This is the mid-June 2019 update (5 new entries, 3 entries relinked, 2 entries removed) 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. Thanks for the crowd input, keep the comments and recommendations coming - and let me know if something stops working or disappears, please.
Recent Features - Software
I recently covered the pimping of the Lumia 950's hardware, looking at different covers, a new (PolarCell) battery, a larger microSD and a new external DAC in particular. But there are also plenty of things you can check or improve in software too - here are some ideas to keep your Lumia 950 flying through the rest of 2019.
With some social applications, comms apps and Microsoft services being phased out in 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 a little disruption to 'normal' activities this year and a few more caveats in 2020, when Windows 10 Mobile will be out of official support. Anyway, see below for details!
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...
With Facebook apparently stopping their first party (though OSmeta-based and very bloated) applications for Windows 10 Mobile working after April 2019, some people might be worried that their Facebook 'fix' won't be available on the platform. Happily, anyone with any sense will have uninstalled the first party app long ago anyway - see the options below. This also applies to Facebook's (also bloated) eponymous Messenger and Instagram applications (for the latter, there's Winsta).
Twitter is a fascinating IT case study - started as a fully open social network focussed on very short status updates, it was destined to be 'the dial tone of the Internet', the way every person can contact and follow every other, with minimum bandwidth. But its openness meant that most activity was accomplished by third party clients and at some point Twitter woke up and wondered how it was going to make money, in order to survive. At which point its APIs started to contract - in 2019, the vast majority of Twitter access is via first party clients and the Web, meaning that it's in control of ads and sponsored posts and the like. But what of accessing Twitter from a Windows 10 Mobile phone after the API clampdown last summer?
One of the more popular article series in the last decade on the 'All About' sites has been 'pimping' older hardware to achieve new and better results than using it 'out of the box', as it were. And now that (Wileyfox Pro excepted) all Windows 10 Mobile and Windows Phone hardware is now two years old or (much) more, it's time to start pimping some classic phones from the series.
This is an experiment I come back to roughly once a year here on AAWP, but the placement of Windows Phone 8.1 in the context of modern Internet services changes every time, usually for the worse, which is why the experiment bears repetition. As ever, my trusty Lumia 1020 from 2013 will be my steed, since I still adore the way imaging was handled (zoom, reframing, etc.) on this unique smartphone. But how much of the modern world is now off limits to the venerable OS, for which support ended in mid-2017, almost two years ago?
Continuum was something introduced with the Lumia 950, back in 2015, so it's been around for over three years now. The idea that you can just plug your phone into a TV or monitor and it's automatically used as a secondary and much larger display, with applications scaling up and letting you do a lot more... Of course, things aren't quite that easy in real life, and we've now had Samsung have a couple of bites at a very similar cherry, with its DeX system. Does that fare any better? I take my Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro and Galaxy Note 9 and investigate...
Following my feature in November 2017, i.e. just over a year on, here's an update to my much-requested feature. The UWP applications here are a good place to start if you're setting up a Windows 10 Mobile handset (or, to some degree, a laptop or hybrid) from scratch.