Guest writer 'Nico' returns with real world reflections on using Windows 10 Mobile in 2022 - you can reply to him by using the comments below. Note that he uses the shorthand 'WP10' for 'Windows 10 Mobile'.
Recent Features - Windows 10 Mobile
Here, for April 2022, three months after the previous update, is 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... if your needs are limited. This feature will summarise what's broken and what's not, along with workarounds where possible. Details and links have all been updated throughout. Note that I've kept the URL the same, so the last two years of comments are all still here.
The only downside to a manufacturer significantly improving phone camera performance is that I have to re-do one or more of my imaging features on the 'All About' sites. Luckily, I love doing them, so following the January 2022 feature update for the innovative Microsoft Surface Duo 2, I headed out with a brace of test phone cameras to compare it against. Firstly, here, against Microsoft's own older - but still a reliable benchmark - Lumia 950 XL.
When a smartphone falls out of use in your life, there's a temptation to find a good home for it. Often a family member, often a second hand market like eBay, but sometimes - just sometimes - the phone is special enough, is unique enough, in fact is downright collectable enough, that you might like to hang onto it. Not necessarily just for pecuniary reasons, but perhaps sentimental reasons as well. As an example, I've picked out a dozen smartphones from my own collection that fit this bill. Classics one and all...
I've said for a while that in some ways the Sony Xperia 5 ii (and the newer mark 'iii', which I'm hoping to get back in) is a modern day Lumia 1020 in terms of who it's aimed at. Think about it. A focus (pun intended) on pure imaging, with Pro camera controls, a degree of genuine zoom, a physical shutter button, excellent 3.5mm audio out (and microphone 'in'), decent speakers (ok, the 1020 is just mono), all in a form factor that's genuinely pocketable (unusual for 2021). With this in mind, and - obviously - just for fun, I thought I'd take advantage of a decently sunny winter day to pitch the two phone cameras head to head for the first time on the All About sites.
One of the biggest services that is still easily accessible under Windows 10 Mobile at the end of 2021 is YouTube. But even here there are some caveats and notes, which is why I thought a round-up would be a good thing. Exactly which are the best ways to catch up with your YouTube subscriptions and suggested playlists two years after the platform itself stopped being supported by Microsoft?
Having reviewed the new Google Pixel 6 Pro and done a camera comparison with the iPhone 12 Pro Max, I did also promise a comparison with a Lumia. And, tempted though I was to break out the trusty Lumia 1020, it's not a viable option (without account access or a working Store) in any way as a smartphone in 2021. So it's back to the trusty Lumia 950 XL, my reference point for all camera phones post-2015.
OK, so Microsoft went with Android in the end for its next-generation superphone, the dual-screened Surface Duo, with the 'Duo 2' here gaining a pretty decent triple camera array. I've shot various scenes across half a dozen smartphones in the last five days, but here I'm pitching the Duo 2 against the 'benchmark' imaging device from the last half decade, the classic Lumia 950 XL. Was it worth that huge camera bump?
Almst six years ago to the day, Microsoft launched what would become its last* serious Windows phones, the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. The announcement certainly seems like a dividing line in the sand, six years on, but - curiously and perhaps even more significantly, at least with hindsight - occurred only 18 short months after its platform had matured, making the real world, viable lifetime of Windows on phones less than two years... total, I argue. Yes, yes, a crying shame. But here are the time and data points, to back up my contention.
Cortana, Microsoft's voice assistant, was always a latecomer to the party, following Siri and whatever Google were calling their voice tech at the time, but it was right up there in terms of functionality in 2015. However, with the withdrawal from 'mobile' and with the ending of support for Windows 10 Mobile in January 2020, what Cortana can actually do has gone downhill, with many people, including me, concluding that the assistant was dead and useless. That's not... quite... true, since there are numerous voice queries that still produce sensible results. With quite a few caveats, as you might expect!