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Available today on Verizon Wireless in the USA is the new and somewhat cumbersomely named 'HTC One (M8) for Windows', with the glimpse of availability on other carriers and in other countries in the near future. If nothing else, this release offers some new competition to the giant in the Windows Phone world, Nokia - now effectively Microsoft itself. With specs across the board both pretty high, how does HTC's new Windows Phone entry stack up against the similarly sized and priced Nokia's mid 2014 Lumia 930?
In AAWP Insight #107, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we give an overview of the HTC One (M8) for Windows. We talk through the key specifications of the device, including the noteworthy Duo Camera with UltraPixel implementation and the custom HTC software (BlinkFeed, Camera, TV), and offer a first thoughts comparison with both the Android version of the HTC One and the Lumia 930. We end the podcast by sharing some some UK pricing and availability news for the recently announced Lumia 530.
Admittedly only on Verizon only at first, but launched today was a version of HTC's aluminium One (M8) design for Windows Phone - the M8 launched on Android earlier this year and was notable in its use of virtual controls. A factor which no doubt helped the reconfiguration of the handset for Windows Phone 8.1. Details below.
It all started when I was browsing through lists of 'new' applications in the AAWP app store - there was so much rubbish, so much duplication of what we already have programmed by Microsoft and built-in on our Lumia Cyan/WP 8.1 smartphones - and then it hit me that a good number of users may not know about everything that's available for free from the OS maker? Microsoft's 'Bing' suite of applications (and yes, the name's thankfully getting deprecated these days), for example, are now remarkably good, yet some still have to be installed by the user....
I've heard it said that Nokia's monster camera phone, the Lumia 1020, is "rubbish in low light because it doesn't focus fast enough". I disagree - what's happening here, and equally applicable to every other Windows Phone camera, is that there's not enough understanding by users on how camera phones focus in the first place. Which is why I thought a 'how to' article might be appropriate. Turns out that focussing can be happily controlled after all...
In AAWP Insight #106, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by discussing the merits of using bedded-in devices, in the light of the recent release of Lumia Cyan for the Lumia 1020. We also cover the Prestigio Multiphone 8500 DUO, the withdrawal of Skype for Windows Phone 7 devices, battery efficiency of various releases of Windows Phone, our favourite features of Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, and the latest device rumours.
File this absolutely under 'cool gadgets that you don't need but really, really want' - the Kickstarter-funded Torso has now hit production and I've been reviewing it in the context of AAWP and Windows Phones, almost all of which have their microUSB jack centrally mounted on their bottom face - happily, for the Torso's vision, as you'll see. Summary? It's a terrific little smartphone accessory, with only one main caveat.
Variously referred to with a '1' on the end (or not), the official Developer Preview version of Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 (I'm using the numeral, as it's less confusing!) is now available and I thought a summary of what's in it would be appropriate. Along with my (admittedly marginal) deliberation that this is a smaller update than the original 8.1/Cyan step upwards, and that enrolling on the DP track might not, on balance, this time, be worth it?
I've been tracking the standby battery drain from Windows Phone for the last six months, from version 8.0 of the OS through to the official Windows Phone 8.1 release with Lumia Cyan, here on my Lumia 1020. Now, being a scientist by trade, I'm appalled by the number of caveats involved in producing the chart below, but the result is still very clear - the official release of Windows Phone 8.1 is (by far) the most battery friendly one yet. [updated]
Stop press: the editorial Lumia 1020 now has the official Lumia Cyan update over-the-air from Microsoft, bringing this year old device bang up to date in terms of OS and core software. Making it rather appropriate, in the light of some criticism of Nokia's latest and greatest, the Lumia 930, to compare the two devices and wonder if the older device now holds its own or even surpasses the new flagship. Controversial, moi?