Steve is the editor at All About Windows Phone, which means any typos that slip through in the main stories are his responsibility (although, ultimately, you can still blame Rafe). He’s also one of the main writers, specialising in the camera and multimedia side of things when it comes to reviews and tutorials. When not working on AAWP and All About Symbian, Steve writes, produces and stars in The Phones Show, a fortnightly video show reviewing phones and smartphones in detail.
Recent Content by Steve
We've seen large portable USB chargers (e.g. the Turbocharger 7000), we've seen small all-wireless chargers (the Nokia DC-50), but the Mugenizer N11 seems to offer a feature set that's a very useful compromise. With 4800mAh capacity and both USB and Qi charging output, could the N11 really be the all-purpose mobile charger than many have been waiting for?
As the resolution and quality of cameras in smartphones has risen dramatically in the last five years, it's easy to forget that these devices aren't just for snapping people and things around us right now. With the technology now included - here demoed on the especially capable Nokia Lumia 1020, but this also applies to any other decent camera phone, of course - it's perfectly practical to archive and transfer printed images from older times. In this feature, I explain a use case that made a lot of sense to me and I pass on a few tips.
Guest writer Andy Hagon brings us a review of an application which is so new that it's still - technically - in beta. Yet the very nature of its existence means that now is as good a time as any to look at what it does and how it works (you know, before legal problems stick their oar in, etc.) We've included the link to the beta in the review, should you want to join in too...
It's fair to say that voice control of Windows Phone has been somewhat underplayed by everyone over the last couple of years. Partly that's because it's been some way behind the state of the art in terms of Google Now and Apple's Siri, but that era is hopefully about to end when Cortana arrives in Windows Phone 8.1. But, with that still months away from our devices, it might be worth getting yourself into the habit of talking to your smartphone in the meantime. What exactly can you say/do on Windows Phone right now?
Creating a Google Maps client on a modern Windows Phone faces a number of problems. Firstly, Google will have nothing to do with it, so everything has to be sourced by public APIs. Secondly, most phones will already have HERE Maps pre-installed, often with full offline country maps, making the online Google Maps slower and less convenient. However, the benefits of Google's POI database, StreetView imagery and traffic layers are all enough to make a good client worthwhile, and Clarity has produced just this, arguably blending the best of all worlds together into a seamless whole...
It's all very well seeing phone manufacturer after phone manufacturer adding faster image processors and (ever so) slightly larger sensors in their smartphone cameras. It's all very well them proclaiming in their marketing "the best phone camera ever". And, in extreme cases, even adding two lenses and two sensors. But, ultimately, physics wins. It always wins. Never mind the tiny sensors used in even the likes of the brand new Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2, use a large sensor like that in the Nokia Lumia 1020 and photos are immediately better, especially when allied to Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) and (when needed) also to a proper Xenon flash.
Due to the large sensors, wide angle optics and relatively long focal lengths, Nokia's 808 PureView and Lumia 1020 haven't traditionally been thought of as great for 'macro' photography, i.e. this is seen one of the only weaknesses of these two 'PureView' cameras. However, it's worth noting one top tip for achieving great results anyway - and, thanks to our friend Olivier Noirhomme, we have some stunning examples of the technique in action, as proof!
In all my time with Windows Phone, I've rarely found bugs that caused me to want to throw me phone against the nearest wall in frustration. Things that couldn't be done, full stop, yes. But not bugs that caused functionality to come and go. Below, confirmed by others and acknowledged by Nokia, is a short story of one such bug that is crippling to the user experience in day to day life.
Hot on the heels of Rayman Fiesta Run comes another very highly rated game, this time debuting on Windows Phone and coming to iOS and Android afterwards. Deadlings has very high production values, addictive and challenging gameplay and a pay/IAP model that seems fairly well pitched. Cuddly zombies, spinning saw wheels of death, occasional blood and guts, plungers and platforms, teleport beams, alien spiders, it's all here in a tale of mock horror...
I didn't think this comparison would happen, due to the QX-100's price and availability, but we've been kindly loaned one and I set out to pitch it, chained to an Android smartphone, against the best of Nokia past (the 808 PureView) and Nokia future (the Lumia 1020). The QX-100, in case you hadn't been following the tech buzz, really is the guts of a high end standalone camera in a form that can be used directly by any compatible smartphone. Let battle commence!