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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Why Kagi is one of the best Google various I’ve tried but

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Hello, mates! Welcome to Installer No. 8, your information to one of the best and Verge-iest stuff on this planet. (If you happen to’re new right here, to start with, hello, good day, welcome, and second of all, you’ll be able to learn all of the {old} editions at the Installer homepage.) 

This week, I’ve spent an alarming quantity of my free time taking part in EA Sports FC 24, the brand new soccer sport that simply launched in full on Friday. I’ve additionally been studying about Apple’s plans to change the sports TV world, the truly unhinged Survivor casting process, and Sam Altman’s plan to either save the world or end it. I’ve been watching Special Ops: Lioness, listening to NSYNC’s new song on repeat, and taking copious notes on Kashmir Hill’s excellent Longform interview.

I even have for you a brand new VR / AR / MR headset, a browser it is best to obtain in all places, an superior Android launcher, some Baldur’s Gate 3 fanfiction, and far more. (Additionally, Linda Yaccarino, I’ve a lot of questions about your homescreen, so if you wish to be in subsequent week’s situation, get at me. Mail and Gmail? Actually?) 

As at all times, one of the best a part of Installer is your concepts and ideas. What do you wish to know extra about? What superior methods have you learnt that everybody else ought to? What app ought to everybody be utilizing? Inform me all the pieces: installer@theverge.com. And if you wish to get each situation of Installer a day early in your e-mail inbox you’ll be able to subscribe here.

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  • Meta Quest 3. It’s not VR anymore, it’s combined actuality. The $499.99 Quest 3 appears to be a giant enchancment on the Quest 2, and in a quick demo, it confirmed some fairly stable combined actuality chops. However I’m genuinely curious: do you care about headsets? Are they the long run / too early / completely silly? I believe they’re actually fascinating sport consoles and perhaps cool TV setups. However I wish to know what you assume! E-mail me all of your ideas (and fave Quest apps if in case you have ’em): installer@theverge.com.
  • The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. I really like a filmmaking experiment, and this has been a enjoyable one: Wes Anderson made a bunch of quick movies based mostly on Roald Dahl tales, and so they’ve been dropping on Netflix all week. It’s type of a present, type of a film in 4 elements, type of an old style internet sequence? No matter it’s, it’s pleasant. 
  • ChatGPT’s voice commands. Two good issues occurred to ChatGPT this week: it acquired again the power to browse the online in actual time, and it grew to become a extremely helpful voice assistant. (You’ll want the $20 a month ChatGPT Plus subscription to get them, at the least for now.) I now ask ChatGPT all of the questions Siri by no means appears to get proper, and it’s fairly spectacular. It nonetheless makes errors and may’t do basic items like share a hyperlink, but it surely’s essentially the most usable voice assistant I’ve ever tried.
  • macOS Sonoma. I embrace this in any other case comparatively simple working system replace for one cause and one cause solely: the screensavers. Apple principally took these beautiful, shifting screensavers from the Apple TV and ported them to the Mac, and so they look so good. Additionally, , widgets and no matter. However the screensavers.
  • Raspberry Pi 5. There’s nonetheless no higher laptop tinker toy than a Raspberry Pi. The brand new one, which begins at $60, is a spec upgrade across the board, and it’s as straightforward as ever to make it a wise dwelling controller / easy media laptop / principally the rest you’ll be able to consider. I’m definitely no computer-building genius, however I’ve had a blast for years taking part in with these. And with the brand new Pi OS coming subsequent month, this one will probably be much more highly effective out of the field.
  • The Creator. This film has a premise I’m certain you’ve seen one million occasions earlier than — people combating the AI takeover, what does it imply to be human, yadda, yadda, yadda. The Verge’s Charles Pulliam-Moore was left somewhat cold by the film’s massive concepts, but when nothing else, it feels like completely beautiful sci-fi. One for the large display for certain.
  • The Vivaldi browser. Vivaldi is certainly one of my absolute favourite browsers. It’s superfast, wildly customizable, and as of this week, obtainable nearly in all places! The new iOS app syncs simply along with your different browsers, and similar to different platforms, has an enormous quantity of choices and options. (The Android app has been round for some time and is terrific.) Plus: an precise tab bar on my telephone? You like to see it.
  • Windows 11’s fall update. Microsoft would let you know the big upgrade this fall is Copilot, its built-in AI assistant for getting issues finished everywhere in the OS. I’m additionally into the File Explorer redesign. However I’d argue the new Paint — which acquired a bunch of Photoshop-lite-ish options like layers and transparency and is getting AI instruments for enhancing and creating pictures — goes to be a fair greater win for most individuals. 
  • Murder in the 21st. This new present, a real crime sequence taking a look at some main investigations and murders by the lens of the victims’ digital footprints, goes to be very common in my home. It’s essentially the most iconic crossover of my household’s pursuits since Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce began hanging out.


