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Winners and Losers: Steam extends game trials as Google purges inactive accounts

The biggest announcement this week went to Amazon as the company showcased its latest array of Alexa-powered speakers and smart displays, including an update to the Echo Show 5 and the vibrant Echo Pop

This week also saw a new pair of Beats Studio Buds+ with a transparent design, the final version of iOS 16 before iOS 17 is unveiled next month and a launch date for the next Motorola Razr phones

However, our winner this week is Valve as the company extended the trial period for games on Steam, while Google took the title of loser by revealing an update for inactive accounts. 

Steam Logo

Winner: Valve 

Our winner this week is Valve after the company revealed it will be offering Steam users their first 90-minute-long game trial on the platform

The trial invites Steam gamers to play the first hour and a half of this year’s Dead Space remake at no charge, meaning you should be able to get a good feel for whether or not you like the title before dropping $50 on it. 

If you’re familiar with the way Steam works, you probably know that Steam gives users the option to refund games within the first two hours of play if they aren’t happy with it. While the trial technically gives you 30 minutes less time with the game, it also means there’s no need to spend money on that title only to have it refunded later that day. 

This should help gamers to cut down on unnecessary purchases and Valve receive less frequent refund requests, making it a handy system all around. 

Dead Space is the first game we’ve seen this new trialling system applied to on Steam, with this particular offer ending on May 29. However, we’re excited to see whether Valve continues to offer 90-minute trials on other popular titles and how long these trials will stick around once they arrive. 

Google Photos

Loser: Google 

This week’s loser is Google after the company warned it will be deleting the photos and documents of any users who haven’t signed into their accounts in the last two years. 

This news was announced as part of Google’s updated inactive account policy, a policy that gives the company the right to delete any account it deems to be inactive. In this case, that includes any account that hasn’t been used within the last two years. 

That means that if you haven’t actively signed into your Google account since 2021, your photos, documents, emails and other data could be at risk of deletion at any moment. 

This is pretty scary news for anyone currently using a Google account to back up photos, documents and other data from an old phone or laptop. 

So what does Google consider an “active” account? Essentially, doing any of the following actions could save your data from being purged from Google’s database: sending an email, using Google Drive, watching a YouTube video, sharing a photo, downloading an app or using Google Search to find results on the web. 

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Google has been sending email notifications to Google accounts at risk of deletion, but if you haven’t signed into that account in two years, there’s a chance you could miss the cut-off date and risk losing everything. 

For this reason, we’d recommend signing into any Google accounts you have and exporting any data you wouldn’t want to see disappear if you do end up logging out again for an extended period of time.

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