Recent Features - How To

Imaging excellence opens up iPhone 11 Pro switch possibilities

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Whether you have/had a Lumia 1020 or 930 or 950, one of the core 'must haves' for you is probably cutting edge imaging - the absolute best photos possible from a phone. iPhones have been gradually 'coming up on the rails' in this regard and with the new iPhone 11 Pro I showed a few weeks ago that its cameras are right up there, and even exceeding those of the Lumia 1020 and Lumia 950. I'll revisit the subject when the 11 Pro's 'Deep Fusion' update hits, but in the meantime here's a feature comparison across the board between the flagship iPhone 11 Pro and the similarly sized previous camera champion, the Lumia 950. Cost notwithstanding, maybe the time is now right to move to an iPhone (and not just the cheaper '11')?

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Status report for October 2019 (and the future): Services on Windows 10 Mobile

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With some social applications, comms apps and Microsoft services being phased out through 2019 and beyond, I thought a ready reference table of where Windows 10 Mobile stands would be useful. And I'll try to revisit this every few months to update each section as needed. In summary, there's likely to be little disruption to 'normal' activities this year but a few more caveats in 2020, when Windows 10 Mobile will be out of official support. Anyway, see below for details!

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How to: Use Microsoft Authenticator to manage your two-factor security

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Security and identity theft are major concerns these days, with numerous high profile attacks, making two factor authentication for all your email, PIM, banking, and even social accounts mandatory. But relying on a phone number and SMS codes as the 'second factor' has a huge weakness - 'social attacks' on your phone network, with someone pretending to be you and thus gaining control over your SMS and number via a new SIM card, inserted in their phone of choice. Enter the concept of 'authenticator' apps on your phone, which work well but are a pain to set up more than once. Well, no more, since Microsoft Authenticator can now backup and then restore your established authenticated account keys. Here's how it all works.

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No sharpening please, we're British... A five way shootout!

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When considering smartphone imaging, there are two end goals, depending on who you talk to. The populist opinion, catered to by the likes of Samsung and Huawei, is that the photos you take should 'pop', with exagerated edges and detail, enhanced colours, and so on. My view, even though I enjoy hyper-real images as much as the next man, is that photos should accurately portray the world you see, and with as little enhancement as possible. In other words, photos from a phone should be natural and with scope for enhancement later in software without worrying about starting from an edge-enhanced, over sharpened base...

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AAWP's Top 5 smartphone accessories

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I often get asked which accessories I recommend - power banks, keyboards, headphones - and I've tested quite a few, so I thought it would be useful if I listed my Top 5 accessories, the ones I use day to day and which travel with me, either in a pocket or in my briefcase. All highly recommended, and I'll link back to my original reviews, for more information. In no particular order...

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Contrast and sharpening are overrated: purity should be the end goal...

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I realise I'm the lone voice shouting in the wilderness here, but after multiple comments on multiple imaging features here on AAWP I wanted to respond - with a real world example - of why higher contrast and sharpening may look better on the phone screen but they're 'damaged' photos and greater purity (yes, yes, 'PureView') is where phone camera makers should be aiming their shots...

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Life after Lumias? Where next? The top 5 smartphone replacements

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In the past, I've mentioned a few examples of possible smartphones to consider jumping to if you reach the end of the road with your Windows phone, but I wanted to amplify this and give you the full picture, as of July 2019. Yes, Windows 10 Mobile still has six months of support left, but at some point even enthusiasts may reach the point where it becomes appropriate to wonder what might be next in our lives... Here are my Top 5 suggestions.

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How to: take the Lumia 735 up to branch 1709 and retain monthly updates

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The Lumia 735 (and 830 with it) were popular Lumias that, in theory, ended their Microsoft days on Windows 10 Mobile branch 1607 ('Anniversary Update'), for which monthly OS updates stopped six months ago. Yet most AAWP readers will have jumped on the Insiders programme a year or so ago at some point, and so most owners of these phones will now be on branch 1703 ('Creators Update', CU). And that too is now, officially, out of monthly support. So here's a step by step guide to 'faking' a more modern phone and getting any of these older phones onto branch 1709 ('Fall Creators Update', FCU) and thus back into a new six months of updates.

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