Recent Features - Software

How to 'unstick' your OneDrive application

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Now, this isn't that common, but it happened to me - my OneDrive client, even on my recently reset Lumia 930, started playing up on Windows Phone 8.1. Essentially it had stopped showing any photos after a certain date, even after restarting the phone, trying to sync by adding new images, and so on. It was well and truly stuck. Happily, I also subsequently hit upon the solution, of which you might like to make a mental note.

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When the going gets tough: Windows Phone off-road mapping

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It's all very well having world-leading HERE Maps data covering every street in the known universe (well, almost), but what about when you abandon your car and start hiking, cycling or even geocaching, out in the country? For this, you need extra software and data help. Viewranger, on other platforms, is very well known, but it's not available on Windows Phone - begging the question, what to use instead?

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Chess, chess, chess... playing against your Windows Phone

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It's chess all the way, perhaps the archetypal game on any computer platform - or in this case on the computer in your pocket - your smartphone. With a multitude of chess options on Windows Phone, I've picked out the best - and, because we don't do things by halves here, then pitted the two best against each other, to find a champion. Note that this is all playing against your phone - I'll cover playing online against other humans ('by post') in a future feature.

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How to: Connect your Facebook contacts and calendar in Windows Phone 8.1 and beyond

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The announcement that Facebook's changing APIs were causing an issue for older versions of Windows Phone seems to have caused unnecessary alarm. All of this is, quite simply, a non-issue for almost everyone reading this article. All that's happened is that the way Facebook is 'Connected' to your Windows Phone has changed. If anything, the new way of doing things is more reliable and logical. And here's proof in the form of a full walk-through on a newly set-up phone.

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Lumia Camera Classic withdrawn for high end phones - it's LC5 or nothing*

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Somewhat quietly, Lumia Camera Classic (i.e. not the new version 5.x) has been withdrawn from availability in the Windows Phone Store for the Lumia 830, 930 and 1520. This is significant because it takes away the choice between Nokia/Microsoft's 'classic' image processing and the newer 'enhanced' algorithms. From now on, it's enhanced or nothing*. As you'll see from my data points below, both generations of image processing have their pros and cons - I just would have liked to always have the choice.

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How to: Improve photos with Lumia Creative Studio. Welcome to the world of image processing...

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'Filters', as referred to by many an app and article on other sites and in other ecosystems, are crude, very crude examples of image processing. Even more so when users take the photo with these bastardisations already applied, i.e. there's no way back. But this doesn't mean that it's wrong to think about processing photos take on a Windows Phone. Even on the phone itself, perhaps before sharing. Happily, Microsoft provides Lumia Creative Studio for all its own smartphones - and below I discuss what's going on and provide some guidance and tips.

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The top 10 Microsoft Band applications for Windows Phone

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Having reviewed the Microsoft Band recently, and been wearing it every day, I'm amassing quite a lot of data and experience. And, with Microsoft having released a Band SDK, we're starting to see all sorts of useful applications pop up in the Store that can take the accessory further. Here's my top 10, as at the end of May 2015, anyway. I'm sure the list will need updating in six months time!

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Cortana vs Siri vs Google Now vs Blackberry Assistant - fight!

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Each of the major smartphone platforms has its own voice assistant, but which is better for real world use? They're all getting smarter each year, of course, as their back-ends get upgraded, but at this point in 2015 I wanted to conduct a 'blind' test and get a data point or two. Or ten. The winner might surprise you too - Cortana was the early favourite, anecdotally, but an old hand stepped up to the plate in the end...

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How to: get stunning 8MP action 'Moments' of kids, waves, and more, with the Lumia 930/1520

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One of the most frustrating things about snapping photos of family is that anyone under about ten years of age just doesn't keep still. Not that you'd necessarily want them to a lot of the time, since a kid or pet doing something active, caught mid-stride, can be really effective and show off more of their character than an attempt at a traditional posed shot. The same applies to pets, wildlife and even nature itself, but there's a solution if you have the Lumia 930/Icon or 1520, as Rafe and I demonstrate below. (In fact, much of what follows also applies to the Lumia 830 and even the 640/640 XL too, albeit at much lower output resolution.)

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