Recent Features - How To

An honest comparison: the pros and cons of a switch to Android

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Windows 10 Mobile's imperfections are well known, at least around these parts, since we're intensive users. (Ask the wider world and they probably think the OS is dead.) And, while waiting for Microsoft and an all-singing folding phablet, there's a very real temptation to switch over to Android as your phone OS of choice. But is the grass any greener on that side of the fence? In this feature, I present, hopefully honestly, the various pros and cons.

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How to: Read PDF files on Windows 10 Mobile

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Microsoft's continued changes to the Edge browser (hopefully continuing to make it more secure and more powerful) under Windows 10 Mobile have had a side effect - it now makes a mess of reading PDF (Acrobat) files, with blank pages or error messages. Microsoft has promised a fix in the next update, but in the meantime, here's how to carry on reading your downloaded PDF documents.

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How to: run Google Maps Go (PWA) on Windows 10 Mobile

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A week or two ago I did a feature on running modern (2018) PWAs (Progressive Web Applications) under Edge on Windows 10 Mobile. And, while it's clear that Edge/W10M will never get to the same functionality level as desktop browsers, most PWAs run just fine right now. In this case, I wanted to highlight Google Maps Go, a PWA designed for running on low end Android phones. Turns out it runs perfectly under Windows 10 Mobile too!

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Staring at name corruptions and stuck in the Insiders world? Here's how to get out!

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The Insiders programme came with a number of warnings, along the lines of 'by opting in, you agree that things may go horribly wrong and you may need to wipe your device at some point in the future'. Now, most of us ignored this glibly, upgrading away, switching Insiders rings without a care in the world, and usually without incident. But glitches do happen, not just in The Matrix, but also in the Windows 10 Mobile Insiders programme. And here's the full tale of how my 950 XL was restored to 100% functionality...

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2018 update: How to get your Lumia 735/830/930/1520 onto the Creators Update

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Almost a year ago, I covered this very topic, but it's just as relevant today, if only to answer the question of whether you can still bring an older Windows Phone up to the last major practical branch, the Creators Update, giving you updates until Autumn 2019. See below for some recommended prerequisitive reading, but the short answer is that yes, you can. No need to be stuck on the Anniversary Update!

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Phone to emergency laptop via the Microsoft UFK?

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Back in mid 2015, two and a half years ago, Microsoft debuted the premium Universal Folding Keyboard (UFK) and I reviewed it here, pronouncing it massively overpriced (£100) and with poor Windows Phone support. Then, exactly a year ago, I briefly reviewed the UFK again in the light of a new price (£40) and Windows 10 Mobile's far more complete Bluetooth profiles - ending up recommending it to all. What's new here then? Not much, except that I've been using it for a year and I wanted to put into context - the UFK is more than a humble Bluetooth keyboard, yet (obviously) less than a laptop. So where does it fit in?

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How to: Post 280 character tweets under Windows 10 Mobile

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Twitter upped its tweet character limit a few months ago but the UWP clients haven't yet caught up, sadly. Maybe Christmas got in the way, maybe it's just indifference? Anyway, in search of ways to post tweets up to the full 280 characters, I've got at least one practical solution under Windows 10 Mobile.

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How to: Use intelligent Emoji suggestions in your messaging

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Now, a heads-up, this isn't new, it's just a little Friday 'FYI' mini-tutorial. But Mr Old School here didn't know about this feature in Windows 10 Mobile's keyboard, specifically its Emojis system, so I'm guessing that a few others might appreciate a quick demo too. And if you knew about the built-in auto-search system for Emojis already, then pat yourself on the back!

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How to scan old photos on your Windows 10 Mobile phone

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Now that most of us have been firmly in the digital photography domain for well over a decade, old paper prints are quite a long way in our rear view mirror. Yet, when we do go through old albums (say, pre-2005) which of us hasn't wanted to quickly get favourite snaps in digital form, to be preserved and shared? Here are some tips for doing this with your Lumia or other Windows 10 Mobile phone.

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