Zoom is shutting down one of its most popular apps

One of the most widely-used Zoom apps is closing as the company looks to modernize some of its offerings for users around the world.

The video conferencing giant has announced it is shutting its app for Chromebooks, the low-cost machines running Google's ChromeOS that have become incredibly popular among schools and universities.

Users shouldn't fear the loss of Zoom forever though, as the company says it is only making the change in order to build something better.

Zoom on Chromebook

“This app will no longer be officially supported after August 2022. Please use the new Zoom for Chrome PWA to join meetings on ChromeOS,” said a notice in the Zoom app for Chromebooks that has recently begun appearing.

The app is set to close by August 2022, meaning users have a few more weeks of the original offering, which was released during Zoom's heyday in the early weeks and months of the pandemic.

9to5Google, which first spotted the alert, notes that the Zoom app for Chromebooks is pretty basic, only offering standard access to video calls and meetings without any of the added functionality that has been added to other versions of Zoom over the years.

Google had announced back in August 2020 that it would be phasing out Chrome apps on all platforms, with support on Windows, Mac and Linux ending in June 2021. This was later extended to all Chrome apps on ChromeOS for June 2022, with the company no longer accepting new apps, and existing apps no longer being listed or made available to download on the Chrome Web Store.

Zoom had shown off a Progressive Web App (PWA) for Chromebooks in 2021, offering much of the standard functionality familiar to users on other platforms, as well as up to date UI and apps.

The news comes shortly after Zoom recorded a huge rise in enterprise customers to go alongside its consumer base as hybrid working remains popular.

In its most recent financial results, the company said that the number of customers contributing more than $ 100,000 was up 46% year-over-year, as it now has around 198,900 enterprise customers, up 24% from the same quarter in its last fiscal year.

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Twitter down: social media website and app aren’t working – again

It feels like every other week that the internet breaks – you've guessed it (from the headline), Twitter is down.

The social media giant is unavailable to loads of users – trying to access the web page brings up the message “Something went wrong. Try reloading.”, and the app won't refresh with newer tweets.

Reports on downdetector.co.uk jumped up into the thousands within minutes of the outage – it's worth pointing out that, while the reports also rose on downdetector.com (in the US), they didn't rise by nearly as much.

It sounds like a limited issue, as lots of TechRadar team members haven't had an issue. Saying that the sheer number of Downdetector reports shows that something is up.

Not only is the main Twitter feed down, but other Twitter sites are down too, like its Help site.

We just wanted to post a funny joke, and now we've discovered that Twitter isn't working. We're investigating.

Judging by reports from Downdetector and TechRadar's US team, the outage is affecting far fewer people in the US than in the UK – it seems mainly a British problem. Well, we can add that to the list after Freddos costing more, Magnums getting smaller and the whole cost of living thing.

In the UK, DownDetector reports more than 4,000 reports in the last few minutes. That's a huge number given how many we normally see – even for the major outages that affect multiple websites, we usually see one or two thousand reports.

This outage has come less than six weeks after the last Twitter outage.

That was a smaller one, as the main Twitter feed would load, but Tweets wouldn't – so you could see them, but not click on them or interact with them. 

Now, you can't see anything – it's radio silence.

Usually when there's an internet outage, people turn to Twitter to look for answers. That's… a little harder now.

We looked at Facebook, but Twitter itself hasn't posted there for several months. Last time it did, it was a screenshot of a Tweet about cats. What is this, 2007?

Facebook is a bit more community-focused though, so it's harder to see what people in the wider world are saying.

Reddit to the rescue though:

is_twitter_down_for_anyone_else_in_uk from r/Twitter

There's no official comment, but there are people from around the world commenting to say that Reddit isn't working for them.

Unfortunately, because Reddit's support and news room sites are all hosted by the media giant itself, they're not working either.

We're seeing a growing number of reports of outages from the US, but TechRadar's team based there hasn't seen anything.

It's likely that a server in Europe is at fault, which is why it's so much more of an issue for our UK readers than our US ones.

But we're waiting to find out from Twitter to see what's going on.

Oppo Find X5 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

Reports are well over 4,000 at the moment.

For context, the baseline is 3. That's a big difference.

