Recent Features - General

Head to head: Lumia 950 XL vs the anti-Google Huawei P40 Pro

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One common thread in my head-to-heads here on AAWP is that the option of going to Android isn't appealing because of privacy concerns - of Google knowing too much about us. While I'm not that paranoid, I understand the mind set and - here - present perhaps the perfect smartphone for someone worried about Google. This is a top spec Android flagship that doesn't use Google services at all. Thanks to Trump in the USA and a spat with China, of course, but anti-Google buyers benefit (perhaps). As a bonus, you get perhaps the best camera system ever put into a phone. Ever.

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Status report for April 2020: services and apps on Windows 10 Mobile

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March 29th: One month on from the previous update, here's the refreshed/latest news and comment on applications and services on Windows 10 Mobile - the OS itself has now had its very last security update, but it still works on the whole. This feature will summarise what's broken and what's not, along with workarounds where possible. Note that I've kept the URL the same, so March's comments are all still here.

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Camera shootout: Low light/zoom. Samsung S20 Ultra, Lumia 1020/950, iPhone 11 Pro

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So... the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is in for review. With 108MP giant main sensor and 9-to-1 oversampling. Sound familiar? And then there's the use of PureView-like smart cropping to provide zoom on both the main and telephoto systems. Loads of Lumia similarities, even if the tech is much faster now, and I couldn't decide which Lumia to do the comparison against. So I picked both of them, the 1020 and 950. And threw in the champion iPhone 11 Pro for good measure!

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A COVID-19 tracker PWA for Windows 10 Mobile

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They're depressing statistics to want to visualise, but things are so wild at the moment that the more information available, the better. In this case, a look at two PWA (Progressive Web Application) URLs, one for the world, one for the UK, that track the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (a.k.a. 'CoronaVirus', leading to COVID-19) currently a major source of concern to most of the world), both based on the Johns Hopkins GIS data engine. In each case, I've linked to the right URL, so viewing this page in Edge or using the AAWP Universal application should get you to the right places with one tap.

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The curated UWP app directory for W10M: March 2020 update

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Two months on from the previous update, here is the March 2020 update (two additions, two 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.

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Head to head: Lumia 950 vs latest from Samsung: the S20

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There are two points through the year that really matter in terms of comparisons. One is the release of a new iPhone, the other the release of the new Samsung Galaxy flagship. In this case it's the S20, arriving here in the next day or so for review by me, and I'm choosing to compare the smaller (non-Plus) version because there's almost no spec compromise for going 'cheaper and smaller' this year - and I'm comparing to the Lumia 950 because it too is very close to its XL counterpart while remaining pocketable.

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How to: sideload classic Windows Phone 8 games onto a modern Lumia

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The really interesting thing about Windows 10 Mobile is that it's fully backwards compatible with old Windows Phone 8 software. Even for games. Which you really wouldn't think after browsing the Microsoft Store, since many of the classic titles aren't there anymore. But that's no reason to be disheartened, especially if you're prone to a little installing and unzipping, since there are archives of classic WP8 games online and it's the work of moments (once you've got everything in place) to 'sideload' these titles to your Lumia 950 or similar in the current day. 

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It's obvious, but... Don't use WDRT on older Lumias - anymore!

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This is somewhat obvious if you think about it, but it's worth expanding on anyway, since it almost caught me out yesterday. There are a number of readers with older phones - Lumia 640/XL, 730/735, 830, 930 and 1520 is a good (though not definitive) list - which started out on Windows Phone 8.1 but which were offered Windows 10 Mobile, at least via Microsoft's Upgrade Advisor utility. And have been running W10M smoothly. But now in 2020, in the event of problems, don't even think of using long time stalwart utility WDRT (Windows Device Recovery Tool) to restore your phone's original OS in order to 'rebuild'. Let me explain...

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