You may remember that, around a month ago, Uber dropped its UWP application for Windows 10 devices (including phones), switching to a PWA (Progressive Web Application) that worked on all devices via their embedded browser engines. Including Windows 10 Mobile, though there are some wrinkles to overcome if you want the best experience. Here are a few pointers.
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Every time I pick up a Windows phone there's a certain air of 'getting things done' - it's that sort of OS. But even Windows 10 Mobile is limited in the applications it can run, whereas most predictions of the upcoming 'Surface Mobile' (Andromeda) are for full Windows 10 on ARM in a folding experience. But for the moment, what if you were to do without the 'folding' bit?
Two weeks ago, I posted about considering the Lumia 1020 under its original Windows Phone 8.1 as a viable set-up, even in 2018. And it is, on the whole, I stand by everything I said in the original post. However, while it may be a viable set-up, it's most certainly not optimal, five years after launch, and six years after the launch of the Lumia 920, the archetypal 8.1 device. In an attempt to see just where the pain points are (other than the obvious, like no biometrics), I set about using Windows Phone 8.1 exclusively for 24 hours. And no cheating.
Whether you're using Windows Phone 8.1 or Windows 10 Mobile, the chances are that you've settled on the 'Bing image of the day' as your lockscreen. Stunning curated images from commercial collections, every day that are, seemingly, just as well suited to the portrait phone screen as to the landscape desktop aspect ratio - thanks to some clever selection and even more clever cropping. But a day later and they're gone. How can you enjoy them after the fact?
Yes, yes, Windows Phone 8.1 is now classed as 'retro', but as a followup to my piece on choosing it for the Lumia 1020, I wanted to emphasise one aspect that still works rather well... with a twist that I hadn't realised* was there. Live traffic graphical views on 'ye olde' WP8.1? No problem.
18 months ago, in May 2016, I wrote about staying with Windows Phone 8.1 in an era of Windows 10 Mobile, in the context of some services working better on the old OS than the newer one. Since then, we've had Windows 10 Mobile mature and fill out, though there's one phone for which I stand by my original piece 100%. You may not be surprised that it's the classic and much-loved Lumia 1020, from 2013, which still feels 'right' on Windows Phone 8.1. If you have this Xenon-flash, monster-camera-ed device then here are the pros and cons, plus suggestions for use in the modern age.
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. Yes, Windows 10 Mobile still has at least a year of updates and 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...
Restoring a Windows 10 Mobile phone from a backup, perhaps after a problem or a device replacement, isn't too problematic these days - most things are back where you expected, with only a few gaps. But the restore isn't 100%, in part because of the sheer diversity of what's on our phones. Prompting me to sacrifice a fully loaded and working Lumia to establish once and for all what comes back and what gets 'lost'.
With the start of unavailability for sale of the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro, we're left with just the one current Windows 10 phone on the market, the Wileyfox Pro. But this is an opportune moment for an update to our device table, looking at all Windows phone hardware that's Windows 10 Mobile-compatible. What's the current status for each?
Last covered here in Autumn 2017, Instagram's official UWP application has effectively been pulled in the last day or so, thanks to the new version being compiled for Redstone 3 and above (i.e. for PC/x86), meaning that the 'feature2' branch that Windows 10 Mobile maxed out on doesn't qualify. However, all is not lost and Edge handily comes to the rescue if you still want to access Instagram on your Lumia or similar. [UPDATED BELOW]