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Despite the various pros and cons for 'touch' over the years, we're firmly in a mode in the tech world now where touch makes the most sense, in terms of text input, controls and general interaction. So why haven't we seen screen sizes increase to fill most of the front area of our phones? I examine the history of the form factor, in terms of screen-to-body ratio, and wonder whether we can't have our cake and eat it, in terms of phones that are manageable yet with monster displays...
In this extra length AAWP Insight #186, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by talking about Skype on Windows Phone 8.1 (no more development), which leads to some other Skype connected thoughts, including how we will (or won't) access bots. Other topics covered in the podcast include the new Panorama mode for Windows 10 Camera, updates for Outlook Calendar, details on the latest Insider updates, thoughts on the Acer Jade Primo, and more.
One of the bugbears of living on Windows 10 Mobile (and Windows Phone 8.1 before it) for me, was that Google+, the social network that everyone seemingly likes to forget yet which is beloved of geeks and tech communities, was essentially inaccessible. No client from Google (of course) and the mobile web version sucked. However, the arrival of a new HTML5-heavy site from the big 'G' allied to the latest Edge browser from Microsoft equals an experience that's only slightly less slick than a full native application. To say I was impressed is an understatement.
I recently became very frustrated with my Windows 10 Mobile smartphone when its Start screen steadfastedly refused to show me photos in the err... 'Photos' live tile. Set to the 'double-wide' size, this live tile is one of the stars of the platform, always looking stunning (provided you've taken some stunning photos to populate it with) - but what do you if it misbehaves? Turns out this is quite a common problem, so here are some specific and generic tips...
If I've heard one complaint about Windows Phone cameras and flagships like the Lumia 1020 and 950 over and over again it's this: "when I set the focus (manually) to 'infinity', my landscape photos are blurred". Thankfully, this issue is easy to demonstrate and to understand - and, indeed, to solve - or at least work around. I explain all below.
One of the surprise hits of the Windows Phone gaming world was, for me, Stickman Soccer, with amazingly fluid and fun gameplay, along with a simple freemium model and just a single IAP to get rid of ads. I loved this game and it's been on every Lumia since. And now we have the follow-up, built specifically for Windows 10 Mobile, laptops and, yes, Continuum, with extra modes and capabilities. It's ultimately best by far on the phone, of course, this is a touch-screen masterpiece.
In AAWP Insight #185, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by talking about the Windows 10 'Anniversary Update', primarily the August 2nd (or otherwise) timing for the Mobile part of the release. Other topics covered in the podcast include UWP updates (AAWP and [the upcoming] Podcast Lounge), comments on transferring HERE Maps location favourites, reviews of Terrapin's leather cases, and Tap to Pay in Microsoft Wallet version 2.
As already reported, Microsoft is planning to roll out the Windows 10 'Anniversary Update' on August 2nd, 2016, and 'expects' to begin over-the-air rollout of the same update to 'mobile' (i.e. phones) from that date too. Yet, despite a frantic pace of Insider test builds (several a week), time is, quite simply, running out, and Microsoft will either have to delay the Windows 10 Mobile version or roll it out with plenty of known issues.
The best photos? Well, some of them, at least. While flicking through some old paper DSLR magazines I was reminded how we can all learn from, and be inspired by, the photos taken by others. With that in mind, I've gone through some of the Lumia groups on Flickr and plucked out examples - all from 2016 - that are particular noteworthy. See which of these you like and then be inspired to match them!
The release of the official Formula 1 UWP app for Windows 10 prompted me to try it out during the British Grand Prix weekend. But I was also using PitlaneOne, a longtime favourite and also now with a UWP version for Windows 10. Turns out that the official app gives you very little for free, while the unofficial free app gives you just about everything you need. For obsessive detail though, the official F1 application does ultimately win out - at a cost.