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Cyanogen services close tomorrow: Here’s what Wileyfox handset owners need to know

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Cyanogen confirmed before Christmas that it was going to start winding down its services and stop sending out nightly software updates to handsets that run on the Android-forked OS. Tomorrow, December 31, 2016 is the final day the services will work.

While it’s not the end of the road for Cyanogen as a whole, it does leave some questions for anyone that uses a Wileyfox handset in the UK, as they ship with the OS. CyanogenMod confirmed in a later post that it too was forced to close, but that the open source code is being made available that wants to build their own CyanogenMod personally. That’s not many people. CyanogenMod’s site is down at the time of writing.

For everyone using a Wileyfox handset, the user experience will remain unchanged in the immediate term, though the company told 10SECOND.TECH that the Wileyfox product range “will migrate away from Cyanogen’s refocus strategy, and on to a purer Android experience – enhanced.”

The first step in that process is to switch away from the Cyanogen build of the OS with an update that started rolling out yesterday. You should be prompted to update once it’s ready to download for you. It’ll look like the image below.

Following the update rolling out now, there’s an upgrade to Nougat in the works for Wileyfox’s portfolio of devices. That’ll start in February and is due to be completed across its ranges by the end of March.

“What this means is we at Wileyfox are still committed to continuous security and Android updates for the entire user base (old, current, and new), a bloatware free OS, deeply integrated value added services, and a promise to maintain a no bullshit attitude to the Wileyfox user experience,” a spokesperson for the company said.

We’ll have to wait and see if the company can keep to that predicted Nougat timeline though.

Read next: Meizu M3 Max review

I’m a tech journalist and editor with lots of opinions. 10second.tech is a place for me to put those. All views expressed are personal, and not those of any titles for which I write in other capacities. As well as running this site, I also write for WIRED, Engadget, Trusted Reviews, and a number of other leading technology titles. I also run SexTechGuide.com.

You’re welcome to contact me via [email protected] if you have news or anything else to pass along, on twitter at @10sectech or @TheNextWoods

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Google Home gets one of its missing key skills, but still ‘months’ away in UK

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Google announced today that its Home smart assistant is getting an update today that brings support for up to six individual people in a household, thereby allowing each person to hear their own schedule, music, reminders and other Home-controllable services.

While that’s rolling out in the US from today, it’s due ‘in the coming months’ for owners in the UK, which leaves anyone without voice range of your Home able to hear your schedule. That’s probably not a huge problem for anyone living with their family, versus a shared apartment, for example, but it’s still a frustrating limitation that will quickly see your Spotify playlists and taste profile ruined by general household use.

If you’re in the US, you should (soon, if not already) be able to see a card within the Home app telling you that the option is available. Once each individual voice is registered – and tied to a different Google account – it’ll be able to recognise the different voices and return the appropriate information specific to that person.

Of course, with Home still not able to do things like adding a calendar entry – it can read one back to you, but not add one – supporting multiple people in the home is a necessary, if not meteoric, milestone towards making the device genuinely useful.

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YouTube is removing its most annoying ads (but not yet)

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YouTube will remove the unskippable 30-second pre-roll ads that accompany many of the videos on its platform, but it’s not all good news as the format isn’t going away entirely.

Google confirmed the move to Campaign, essentially acknowledging that the format doesn’t work well for users and that as of 2018, it’ll no longer be offered to advertisers to improve the overall experience.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean the end of unskippable ads altogether, and the shorter 15 and 20 second slots will still be shown before and mid video content, but at least the longest ones will have gone.

In the UK particularly, the ability to avoid ads would be less of an issue if YouTube offered its YouTube Red subscription service, which brings a couple of additional features and removes all the ads from the platform, but it’s currently only available to users in the US.

With Facebook, and to a lesser extent Twitter, both having their own video ambitions, focusing on user experience to retain its dominance in the market is probably a smart move at this point.

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Artists create surrogate SMS hotline to stop you sending those angry messages

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You know the feeling, right? That one where you’re apoplectic with rage and barely restraining yourself from sending that highly-charged, emotional, and frequently inadvisable SMS? Of course you do.

Now, however, rather than torpedoing your career or long-standing friendships, you can text your irate and emotional messages to ‘When I Think About You I Text Myself‘ on 323.498.2368, if you’re in the US. Presumably, adding the international dialling code to that will work for anyone else.

The project is a collaboration between artists Hanny Ahern and Adam Rohksar, and technologist Chris Allick. For the initial project phase, the responses that will be sent out are written by the two artists.

“The message-in-a-bottle approach is an opportunity for an emotional release without concern for social repercussion. It allows the contributor to soothe their impulse, and use texting as a mode of poetic expression to find voice and grace. When I Think About You I Text Myself allows the artist to play the role of intermediary, as if to say, “I’ll receive you until you’re ready to receive yourself,” the trio wrote.

After that, people who sent messages will receive them back at three, six, nine and 12 month intervals, which is why it’s focused on receiving genuine and emotional messages, rather than ‘4got to buy milk’.

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