One factor I’ve struggled with in Installer thus far is the right way to speak about issues that aren’t new however not all people is aware of about. I don’t wish to bore you with stuff like, “Have you ever heard of the iPhone, it’s neat!” however I additionally do see extra stuff than your common web individual, ? So I determine, let’s do this: once I come throughout one thing cool that’s new to me (and fairly more likely to be new to most individuals), I’m going to share a bit about it and why it’s price testing.

First up, and the explanation I’ve been fascinated by this part in any respect: I’ve develop into a complete convert to the Kagi search engine. I wrote a big story about Neeva and search a couple of months in the past, and a bunch of individuals had been like, “Strive Kagi! It’s superior!” It’s, the truth is, superior. Right here’s what I like about it:

  • It’s customizable. Kagi appears quite a bit like Google and customarily feels similar to use. However not like Google, Kagi allows you to block websites you don’t like and promote websites you do like. You too can create “lenses” to solely search sure websites or domains — Kagi has a bunch in-built, too, like a “Small Web” lens that favors blogs, boards, and different elements of the online that are likely to get blotted out by the giants.
  • No adverts. The catch with Kagi is it’s important to pay for it. You get a couple of searches a month free of charge, however $10 buys you limitless entry. That’s some huge cash for a search engine! However the pages are a lot cleaner and fewer complicated that I used to be shocked how rapidly I paid up.
  • It’s nice for movies and podcasts. Podcast search is, like, not possible. However I’ve had surprisingly good luck Kagi-ing matters I’m keen on and discovering associated podcast episodes, and the engine does a equally good job of scouring YouTube for fascinating stuff.
  • Its AI is helpful however not in the best way. For lots of queries, Kagi places a bit of “Fast Reply” button on the prime — click on it, and also you get a quick AI-generated reply, with cited sources you’ll be able to click on on. That’s precisely the quantity of AI I’m searching for in most of my searches.
  • The cellular browser is nice. Kagi’s cellular app is a browser known as Orion, and it’s as no-frills a cellular browser as you’ll discover. However that’s cool by me! It’s quick and simple to make use of. You too can supposedly obtain Kagi as a Safari extension on iOS, however I haven’t managed to make that work. (On Android, you’ll be able to simply switch to Kagi as your default search engine as a result of Android is significantly better at this.)
  • It appears… good? I’ve tried principally all the various search engines, and I normally find yourself again on Google as a result of Google has higher outcomes. (Or at the least the outcomes I’m anticipating and searching for.) With Kagi, I’ve discovered myself going again to Google lower than typical. I don’t know if that’ll maintain up endlessly, however I’m impressed thus far.

Ten bucks for search, when Google exists and is nice and is free, is a troublesome ask. However Kagi CEO Vladimir Prelovac tells me the corporate’s doing effectively and rising rapidly and says he is aware of he’s not going to succeed in Google scale with Kagi but additionally says he doesn’t must. “I’ve all of the respect for Google and their folks and expertise,” he says, “I simply don’t like their enterprise mannequin.”

Up to now, I’m bought simply because I could make the search engine work the best way I need it to. That’s well worth the value to me, at the least for now. However I additionally wish to know: do you utilize a non-Google search engine? What would make you turn? Does anybody even care about search so long as you discover what you’re searching for? Let me know; I’m all ears.

Display share

Ash Parrish at all times appears to be taking part in 35 video games directly. As The Verge’s gaming reporter, she’s masking all the pieces from the nooks and crannies of Hyrule to the massive companies of Epic and Unity — and all of the chaos and tradition in between. And I’ve discovered that each time she will get excited a couple of sport, both on The Verge or simply in Slack, I ought to write it down and play it ASAP.

That’s a part of why I requested Ash to share her homescreen with us this week, together with some issues she’s into. As a result of if Ash is into it, it tends to rule. So right here’s what’s on Ash’s homescreen, plus some data on the apps she makes use of and why:

The Telephone: A Samsung Galaxy S21 that’s had its life saved many occasions by a cheapo Amazon telephone case.

The Apps: My homescreen is a combination of precedence work and communication apps together with the enjoyable stuff. I’ve acquired Slack, X / Twitter, Gmail, and Fb Messenger (which, oddly, is the first method I talk with my husband). Past that, I’ve acquired Google Maps, DoorDash, and a neat photograph app known as BeautyCam that takes one of the best selfies. I’ve the Overwatch League app so I can hold monitor of my groups, schedules, and standings as a result of the Grand Finals (which will most likely be the last Grand Finals ever) is occurring proper now.

Lastly, I’m neatly, firmly, and fortunately in Baldur’s Gate 3 hell. I eat, sleep, and breathe this sport, and my thoughts is so ravenous for content material that I’ve adopted habits I haven’t had since my youthful years as a fixture within the Dragon Age fandom. I’ve downloaded (or redownloaded) so many apps that I hope will ship me the fan content material I crave. Tumblr’s for fan artwork, Archive Reader is the unofficial Archive of Our Personal app that I take advantage of to learn fanfiction. And since my chosen Baldur’s Gate 3 pairing isn’t the most well-liked, I downloaded Wattpad in hopes of discovering extra fanfiction that feeds my wants. (I’ve not. Wattpad… doesn’t have the best content material.) 