Oh wait – Twitter is back! (for me at least)

This suggests the end of the outage could be here – just in time for you to return to work after your lunch break. What bad luck.

DownDetector reports for Twitter problems are finally going down – it looks like the outage could really be over.

It's not a steep plummet of reports, which suggests some people are still finding problems with their desktop site or phone app, but this at least tells us that the initial problem is being solved.

We've been looking to see if Twitter itself has commented on the outage – so far we can't see anything from any of its official accounts.

Saying that, it's got about a billion of its own accounts for different regions, aspects of the site and more, so it's very possible that one of them has posted, and we just haven't found it yet.

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Are Apple Services down? Users unable to access iCloud, send files through AirDrop

We're getting reports that Apple's online services such as the App Store, iCloud and others are seeing outages across the globe.

Reports of issues with Apple began to surface around 16.55 GMT, with hundreds of users signaled problems on the outage tracker site DownDetector.

The company has yet to confirm that there are problems for now, but it's best to keep track of Apple Status for now.

We're following the story live, so stay tuned and read all our latest updates below…

App Store, iCloud, and Music all look to be down for now, with our writer Rhys Wood reporting that AirDrop isn't working either for him.

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Are Apple Services down? Users unable to access iCloud, send files through AirDrop

We're getting reports that Apple's online services such as the App Store, iCloud and others are seeing outages across the globe.

Reports of issues with Apple began to surface around 16.55 GMT, with hundreds of users signaled problems on the outage tracker site DownDetector.

The company has yet to confirm that there are problems for now, but it's best to keep track of Apple Status for now.

We're following the story live, so stay tuned and read all our latest updates below…

App Store, iCloud, and Music all look to be down for now, with our writer Rhys Wood reporting that AirDrop isn't working either for him.

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Using YouTube Vanced on Android? Google has taken it down

A popular third-party app of YouTube has been taken down by Google, due to a legal challenge by the company, which allowed users to block ads without a Premium subscription.

YouTube Vanced was able to block any ads that would play before, during, and after a video you had planned on watching. As it was available on Android, the app could be used on Amazon Fire TV devices, handhelds running Google's OS, and more.

But while you can still use the app if you already have it installed on your device, it won't see future updates.

The Vanced website instead highlights web extensions that you can install to almost mimic the app's intention without purchasing a YouTube Premium subscription that does these features officially. But this only highlights the issues with YouTube's paid service.


Analysis: YouTube Premium needs more choice

Advertisements are part of the YouTube experience – they always have been in one way or another. But in the last few years, ads have changed from being a short break, into an irritating distraction.

There was a time when you would usually see an ad begin at the start of the video, but now they're essentially anywhere in the video.

You might click on one video for example, and be greeted with an 'Ad starting in 5..4..3..' right away, alongside when you're clicking on different timestamps of the video.

YouTube Premium UK pricing

(Image credit: YouTube)

It can be very annoying, and while this can be avoided with a YouTube Premium subscription at $ 11.99 / £11.99 / AU$ 14.99 a month, many users simply don't want to pay this amount just to block ads.

With this subscription, you get YouTube Music, downloads, and background play included. While these are welcome features, they're features that users don't want to try.

But there's yet to be a tier where you just want to solely block ads. This seems like an easy win for YouTube, yet there's no way of signing up to a simple tier that only blocks ads.

It's why there have been popular third-party apps and web extensions that have fulfilled this need, and for free. But with Google only seeing legal reasons for these methods and not other ways to appease these users, there's little chance of seeing different Premium tiers in the near future.

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Using YouTube Vanced on Android? Google has taken it down

A popular third-party app of YouTube has been taken down by Google, due to a legal challenge by the company, which allowed users to block ads without a Premium subscription.

YouTube Vanced was able to block any ads that would play before, during, and after a video you had planned on watching. As it was available on Android, the app could be used on Amazon Fire TV devices, handhelds running Google's OS, and more.

But while you can still use the app if you already have it installed on your device, it won't see future updates.

The Vanced website instead highlights web extensions that you can install to almost mimic the app's intention without purchasing a YouTube Premium subscription that does these features officially. But this only highlights the issues with YouTube's paid service.


