One of the bugbears of living on Windows 10 Mobile (and Windows Phone 8.1 before it) for me, was that Google+, the social network that everyone seemingly likes to forget yet which is beloved of geeks and tech communities, was essentially inaccessible. No client from Google (of course) and the mobile web version sucked. However, the arrival of a new HTML5-heavy site from the big 'G' allied to the latest Edge browser from Microsoft equals an experience that's only slightly less slick than a full native application. To say I was impressed is an understatement.
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I recently became very frustrated with my Windows 10 Mobile smartphone when its Start screen steadfastedly refused to show me photos in the err... 'Photos' live tile. Set to the 'double-wide' size, this live tile is one of the stars of the platform, always looking stunning (provided you've taken some stunning photos to populate it with) - but what do you if it misbehaves? Turns out this is quite a common problem, so here are some specific and generic tips...
The best photos? Well, some of them, at least. While flicking through some old paper DSLR magazines I was reminded how we can all learn from, and be inspired by, the photos taken by others. With that in mind, I've gone through some of the Lumia groups on Flickr and plucked out examples - all from 2016 - that are particular noteworthy. See which of these you like and then be inspired to match them!
One aspect of the Microsoft ecosystem which we've never covered on AAWP is Microsoft Family. This is a cross-device, cross-account monitoring system for you to manage what your family gets up to on their Windows smartphones. It had been heavily re-engineered and rebranded for Windows 10 and, thanks to reader Julian Grail, we've been sent a real world report of what one of his kids has been getting up to (suitably redacted). Very interesting.
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.
Although it's noteworthy that Daniel over at WC in the USA, armed with an internal build of Microsoft Wallet on the latest Insiders build of Redstone and with the very latest Bank of America UWP, was able to buy a hamburger using just his Lumia 950, it's fair to say that it'll be several months at least (if not years) before this hits the mainstream, i.e. Windows 10 Mobile devices around the world with appropriate banking applications on the platform and with the service enabled in their home countries. But a recent deficiency in the Lumia 950 XL reminded me of another really convenient use (or two) for NFC in our modern smartphones....
I realise I've been sitting on the fence a bit with regard to whether to upgrade these older (1GB+ RAM) smartphones to Windows 10 Mobile, against Microsoft's recommendation. On the one hand, we have a confusing imaging workflow and mono audio in videos on the Lumia 1020, on the other hand we have a barrage of benefits of being on much newer apps and OS (and damn any UI slowdowns). Yet time is running out in terms of making up your mind...
I have to confess - even after writing hundreds of articles about smartphone imaging I still get confused sometimes about digital zoom, especially in the realm of PureView. Exactly how far can you zoom in, on each device, for stills or video? What are the limits and what happens if you go beyond them? Here’s a helpful guide that I prepared earlier.
Half the fun in setting up any new smartphone is, I content, configuring its home screen or, in this case, its 'Start' screen, since we're talking Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile. In fact, the live tiles and amount of information and flexibility being put forwards has drawn admirers from other smartphone ecosystems, so Microsoft has definitely been doing something right here. But how should your Start screen look? Are there any hard and fast rules to follow or gotchas? Well, not really, but I can provide some pointers, at least.
It has been a long time since I looked at video editors for Windows Phone, usually in single reviews, and besides we now have a whole new platform in play. So you've shot a bunch of home videos on your Windows 10 Mobile smartphone and would like a way to massage them neatly together in order to get the result up on YouTube, Facebook, Dropbox, OneDrive, or similar? Here are your current software options.