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I have to admit that any music player on any platform has an uphill struggle, given that all OS have default music playback applications and that they're all usually very functional. What's needed for a third party music player is to offer extra functions, extra playback possibilities, extra beauty. Music Now starts off looking the part but ultimately comes off looking a little amateurish, despite many, many updates in the Windows Phone Store.
In AAWP Insight #105, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by discussing the newly announced Lumia 530 and ponder the way it takes Windows Phone to a new price point. We also cover the latest news from the Lumia Cyan roll out, offer a personal preference of the Lumia 930 versus the 1020, anticipate the arrival of Cortana in the UK (and China), and offer some thoughts on the future of MixRadio. We end by highlighting a number of new apps and games - Live Lock Screen BETA, Modern Combat 5, Uber and Fitbit.
Another in Lumsing's excellent series of 'Power Banks', the 6000mAh model here is distinguished from its larger 10400mAh sister by being dramatically slimmer and almost all metal. As a result, the price-per-milliAmp-hour is higher, but I don't care - the 6000 is a "man's" charger - a veritable mobile power tool and yes, you can knock nails in with it. Probably.
One of the perennial frustrations for enthusiasts using Windows Phone is that there may well be a critical application update available for your phone, something you've been waiting for, yet it can take up to 24 hours before your phone actually tells you the update exists. Perhaps you've read about a big update on AAWP and are sitting there drumming your fingers on the desktop, waiting for it to hit your device? With Windows Phone 8.1, at least, you can check for updates NOW...
As something of a fan of wireless charging in general and Qi in particular, I jumped at the chance to interview John Perzow, VP of market development at the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), which created and is continually evolving the Qi standard. A man to answer some of those questions I'd been wanting to ask for ages....
Traditionally, the price barrier for smartphones was £100. Even Nokia's lowest end Symbian handsets only strayed a little way below this, yet with feature phones all but dying out in many countries, there's now a battle on to provide a 'first smartphone' for a buyer at as far below £100 as can be managed. There have been numerous ultra-budget Android handsets at rock bottom prices, but with legendarily poor performance and specs. So let's take something modern, like the Moto E, and see how it compares against the latest Windows Phone budget launch. And, for the sake of interest and further comment, against the older, existing Lumia 520.
In AAWP Insight #104, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we discuss the recent job cuts announced Microsoft. The main focus is on the impact of ex-Nokia employees and activities, but we also touch on the wider context and talk around Microsoft's future mobile device strategy. We also revisit our Lumia 930 review after a further week of testing, before commenting on the patience required while waiting for the Lumia Cyan update. We end by highlighting the advantage of app store updates for built in apps.
Another Windows Phone 8.1 handset just got announced this morning by Microsoft, the Nokia Lumia 530, coming in under the existing Lumia 630 (reviewed here). The 530 (available in single and dual SIM form) drops down specifications slightly, with 4" screen, Snapdragon 200, and 4GB of internal storage, but also comes in at an initial estimated High Street price of under 100 Euros, so I'm guessing about £60 on pay as you go.
The clue is probably in the generic term 'camera-centric', really. However much people in the tech world like their phone cameras, having just a little too much emphasis placed on imaging - enough to warrant a significant bump on the back - seems to be the death knell for a device long term. In part though, this is more down to the time needed for R&D, but the end result is (yet again) a device which seems destined to be sidelined a little....
While reviewing the Lumia 930, I found myself factory resetting it several times on day one. And not because of anything wrong with the phone or its software. You see, there's a limit built into the Microsoft account and Store system that just hasn't been thought through completely. It only hurts the people Microsoft and the Windows Phone team should be wanting to make friends with!