Recent Features - Software

Twitter clients on Windows Phone for the end of 2014

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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.

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Fresher, more Finger-friendly and more Foolproof: how Windows Phone SHOULD be marketed

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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?!

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So... 10 reasons why NOT Windows Phone, and what needs to happen!

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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.

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Now that Microsoft's apps and services are cross-platform, why choose Windows Phone?

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The question came in Just before our last Insight podcast, and a very pertinent one it was too. Given all the cross platform releases by Microsoft and Nokia's HERE, surely many of the unique selling points of Windows Phone have now been removed - why would anyone now buy a Lumia, for example, rather than an Android or iOS smartphone for the same money? Great question, and it deserves a great answer... Here are 10 reasons why you might still want to go down the Windows Phone route.

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How to save battery, increase responsiveness, by disabling unnecessary background tasks

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In installing a popular Windows Phone application, I was brought to a crashing halt by a worrying error message. Happily, the message was clear enough about what to do and, as it turns out, quite a few of my third party applications had quietly been installed with 'background' capability. Disabling these permissions could result in increased battery life and phone responsiveness.

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The PDF (Acrobat) Reader round-up for Windows Phone

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Something that we all need sooner or later, on any computing platform, is a way of reading through Acrobat (PDF) files. To my knowledge, no mobile OS has ever supplied this by default, though many manufacturers often opt to include a viewer in shipping firmware. For Windows Phone, we're actually spoiled for choice, so I thought I'd round-up your options and proffer some opinions.

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How to: Avoid burned highlights in (Nokia) Lumia Camera

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There is one aspect of Nokia Camera (soon to be just 'Lumia Camera', of course) which has been catching me out, despite all my smartphone camera experience. I know what I'm doing wrong, I just never remember to correct it when taking photos in the heat of the moment. Most users will know what I'm talking about when I refer to 'burned highlights'. Here's how to avoid them.

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Where are the 1080p games?

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One of the most appealing aspects of Android smartphones of the last couple of years is that everything at the top end has been 1080p resolution (or above), meaning that there are a large number of games that really impress with graphical detail. It's partly why my main SIM often lives in a (somewhat hacked) Galaxy S4. With the Lumia 1520, then Icon and 930 all sporting 1080p displays, it's clear that Windows Phone has well and truly arrived in the high-def world, yet there are almost no leisure titles to use the capability. 

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Skype, the biggest villain on 2012/2013 Windows Phones

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One of the biggest bug-bears on Windows Phone in recent times, for me, has been the performance of Skype, especially in light of the emphasis on the application in hardware launches, e.g. for the Lumia 730/735 here. The issue is that, when returning to Skype on anything but the newer 2014 Windows Phones, even if we only just let the screen timeout and unlock it again, or even if we use the multitasking carousel, we still see completely unnecessary 'resuming....' dots, as shown in the video below.

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