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Essential Phone skipping Android Oreo 8.0, will soon receive 8.1

Essential Phone[1] users have been longing for Android Oreo[2] to arrive after it missed its 2017 target. Thankfully, the latest word from the company says that it aims to push the update out via OTA in a few weeks.

The Essential Phone PH-1 currently runs Android Nougat[3] and, interestingly, it won’t be updated to Android Oreo 8.0 at all. it’s skip straight to Android Oreo 8.1 instead. 

Essential claims[4] that, through its long-running beta program, it discovered “several stability issues” in the core operating system update, Thus it will be putting the work in to issue the updated version to users.

It seems that the release of Oreo on the PH-1 was days away, but anxious fans might now be waiting closer to a month to get a taste. 

The good news is that if you’ve got a knack for tinkering and want to preview the latest beta build before it arrives, you can join the beta program here[5]. But, be warned that not only does it require sideloading, it’s not going to be as stable as the build you’re currently running.

What does this say for Oreo 8.0?

Essential brought up that Oreo 8.0 had stability issues, though it’s not clear if these are issues specific to the PH-1, or if they also apply to any other phone that’s having the latest operating system ported.

While the former is an understandable position for a small team that’s trying to deliver on expectations, the latter could spell trouble for devices that are still waiting for the Oreo update, of which there are many. 

We previously haven’t heard of such instability problems with Google’s latest operating system, but we’ll be reaching out to manufacturers to see if this is widespread or an isolated case.

Via Android Police[6]


  1. ^ Essential Phone (www.techradar.com)
  2. ^ Android Oreo (www.techradar.com)
  3. ^ Android Nougat (www.techradar.com)
  4. ^ claims (twitter.com)
  5. ^ here (www.essential.com)
  6. ^ Android Police (www.androidpolice.com)
  7. ^ Android P release date, news and rumors (www.techradar.com)

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iOS apps on Mac computers are still likely to appear in 2018

Apple may be pushing back major iOS feature updates[1] in favor of stability upgrades, but it’s still keen on getting iOS apps onto Mac computers this year, Axios reports[2].

First revealed[3] in a Bloomberg report late last year, this is one of the few major additions to Apple’s software lineup that is expected to sneak through this year, sources speaking to Axios anonymously have confirmed.

Apple’s planned quality-of-life upgrades to macOS in 2018 also include security boosts as well as speeding up the waking and unlocking of Mac systems, according to the report.

These stability and performance boosts through the next versions of macOS and iOS could make way for what might be one of the most important features to come to both operating systems in years.

Catching up with the competition

If Apple were to allow iOS apps to run on Mac systems, this would see the firm catch up to both Microsoft and Google in a big way. Before these reports, Apple had been known to draw firm lines between its two major OS products.

Microsoft launched Windows 10[4] – in July 2015 – to run nearly seamlessly between PC systems, tablets and phones from the start, while Google brought its Google Play Store and Android apps to Chromebooks[5] early last year.

For the past few years, a clear trend has grown in breaking down the walls between phones, tablets and laptops or desktop computers, and it’s one that Apple appears to have been watching to learn how it can one-up previous efforts. 

Whether that tactic will end up playing out well for Apple or working against it, not to mention exactly how this implementation will work without touchscreens on Mac computers, won’t likely be answered until WWDC 2018, Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which will be held later this year.

  • These are the best Macs[6] – ready and waiting for iOS apps


  1. ^ pushing back major iOS feature updates (www.techradar.com)
  2. ^ Axios reports (www.axios.com)
  3. ^ First revealed (www.techradar.com)
  4. ^ Windows 10 (www.techradar.com)
  5. ^ Chromebooks (www.techradar.com)
  6. ^ best Macs (www.techradar.com)

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Microsoft is building a lightweight version of Windows 10 called Polaris

It appears that Microsoft is working on a revolutionary version of Windows 10, codenamed Polaris, that will ditch traditional desktop applications and take a modular approach to computing.

According to a report by Windows Central[1], Polaris will be a version of Windows 10[2] built on Windows Core OS, a modular version of the operating system that can be adapted by Microsoft to suit various needs and environments.

Sources close to Windows Central have described how Microsoft is building Polaris to be a version of Windows 10 that can run on desktop, laptop and 2-in-1 devices, and it will be tied entirely to UWP (Universal Windows Platform) apps from the Microsoft Store, rather than classic desktop applications.


If a version of Windows 10 that only runs UWP apps sounds familiar, it’s because Microsoft has already attempted that with Windows 10 S[3]. However, Windows 10 S was a bit of a half-hearted step, as it used the full Windows 10 code, and merely limited users to running UWP apps.

Because it used the full code, users could upgrade to the full Windows 10 Pro operating system – which many did.

However, it appears that Polaris, like other versions of Windows 10 built on Windows Core OS, will feature CShell, an entirely new graphical user interface. The current Windows shell has been in use in some form since Windows 95, and so has features and elements that are no longer used, or don’t apply to modern devices.

Switching to CShell will allow Microsoft to scale Windows 10 to a variety of devices, such as smartphones, tablets and 2-in-1 PCs, while stripping out redundant features, allowing for a lighter, and faster operating system.

This does mean that many legacy applications will no longer work. By keeping to UWP apps, Windows 10 Polaris should be more secure, less resource intensive, and should mean batteries on mobile devices running the operating system won’t run out so fast either.

