Yes, I know there have been cabled ways to hook up monitors to smartphones for years, for echoing media content if you're lucky and a straight screen mirroring if you're less so. But I did wonder what would happen if I wired a Continuum-capable phone from its USB Type C jack to a monitor or TV's HDMI port directly, i.e. without a Continuum Dock. The result surprised me...
Recent Features - How To
In the first part of an occasional series on AAWP, I'd like to look at a photo I've snapped on a Lumia, in this case the 950 XL, and talk about how I shot it and the thoughts that went through my head at the time. If you've ever wondered if your own smartphone photography could improve then hopefully this mini series will help you start thinking along the right lines.
Yesterday Microsoft's Skype team made a few announcements of new 'bots' available to anyone with Skype (Preview), i.e. the UWP app on Windows - and I was somewhat surprised by how many 'bots' were now online, effectively Microsoft partners tying into the Skype conversational and multimedia interface. Initially sceptical, I look at a few of these below and I do something of a u-turn: maybe these bots could be useful after all, 'an expert in your pocket', as it were...?
Having featured a number of tips, tutorials and accessories over the last year, I wanted to round up perhaps the biggest ten, in terms of getting more from a Windows 10 Mobile smartphone. Newcomers, start here (including anyone coming over from Windows Phone 8.1 via the official upgrade program), and maybe even old hands will find some of the links and comments of interest, at least.
This is going to sound rather trivial, but I have to put pen to paper (ok, fingers to keyboard) to explain some of the calendar sync oddities we have to live with in a modern world with multiple calendar sources. In short, the problem/symptom is that calendar entries entered on another device or web page (or whatever) take quite a while to appear on our Windows 10 Mobile smartphones - in my case it was hours, which I resolved to fix. You can't quite get real time calendar syncing, but you can get close.
This is something I've referred to a number of times in recent months as a problem, but it seems that we've iterated our way to the solution, so I wanted to write it up explicitly. The symptom is that, under Windows 10 Mobile, an application - usually a podcatcher - is suddenly 'not there' anymore. Its live tile is greyed out, any playing media is not available and the application shows as 'Pending' in the applications list. For hours at a time, sometimes. What's going on?
We live in interesting times. There was a one year period (that ended a few months ago) where anyone with an older Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone (let's focus here on the more capable models, so say a Lumia 920, 925 or 1020) could opt to be part of the Insiders programme and 'upgrade' to Windows 10 Mobile. Many of us did that, some even went on to 'hack' Redstone and then Redstone 2 onto such devices - and many of us promptly went back to 8.1 because of the greater maturity and stability. Begging the question - can one really use Windows Phone 8.1 as we approach 2017? What are the drawbacks of living with the older OS?
With eBay withdrawing its old Windows Phone 8.1 application from the Windows Store and (so far, at least) not providing a modern UWP app alternative, you may have guessed that there's an element of DIY involved in using eBay in the meantime, i.e. using eBay via Microsoft Edge. Though note that an awful lot of eBay's functionality is HTML based, so you do get a reasonable experience.
Did you know that your Lumia smartphone had an equaliser built-in? Possibly. But did you know that a) it doesn't only work with Groove Music, it works system wide, and b) it also works with the speaker on your phone and not just headphones? While this wouldn't be that notable on phones with a decent enough speaker, the Lumia 950 XL, in particular, has an unpleasantly tinny component (I went into detail here). Begging the question, can a little tweaking save the day?
It has been a long 20 months since the first Windows 10 'Technical Preview' was released for enthusiasts to test. And, I've argued, that we still have another 6 months to go until the 'Redstone 2' branch ships and puts many of the current annoyances in the past. And we currently have no less than four possible states for people running the OS. OK, maybe err... seven(!) - see below. Which one should you be on/in?