Recent Features - How To

10 reasons to keep your Lumia 1020 on Windows Phone 8.1

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Reading through all the comments on previous stories, I'm gathering that there's still some indecision as to whether to put the beloved Nokia Lumia 1020 up to Windows 10 Mobile, against Microsoft's official advice, via the Insiders Program and its 'Threshold' Release Preview ring. In an attempt to come down again on one side or another, here are my top 10 reasons why you should definitely keep the 41MP-sensored monster on the older OS.

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How to: Revert from the Windows 10 Mobile 'Redstone' Insiders branches to 'Threshold'

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As anyone who's messed around with operating systems or technology knows, it's easy (and tested) to upgrade an OS, it's usually a lot harder to downgrade (since all the old files have previously been blown away by the upgrade!) So, needing to downgrade from Windows 10 Mobile 'Redstone' Insider builds back to the more stable, fully working pastures of 'Threshold' (the 10586.xxx current production branch), I knew I'd hit a hiccup or two along the way - but I also wanted to bring you along for the ride, in case you also need to revert to an earlier version at some stage.

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Low light, moving subjects - how Dynamic Exposure works for a crisper photo

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I touched on Dynamic Exposure in my recent feature charting the many instant decisions that Microsoft's 'Rich HDR' (née Rich Capture) system goes through each time you take a photo on, for example, the Lumia 950 or 950 XL. One of the more intriguing possible outcomes was in lowish light with moving subjects, which is where 'Dynamic Exposure' comes into play, with two shots of different exposure times combined to good effect. Below, I demonstrate just how well this works.

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Windows 10 Camera's Rich HDR explained - pictorially

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Reverse engineering the internal logic of Windows 10 Camera took a little head scratching and practical experimentation (thanks to long time AAWP reader Indrek Haav for the help), but I/we reckon that we have it pretty much nailed now, as you'll see from the chart below. So if you've ever wondered exactly what Rich HDR (née Rich Capture) was 'thinking' when you tapped the shutter icon or mashed fully down on the shutter button then hopefully we have an answer for you.

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How to: issue and manage Microsoft Health challenges on Windows 10 Mobile

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An update last week to Microsoft Health brought in a new (and long overdue) feature - the ability to take part in multi-person challenges with your friends. Competing to see who can do (for example) the most steps over a given period has long been part of the Fitbit world and now you can do the same with Microsoft Health. Here's how it works under Windows 10 Mobile.

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Adding (artificial) HDR punch to your photos

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HDR is somewhat contentious in the world of imaging. Anyone who's seen HDR images can tell in an instant that they don't claim to show the world as it really looked, but rather as it could be emphasised, bringing out all colours and all detail to maximum effect. The results can be dramatic, see some of the examples below. Now, the Rich Capture system on many phone cameras in the Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile world means that you can do a limited amount of HDR imaging, but what happens when you can't achieve as dramatic a result as you want to at capture time? i.e. Can clever software work wonders with your raw material?

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'LumiaPhoneTest' and proving your Lumia's hardware is fully working!

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It's not often that I come across a utility that I really should have known about already - in this case it's Microsoft's own 'LumiaPhoneTest', and dates from "2013-14", implying that it's not under current development anymore. Still, it seems to work fine and gives you low level access to hardware tests that would otherwise require a trip to a repair centre of some kind. In this case, I was verifying that my Lumia 930's four microphones all worked...

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How to: shoot better videos on your Lumia 950 or 950 XL

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Although I covered something along these lines almost two years ago and, let's be honest, a lot of the basics of video shooting haven't changed much, I wanted to update my feature for 2016 and the much newer devices and their capabilities. In other words, all the best of our smartphone camera video capture tips in one piece, in one place. Hopefully something worth bookmarking and pointing people towards?

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In Case of Emergency: ICE Lock Screen and other solutions

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It's all very well having helpful ICE (In Case of Emergency) data inside your phone, even in a dedicated application, but if you're involved in a car crash or similar, perhaps unconscious or incapable, and your phone is locked with a PIN then the rescuers won't be able to access it. With potentially distressing consequences. One answer, if this worries you, is to have your ICE information right there on your phone's lockscreen. Below, I take a look at a few Windows Phone applications which claim to help achieve this.

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