Recent Features - Software

Roundup: Windows 10 UWP podcatchers

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Without doubt, THE most popular category of application for Windows Phone 8.1 was 'podcatchers', i.e. applications to auto-grab and play your favourite podcasts. I did so many features and updates for these for 8.1 that I've lost track. So this feature is for dedicated UWP applications, i.e. those expressly built for Windows 10 (Mobile/Continuum/laptops). This is a huge update to the original article from 18 months ago, with updated apps, updated features, and updated scores.

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Windows 10 Mobile, Photos, and broken thumbnails

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This one's been rumbling around for a while, but I wanted to put it to bed... one way or another. In brief, Photos sometimes shows broken thumbnails for images on OneDrive and when you try to tap through anyway, you're told that the photo is unavailable and that you should 'check your Internet connection'. Which is quite clearly absolute tosh - but what's actually going on?

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Lumia Camera UI reborn: Nokia Pro mode

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One of the jewels in the Nokia Lumia 1020 camera experience was always the UI - the way a simple swipe left from the shutter icon would bring up 'pro' mode sliders, arranged for easy twiddling, all with one thumb. This made its way through into Windows 10 Camera, of course, on the likes of the Lumia 950. And now it's reborn.... in an Android phone. With the Nokia badge. Gulp. So how has the 'new' Nokia done?

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The definitive (editing) state of Office for Windows 10 Mobile

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There was some confusion recently in the comments here on AAWP over whether Office applications offered full functionality (including editing and creating) under Windows 10 Mobile in 2018. I decided to investigate and the results are below. In short, as I expected (and stated originally), you can still edit and create documents for free, but in fairness there are some restrictions. Which I list/show in definitive fashion, so hopefully this page is worth a bookmark.

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Biometrics proved a showstopper for Windows 10 phone adoption

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In the most recent episode of my own Phones Show Chat podcast, I bemoaned biometrics and, ultimately, mobile money management as the area where I found the biggest showstoppers in using Windows 10 Mobile day to day. I'm convinced that this was a huge area where Microsoft failed to step in with any conviction - and not helped by the cessation of Lumia production or by the similar lack of commitment of the likes of HP and Alcatel.

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The curated UWP app directory for Windows 10 (Mobile): August 2018 update

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Over the last three years, I've been adding to my curated directory of applications for Windows phones, including both 8.1 and Windows 10 versions. But, as we hit mid-2018 and with the latter really all that most (though not all) currently active Windows phone users care about, I've whittled it all down to UWP applications, those with native Windows 10 UI and which support different orientations, Continuum and even use on laptop or tablet. This is the August update of the directory.

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How to: Refresh your Windows 10 Mobile phone (2018 edition)

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If your phone has been through several OS branches (even as part of production updates) and if you've been trying loads of applications (they do exist, you know), there will come a point when you fancy 'factory fresh' performance again. No under-the-hood cruft, no detritus. Here, in a 2018 updated edition of my original feature, are the steps needed to keep things smooth and ensure that you don't lose much in the process.

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Windows 10 Mobile and the 'death of a thousand cuts'

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A slightly depressing subject on which to start the week, but recent activity (or rather lack of it) by Microsoft has led even me, one of the most enthusiastic supporter of Windows on phones, to wonder whether the creeping neglect of the OS by Microsoft in terms of its ecosystem and services, amounts to a 'death of a thousand cuts'...

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24 hours with Windows Phone 8.1 - in 2018: the trials... and successes

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Two weeks ago, I posted about considering the Lumia 1020 under its original Windows Phone 8.1 as a viable set-up, even in 2018. And it is, on the whole, I stand by everything I said in the original post. However, while it may be a viable set-up, it's most certainly not optimal, five years after launch, and six years after the launch of the Lumia 920, the archetypal 8.1 device. In an attempt to see just where the pain points are (other than the obvious, like no biometrics), I set about using Windows Phone 8.1 exclusively for 24 hours. And no cheating.

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PWAs and traversing the great desktop-mobile divide

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It won't have shocked anyone during the week when Webrox's (makers of Tubecast and other well known Windows 10 Mobile applications) CEO, Stéphane Graziano, was quoted on MSPU as saying that 'nobody cares' about the Microsoft Store and that the current situation is 'a disaster'. Unsurprising, I contend, because people use the desktop/laptop very differently to their phones. But although it's unlikely that PWAs could help Webrox, they could help bridge the gap for many others.

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