With another update for mid August 2016, and now in more phone-friendly format, here's our directory of the very best of the Windows Phone (and Windows 10 Mobile) world. If you or someone you know is just starting out on the platform then look no further for suggestions.
Recent Features - Software
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.
Following on from AAWP's rather handy guide to the very best applications for Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile, here's an updated (three months on) version of our similar crowd-sourced guide the very best one percent of games on the platform. Enjoy! And do comment if you have other suggestions, based on your own gaming experience.
The release of the official Formula 1 UWP app for Windows 10 prompted me to try it out during the British Grand Prix weekend. But I was also using PitlaneOne, a longtime favourite and also now with a UWP version for Windows 10. Turns out that the official app gives you very little for free, while the unofficial free app gives you just about everything you need. For obsessive detail though, the official F1 application does ultimately win out - at a cost.
I'm sorry, but I've been patient long enough. I've suffered through a dozen builds under various Insider 'rings', installed on at least six different phones in varying states of readiness. And there's one bug in Windows 10 Mobile which I just can't keep silent about any longer. And oddly I've not seen anyone else complain about it, at least not yet, which is why I wanted to vent here and check that I'm not totally alone. The issue is that Windows 10 Mobile's pop-up (volume button) media controls are utterly broken.
A couple of years ago I updated a long running theme and series, given that I/we usually cover platforms for which 'apps' (i.e. dedicated, iconed, optimised third party applications) seem to be in shorter supply than for other mobile platforms. So here's the updated version for 2016, pointing out that using the Web can be just as effective for many services as having an 'app' (many of which are merely wrappers around mobile web sites anyway). True, there are some 'misses' here, feel free to suggest your own, but it's not all bad news.
You may remember that a recent update to the Microsoft Band 2 added a new hiking tile? Well, there was a corresponding update to the Microsoft Health application and I've been trying the whole system out when off for a walk in my local area and, though I'm yet to test it on an all-day hike (I'll leave that to Rafe and the wilds of Wales!), I've been quite impressed. Here's a write-up of what to expect with the Band 2 in 'hiking' mode.