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Maybe it's just me that argues inside my head... with (ahem) myself, as to which is the best Windows Phone. At least, with my AAWP hat on... Will the question of the 'best Windows Phone', at least at the end of 2014, come down to 'best Lumia'? Enter the debate zone...
One aspect of the Lumia 930 and 830 which I haven't commented on so far because I'd thought that it was either me being too fussy or that maybe my review hardware was less than perfect, was that of noisy Qi wireless charging. No, not electrically noisy - audibly noisy. I've even tried to record the sound (using my trusty Lumia 1020, of course), so that you can hear what I hear. Others have confirmed the issue, begging the question: what's going on? It turns out that a) this is 'normal' and b) there's a perfectly good (if technical) explanation. Read on....
In AAWP Insight #118, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we open with news of the latest Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview update (Battery Saver updates) and recent additions to the (UK) Cortana command set. We move on to talk through a number of app roundups, releases and updates, featuring Movie Creator, Wolfram Alpha, Riptide GP2 and more. In the last part of the podcast, we briefly go off topic to discuss Nokia's return to hardware, before Rafe talks Toilet Twinning and reveals a novel app promotion strategy.
File this game as something of a guilty pleasure - the idea here, in this recently updated driving game, is that you're in a police car, chasing down the bad guys, and the way to take them out is to check with your superiors, then phone ahead and arrange roadblocks to drive as fast as possible and crash into them as heavily as possible. Yep. Cue the scream of tortured tyres and torn metal. So not that realistic but enormous fun!
Group tests of Twitter clients on any platform are always a little transient on any platform because of Twitter's own (crazy) client token limits, meaning that any third party application that gets really popular effectively gets shut down when it gets to 100,000 users. Such was the fate of several applications on Windows Phone, with Mehdoh and Rowi bowing out for this and other reasons. Begging the question, with a very serviceable first party client for the platform, of whether it's worth going third party at all any more and if so, which application to choose? This is my much updated look at Twitter clients, now with five apps in the mix.
A few days ago, on another story, one of the comments (from 'deekbee', to give them a name check!) struck a chord, since I'd been thinking along exactly the same lines myself. With the wealth of newly cross-platform Microsoft services, with the 'app gap' still present, it seems, and with apparent reasons to not go with Windows Phone at an all time high, maybe Microsoft and its partners should be centring on the message that the OS is simply better - at least by the metrics in the title above?!
Yes, yes, technically in 'beta', but Microsoft's betas on Windows Phone are usually very stable and I had no compunctions at giving Movie Creator the full real world experience. As the name suggests, it's a way of stitching your own captured media (in my case on the Lumia 1020) together to create something professional and, hopefully, wonderful. And yes, I include the result of its rendering below for you to scrutinise.
It's fast, it's glossy, it's polished 3D... and it's very, very wet. Released earlier today, I've put on my futuristic competition wetsuit and headed out to see if the new Riptide GP2 is worth its purchase price (summary: it is, but the price isn't the whole story!) It's by the people who brought me Beach Buggy Racing a few days ago, though, so I'm hugely optimistic.
In AAWP Insight #117, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start with a discussion of a lookalike Lumia 1020, before thinking about Windows Phone Twitter clients. We also cover a number of minor news stories from the Official CBS news app to the withdrawal of Nokia Reading and updates for Podcast Lounge. The main topic of the podcast is the Microsoft Lumia 525, the new entry level Windows Phone device, which was announced this week.
In the middle of the (UK) night, Microsoft quietly launched its first Microsoft-branded Windows Phone, the Lumia 535, firmly hitting the low end 'affordable' sweet spot with a 5"-screened device that contains nothing surprising to AAWP readers but which should surprise plenty of newcomers to Windows Phone in the shops.