The Insiders programme came with a number of warnings, along the lines of 'by opting in, you agree that things may go horribly wrong and you may need to wipe your device at some point in the future'. Now, most of us ignored this glibly, upgrading away, switching Insiders rings without a care in the world, and usually without incident. But glitches do happen, not just in The Matrix, but also in the Windows 10 Mobile Insiders programme. And here's the full tale of how my 950 XL was restored to 100% functionality...
Almost a year ago, I covered this very topic, but it's just as relevant today, if only to answer the question of whether you can still bring an older Windows Phone up to the last major practical branch, the Creators Update, giving you updates until Autumn 2019. See below for some recommended prerequisitive reading, but the short answer is that yes, you can. No need to be stuck on the Anniversary Update!
I can't quite believe that I'm having to write a tutorial based on getting round a bug in a Microsoft service, but while the company thinks about a fix, in the meantime regular users of Windows 10 Maps (typically on the phone) can't actually find the addresses they're looking for.
Huawei has been one of the unsung heroes of phone imaging for a while, pioneering the use of dual cameras in the main, and the new Mate 10 Pro has dual f/1.6 lenses with 12MP colour and 20MP monochrome sensors, with photos constructed from multiple exposures from both. In theory, with enough processing power, the Mate 10 Pro should be more than a match for the classic Lumia 950 XL here. How well will the 2015 Lumia classic fare against one of the 2018 front runners?
Back in mid 2015, two and a half years ago, Microsoft debuted the premium Universal Folding Keyboard (UFK) and I reviewed it here, pronouncing it massively overpriced (£100) and with poor Windows Phone support. Then, exactly a year ago, I briefly reviewed the UFK again in the light of a new price (£40) and Windows 10 Mobile's far more complete Bluetooth profiles - ending up recommending it to all. What's new here then? Not much, except that I've been using it for a year and I wanted to put into context - the UFK is more than a humble Bluetooth keyboard, yet (obviously) less than a laptop. So where does it fit in?
The very title may seem odd to you - after all, a camera app is a simple enough entity, surely? What difference does it make which app you 'snap' with? In terms of quality of images on full auto, not much difference at all, but in terms of flexibility and functionality then there are subtleties offered by alternatives to the Windows 10 default Camera application. Here's a breakdown.
It's true that there are loads of good Windows 10 Mobile applications, but with 'long tail' titles (heck, even 'medium tail', these days) usually missing in action, anyone worrying about the 'app gap' might like to give attention to PWAs, Progressive Web Applications. These are the next step beyond HTML5 and you may be surprised to know that Edge under Windows 10 Mobile is perfectly capable of running PWAs. Maybe the 'app gap' will simply go away as PWAs become more commonplace?
Microsoft's strategy around maps seemed clear enough to me - license HERE Maps data for major markets where it exists, license from other companies in some world regions where local companies do a better job. Yet I'm bewildered - driving in the UK over the last few days with my Windows phones, and despite shiny new app versions and a copyright date of '2018' for the maps in Settings, roads completed as long ago as the start of 2017 were simply nowhere to be seen. Someone's asleep at the wheel at Microsoft and/or HERE, methinks...
As an industry watcher, it drives me mad to see and hear, over and over again through 2017 and into 2018, how iOS or Android are being adapted and extended, with possible reaches out into laptop and even desktop territory. The various UI issues and technical hurdles are debated, with pundits usually agreeing that whatever happens "will take five years" to mature. Hang on though, didn't we already have what's needed? In 2015, with Windows 10 Mobile?
Back in October (2017) I published a feature mapping out the road map/state of play for all Windows phones, but since then we've had the full production release of a whole new branch of Windows 10 (Mobile), and even a new phone. Not exactly a maelstrom of activity, but certainly worth taking quarterly stock of models and branches supported!