Tag: Apps

04
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Windows 10 Mobile (almost) supported Android apps

Microsoft Lumia 950 Windows 10 Mobile

The overwhelming majority of smartphones on the market today are powered by Android or iOS, but it wasn’t long ago that Microsoft was in the game with Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile.

Windows 10 Mobile was Microsoft’s last attempt to gain traction with a smartphone operating system. It offered a distinctive Live Tile interface, a desktop mode for external displays, and support for universal Windows apps.

Unfortunately, the Achilles Heel for Microsoft’s latest mobile OS continued to be a lack of apps compared to Android and iOS. This would be a significant contributing factor to the platform’s demise, but did you know that Microsoft was in the advanced stages of bringing Android app support to Windows 10 Mobile?

Project Astoria

Microsoft's Project Astoria initiative.

Microsoft initially developed multiple software “bridges” for Windows 10 Mobile, with the purpose of helping developers easily port their apps from legacy Windows, iOS, and Android. The first two bridges, dubbed Project Islandwood and Project Centennial and designed for porting iOS and Windows, respectively, actually saw the light of day.

The third bridge, dubbed Project Astoria, was unfortunately pulled from Windows 10 Mobile ahead of its commercial release. However, the Android sub-system was available on preview builds of the then-new operating system, giving users an idea of what to expect.

It’s one thing to facilitate easier porting of apps from one platform to another, but Project Astoria and the associated sub-system was a little more advanced. The project actually made it possible for end-users to install Android apps on their phones too. To do so, you needed to enable developer mode on your phone running the Windows 10 Mobile preview, install the APK2W10M internal app on your PC, connect your phone to the PC, and then deploy the desired app.

Preview builds of Windows 10 Mobile allowed you to

02
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Covid-19 exposure notification apps are coming to US states



a laptop sits on top of a wooden table: A phone displays a screen from an exposure notification app, asking users if they'd like to begin sending and receiving data with other app users.


© Provided by Quartz
A phone displays a screen from an exposure notification app, asking users if they’d like to begin sending and receiving data with other app users.

For the first six months of the pandemic, the US lagged behind dozens of other countries in rolling out apps to alert citizens when they’ve come in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. But states are finally rolling out a wave of apps based on open-source software that has made their proliferation faster and cheaper.

Now people just need to download them.

The most recent additions to the canon are New York and New Jersey, which each launched apps on Oct. 1. By the next day, iPhone and Android users had installed the New York app about 250,000 times.

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Since August, seven other US states and Guam have launched exposure notification apps. Four of them—New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania—were built using open-source code from the Linux Foundation Public Health (LFPH) initiative, which is freely available to any government that wants to crib from it to develop its own app. In September, Apple and Google announced an “exposure notification express” program to allow states to launch apps without doing any in-house coding at all.

Jenny Wanger, who works with LFPH to help US states get their coronavirus apps off the ground, says eight more state apps are likely to launch by the end of October. “They’re going to be able to do it at this point quite quickly and easily and cheaply,” she said, noting that states no longer need to hire developers to build new apps from scratch. “I would hope by the end of the year to see the majority of US states with exposure notification technology.”

All US state apps

02
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

New York and New Jersey launch COVID-19 contract tracing apps

New York and New Jersey joined a handful of other states in launching contact tracing apps for COVID-19.



a woman holding a cell phone: People with masks walking while looking at their phones.


© Provided by Live Science
People with masks walking while looking at their phones.

On Thursday (Oct. 1), the two states each launched their own contact tracing apps called “COVID Alert NY” and “COVID Alert NJ,” respectively. These apps, which keep users’ identities anonymous, are based on a new technology developed by Google and Apple. They use bluetooth to connect to nearby phones and alert users if they’ve been in close contact with someone who has been infected with the coronavirus. 

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From the very start of the pandemic, contact tracing has been an important part of helping to stop the spread of the virus. Contact tracing involves identifying people with COVID-19, figuring out who they came in close contact with, and notifying all of those people so that they can self-quarantine or get tested before spreading the virus to others. Most of those efforts have been conducted by people conducting phone calls.

Related: Coronavirus live updates

“We have about 15,000 people statewide who do contact tracing. They call them disease detectives,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a briefing on Thursday. “But we’ve been looking for a technology-based solution.”

The contact tracing app “knows where your cellphone is, the app will know where a person who tested positive was through their cellphone and the app can tell you if you were within 6 feet of that person,” Cuomo said. “It doesn’t give names, it doesn’t give any privacy information [and] it’s voluntary.”

This is how it works: When you’ve spent more than 10 minutes within 6 feet of another person with the app, which is “long enough and close enough for you to catch the virus,” your phone exchanges

30
Sep
2020
Posted in technology

Services And Apps Including TV+, Music And App Store Go Down

KEY POINTS

  • Apple services affected by massive outage
  • Apps including Music, TV+ working slow or not at all
  • Issues have been resolved but cause is not known

Another tech outage has hit users, and this time it’s Apple. Many services by the iPhone maker including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV Plus and Apple Arcade were down Tuesday evening. 

Many users got error messages while operating their Apple devices and services; some apps were running slow or not at all. The company, through a status message, acknowledged the issues. The outages were resolved before midnight and the services were back to normal, the company’s status page showed. No cause for the outage has been mentioned yet.

The issue began just after 8 pm ET. It was not immediatley clear how widespread the outage was but users in the U.S. and India were seen complaining on Twitter. Apple Support’s Twitter handle placated its worried customers.

“We regret to hear you were having problems with Apple Music. We were experiencing outages now reporting resolved per https://s.apple.com/dE4h2p8i2O If this is still a concern for you, meet us in DM to continue,” it tweeted to one of the users who complained on Twitter.

 

The outage comes only a day after Microsoft faced a global disruption of its Outlook and Office365 services. That outage affected the company’s Xbox Live, Skype, OneDrive, and Windows Store services among others. This was the second outage for Microsoft this month. It also faced a massive outage in March earlier this year.

Apple is a small player in India, where sales of its smartphones lag those of South Korean rival Samsung Apple is a small player in India, where sales of its smartphones lag those of South Korean rival Samsung Photo: AFP / Josh Edelson

On Monday, a similar system failure was seen in 911 services across Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Ohio and Arizona. The outage lasted for just