'Google on Microsoft' should work as well as 'Microsoft on Google', in terms of accessing services on smartphones, and yet it doesn't. Microsoft's applications are uniformly excellent and available on Google's Android OS, yet there are almost no Google applications available for Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile. For anyone trying to keep 'in' with both ecosystems, what are the options in terms of accessing Google-hosted content on Microsoft's OS?
Yes, the new Galaxy S8 won't be on sale for another month yet, but it represents the current cutting edge of smartphone technology. Which is why I thought it worth doing one of my tabular head to heads with the faithful old Lumia 950 XL - how does a device 18 months older stand up, spec by spec?
It's no April Fool. I really think that next month should be the time when Microsoft finally pulls its finger out in terms of actually telling regular users about Windows 10 Mobile (W10M). In Creators Update (Redstone 2) form, it's now pretty mature, it works more smoothly than ever before, there are ever more UWP applications for it - and yet the vast majority of people who could be running W10M don't even know about it.
The Android-running ZTE Axon 7 was perhaps the 2016 'superphone', at least in terms of value, with super high end specs at relatively rock bottom prices. I did a full comparison with the Lumia 950 XL here, but there was demand for an imaging head to head too so... here it is!
A trifle and alarmist for a headline, admittedly, but there is a time sensitive element to this. Two weeks ago, Opera Software took the Windows logo off their 'mobile' information page. Odd, I thought. A couple of days ago, Opera Mini, their headline Windows Phone 8.1 browser, stopped appearing in Store search results. It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to spot what you might like to do next...
OK, ok, to bring out 'part 2' of a feature nine months after 'Windows 10 Mobile flagships compared, 2016 (part 1)' is a little careless, but the intervening months were deemed necessary in order to add perspective - and, in this case, replace one of the phones altogether. With patchy availability all round (to say the least), here then is the long delayed 'part 2'!
The ZTE Axon 7 is one of the late 2016 flagships that I'd never even held until now. Reputed to be exceptional bang-per-buck and with terrific multimedia, I thought the very similarly specced (and also great value) Lumia 950 XL would make for an interesting head to head comparison.
Here's how to plan a multi-destination route in Windows 10 Maps - this feature had only been available to 'Slow' ring Insiders until now, but as of today I can exclusively reveal that 'Fast' ring Insiders get it too. [Update: now Release Preview users too.] And in a few weeks all production Windows 10 Mobile users will get it, as part of the rollout. So here's how the new feature works!
This has been something of a pet topic of mine on various podcasts, but I wanted to get the same thoughts down in print. Take a look at the five top smartphones (various vintages) below, with a variety of materials and finishes - two of these 'premium' phones can't be used without a cheap case added. That they happen to be the two non-Windows-running phones is partly coincidence, but still....
Last week I covered how to safely 'refresh' a Windows 10 Mobile-running smartphone, i.e. clearing out under the hood cruft but staying on the current OS build (whatever that might be). Today I cover something a bit more drastic - deciding to jump off whichever Insider build you're currently on and go 'back' to production status. Unsurprisingly, there are some potential pitfalls along the way - see the steps below and you should avoid them!