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What do you get if you combine word searches and Tetris? You get Word Block Stacks, a full UWP game for all Windows 10 computers, including phones - and it's rather terrific. Fast, attractive, clever, fun, and - most importantly, these days, effectively free forever. I couldn't put this game down and it therefore comes highly recommended.
Credit to Huawei (whatever they may or may not be doing to rub Donald Trump up the wrong way), they've been putting a lot of work into the P30 Pro smartphone's camera system, with update after update, each quoting imaging improvements. And for each update ('185' here) I test the phone (quoted by me as 'being what the Lumia 1020 would have been if Nokia had carried on development for the next five years') against some likely contenders. Here it's the benchmark flagship that's the Lumia 950 XL, but in a subtle twist I'm only looking at the main 40MP camera - I'm not involving that periscope 5x zoom. That way, any hyper zoom examples won't skew the scoring. Which of the two phone cameras can produce the high quality output?
This has been mentioned a few times over the last six months - the odd reader would complain that the Office UWP application under Windows 10 Mobile would suddenly start demanding an Office 365 sign-in, when theoretically any device 'with display under 10' should have full creating and editing capability. I have a theory - and a walkthrough for people seeing the titled warning and have qualifying phones or accounts...
The Windows 10 Mobile-powered Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro is one of the strongest media-centric smartphones from the last few years, whatever its other failings (cough - camera, slow fingerprint scanning). And, in my usual line of comparisons, I wanted to pitch it against something modern from the Android world that could match - or even beat - its video and music playback prowess. Enter the Razer Phone 2, belatedly in here for review, and used side by side with my Windows 10 phone for the last week.
You'll have spotted that I've been keeping a close eye on the NexDock 2, a Continuum-compatible (hopefully) lapdock that should work with the Lumia 950, Elite x3 and IDOL 4 Pro from the Windows 10 Mobile world. Plus, of course, Samsung flagships in the Android world, which have a fully realised Desktop (DeX) mode. (Huawei too.) Anyway, I have it from the horse's mouth that all ordered NexDock 2 units will be shipped by the end of next month. I may even get a chance to review one sooner... watch this space.
Windows 10 Mobile is now into its last six month stretch in terms of Microsoft's official support, though it can be argued that its spirit will live on in terms of 'modern OS'. Under the hood there are kernel and security fixes today, for all phones currently running the '1709' branch (potentially most of you, see the links below). Grab this August 2019 update in Settings.
Back in 2012 and 2013, with the launch of the 41MP-sensored Nokia 808 and Lumia 1020, Nokia stunned the world. Computational photography in a phone - and the output of these two devices still stand up well today, in 2019. But 48MP sensors are now common and, seven years after the 808 debuted, the phone imaging world may be set to take another resolution leap...
In a week of 'tangential' articles for AAWP, here's another - Windows 10 live tiles seem to be on the way out. No, not on Mobile, that UI is fixed in stone and only getting security updates each month. But on the Desktop. A leaked future build of Windows 10 showed a Start menu with simple icons and this does seem to make sense - of all the relatives and friends you've helped set up Windows 10 on a laptop, how many have ever customised their tile layout? Exactly.
Over in New York this evening, Samsung launched the Note 10 and the Note 10+, running One UI on top of Android, of course. Both very highly specced phones, despite some fan-annoying omissions. What's notable for AAWP is that Microsoft played a huge part in proceedings, see below, including an on-stage talk by Satya Nadella.
Part of Microsoft's stated 'plan B' after pulling out of plan 'A' (Windows on phones) was to integrate Android and iOS smartphones into Windows on Desktops and, after many betas/Insider versions, this has emerged as Your Phone, a pair of applications on the phone and Desktop. These work together to bring across notifications and text messaging to the latter. And the system works... after a fashion. It's just currently all too laborious to set up and a little underwhelming in possibilities, I contend.