BBC: WhatsApp to stop working on millions of phones. “Messaging service WhatsApp will no longer work on millions of smartphones from 1 February. Android and iPhone devices which only support outdated operating systems will no longer be able to run the Facebook-owned app.”
Neowin: Google provides a timeline for phasing out Chrome Apps. “Google today provided a timeline as to when and how it will start phasing out support for Chrome Apps across all operating systems. The company had first announced back in 2016 that it was doing away with Chrome Apps.”
ZDNet: How to switch from Windows 7 to Chrome OS CloudReady. “Yesterday, a friend asked what he should do since Windows 7 has come to the end of its supported life. I asked him what he uses his computer for. He replied, ‘Email and Facebook.’ He added that he has no interest in moving to Windows 10. He’s far from the only one. About one in five users have stuck with Windows 7 to the bitter end. And, really, for his purposes, who can blame him? For him, Windows 7 just works. So, rather than try to convince him to move to Linux, I suggested he consider Neverware’s Chrome OS variant, CloudReady. Here’s how to do it.”
ZDNet: Here’s what will happen to your Windows 7 PC on January 15, 2020. “Microsoft has been warning Windows 7 users for the past year-plus that after January 14, 2020, they’ll get no more security updates to the operating system for free. Even though users will be able to continue to run Windows 7 after that date, they’ll be more susceptible to potential security problems. To hammer that point home, Microsoft is planning to deliver a new pop-up notification to Windows 7 users on January 15, 2020.”
Softpedia News: Linux Lite 4.8 Arrives as a Windows 7 Alternative, Based on Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS. “Linux Lite creator Jerry Bezencon announced today the release and general availability of the Linux Lite 4.8 operating system as an alternative to the soon-to-be-deprecated Windows 7 OS.”
BetaNews: Windows 7 users will still get updates to Microsoft Security Essentials when the OS is out of support. “It’s now mere weeks until Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft. When January 14, 2020 rolls around, the end date for support will have been reached, and Microsoft is keen for people to upgrade to Windows 10 to avoid having insecure computers that don’t receive updates. But not all security updates are being dropped. Having previously said that Microsoft Security Essentials would no longer receive updates when Windows 7 support ends, the company has indicated that updates will in fact continue to be released.”
BetaNews: Zorin OS 15.1 Linux distro is ready to replace Microsoft’s dying Windows 7 on your PC. “If you are ready to ditch the soon-to-be-unsupported Windows 7 for a more secure Linux-based operating system, you have plenty of great options. One of the best choices, however, is Zorin OS — a Linux distribution that specifically targets people switching from Windows. Today, the latest version of that operating system, Zorin OS 15.1, is released to the world.” If you’ve got someone who’s used to Windows, has Windows 7, and can’t/won’t upgrade to Windows 10, Zorin is great. If all they want to do is get on the Internet and do their stuff in the cloud, it’s really great.
9to5 Google: Google apps for Glass Explorer Edition will be killed in 2020 after final update. “Google Glass today lives on as enterprise product for factories and other similar environments. The consumer-focussed Glass continues to work for Explorers that spent $1,500 from 2013 to 2015, but it surfaced today that many Google Glass features will be killed in February 2020.”
BetaNews: Zorin OS 15 Lite Linux distro can rejuvenate your aging Windows PC. “Why buy new hardware if you don’t need it? A better operating system can often make the computer run fast again. Today, you can download an excellent such Linux-based operating system. Called ‘Zorin OS 15 Lite,’ it is not only lightweight, but thanks to the Xfce desktop environment and integrated Flatpak support, it should be quite familiar to those switching from Windows. In fact, the developers are intentionally targeting existing Windows 7 users, as Microsoft’s operating system will be unsupported beginning January 2020.” I migrated my husband to Zorin. Very easy learning curve if you’re at all familiar with Windows 7.
Ars Technica: RIP OG Pixel: Google ends support after just three years [Update]. “Pour one out this morning for the OG Google Pixel 1. This month’s Android security patches are out, and while you’ll find bulletins covering the Pixel 2, 3, and 4, the original Google Pixel didn’t make the cut. Google is ending support this month.” An update to the story notes that support is actually ending NEXT month. Still, that means the phone is obsolete in… three years? And the these phones started at $649?
Make Tech Easier: Why Are Browsers Ending Flash Support and How to Access Flash Content Afterwards. “Major browsers have been slowly pulling support for years now, and Adobe itself has announced that it would be stopping development and support in December 2020. This means that within the next year, pretty much no mainstream browsers will be able to access Flash content on the Web. No videos, no games, no vintage Flash sites, nothing. So why exactly is this happening, what’s the timeline, and what do you do if you really need to access some kind of flash content later?”
Ars Technica: Some Chromebooks mistakenly declared themselves end-of-life last week. “Google has been working on a way to warn users six months ahead of time that their device’s EOL date is approaching to allow them to plan with a little less time-sensitive desperation. But users running the Canary and Dev early-preview ChromeOS builds discovered a bug in the new code the hard way. After any reboot, brand-new devices started warning ‘this is the last automatic software and security update for this Chromebook. To get future updates, upgrade to a newer model.'” I was happy to see this story because I thought it meant my Chromebox was fine. Spoiler: my Chromebox is not fine. Has anybody used CloudReady?
Mosaic Science: How can doctors find better ways to talk – and listen – to patients close to death?. “Two brothers are combining palliative care expertise, linguistics and AI to encourage more effective conversations between doctors and people receiving end-of-life care.” This story just grabbed me and swallowed me whole. I hope there are enough Kleenex in the house.
CNET: How families are giving a fantastic trip to loved ones in hospice. “VR may get a bad rap as a once-hot tech trend that failed to live up to expectations, but companies haven’t given up on it. Facebook last month released the $400 Oculus Quest, which CNET editor Scott Stein called the best thing he’s tried this year. And virtual reality has made headway outside of the consumer world. For example, using VR for hospice care — as a way to bring a larger world to people who’ve found themselves limited to a room, or just a bed — is beginning to catch on with care providers. “
Neowin: Windows 8 will no longer get app updates after this summer. “Last year, Microsoft announced when it would be killing app updates and distribution in the Windows Store for Windows Phone 8.x and Windows 8.x. At the time, the blog post stated that Windows Phone 8.x devices would stop receiving app updates after July 1, 2019, while Windows 8.x devices would get app updates through July 1, 2023. However, it seems as though plans have changed a little bit, as the blog post has quietly been updated earlier this month.”