Recent Features - Windows Phone 7

Camera head to head: Lumia 950 XL vs Honor 9

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It's not often a smartphone flagship comes along that claims to match the Lumia 950's camera capabilities, but the brand new Android-powered Honor 9 has just such a unit, albeit needing two physical cameras to match the 950's one. The benefit is that they can be smaller and thinner, but can all the dual camera trickery match the 950's ZEISS optics, OIS, and so on?

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Five of the biggest mistakes in Windows on mobile

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It's easy to look back from a world in which Windows-based phone hardware sales have dropped to millions rather than billions, and to point the finger at what went wrong. In fact, that's just what I'm doing here. Five of the biggest mistakes from my own perspective, at least, from devices to employees to misplaced spending.

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Installed/active base: how many phones run Windows 10 Mobile?

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Just a few back-of-envelope calculations that I thought you might like to follow along with. With the withdrawal of Microsoft from selling first party smartphones (for the time being), I wondered whether it was time to take stock of some numbers. In particular, the figure I wanted to get to was how many people out there, across the world, are actively using Windows 10 Mobile, i.e. the new OS that Microsoft is updating, that devs are writing for, and that we're covering. Some guesswork is needed, but bear with me.

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The Top 5 Windows phones... ever!

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At the end of another transitional year for Windows Phone, in which Windows 10 Mobile became ubiquitous away from the bottom end phones. In which Microsoft announced one possible future for Windows 10 as a whole, running on the same ARM processors as phones, in which all PCs may be folded into the same architecture (eventually) yet the very term 'Mobile' may end up being deprecated. Confusing! And all the while Microsoft massively scaling back its first party phone hardware and support ambitions. It all adds up to a confusing year for the platform, yet - with Lumias no longer being made - also a good point in time to look back and pick my favourite phones running Windows in the modern era*.

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How to: use Apps Corner instead of Kids Corner

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In a blog post, Microsoft has announced that the old Windows Phone 8.1 'Kids Corner' feature is to be retired for the upcoming Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Update (a.k.a. Redstone), citing low usage. Hardly surprising, since Apps Corner, also built in, is more flexible and can do the same job for most people. Here's how to get going with it.

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Windows Phone the securest smartphone platform of all?

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Security is very much in the news recently, whether physical, in terms of terrorism, or personal, in terms of hacked servers, potential ID fraud, and so on. Then there's the raft of security holes found in various versions of Android, arguably the dominant OS on the planet at the moment. Regardless of other factors, including the 'app gap', you have to wonder whether security should be a factor when choosing which smartphone platform and ecosystem to invest your time and money in? I contend that it absolutely should be.

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When will my Windows Phone be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile?

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The titled question is one that's being asked more and more, of course, as the universal OS gets closer and closer, first in new hardware but then as an over-the-air (or cable) upgrade to most existing Windows Phones, in due course. We've had scattered information from various sources, plus my own opinions and hunches, so I thought a 'best guess' table might be helpful here. And yes, we'll keep it updated.

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Time for Microsoft Store staff to stop playing lazy whack-a-mole and start paying attention

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Something of a storm breaks out on Twitter (etc.) every few weeks when someone notices that there's a new crop of 'clone'/'copy'/rip-off' applications in the Store, all trying to deceive casual users. We let the usual suspects know and, in time, at glacial pace, most of these get knocked on the head. But by then a new crop has appeared - a couple of blatant examples are shown below. Microsoft's Store staff, rather than simply publishing everything and waiting for people to complain about some infraction, need to actually look at what they're putting in the Store in the first place. If I can spot a ripped off app (usually a game) in seconds, then why can't Microsoft's staff, who are paid to do this for a living? 

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