Recent Features - Windows Phone 8

Car mode part 2: How to operate (nearly) hands-free with Cortana and Maps

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Last week's mini-review of Car Dash and my bemoaning of a Windows 10 Mobile equivalent to 'Android Auto' sparked a storm of comments, not least from those who pointed out that some of what I was asking for can already be done - in Cortana... if you know the right setting to turn on. So here's more comment on the idea, along with the vital 'how to', to make sure that you too touch your phone as little as possible when driving!

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Microsoft, where's your Windows 10 'Car' mode or application?

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Never mind niche or boutique applications which are missing from the world of Windows 10, there's one whopper which affects me daily and - if you stop and think about it - probably affects you too. At the very least it could make you safer when driving. Read on for my thoughts on the lack of a decent in-car mode in Windows 10 (Mobile)...

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Anatomy of a Windows (phone) photo #2: Autumn

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Well done if you spotted the title change - 'Anatomy of a Lumia photo' (here's #1!) just got widened because, in this case, I was using the HP Elite x3 instead! The software and platform are the same though. I do wonder whether these occasional smartphone photography tutorials are too 'basic', but they do seem to be popular. So here goes another!

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The Top 40: 'app gap' status update for Windows 10 for 2017

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It's been a long time since I revisited this topic (16 months)... Just where does Windows 10 Mobile (née Windows Phone) stand in terms of third party applications, compared to the competition? I mean, first party, in-the-box offerings are outstanding, with Outlook, Skype, Maps, Office and much more, but what about the third party 'app gap', as popularly characterised? How bad is it, compared to iOS and Android? I took the current 'Top 40' from the application charts from the latter two platforms, as of January 2017, and tried to find equivalents.

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The very best Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile applications

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With another update for mid January 2017 (20 new entries), here's our directory of the very best of the Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile world. If you or someone you know is just starting out on the platform and want to avoid the chaff, the rubbish in the Store, then look no further for suggestions.

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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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PureView zoom vs 10x optical zoom, the Hasselblad edition

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Three years ago, I pitched the last Android phone with 10x optical zoom, the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, against the Nokia Lumia 1020, with mixed results, though the comparison was very interesting. The huge caveat with the K Zoom was the device's relative bulk in all modes and, to be honest, this is the same problem with the otherwise pretty impressive Hasselblad Moto Mod, which becomes the back half of the Moto Z (also running Android), see below for a new shoot-out!

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Xenon and zoom: the Hasselblad takes on the Nokia 808/Lumia 1020 (etc.)

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Yesterday I looked at the arrival, in for review, of a rather rare thing - a Xenon-flash-equipped, zoom-equipped camera phone, competing (obviously) with such (also rare) Nokia classics like the 808 PureView and Lumia 1020. But never mind the bulk (in this case, removeable, but still...), never mind the form factor, how do these ultra-camera-phones perform against each other in a variety of challenging tests? Let's find out...

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Xenon and zoom re-enter the smartphone world, courtesy of Hasselblad

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I've periodically returned to the classic Nokia 808 PureView and Lumia 1020, highlighting the lossless 2.5x zoom and 'proper' Xenon flash, though there's been precious little to compare these with that's camera centric from the wider smartphone world in the last five years. Yet along comes something new, the Hasselblad camera mod on the Moto Z, a late 2016 Android smartphone. Along with the 808, 1020 and also ageing Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, I couldn't resist a quick photo comparison. No, not of results (that comes soon!), this time of the hardware itself...

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