Recent Features - How To

How to: Fix Qi charging on the Lumia 930

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Now, I've saved this for a Friday because it's a little bit controversial. As in 'voiding-your-warranty' naughty. Mind you, if the problem described here occurred while under warranty you'd presumably avail yourself of a Care Point of some kind, so my caution is perhaps moot. The issue is that, on some Lumia 930s, the Qi charging is erratic. Typically it starts OK and then stops after a few minutes. Here's how to fix it.

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How to: Connect your Facebook contacts and calendar in Windows Phone 8.1 and beyond

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The announcement that Facebook's changing APIs were causing an issue for older versions of Windows Phone seems to have caused unnecessary alarm. All of this is, quite simply, a non-issue for almost everyone reading this article. All that's happened is that the way Facebook is 'Connected' to your Windows Phone has changed. If anything, the new way of doing things is more reliable and logical. And here's proof in the form of a full walk-through on a newly set-up phone.

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How to: Improve photos with Lumia Creative Studio. Welcome to the world of image processing...

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'Filters', as referred to by many an app and article on other sites and in other ecosystems, are crude, very crude examples of image processing. Even more so when users take the photo with these bastardisations already applied, i.e. there's no way back. But this doesn't mean that it's wrong to think about processing photos take on a Windows Phone. Even on the phone itself, perhaps before sharing. Happily, Microsoft provides Lumia Creative Studio for all its own smartphones - and below I discuss what's going on and provide some guidance and tips.

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Cortana vs Siri vs Google Now vs Blackberry Assistant - fight!

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Each of the major smartphone platforms has its own voice assistant, but which is better for real world use? They're all getting smarter each year, of course, as their back-ends get upgraded, but at this point in 2015 I wanted to conduct a 'blind' test and get a data point or two. Or ten. The winner might surprise you too - Cortana was the early favourite, anecdotally, but an old hand stepped up to the plate in the end...

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How to: get stunning 8MP action 'Moments' of kids, waves, and more, with the Lumia 930/1520

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One of the most frustrating things about snapping photos of family is that anyone under about ten years of age just doesn't keep still. Not that you'd necessarily want them to a lot of the time, since a kid or pet doing something active, caught mid-stride, can be really effective and show off more of their character than an attempt at a traditional posed shot. The same applies to pets, wildlife and even nature itself, but there's a solution if you have the Lumia 930/Icon or 1520, as Rafe and I demonstrate below. (In fact, much of what follows also applies to the Lumia 830 and even the 640/640 XL too, albeit at much lower output resolution.)

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Exploring Hyperlapse Mobile, building in Movie Creator

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Launched yesterday, Hyperlapse Mobile is already proving an interesting video utility, though I thought it worth pointing out some caveats and tips based on my own experiences so far. In short, it's still something of a novelty, but there's a lot of fun to be had and fully edited and polished hyperlapses can be rendered and then stitched/edited entirely on your Windows Phone.

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How to: Make professional videos in Microsoft Movie Creator

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I reviewed Movie Creator back in November 2014, but the system just got itself a big update to support 4K video, i.e. burst or manually-selected video capture on the Lumia 930/Icon and 1520 - and, no doubt, future devices. In addition, there's now full integration with OneDrive, so the media you include doesn't have to exist on the Windows Phone being used to edit video anymore. Add in a few more enhancements for this new version and the time is right to see what Movie Creator can really do. Here's a tutorial to get you started.

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