One aspect of the Microsoft ecosystem which we've never covered on AAWP is Microsoft Family. This is a cross-device, cross-account monitoring system for you to manage what your family gets up to on their Windows smartphones. It had been heavily re-engineered and rebranded for Windows 10 and, thanks to reader Julian Grail, we've been sent a real world report of what one of his kids has been getting up to (suitably redacted). Very interesting.
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In a blog post, Microsoft has announced that the old Windows Phone 8.1 'Kids Corner' feature is to be retired for the upcoming Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Update (a.k.a. Redstone), citing low usage. Hardly surprising, since Apps Corner, also built in, is more flexible and can do the same job for most people. Here's how to get going with it.
Although it's noteworthy that Daniel over at WC in the USA, armed with an internal build of Microsoft Wallet on the latest Insiders build of Redstone and with the very latest Bank of America UWP, was able to buy a hamburger using just his Lumia 950, it's fair to say that it'll be several months at least (if not years) before this hits the mainstream, i.e. Windows 10 Mobile devices around the world with appropriate banking applications on the platform and with the service enabled in their home countries. But a recent deficiency in the Lumia 950 XL reminded me of another really convenient use (or two) for NFC in our modern smartphones....
I realise I've been sitting on the fence a bit with regard to whether to upgrade these older (1GB+ RAM) smartphones to Windows 10 Mobile, against Microsoft's recommendation. On the one hand, we have a confusing imaging workflow and mono audio in videos on the Lumia 1020, on the other hand we have a barrage of benefits of being on much newer apps and OS (and damn any UI slowdowns). Yet time is running out in terms of making up your mind...
I have to confess - even after writing hundreds of articles about smartphone imaging I still get confused sometimes about digital zoom, especially in the realm of PureView. Exactly how far can you zoom in, on each device, for stills or video? What are the limits and what happens if you go beyond them? Here’s a helpful guide that I prepared earlier.
Half the fun in setting up any new smartphone is, I content, configuring its home screen or, in this case, its 'Start' screen, since we're talking Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile. In fact, the live tiles and amount of information and flexibility being put forwards has drawn admirers from other smartphone ecosystems, so Microsoft has definitely been doing something right here. But how should your Start screen look? Are there any hard and fast rules to follow or gotchas? Well, not really, but I can provide some pointers, at least.
It has been a long time since I looked at video editors for Windows Phone, usually in single reviews, and besides we now have a whole new platform in play. So you've shot a bunch of home videos on your Windows 10 Mobile smartphone and would like a way to massage them neatly together in order to get the result up on YouTube, Facebook, Dropbox, OneDrive, or similar? Here are your current software options.
OK, it seems that my comprehensive Venn diagram was a little too confusing for some readers - which is fair enough. Maybe it was a little ambitious. So I've broken things down more simply below. Here, in a single diagram is what will/should happen to your current Windows phone* in the coming 12-24 months. It also represents my own recommendations, you don't have to follow them, you know...(!)
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.
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.