for Ultra HD streaming.

Although many feel that having security on your Apple TV device may not be necessary, it’s still important to have. While it’s true that it’s extremely uncommon for a hacker to target your device, it can and has happened, and any digital platform where your personal information is stored should be treated with utmost caution. That’s why ExpressVPN’s revolutionary security features like Lightway and TrustedServer are worth the subscription — so you can stay safe without doing any of the work!


  • Country of registration: British Virgin Islands
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, Linux, Apple TV
  • Monthly cost: Starter: $11 / One: $17 / One+: $22
  • Number of servers: 3,200+
  • Simultaneous connections: Unlimited

Surfshark is an amazing VPN for Apple TV, but it’s also excellent for all smart devices because you can connect your single subscription plan to unlimited devices. Yes, for $13 per month, you can connect an unlimited amount of devices to unlimited global bandwidth. Stream your favorite media without any worries about data caps or bandwidth.

This Apple TV VPN is quickly becoming a fan favorite and, while it’s not as popular as the other titans like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, we can expect that to change soon if Surfshark continues to offer great value to its customers. Connect to a server anywhere in the world with the click of a button, or in the case of an Apple TV, by simply turning on your device.

The 3,200+ servers are optimized especially for streaming capabilities, so you should expect extremely high-quality streams constantly (assuming you have a good enough internet connection in the first place, of course). Gone are the days of VPNs throttling speeds and leaving you on an endless buffer — Apple TV VPNs like Surfshark are changing the way we consume content digitally.

Hotspot Shield

Image used with permission by copyright holder
  • Country of registration: United States
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, Linux, Apple TV
  • Monthly cost: Basic: free / Premium: $13
  • Number of servers: 1,800+
  • Simultaneous connections: 5

Hotspot Shield is the most budget-friendly option on this list, but its price isn’t an indicator of its quality. This VPN for Apple TV is mostly seen advertised on smartphone app stores, but not many people know that it can be used for your TV as well. As long as you have your DNS IP Address (see the relevant section at the end of this article), you can hook Hotspot Shield up to your Apple TV.

Admittedly, this VPN doesn’t come with as many global servers as the others on this list, but if you’re using it solely for the purpose of watching shows without geo-blocking and you’re on a budget, we encourage you to use this service. If you’re still unsure, feel free to use its generous 500Mbps of free data per day on a different device to grab a feel of the service.

Hotspot Shield is an amazing choice for beginners in the VPN world due to its generous free data plan, so if you want to dip your toes into the ocean of this industry, you might want to start here! After your introduction to VPNs, Hotspot Shield is an accessible choice for a premium plan due to its cheap price point.


CyberGhost VPN
  • Country of registration: Romania
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, Linux, Apple TV
  • Cost: $13 per month
  • Number of servers: 7,300+
  • Simultaneous connections: 7

Last but not least, CyberGhost is a unique and trailblazing Apple TV VPN that has burst onto the scene looking like a serious contender for the throne. Through its unique branding and company motif, this VPN looks to catch the attention of customers with its visuals first, then retain them with its reliable product. The cute ghost logo may look playful and charismatic, but the security that is implemented in each server is serious business.

Connect your DNS IP Address to your Apple TV, and then forget about it. Installation is easy, and the unlimited global bandwidth ensures you never have to worry about data caps, but more importantly, you’ll never experience significant lag or buffering. With over 7,300+ servers all over the world, you’ll be able to access content in whatever country you wish!

$13 per month isn’t cheap, but you can connect up to seven devices simultaneously, and you can access thousands of global servers with a click of a button. Whether you’re streaming your favorite shows on your Apple TV, browsing on your smartphone, or conducting business on your laptop, CyberGhost is a valuable and solid VPN no matter the occasion.

Can you use a VPN with Apple TV?

