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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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?
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....
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!
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.
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.
Wikipedia needs no introduction, of course - and neither does its web site, which works remarkably well in all web browsers, degrading gracefully when needed. But that hasn't stopped several third parties from piggy backing on the accessibly nature of the data to create friendlier app front ends. Comparing like for like, I'm pitching the mobile web (Edge) experience here with the old-but-classic Wikipedia client from Rudy Huyn and the brand new (still in beta) UWP client from Kavimukil.
We've seen some cracking bugs during the development of Windows Phone and then Windows 10 Mobile. But I think this one takes the biscuit, because it's not only quite widespread, it's also mind-manglingly odd, with the cause having no relation to the symptoms! In brief, with your Google account set up in Outlook, 'backspace' stops working when writing messages. Eh? What? Happily, there's an easy workaround/fix, as documented below.