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The speed gap to 2020 flagships, quantified

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It's an obvious trend that smartphone processors get faster with every year's new launches. True, their operating systems also grow in size and complexity, but usually at a slower rate. So, overall, things get snappier. Back in the day, Windows Phone 8.1 was itself very fluid and snappy, but the move to Windows 10 Mobile introduced a more heavyweight OS and a more sluggish experience - I wrote about all this here, back in 2015. We haven't had new first party hardware from Microsoft since early 2016 and then third party hardware later that year - so how does Windows 10 Mobile on 2016 phone hardware compare, speed-wise, with the best of 2020?

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Review: Media Player UWP - a cautionary tale and a purchase-crippled mess

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Now, I've ranted before about developers pulling greedy tricks in the Store, 'massively discounting' apps and games from unrealistic original 'RRP's to attract attention. And Yellow Elephant here is guilty in the same way, partly by offering silly discounts in the Store (though not as bad as in my original examples) but mainly by producing an application that's so ridden with 'buy-me-now' purchases that it's almost impossible to use. The core idea is to play local music and videos, plus Internet radio and other streams, but save your time (and money) and... Just. Don't. Bother.

# Posted by Steve in Reviews || Comments

Windows 10 Mobile from scratch - in 2020

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The question is a tantalising one. How would someone get on setting up a Windows 10 Mobile smartphone from scratch... in 2020? i.e. a starting point of up to date security but no more updates to come - ever, plus a patchy set of mainstream services. I keep the latter tabulated and up to date here, but I also thought it worth documenting how everything comes together (or not) on a freshly factory reset Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro, certainly the slickest and shiniest (and boy, is it slippery) Windows phone ever made.

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Windows 10 Mobile receives its VERY last OS update (Jan 2020)

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After a month's reprieve(!), Windows 10 Mobile really does receive today its very last OS/security update, marking the end of Microsoft's official support, though of course phones aren't going to suddenly stop working. Under the hood here there are kernel and security fixes, for all phones currently running the '1709' branch (potentially most of you, see the upgrade/hack links below). Grab this last (January 2020) update in Settings. Make the most of it, it's the last time you'll ever be seeing those cogs*.

# Posted by Steve in News || Comments

Status report for January 2020: Services on Windows 10 Mobile

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With some social applications, comms apps and Microsoft services being phased out as time goes on, I thought a ready reference table of where Windows 10 Mobile stands would be useful. And I'll revisit this every month to update each section as needed. In summary, there's likely to be little disruption to 'normal' activities this year but a few more caveats in 2020, now that Windows 10 Mobile is out of official support. [This is the January 2020 update, a month on from the previous one.]

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

The curated UWP app directory for W10M: January 2020 update

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Two months on, here is the January 2020 update (one addition, four apps removed, several links tweaked) to the AAWP directory of curated UWP applications, those with native Windows 10 UI and which support different orientations, Continuum and even use on laptop or tablet. Do please get involved in the comments to let me know of anything which has stopped working.

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Head to head: Lumia 950 XL vs f(x)tec Pro1 (plus Nokia E7)

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It's... another head to head article for AAWP... with a difference. Because the smartphone here is different, a direct descendant of the Nokia E7 (2010, running Symbian) and N950 (running Meego, which ended up still-born). Now, a spec comparison between 2020 and 2010 would be farcical, so I'm still going to compare the f(x)tec Pro1 to the Lumia 950 XL, so that specifications are at least in a similar ballpark. But I'm throwing in plenty of Nokia E7/Pro1 comparisons in photo form too, hence the AAS cross-post(!)

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Cortana for Windows 10 Mobile to simplify to 'apps, documents, web' searching

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Cortana, as a digital assistant, is being de-emphasised across all Microsoft properties. It was last seen being taken out back, blindfolded and then - bizarrely - heading up tutelage in Office! Unsurprisingly then, it has now stopped working on Windows 10 Mobile too, with a change noticed since the start of 2020. Don't worry, you get a degree of search help, but the assistant has left the building...

# Posted by Steve in News || Comments

Review: NexDock 2 (part 2: verdict, compatibility)

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You'll have already browsed our NexDock 2 unboxing gallery for this new 'super' smartphone accessory, plus you'll have read part one of our review, looking at the NexDock 2's hardware and operation in detail. In this, part two, I look at more examples of the NexDock 2 in use, in both a Windows 10 Mobile and Android context - what exactly is the use case proposition? Why and when would this be a better option than a Bluetooth keyboard (on one end of the accessory spectrum) or a Windows laptop (at the other)?

# Posted by Steve in Reviews || Comments

Review: PONSINC Wireless 10000mAh charger

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The number one hassle with power banks on trips is that you also have to remember to take with you the right charging cable for each family device that you might need to rescue. For most of us, this means bringing along a Type C cable, a microUSB cable and Lightning too, for family members with iPhone or iPads. This PONSINC accessory is perhaps the ultimate swiss army knife in the power bank world, in that it can not only charge phones via Qi wireless, it has integral Type C, microUSB and Lightning cabling. So - quite literally - no extra wires are needed. 

# Posted by Steve in Reviews || Comments

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