Recent Features

How to: Block web ads and save bandwidth - while you still can!

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A trifle and alarmist for a headline, admittedly, but there is a time sensitive element to this. Two weeks ago, Opera Software took the Windows logo off their 'mobile' information page. Odd, I thought. A couple of days ago, Opera Mini, their headline Windows Phone 8.1 browser, stopped appearing in Store search results. It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to spot what you might like to do next...

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Windows 10 Mobile flagships compared, 2017 (part 2)

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OK, ok, to bring out 'part 2' of a feature nine months after 'Windows 10 Mobile flagships compared, 2016 (part 1)' is a little careless, but the intervening months were deemed necessary in order to add perspective - and, in this case, replace one of the phones altogether. With patchy availability all round (to say the least), here then is the long delayed 'part 2'!

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Flagship head to head: Lumia 950 XL vs ZTE Axon 7

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The ZTE Axon 7 is one of the late 2016 flagships that I'd never even held until now. Reputed to be exceptional bang-per-buck and with terrific multimedia, I thought the very similarly specced (and also great value) Lumia 950 XL would make for an interesting head to head comparison.

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How to: Plan a multi-destination route in Windows 10 Maps

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Here's how to plan a multi-destination route in Windows 10 Maps - this feature had only been available to 'Slow' ring Insiders until now, but as of today I can exclusively reveal that 'Fast' ring Insiders get it too. [Update: now Release Preview users too.] And in a few weeks all production Windows 10 Mobile users will get it, as part of the rollout. So here's how the new feature works!

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Material matters - who needs a case?

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This has been something of a pet topic of mine on various podcasts, but I wanted to get the same thoughts down in print. Take a look at the five top smartphones (various vintages) below, with a variety of materials and finishes - two of these 'premium' phones can't be used without a cheap case added. That they happen to be the two non-Windows-running phones is partly coincidence, but still....

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How to return your Windows 10 Mobile Insiders phone to 'production' status

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Last week I covered how to safely 'refresh' a Windows 10 Mobile-running smartphone, i.e. clearing out under the hood cruft but staying on the current OS build (whatever that might be). Today I cover something a bit more drastic - deciding to jump off whichever Insider build you're currently on and go 'back' to production status. Unsurprisingly, there are some potential pitfalls along the way - see the steps below and you should avoid them!

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How to upgrade smoothly from Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows 10 Mobile

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The time has come, it really has. If you've been putting off that upgrade from Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows 10 Mobile then perhaps the imminent cessation of Skype support (it still works as I write this, but is in its last days on WP8.1) and the also imminent demise of the BBC iPlayer application will prompt you to leap into action. It may be that your phone is now so old (2012/2013) that it's not supported for the upgrade, but for anything newer then now is the time. Here's how to make sure things go smoothly.

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A Surface Phone 'concept', but a very well educated guess nonetheless...

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Now, this concept design for an upcoming Surface Phone dates from last year, but I've been hunting around the various outrageous concept designs online and this is the one that rang true. It's still a figment of the artist's (Bartlomiej Tarnowski's) imagination, but he's clearly put a lot of thought into it. With such a device being six months to 18 months away (hopefully closer to the former), I thought it was time for some blue sky commentary to go along with the excellent concept imagery.

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How to reset and refresh your Windows 10 Mobile smartphone

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It's something we all think about at some point or other - whatever version/branch/ring of Windows 10 Mobile that you're currently on, and especially if it involves Insider builds or trying loads of applications, there will come a point when you fancy 'factory fresh' performance again. No under-the-hood cruft, no detritus. Here are the steps needed to keep things smooth and ensure that you don't lose anything in the process.

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