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It's one of the ironies of Nokia's original oversampling concept for its Windows Phones with high resolution cameras, that quite a few utilities have now arisen to circumvent or avoid using the oversampling at all. Nokia itself didn't help, by issuing an update for Nokia Camera that offered the chance to shoot in 'DNG' format, i.e. RAW, resulting in large, full resolution files, for the hardcore photo enthusiast. And up until now, doing anything with these files required a desktop OS. Enter Rawer, for Windows Phone....
So it's been a while since I've been around these parts. While the digital walkabout might not be over, I have found a spot with some Wi-Fi, and I wanted to let you know what it's been like going 'off the grid' with Windows Phone.
Something that we all need sooner or later, on any computing platform, is a way of reading through Acrobat (PDF) files. To my knowledge, no mobile OS has ever supplied this by default, though many manufacturers often opt to include a viewer in shipping firmware. For Windows Phone, we're actually spoiled for choice, so I thought I'd round-up your options and proffer some opinions.
In AAWP Insight #111, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start with a rant on photo uploading and sharing on Windows Phone, before moving on to talk more new devices (Alcatel Pop 2 and GoFone GF47W). This leads to some discussion of the Windows / Windows Phone brand and Microsoft's promise of cross platform experiences and talk about how the race to thin may be counter-productive. We finish with some opinion on the tough decisions made in Nokia's recent history.
There is one aspect of Nokia Camera (soon to be just 'Lumia Camera', of course) which has been catching me out, despite all my smartphone camera experience. I know what I'm doing wrong, I just never remember to correct it when taking photos in the heat of the moment. Most users will know what I'm talking about when I refer to 'burned highlights'. Here's how to avoid them.
I have to apologise if I'm producing too many editorials which classify as 'rants' these days, but it's hard to keep one's strongly felt opinions inside sometimes. In this case, the trend towards ever-thinner smartphones in the wider industry (Windows Phones aren't, thankfully, the worst offenders here), as evidenced by the recent launch of the mass market Apple iPhone 6, at under 7mm thick, and the current record holder, the imminent Gionee Elife 5.1, at 5.1mm thick. Is it me, or is this march to 'thin' both counterproductive and impractical?
One of the most appealing aspects of Android smartphones of the last couple of years is that everything at the top end has been 1080p resolution (or above), meaning that there are a large number of games that really impress with graphical detail. It's partly why my main SIM often lives in a (somewhat hacked) Galaxy S4. With the Lumia 1520, then Icon and 930 all sporting 1080p displays, it's clear that Windows Phone has well and truly arrived in the high-def world, yet there are almost no leisure titles to use the capability.
In AAWP Insight #110, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start with some thoughts on wearables and Windows Phone, before moving on to talk about some of the "other" Windows Phones devices seen at IFA, and sharing a recommendation for David Wood's new book, Smartphones and Beyond. In the second half of the podcast we cover the Bing apps shift to the MSN brand and Skype performance issues, before finishing with some thoughts on the Lumia 930 versus HTC One (M8) for Windows comparison.
I noted from yesterday's lengthy Apple announcements (of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus) that the cameras in each had been upgraded, to (allegedly) 1/2.6" sensors and, in the Plus's case, OIS as well. Which, in imaging terms, brings the iPhone at last up to near the top of the Nokia photography tree - the Lumia 1520/930 camera is very similar in size and specs (even if the image processing techniques are very different). Have smartphone cameras plateaued? And can anything be done to improve LED flash results?
We've heard a lot about PureView imaging, a new, faster Lumia Camera application, Moment Capture, Dynamic Flash and Rich Capture, buzzwords aplenty over the last few days at IFA 2014. And the mix of all of this in the upcoming ultra-slim Lumia 830 does looks very tempting. But I thought a few words about what will and what won't happen to the existing imaging flagship, the Lumia 1020, might be in order.