Now I know what you're going to ask: "What's the point? If you're at home then you can use a real TV or a desktop/laptop, and if you're mobile then you probably don't want hours of mobile TV swallowing up your cellular bandwidth!" All very true, but say you're mobile, some breaking news is happening and you're frustrated that all you can see are headlines and textual reports. Wouldn't it be nice to see what's going on by tapping into a live TV stream? With, admittedly, a UK focus, I investigate a few options. I'm sure readers from around the world can chip in with links to solutions for Windows Phone that work in other regions?
Recent Features - How To
Every minute of every day, someone is buying a smartphone. They are making purchasing decisions that will affect them for (in most cases) the lifetime of a two year contract and beyond. Compared to that ongoing process, the launch of a new device and the resulting burst of promotion only takes up a very small part of the year. The key to continued sales, gaining market share and building up a strong user base, requires a different skill set in terms of promotion and marketing. And it is this skill set that is holding back a number of Windows Phone manufacturers.
In the second of an occasional tutorial series (here's the first part, looking at a murky scene-made-good taken on the Nokia Lumia 920), I take a recent photo of mine, also shot on a smartphone, in this case the Nokia 808 PureView, and show the quick-fire thought processes that went into creating it. Again, the tutorial is applicable to all phone camera users and again my aim is to get you thinking more when you next want to snap something photogenic. Comments welcome if I've helped and/or succeeded!
These days we all take Over The Air (OTA) firmware updates for granted. However, there was a time when firmware updates had to be done manually. It's a useful skill to have, especially when just sometimes even contemporary devices can find themselves left out in the cold when it comes to manufacturers spreading the firmware love. The course of DIY updates never run did smooth though, so not only do we discuss how to apply an upgrade, but we look at how you should approach restoring your device to its former state.
Sitting in my office, taking the backs of a number of Nokia phones (as you do), it struck me that something was missing - holograms. For the last five years or so, the presence of an official Nokia hologram has been a pretty good indication that a battery is genuine (and not some Far East-sold fake). Yet Nokia has been shipping phones over the last 12 months with hologram-less batteries. Photo proof below, but I have to ask - not for the first time - how on earth one might be able to tell these new official batteries from the replacement fakes?
Podcatching, as you'll probably know, is the act of grabbing podcasts directly, over the air, on your smartphone. Automatically, seamlessly and without needing a desktop or any direct manual intervention. And then sorting them, playing them back in sensible fashion, working around interruptions, and cleaning up afterwards. It's a tall order for an application, yet we have no less than EIGHT likely contenders here, all of which I've put through their paces. Is there a winner? Of course there is.... [updated]
It's fair to say that most people agree that Windows Phone 8 is a great, if not perfect, starting point for people who are new to smartphones - it's slick and everything the beginner needs is there from the start. What's more contentious is how well Windows Phone 8 works for anyone coming from a Symbian or Android handset - such people are used to a lot of flexibility in terms of interface, hardware and the interaction between applications. Can Windows Phone 8 currently satisfy, as at the end of February 2013 with the 'Portico' update now rolled out to all? How much is still to come? In this heavily updated article, here's my honest assessment, based on months of use of both the Symbian-powered Nokia 808 and the Windows Phone 8-powered Nokia Lumia 920...
Well, in contravention of my headline, actually these data technologies and speed aren't totally irrelevant. But they are most of the time, as I'll explain below. In fact, the whole concept of needing ultrafast mobile data all the time is horribly flawed, but it turns out that such data is, at least in part, a kludge solution to something our intelligent smartphones are supposed to be doing for us all the time, when we're not actively using them...
As Ewan pointed out recently, after wiping or replacing your phone, there's a very limited opportunity to accept Microsoft's automated help in restoring your applications and set-up. And, if you hadn't allowed Windows Phone to 'backup' your app list in the first place (it's a setting) then you'd be screwed anyway. Having had to completely wipe my Lumia 920 (for self-inflicted reasons I won't bore you with), I had to find a painless way to get all my apps back and, having jumped through a few blind alleys in the process, thought it worth documenting as a 'how to' for others.
Forgive me for going all generic and chatty and, for once, abandoning technical details and platform specifics. For this topic is applicable to all phone of all prices and OS persuasions. Well, maybe not all prices, as you'll see. I'm, quite simply, intrigued by the eternal battle between style and protection. Let me explain...