The tying of the hardware shutter button to 4K video capture in Lumia Camera v5 (as seen on the Lumia 930 and 1520) was done with the best of intentions, I'm sure - it certainly creates an 'instant' way to start capturing everything in ultra-high quality, all the while that shutter button is held down. But most people would also like to use the shutter button to take photos in the traditional way. Is there a way to restore the latter, while not losing the 4K 'moment-grabbing' video completely? Pretty much!
Recent Features - Software
Yes, I've already given the game away in terms of the mechanics of how Lumia Camera 5 works and why you have to reframe PureView oversampled photos in another application now - but just to be clear, I wanted to break this down into an illustrated tutorial, as I suspect it's going to be a Frequently Asked Question in the Lumia world.
So Lumia Camera 5 has arrived, along with Lumia Denim for your Nokia Lumia 930 or 1520? What exactly is going on under the hood when you turn on 'Rich Capture'? Is there a downside? What about limitations? And why can't you go back to edit a rich capture photo from the Photos app later on? In this in-depth feature I answer all these questions and much more...
Ever since the launch of the Lumia 830 at IFA 2014, with demos of the new Lumia Camera 5 software on the 830 and 930, along with the Denim platform update, enthusiasts like me (with these devices, plus the 1520) have been hitting 'check for updates' in both the Store application and in Settings, all to no avail. What is going on here? While attesting that I'm as frustrated as the next person, here's my best guess.
I was interested to see the availability, a few days ago, of GFXBench, a cross-platform utility that hammers the processor and graphics systems of smartphones and tablets and then reports back. The core use is to compare devices in the Android and iOS worlds, I suspect, i.e. the mainstream, but with Windows Phone availability, I thought it might be interesting to compare the metrics for some of the various generations of Nokia Lumia that I have lying around...
We all know that the Windows Phone range often has a pretty good camera in its attached hardware - heck, I'm using a Lumia 1020 for this article. But, having taken a good photo and having perhaps shared it and received some comments, a common requirement is to look at the EXIF data, the metadata stored in each JPG taken with a digital camera that describes the settings used by the capturing software. If this sounds like photo-geekery then you're right, feel free to move right along. But if seeing 'inside' your photos seems like a great facility to you then read on....
This could well be one of the shorter editorials on this site, because it's essentially talking (ok, more like complaining) about one aspect, and one aspect only in Windows Phone. Yet one which drives me bonkers. In fact, I can only think that something inside the OS makes fixing it architecturally impossible, because I've been irked by it for years. Repeat years. And there's still no sign of a fix on the horizon. Will Windows 10 see a change? I'm not holding my breath.
Group tests of Twitter clients on any platform are always a little transient on any platform because of Twitter's own (crazy) client token limits, meaning that any third party application that gets really popular effectively gets shut down when it gets to 100,000 users. Such was the fate of several applications on Windows Phone, with Mehdoh and Rowi bowing out for this and other reasons. Begging the question, with a very serviceable first party client for the platform, of whether it's worth going third party at all any more and if so, which application to choose? This is my much updated look at Twitter clients, now with five apps in the mix.
A few days ago, on another story, one of the comments (from 'deekbee', to give them a name check!) struck a chord, since I'd been thinking along exactly the same lines myself. With the wealth of newly cross-platform Microsoft services, with the 'app gap' still present, it seems, and with apparent reasons to not go with Windows Phone at an all time high, maybe Microsoft and its partners should be centring on the message that the OS is simply better - at least by the metrics in the title above?!
Having set out 10 reasons why someone might want to choose Windows Phone, even in the face of quite a few previous Unique Selling Points becoming less err.... unique, with Microsoft's new cross-platform pushes, I thought it only fair to also identify 10 reasons why Windows Phone might not be a good choice, i.e. current possible showstoppers, though in the spirit of constructive criticism, I do offer possible ways forward.