Recent Features - Software

A COVID-19 tracker PWA for Windows 10 Mobile

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They're depressing statistics to want to visualise, but things are so wild at the moment that the more information available, the better. In this case, a look at two PWA (Progressive Web Application) URLs, one for the world, one for the UK, that track the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (a.k.a. 'CoronaVirus', leading to COVID-19) currently a major source of concern to most of the world), both based on the Johns Hopkins GIS data engine. In each case, I've linked to the right URL, so viewing this page in Edge or using the AAWP Universal application should get you to the right places with one tap.

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The curated UWP app directory for W10M: March 2020 update

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Two months on from the previous update, here is the March 2020 update (two additions, two apps removed, several links tweaked) 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.

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Status report for April 2020: services and apps on Windows 10 Mobile

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One month on from the previous update, here's the refreshed/latest news and comment on applications and services on Windows 10 Mobile - the OS itself has now had its very last security update, but it still works on the whole. This feature will summarise what's broken and what's not, along with workarounds where possible. Note that I've kept the URL the same, so March's comments are all still here.

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How to: sideload classic Windows Phone 8 games onto a modern Lumia

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The really interesting thing about Windows 10 Mobile is that it's fully backwards compatible with old Windows Phone 8 software. Even for games. Which you really wouldn't think after browsing the Microsoft Store, since many of the classic titles aren't there anymore. But that's no reason to be disheartened, especially if you're prone to a little installing and unzipping, since there are archives of classic WP8 games online and it's the work of moments (once you've got everything in place) to 'sideload' these titles to your Lumia 950 or similar in the current day. 

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Walking through 'Microsoft Launcher Preview'...

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Two weeks ago, I covered the availability of Microsoft's next-gen launcher/UI for Android, fun to play with and use now but ultimately destined to work smoothly on the Surface Duo (Phone) near the end of 2020. I did promise a walkthrough too, so here it is. It's pretty fully featured even now and if you have an Android phone and love Microsoft apps and services then it's the natural way to go. Don't worry too much about the 'Preview' bit in the name, it's stable as it is, plus it's getting updates twice a month, so it'll be a fun ride as features get added!

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Windows 10 Mobile from scratch - in 2020

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The question is a tantalising one. How would someone get on setting up a Windows 10 Mobile smartphone from scratch... in 2020? i.e. a starting point of up to date security but no more updates to come - ever, plus a patchy set of mainstream services. I keep the latter tabulated and up to date here, but I also thought it worth documenting how everything comes together (or not) on a freshly factory reset Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro, certainly the slickest and shiniest (and boy, is it slippery) Windows phone ever made.

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Status report for January 2020: Services on Windows 10 Mobile

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With some social applications, comms apps and Microsoft services being phased out as time goes on, I thought a ready reference table of where Windows 10 Mobile stands would be useful. And I'll revisit this every month 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, now that Windows 10 Mobile is out of official support. [This is the January 2020 update, a month on from the previous one.]

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(Lack of) Communication: no more Whatsapp, no Twitter DM, Facebook Messenger notifications

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There comes a point when enough is... actually enough. For people relying on real time communications with other human beings, this point may have just been reached, with Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile. We've had the official Twitter client not supporting active notifications for a year now, ditto Facebook Messenger, and now the ultimate Whatsapp deadline is upon us. What happens to a communications device when it can no longer effectively communicate, I wonder?

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Into 2020: Looking at Facebook access under Windows 10 Mobile...

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With Facebook having stopped their first party (OSmeta-based and very bloated) applications for Windows 10 Mobile months ago, users have had to look elsewhere for their fix of family news and jokes. So what options are still working and what about Facebook Messanger and Instagram (also now part of Facebook's empire)? I investigate, in this last feature before Christmas. (AAWP will be back on December 27th.)

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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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