Recent Features - Windows Phone 8

How to: Fix the 'Office 365 subscription is required' editing warning

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This has been mentioned a few times over the last six months - the odd reader would complain that the Office UWP application under Windows 10 Mobile would suddenly start demanding an Office 365 sign-in, when theoretically any device 'with display under 10' should have full creating and editing capability. I have a theory - and a walkthrough for people seeing the titled warning and have qualifying phones or accounts...

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Are live tiles on the way out?

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In a week of 'tangential' articles for AAWP, here's another - Windows 10 live tiles seem to be on the way out. No, not on Mobile, that UI is fixed in stone and only getting security updates each month. But on the Desktop. A leaked future build of Windows 10 showed a Start menu with simple icons and this does seem to make sense - of all the relatives and friends you've helped set up Windows 10 on a laptop, how many have ever customised their tile layout? Exactly. 

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Real world (2x, 3x) phone imaging zoom tests: a variety of approaches!

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Yes, the likes of the Huawei P30 Pro have brought 5x telephoto lenses to the smartphone world. But for casual, real world zooming, i.e. modest zoom on likely subjects at 2x and 3x, what are the pros and cons of computational versus optical zoom in smartphone cameras? I explore this, with the help of the Lumia 1020, a modern Pixel 3, a modern Samsung, and that aforementioned P30 Pro...

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Status report for July 2019 (and the future): Services on Windows 10 Mobile

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With some social applications, comms apps and Microsoft services being phased out in 2019 and beyond, I thought a ready reference table of where Windows 10 Mobile stands would be useful. And I'll try to revisit this every few months to update each section as needed. In summary, there's likely to be a little disruption to 'normal' activities this year and a few more caveats in 2020, when Windows 10 Mobile will be out of official support. Anyway, see below for details!

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Budget smartphone super-camera shootout (950, One Vision, 3a XL, S9+)

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Four totally different smartphones, with two things in common - they can all be obtained for less than £400 and they all still - justifiably - claim to have world class imaging. And, with some decent weather in the UK for once, it's a golden opportunity to do a four way camera shootout. Can the AAWP champion Lumia 950 be bettered by such 'budget' Android imaging pretenders? Let's find out.

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Life after Lumias? Where next? The top 5 smartphone replacements

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In the past, I've mentioned a few examples of possible smartphones to consider jumping to if you reach the end of the road with your Windows phone, but I wanted to amplify this and give you the full picture, as of July 2019. Yes, Windows 10 Mobile still has six months of support left, but at some point even enthusiasts may reach the point where it becomes appropriate to wonder what might be next in our lives... Here are my Top 5 suggestions.

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How to: take the Lumia 735 up to branch 1709 and retain monthly updates

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The Lumia 735 (and 830 with it) were popular Lumias that, in theory, ended their Microsoft days on Windows 10 Mobile branch 1607 ('Anniversary Update'), for which monthly OS updates stopped six months ago. Yet most AAWP readers will have jumped on the Insiders programme a year or so ago at some point, and so most owners of these phones will now be on branch 1703 ('Creators Update', CU). And that too is now, officially, out of monthly support. So here's a step by step guide to 'faking' a more modern phone and getting any of these older phones onto branch 1709 ('Fall Creators Update', FCU) and thus back into a new six months of updates.

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Why is AAWP still here; why still write about Windows phones?

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As you might imagine, I get quite a bit of stick on social media from Windows-haters, wondering why AAWP still exists, wondering why I still write here, pointing out that Windows on phones isn't relevant in the marketplace anymore. Here's my answer - it's all about support and the installed base of users.

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Welcome to 'modern OS' and the future... remind you of anything?

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I was fascinated to read a rundown of Microsoft's vision of the future with 'modern OS' (name to be finalised, no doubt!), based on what we'd been calling 'Core OS' and with CShell covering the UI needs on various hardware form factors. Not least because it reminded me quite a bit an awful lot of what Microsoft had in Windows 10 Mobile in 2015 and which they've been trying to distance themselves from ever since. But... why, Microsoft, why? You had almost everything you needed already, four years ago.

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The world moves on... Video capture, 950 XL vs P30 pro

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Although I regularly pitch the PureView over-sampled Lumia 950 XL stills up against the best of 2018 and 2019, video capture is a whole other area. The Snapdragon 810 chipset in my 950 XL just can't compete in terms of real time noise reduction and software stabilisation with the Snapdragon 855 (and Kirin 980 here), which - at 1080p here, at least - have oodles of headroom in the processing department - and it shows when testing modern Android flagships. Even more so the Lumia 1020-inspired Huawei P30 Pro, which also throws a genuine 5x 'periscope' telephoto into the mix. 

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