Although there are significantly fewer options for you to choose from, there are still plenty of Apple TV VPNs circulating the internet! The problem many consumers face is choosing the right one. You may see VPNs touting Apple TV support, but some may be scams, so it can be hard to determine the best VPNs from the scams. It’s wise to do your own research on anything you’re spending hard-earned money on, and listening to experts while forming your own opinion with the guide of websites like Digital Trends is a surefire way to find the product that’s right for you. Installing a VPN on your Apple TV isn’t as easy or straightforward as installing it on your smartphone, though, so check out the next section for installing a VPN for Apple TV.

How to install VPN on Apple TV

For this tutorial, we’ll be using ExpressVPN as an example, but this method of installation is applicable to all of the VPNs in the list above.

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Express VPN joins the growing ranks of VPNs on Apple TV | Digital Trends

Express VPN joins the growing ranks of VPNs on Apple TV | Digital Trends

Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

One of the bigger features added to tvOS 17, at least on paper, was the ability for Apple TV to run a VPN application. That’s a big deal because folks don’t tunnel their entire home network traffic through a virtual private network, both because they’re probably normal human beings who don’t attempt such things and because routers don’t always make that an easy thing to do.

And the news today is that ExpressVPN — one of the bigger players in the space — is now available for Apple TV. It joins a growing cadre of tvOS-capable VPN apps, which at the time of this writing includes VPNify, X-VPN, IPVanish, PureVPN,, LeapVPN, US VPN, and Anycast, for starters.

It’s been virtually impossible to be anywhere online in recent years without running into a VPN somehow — most prominently through extremely heavy marketing. That’s in part because VPNs allow you to make it look as if your device is based in some other country, which can allow you to watch something that’s, say, on Netflix in the U.K., but not available on Netflix in the U.S. It’s also because VPN providers have spent a ton of money on affiliates, getting websites and podcasters and other influencers to hit folks where display ads don’t. (Yes, we also have our list of the best VPNs for Apple TV.) They’re marketed as must-have services for privacy, though their necessity — even on public Wi-Fi networks — can definitely be debated. And to be fair, they’re a simple method to do some basic masking of where you are and what you’re doing online.

In any case, the floodgates have opened for tvOS and Apple TV. The VPN apps have arrived. There will be more. Fortunately, for now, they’re constrained inside the App Store, and you have to seek one out if you want to use it.

Subscriptions, available via in-app purchases, run from $13 a month to $117 a year.

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The Rise of AI in Alternative Browsers—and What’s Next

The Rise of AI in Alternative Browsers—and What’s Next

Josh Miller laughs a few minutes into our conversation and admits that he almost declined today’s interview about The Browser Company. The young CEO is jetlagged from a flight to Paris but appears comfortable over Zoom and eager to talk about Arc, his company’s new AI-fortified web browser. So, what’s the reason for his hesitancy? “We weren’t sure if we wanted more people to use it,” says Miller. “It’s legitimately a problem how [many] people are interested.” In other words, the Arc browser is too popular—a pretty enviable problem for a software entrepreneur.

On the cover of our 1997 March issue, WIRED editors declared, “The Web browser itself is about to croak.” Whoops! A quarter century later, not only are browsers still here, ribbiting along, but developers continue to update the user experience. The latest upgrade? Generative AI, of course.

Microsoft released a nascent version of its Edge browser that uses OpenAI’s ChatGPT model at the start 2023. By the time Google launched sign-ups for the Search Generative Experience in May, multiple smaller companies and startups were poised to launch AI tools for browsers as well.

“We’re building a whole super-agent natively integrated into your browser with a team of six,” says Mahyad Ghassemibouyaghchi, founder and CEO of SigmaOS. His startup browser launched a tool, called Airis, just a week after Google announced its SGE experiment. Opera, a small but long-running browser company from Norway, dropped its AI-imbued browser in late June.

Miller, who previously worked as a product manager at Facebook and the White House under Obama, led Arc to its 1.0 launch around the same time, sans chatbot tools. The software was a hit, with positive reviews and influential users like Marques Brownlee.

