Windows phones are dead


Microsoft has finally given up on Windows Phone. The company’s mobile platform has been floundering for several years, and the announcement came via Joe Belfiore, who confirmed the decision came down to a shortage of apps.

“Of course we'll continue to support the platform... bug fixes, security updates, etc. But building new features/ [hardware] aren't the focus,” he wrote. “We have tried VERY HARD to [incentivise] app devs. Paid money... wrote apps for them... but volume of users is too low for most companies to invest.”

A crippling shortage of popular apps has always been Windows Phone’s biggest problem, and Microsoft never managed to address it. The software’s user interface was vastly different to those of Android and iOS, and widely praised, as were many of the handsets Nokia built for the platform. That said, Microsoft will continue rolling out security updates to keep them protected.

Free access to Wikipedia for Afghans

People in Afghanistan are set for greater access to the internet and free information, thanks to a new partnership between a local telecommunications company and the Wikimedia Foundation.

Roshan Communications and the internet giant recently announced that all of the company’s customers would be able to access the Wikipedia website through their phones – without being charged for data usage – for the next 12 months.

The initiative, called Wikipedia Zero, is due to launch later this month. It will be a fully functional version of the website, meaning users will have access to all content, search and editing functions.

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organisation that runs Wikipedia and funds dozens of other open-source and other free knowledge projects.

These headphones can translate languages in real time

Google has built a pair of headphones that can translate foreign languages in real time. The Pixel Buds both translate and enable you to speak in foreign languages, and worked incredibly impressively in a demo at Google’s launch event, enabling an English speaker to hold a smooth conversation with a Swedish speaker. “It’s like you’ve got your own personal translator with you everywhere you go,” says Google.

The wireless earphones will support 40 languages when they come out next month. They'll be available in Just Black, Clearly White and Kinda Blue colour schemes, just like the Pixel 2.

They can play music too, and feature a wireless touchpad on the right earbud, which you can swipe to adjust volume, fast-forward or rewind, and play and pause audio.