It's been a long time since I revisited this topic (16 months)... Just where does Windows 10 Mobile (née Windows Phone) stand in terms of third party applications, compared to the competition? I mean, first party, in-the-box offerings are outstanding, with Outlook, Skype, Maps, Office and much more, but what about the third party 'app gap', as popularly characterised? How bad is it, compared to iOS and Android? I took the current 'Top 40' from the application charts from the latter two platforms, as of January 2017, and tried to find equivalents.
Just a few back-of-envelope calculations that I thought you might like to follow along with. With the withdrawal of Microsoft from selling first party smartphones (for the time being), I wondered whether it was time to take stock of some numbers. In particular, the figure I wanted to get to was how many people out there, across the world, are actively using Windows 10 Mobile, i.e. the new OS that Microsoft is updating, that devs are writing for, and that we're covering. Some guesswork is needed, but bear with me.
It's all very well Windows (phone) fans talking about Windows 10 Mobile being 'just part of the huge Windows 10 ecosystem' - and Windows (phone, err...) bashers talking about Windows being dead on mobile. Neither party is really telling the whole story, as you can imagine. In the interests of chipping in with helpful facts though, as AAWP is wont to do, here's the truth, shown below in chart form, a picture hopefully being worth a thousand words...
Three years ago, I pitched the last Android phone with 10x optical zoom, the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, against the Nokia Lumia 1020, with mixed results, though the comparison was very interesting. The huge caveat with the K Zoom was the device's relative bulk in all modes and, to be honest, this is the same problem with the otherwise pretty impressive Hasselblad Moto Mod, which becomes the back half of the Moto Z (also running Android), see below for a new shoot-out!
Yes, the standard Windows 10 Camera lets you take selfies with ease, but what about at night? Given that you're shooting the photo on a device with a (potentially) bright AMOLED or LED display, why not use this to illuminate yourself while the shot is taken? Here I compare two 'night selfie' UWP applications for Windows 10 Mobile.
Something of a time-machine enabled tradition at AAWP is that I attempt to predict the whole of next year's Windows mobile-related news, viewed from the start of 2018 in this case, looking back at 2017. As usual with this platform, plenty of patience was needed, but for those faithful to Microsoft's vision, 2017 was where it all started to come together.
Yesterday I looked at the arrival, in for review, of a rather rare thing - a Xenon-flash-equipped, zoom-equipped camera phone, competing (obviously) with such (also rare) Nokia classics like the 808 PureView and Lumia 1020. But never mind the bulk (in this case, removeable, but still...), never mind the form factor, how do these ultra-camera-phones perform against each other in a variety of challenging tests? Let's find out...
I've periodically returned to the classic Nokia 808 PureView and Lumia 1020, highlighting the lossless 2.5x zoom and 'proper' Xenon flash, though there's been precious little to compare these with that's camera centric from the wider smartphone world in the last five years. Yet along comes something new, the Hasselblad camera mod on the Moto Z, a late 2016 Android smartphone. Along with the 808, 1020 and also ageing Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, I couldn't resist a quick photo comparison. No, not of results (that comes soon!), this time of the hardware itself...
2016 has been, I think everyone will agree, an 'annus horibilis' - notably high profile deaths and political disruption, but what of the tech world, specifically that under AAWP's remit? You may remember that at the start of 2016 I gave an exclusive 'report from 2017', looking back at 2016 from in the future (keep up at the back...) So how did I do?
Thanks to AAWP reader Alex in Russia, and his persistence across multiple conversations with (escalated) HP support in his native country, we have a translated transcript of HP's official responses to his complaints about the Elite X3 he had bought. Of course, these are (naturally) very defensive, but there are some insights worth commenting on.