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 - Software
Yesterday, during the launch event for the Lumia 925, Nokia briefly mentioned the forthcoming arrival of the Lumia Amber software update for existing Nokia Windows Phone 8 devices. What exactly will be in this manufacturer-specific update? In this feature we break down the details of what you can expect to see.
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]
The arrival of devices like the HTC One, with its built-in 'burst' mode photography (a.k.a. 'HTC zoey') has perhaps brought to the fore a trend in mobile photography which has been growing for several years. As phone cameras have got faster and faster, and as processors have sped up, it has become quite practical now, for transient subjects, to shoot 'bursts' of photos rather than put all your eggs in one basket for that single, special shot. So how does that work out on Windows Phone? Here are four applications that might fit the bill....
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...
The trendy thing to talk about in the smartphone world is 'market share', of course. Thinking about the industry as 'business', its' all about current sales, how many units were shipped in the last few months, how much profit was made, and so on. Flip this on its head, looking at smartphone platforms from the user's point of view though, and a slightly different picture emerges. What I consider below is the 'active installed base' of each platform, i.e. the numbers of compatible handsets being used on a daily basis around the world.
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.
Following on from Steve's post last week talking about his Windows Phone 8 live tiles, it's my turn to show off my set-up. Looking over Steve's article, it looks like my start screen is twice as large as his, mostly because Steve has made a conscious decision to stay minimal, while I prefer to have far more activity and links on my screen. It's a layout that has evolved and built up over time, and one that still goes through small changes every week or so. Let's have a closer look.
Having now been living with the Nokia Lumia 920 and Windows Phone 8 off and on for the last two months, I've found that my setup has been iterating week on week, eventually stabilising on what is my 'optimal' Start screen and application loadout. Now, I know that every Windows Phone will be set up differently, but hopefully something about my final configuration and app picks will prove of interest to the AAWP readership.
We hear time and time again how iOS and Android are streets ahead of the competition in terms of availability of applications and I've even done a few repostes of my own, a while ago. Time for a new snapshot though, looking at the top 30 Android applications and their availability or equivalency on the Symbian and Windows Phone 8 platforms, representing our readership here on All About Symbian and All About Windows Phone. Summary?