The global COVID-19 vaccination rollout is underway, but so is the spread of new, more contagious variants of disease. So it’s unclear when things will get back to “normal,” whatever that means.
But one thing seems pretty clear at this point: June is probably too soon to hold an international trade show that typically brings thousands of people from around the globe together in one place. Travel is just too risky and too difficult with restrictions still in place. And so it’s unsurprising that Apple has decided this year’s WorldWide Developer Conference in June will be an online-only event, just like last year’s. And the organization that puts together the annual Computex trade show has also scrapped plans to hold an in-person version of the conference in June.
In other news, phone and tablet Linux distro postmarketOS now supports more… phones and tablets, Microsoft is killing its Cortana app for mobile devices, but expanding its cloud gaming service for mobile – Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can now stream some Xbox and Xbox 360 titles to Android phones and tablets.
Here’s a roundup of tech news from around the web.
- PostmarketOS now officially supports 11 phones and tablets [LinuxSmartphones]
Launched in 2017 as a Linux distribution for smartphones in an effort to extend the lifespan of phones, postmarketOS now boots on hundreds of devices… but only one had been officially supported in previous stable builds: the Pine64 PinePhone. Now there are 11 supported devices including phones designed to run Linux like the PinePhone and Purism Librem 5 as well as some older phones that shipped with Android or other Linux-based operating systems.
- Computex 2021 Physical Show Cancelled; Virtual Event Still Taking Place [AnandTech]
For the second year in a row, TAITRA has cancelled the in-person portion of the annual Computex computer show in Taiwan due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. And for the second time, TAITRA kept putting off the decision… although at least this time the organization didn’t wait until June to make the announcement.
- Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is back in its all-online format [Apple]
Apple’s annual WWDC event will take place June 7 through June 11 this year. And like last year, it will be an all-online event. Up side? It’s accessible to developers around the globe. Down side? It’s harder to schmooze and try hardware online.
- Backward Compatibility Reaches the Clouds for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Members [Xbox]
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can now stream 16 Xbox and Xbox 360 games to an Android phone or tablet using Microsoft’s cloud gaming service. Titles include Banjo-Kazooie, Fable II, Fallout: New Vegas, and The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.
- Microsoft Shuts Down Cortana App for iOS and Android [MacRumors]
It’s the end of the line for Microsoft’s Cortana app for Android and iOS. Last year the company said it would end support in early 2021. Apparently that means today.
- Difference between the 2020 and 2021 Amazon Fire TV Stick — Which should you buy? [AFTVNews]
This handy guide explains the differences between the 2020 and 2021 Amazon Fire TV Stick: it’s the remote. The new model has a channel guide button and dedicated app/channel keys for things like Netflix and Prime Video. These vary by region.