“We’ve been pretty big AI skeptics ourselves,” says Miller. “Very wary of the hype.” Despite the apprehension, by fall The Browser Company debuted Arc Max, with generative AI. Reaction from users was intense. On launch day, the new AI tool surpassed Browser’s data limit and the company was forced to reach out to OpenAI and Anthropic to ask for more.

Summarize the Web

That brings us to a critical question: What can these AI tools actually do in browsers? Well, in its first week, Arc Max users created over a million summaries using generative AI to see previews of hyperlinked information as they’re searching the internet, before clicking on the web page. For example, I searched for “namedrop apple” in Google and hovered the cursor over my article about this new iOS 17 feature. Here’s the web page summary created by AI:

Arc via Reece Rogers

Rewrite the Web

Instead of going to OpenAI’s website to use ChatGPT or another chatbot, composing AI text with Airis is fairly seamless. “Let’s say you were writing a tweet,” says Ghassemibouyaghchi. “You ask Airis, ‘Rewrite this for me.’ And, it will rewrite your tweet in any tone, any format that you want.” As chatbots and the large language models underlying these tools improve, this AI-composed text may become even more passable as human-written content.

Contextualize the Web

“It changes the way that you browse the web. You don’t need to open a new tab, do a Google search, and find something that’s somewhat related,” says Brian Bondy, a cofounder and CTO at Brave, another browser startup that added AI as part of the user experience. “You just ask the question on the page that you’re on.” In a sidebar on the right side of your screen, Brave’s browser assistant, Leo, can answer questions about the content on web pages and provide additional context as you browse the internet. The company’s basic AI tool runs on Meta’s open source Llama 2 model, while the $15-a-month subscription version of Leo uses Anthropic’s Claude.

Personalize the Web

Software developers continue to experiment with ways generative AI can make browsers more tailored to your interests and the topics you’re looking at on each web page. “The vision that we have is the browsers being even more personal than they are today,” says Krystian Kolondra, an executive vice president and head of desktop browsers at Opera. Imagine a browser that is reactive to your unique interests as well as preferred modes of interaction and configures itself to what you want.

Surf Different

As first-adopters continue to play around with AI-enhanced browsers and companies mimic each other’s functions, the privacy protections offered remain a key differentiator. Sensitive information about who you are, where you live, and what you’re interested in is often fully exposed through your internet browsing habits. “We kind of broke all of the software industry rules,” says Miller. He’s upfront that The Browser Company decided not to release every AI tool that it developed, out of an abundance of caution for user’s privacy. Yes, nascent users often want the most powerful option, but they also may be inclined to trust AI tools more if the creators prioritize privacy.

Ghassemibouyaghchi mentions a conversation he said he had with Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, at an alumni gathering for the Y Combinator startup accelerator. “He had a very interesting take: that one of the crucial implementations of AI will be for personal productivity,” says Ghassemibouyaghchi. “Probably in a browser.” Although OpenAI declined to comment for this story, the company released a new platform, before all the leadership drama, where subscribers can create custom chatbot tools, often called AI agents, to answer questions and interact with software.

Many people working on alternative browsers see AI agents as a potential evolution of how to access the internet. For proponents, the hope is that algorithms continue to understand the context of our online interactions better, and eventually they might be able to browse the internet without us at all—or at least with minimal input. “We don’t believe that we can get there any time soon,” says Kolondra. “But these are the levels that we’re thinking about.”

Miller remains skeptical of a future where humanity’s doomscrolling days are over and algorithms are the only ones clicking around the internet. “It’s quite dystopian to think of a world where there will be an AI bot that just does everything on your behalf,” he says. Miller compares Arc’s tools to the automatic cruise control on a car, rather than some complete, self-driving software.

Despite disagreements about how AI tools will eventually manifest, all of these business leaders are dedicated to crafting the best possible experience for users. No super-powered AI can distract Miller from his mission: “Let’s just make your day a little bit better. Let’s not pretend like we’re revolutionizing the world.”