Goodbye Paint?

Switching to CShell will also mean users won’t be able to upgrade from Polaris to the full version of Windows 10 Pro, but Windows Central’s sources suggest that Microsoft is looking into ways of bringing legacy desktop applications to the new operating system via ‘remote virtualization’ – essentially running full applications in an emulation container.

This should mean that your old programs may still be able to be run in Polaris without the operating system having to include the bloated legacy code.

Windows Central suggests we’ll see Polaris in 2019, and while we’ve not been entirely convinced by Windows 10 S, which feels like it has too many compromises that mean it doesn’t satisfy everyone, we’re keen to see how Microsoft evolves Windows 10 to keep pace with modern devices.


  1. ^ Windows Central (www.windowscentral.com)
  2. ^ Windows 10 (www.techradar.com)
  3. ^ Windows 10 S (www.techradar.com)
  4. ^ how to use Windows 10 (www.techradar.com)

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Google Doodle lauds pioneering neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield

Google’s tribute to pioneering neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield.


Don’t rack your brain trying to remember how you know the name Wilder Penfield. That was his specialty. The American-Canadian was a pioneering neurosurgeon who expanded brain surgery’s methods and techniques in the treatment of epilepsy.

He was instrumental in mapping various functions of the brain, and his research on neural stimulation helped expand our understanding of hallucinations, illusions and deja vu. To honor Penfield’s many contributions on his 127th birthday, Google’s animated Doodle on Friday illustrates his development of the Montreal procedure, which treated patients with severe epilepsy by destroying nerve cells in the brain where the seizures originated. Before operating, Penfield used electrical probes to stimulate parts of conscious patients’ brains, allowing him to observe their responses and more accurately target the areas of the brain responsible.

During a short film dramatizing the development that was seen widely in Canada, an epileptic patient exclaims: “I can smell burnt toast!”

Even though he was born in Washington and grew up in Wisconsin, Penfield was once dubbed “the greatest living Canadian.” In later years, he became an author and a champion of university education and childhood bilingualism. His name may also ring a bell with science fiction fans. In Philip K.

Dick’s landmark novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?,” future citizens use a household device called a Penfield Mood Organ to regulate their emotions.

Penfield died of abdominal cancer in 1976 at the age of 85.

Solving for XX: The industry seeks to overcome outdated ideas about “women in tech.”

Special Reports: All of CNET’s most in-depth features in one easy spot.

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Tech Industry Google Doodle

Apple has patched older versions of macOS to protect against Meltdown

Apple has pushed out a patch to protect macOS[1] users running older versions of the desktop OS from the major Meltdown flaw in Intel’s CPUs, following the original fix aimed at High Sierra (10.13).

This patch is for Sierra and El Capitan, the previous two incarnations of macOS (versions 10.12 and 10.11 respectively). As CNET[2] spotted, Apple posted[3] about the security updates on its support site. To get protected, check for new updates in the App Store.

Back at the start of January, Apple said it had already protected users[4] against Meltdown in macOS High Sierra.

If you’re running a version of Apple’s desktop operating system prior to El Capitan, of course, you’re out of luck here.

There are still no known exploits levelled against Meltdown (or the other big bug, Spectre, which affects other processors, not just Intel), but the likelihood is that the bad guys out there may be close to weaponizing an exploit[5].

Stability woes

Of course, at the beginning of the week, Intel warned against installing[6] ‘current versions’ of Meltdown and Spectre patches in general – following instability problems[7] that have hit some PCs – but presumably that caveat doesn’t pertain to these patches from Apple.

How to protect against Spectre and Meltdown

For the latest on how to protect yourself from Spectre and Meltdown[8], read our comprehensive guide.

Intel’s aforementioned warning applied to manufacturers and software developers as well as end-users, and if these fixes were problematic, you’d hope Apple wouldn’t have released them yet – plus these mitigations have already been applied to High Sierra at the start of the month, as mentioned, with no apparent issues.

Still, given Intel’s warning, some of the more cautious folks out there may still be a little reticent to go ahead and patch, and may feel that it’s prudent to wait a little longer, at least while there isn’t a known exploit being leveraged against Meltdown – which just underlines how much of a PR nightmare this thing is turning into for Intel.

Enter stage left Linus Torvalds to chuck just a little more fuel onto the fire from a Linux perspective. As Extremetech[9] reports, he called Intel’s fixes for these bugs “complete and utter garbage”, never being one to mince his words.

According to emails he has sent, Torvalds is particularly unhappy about the Spectre fix for Linux machines, accusing it of being bloated and containing ‘redundant junk’, and also criticizing it for being optional, among other things. Not a happy bunny doesn’t quite cover it.


  1. ^ macOS (www.techradar.com)
  2. ^ CNET (www.cnet.com)
  3. ^ posted (support.apple.com)
  4. ^ Apple said it had already protected users (www.techradar.com)
  5. ^ may be close to weaponizing an exploit (www.techradar.com)
  6. ^ Intel warned against installing (www.techradar.com)
  7. ^ instability problems (www.techradar.com)
  8. ^ how to protect yourself from Spectre and Meltdown (www.techradar.com)
  9. ^ Extremetech (www.extremetech.com)
  10. ^ best laptops (www.techradar.com)

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