The wallpaper: I acquired married final 12 months, and that is certainly one of my favourite footage that was taken. That’s me and my husband chopping our cake in our sunroom. Take a look at that man! In’ he cute!

I additionally requested Ash to share a couple of different issues she’s into. Right here’s what she stated:

  • Google Docs. Baldur’s Gate 3 has awoken certainly one of my primal animating forces: writing fanfiction. After years of being out of the sport, I’ve began writing once more with a zeal I haven’t seen since I used to be 25 spending an entire eight-hour shift at my workplace job writing a 21,000-word fic in a single sitting. 
  • The Roman Empire. You understand that meme going around about how plenty of girls don’t perceive how usually the lads of their lives take into consideration the Roman Empire? Nicely, I’m one of many girls who consistently thinks in regards to the Roman Empire. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney posted a now poorly aged tweet likening Epic to the Roman Empire. (The screenshot was from a film and featured Roman troopers in a forest. I spent about an hour attempting to trace down the battle referenced in that film to see if it was one of many many occasions the Romans acquired their ass beat by Germanic tribes, which might have made Sweeney’s tweet oddly prescient. My outcomes had been inconclusive.)
  • The Overwatch League. I don’t like meat sports activities, however I really like esports. And of the numerous esports, the Overwatch League is my favourite to look at. Nonetheless, due to causes, this season will seemingly be the final. And worse than that, this season wasn’t that fascinating to me. However the Hangzhou Spark, a group from a rustic where you cannot even officially play Overwatch, simply beat the group extremely favored to win all of it, reminding me of how a lot I really like this sport. I’m rooting for the Spark to win now. It’d be a becoming finish to one thing that has introduced me a lot pleasure.


Right here’s what the Installer group is into this week. I wish to know what you’re into proper now as effectively! E-mail installer@theverge.com along with your suggestions for something and all the pieces, and we’ll characteristic a few of our favorites right here each week. 

Energiza Pro, an app for higher battery life in the long run. I purchased it a couple of weeks in the past. I’m discovering it very helpful.” – Dennis

Radio Paradise performs an electrical mixture of music, ad-free, completely free, and has a number of ‘Mixes’ you’ll be able to take heed to (Rock, Mellow, Primary, International). They play an ideal mixture of music I wouldn’t normally take heed to, and you’ll skip the track in the event you don’t prefer it. They even allow you to customise the stream high quality from Low to FLAC high quality. They simply up to date the app to a brand new interface and are absolutely listener-supported, and I give once I can.” – Jonathan

Bombas socks and Kizik shoes. Each the socks and footwear are so snug, and the footwear are straightforward to placed on / slip on and off.” – Marty

“Unsure if this can be a new characteristic, however I simply seen whenever you’re viewing all tabs in cellular Safari, you’ll be able to long-press the button that reveals what number of tabs you’ve got, and it’ll pop up an possibility to repeat all of the hyperlinks to your clipboard! I’m a reasonably obsessive iPhone ideas reader and haven’t seen this one earlier than.” – Andrew

“Lately, I’ve been sucked again into Thumper, certainly one of my favourite video games of all time. This playthrough on iOS!” – Arden

“My favourite launcher of all time is the Z launcher by Nokia. It’s been unsupported for some time now and was finally taken off the app retailer (breaking my coronary heart). My second favourite launcher, and the one I’m at present utilizing, is Niagara Launcher. It’s clear (making your wallpaper seen), can alter pinned apps robotically by utilization, and most significantly, can discover any app in your telephone one-handed. I really like the app scrollbar (harking back to the One UI app settings scrollbar) since you’ll be able to precisely get to any app in your telephone in a fraction of a second.” – Samuel

Raycast! It’s this highly effective and trendy Highlight substitute for Mac that’s much like Alfred however method higher and extra trendy. I take advantage of all of it day, day-after-day, and it simply retains getting higher. A part of it is because of software program updates and new options however most of all as a result of I dig deeper into all of the superb and highly effective community-made extensions for it!” – Edvard

“I’m actually liking Death Glitch by Tamara Kneese about how the social platforms and web tradition deal with consumer demise. And obvs, I hear actually nice issues about Kashmir Hill’s new book.” – Joe

Signing off

This week, the parents on the Dropout streaming service introduced that, 5 years after launch, they’re fully getting rid of the title they’d earlier than — CollegeHumor. Dropout is nice, love Dropout, go watch Dropout, however the official finish of CH despatched me down the deepest YouTube rabbit gap this week. Have you ever watched Pete Holmes as Badman? Belief me, watch it once more. Then, go watch all of “Troopers,” the implausible Star Wars parody. “If Google Was a Guy” remains to be one of many funniest tech-related issues ever. I nonetheless say “no brandcuffs” out loud in all probability 5 occasions every week. There have been plenty of stinkers on CH through the years, however that group additionally did a few of the funniest stuff ever on the net. And 14 years later, “If All Movies Had Cell Phones” nonetheless rings in my ears each time I watch any individual who may completely resolve all their issues with one textual content message.

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