Analysis: YouTube Premium needs more choice

Advertisements are part of the YouTube experience – they always have been in one way or another. But in the last few years, ads have changed from being a short break, into an irritating distraction.

There was a time when you would usually see an ad begin at the start of the video, but now they're essentially anywhere in the video.

You might click on one video for example, and be greeted with an 'Ad starting in 5..4..3..' right away, alongside when you're clicking on different timestamps of the video.

YouTube Premium UK pricing

(Image credit: YouTube)

It can be very annoying, and while this can be avoided with a YouTube Premium subscription at $ 11.99 / £11.99 / AU$ 14.99 a month, many users simply don't want to pay this amount just to block ads.

With this subscription, you get YouTube Music, downloads, and background play included. While these are welcome features, they're features that users don't want to try.

But there's yet to be a tier where you just want to solely block ads. This seems like an easy win for YouTube, yet there's no way of signing up to a simple tier that only blocks ads.

It's why there have been popular third-party apps and web extensions that have fulfilled this need, and for free. But with Google only seeing legal reasons for these methods and not other ways to appease these users, there's little chance of seeing different Premium tiers in the near future.

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Is Slack down? Messaging platform not working for some users

We're getting reports that online collaboration platform Slack is seeing outages across the UK.

Reports of issues with Slack began to surface around 10.30am GMT, with hundreds of users signalled problems on outage tracker site DownDetector.

We're following the story live, so stay tuned and read all our latest updates below…

As you can see in the below image from DownDetector, there's been a definitely spike in complaints from Slack users across the UK.

DownDetector slack stats

(Image credit: DownDetector)

There has been no official confirmation of any issues from Slack itself, with the company's Slack Status Twitter page remaining silent so far.

Slack's online dashboard is also quiet for now, with green across the page – let's see if that changes any time soon…

Slack status page

(Image credit: Slack)

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New Windows 11 update shows Microsoft still wants to take down the iPad

Microsoft has released a software preview for Windows 11 that will make using the operating system on tablet devices, and 2-in-1 laptops, much better.

As DigitalTrends reports, Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22563, which has just been released to people signed up to receive early versions of Windows 11 to test, optimizes the taskbar on tablets and 2-in-1 devices.

In the new update, the taskbar now has two states: a collapsed and expanded mode. When the taskbar is collapsed, it appears much thinner, giving you more screen real estate and helping to prevent accidental presses of taskbar buttons.

Meanwhile, the expanded mode makes the taskbar wider, allowing you to select items more easily, such as apps, using the touch screen.

Switching between the two modes looks pretty easy as well, and is done by simply swiping your finger up or down at the bottom of the tablet’s screen where the taskbar resides.

It seems that this version of the taskbar will only be available on Windows 11 tablets and 2-in-1 laptops, which have touchscreens that either detach from the keyboard, or can be folded back, and used as a tablet. Desktop PCs and traditional laptops won’t get this new taskbar.

As it’s currently in a Preview Build, it also means that regular Windows 11 users won’t see it just yet. However, if testing goes well and there’s a positive reaction from Windows Insiders, we could see the feature appear in a Windows 11 update sometime in the future.


Analysis: Microsoft’s tablet ambitions remain

Pics of Microsoft 8 2-in-1 PC

(Image credit: Microsoft India)

This new update shows that Microsoft’s tablet ambitions remain undeterred. While its rivals Apple and Google have found immense success with tablet devices, Microsoft has yet to do the same. Its attempts to take on the mighty iPad and gain tablet market share have been a mixed bag.

There was the deeply unpopular Windows 8, which dropped much of the classic interface of Windows, including the taskbar and Start menu, for an interface with large icons that was aimed at tablet use. The problem was, Windows 8 tablets were largely ignored, and desktop and laptop users hated having to put up with an interface that was designed for touchscreens they didn’t have.

Microsoft found more success with its Surface Pro line of 2-in-1 devices, alongside Windows 10, which struck a more even balance with an interface that was better suited to traditional PCs, while also having a tablet mode.

However, Surface Pro sales still lag behind iPad and Android tablet sales, but it seems Microsoft isn’t giving up. If Windows 11 continues to evolve to work even better on tablet devices, then this could be Microsoft’s best bet yet to take on Apple and Google.

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