Recent Features - Software

The Lumia 1020 (/920) and continuing Store access in 2020 via W10M...

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With the Store for Windows Phone 8.1 stopping working in a couple of weeks, users of the very popular Lumia 1020 have a problem. Yes, being love-smitten on the 1020 is an issue in itself, though you might also now consider the iPhone 11 Pro. But if you want to give the 1020 (or 920) a little more life in terms of applications then force-upgrading it to Windows 10 Mobile is about the only option, since the W10M Store is 'good' until at least 2021. My own 1020 has flip-flopped a few times between 8.1 and W10M, I always got put off by the latter's restrictions for the 1020 hardware, but it seems like Microsoft is now forcing our hand for good.

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How to: Read PDF files on Windows 10 Mobile (2019)

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A few years ago I rounded up ways to view (and edit) PDF files under Windows 10 Mobile, prompted by Microsoft's Edge browser failing at the time to read these (usually) reference files. Happily, Edge has been sorted out in the meantime, plus some of the third party options have changed, so here's a more up to date round-up!

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The curated UWP app directory for W10M: November 2019 update

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Two months on, here is the November 2019 update to the AAWP directory of curated UWP applications, those with native Windows 10 UI and which support different orientations, Continuum and even use on laptop or tablet. Do please get involved in the comments to let me know of anything which has stopped working, or even of UWP apps not on the list.

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Status report for November 2019: Services on Windows 10 Mobile

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With some social applications, comms apps and Microsoft services being phased out through 2019 and beyond, I thought a ready reference table of where Windows 10 Mobile stands would be useful. And I'll try to revisit this every few months to update each section as needed. In summary, there's likely to be little disruption to 'normal' activities this year but a few more caveats in 2020, when Windows 10 Mobile will be out of official support. Anyway, see below for details!

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Save HUNDREDS of pounds in the Store! (ps. not really)

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Forgive a little rant, but I thought my general level of 'cross-ness' over the behaviour shown below might a) help guilty developers mend their ways, and b) attract your attention to what I consider to be shady practice when getting users to download applications from the Microsoft Store. PS. This news post is normally £399 to read, but today it's absolutely free!!

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Windows Phone - a slice of the future... from 6 years ago!

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I have to say that I find it quite amusing that the tech industry is falling over itself in 2019 to embrace concepts that were commonplace back in the early days of Windows Phone - from well over six years ago. For every naysayer that slams Windows Phone for its weaknesses, remember that it also led the world in several ways, not least UI responsiveness, dark themes, and augmented reality mapping!

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How to: Use Microsoft Authenticator to manage your two-factor security

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Security and identity theft are major concerns these days, with numerous high profile attacks, making two factor authentication for all your email, PIM, banking, and even social accounts mandatory. But relying on a phone number and SMS codes as the 'second factor' has a huge weakness - 'social attacks' on your phone network, with someone pretending to be you and thus gaining control over your SMS and number via a new SIM card, inserted in their phone of choice. Enter the concept of 'authenticator' apps on your phone, which work well but are a pain to set up more than once. Well, no more, since Microsoft Authenticator can now backup and then restore your established authenticated account keys. Here's how it all works.

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How to: Fix the 'Office 365 subscription is required' editing warning

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This has been mentioned a few times over the last six months - the odd reader would complain that the Office UWP application under Windows 10 Mobile would suddenly start demanding an Office 365 sign-in, when theoretically any device 'with display under 10' should have full creating and editing capability. I have a theory - and a walkthrough for people seeing the titled warning and have qualifying phones or accounts...

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Launcher10 and Live Tiles on Android

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One of the biggest reasons why users love Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile is the front end UI - the multi-size live tiles (most of which still work). And I was struck by the example below, put up on Twitter by Mike Latham, one of my followers there. There's plenty to see and comment on, plus I'll put in the relevant links below. Could making Android's app launcher look and feel like Windows 10 Mobile be a valid way forward? I give it a try anyway...

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