Recent Features - How To

How to: navigate multi-service Calendar sync in Outlook

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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.

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How to: Avoid being locked out of a 'Pending' podcatcher

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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?

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Using Windows Phone 8.1 as we head into 2017

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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?

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Using eBay on Windows 10 Mobile

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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.

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How to: Dramatically improve the sound of the Lumia 950 XL speaker

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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?

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Fast and furious all the way to Redstone 2

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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? 

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To Boldly Go: taking the x20 Lumias to Redstone

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I've linked a few times to an ultra-geeky hack to get Windows 10 Mobile Redstone (a.k.a. Anniversary Update) onto older smartphones, those that Microsoft deemed unsuitable for the very latest code. After a few (abortive) attempts I've now made progress in upgrading one of my own Lumias, a 1020 and, while I still think that you need a degree in hackery and lots of patience to proceed, here's how I got on taking a 2013 Snapdragon S4-powered Lumia into uncharted Redstone territory and beyond....

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How to: save a location as a 'Favourite' in Windows 10 Maps

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Sometimes even the best-designed UIs can make simple operations harder to accomplish - Windows 10 Maps has made great strides in the last 12 months, but I found myself scratching my head over the utterly basic function of saving a location as a 'favourite'. Happily, you just need to know the trick - and it's as simple as dropping a pin!

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Keeping up with the Rio Olympics on your Windows phone

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The Rio Olympics are due to kick off for real tomorrow (with the opening ceremony). And your Windows phone is a pretty good device to keep up with the 42 sports and 300 events that will happen over the next sixteen days. Here's a rundown of the main ways you can keep tabs on Rio.

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How to share Windows 10 Mobile photos via Flickr

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In theory, the title of this tutorial should make no sense. After all, you just use the Flickr app, right? Oh yeah, there isn't one. What about one of the third party Flickr apps? Ah, they've all now stopped working properly. Hmm.... What about using Flickr via the web interface? Actually, this does provide a way forwards, though it's slightly more involved than you might think. Here are the pointers you need.

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