One aspect of the recent Creators Update (Redstone 2) that has fascinated me has been the speed increases (ok, maybe increased smoothness) of this Windows 10 Mobile branch. It's evident on newer phones, but what about older ones? What about those abandoned x20 Lumias that weren't deemed capable of running 'Threshold' well enough? Could they be hacked up to Creators Update level and how smoothly would the OS now run, in May 2017?
The naming of Microsoft's latest Windows 10 branch as the 'Creators Update' has been viewed from some quarters as somewhat hollow from the perspective of mobile, since the new 3D and Ink features are not mirrored on the phone. Yet in some ways, this is the desktop catching up - we've been 'creating' on smartphones for over 10 years now, I'd argue.
Guest writer Matthew Weflen steps in my traditional shoes in this camera phone head to head - Lumia 950 against another recent Android competitor, the Sony Xperia XA1, a mid-ranger but with Sony's flagship camera module. How will this stand up to the mighty Lumia 950?
As usual with my benchmarking features, I'm focussing here on real world timings, not on artificial software-based utilities. My observations at the end of 2016 were that the early builds of Redstone 2 were showing performance gains compared to the existing Anniversary Update (Redstone) on the same (or similar) hardware. What about the latest, release version of the former, i.e. the Creators Update? Is it still faster?
Now, don't get too excited - this isn't some low level hack, and regular AAWP readers probably know everything that's detailed below. But for anyone catching up to the ever-more-convoluted story of Windows Phone, Windows 10 Mobile, the Insiders programme, the Lumia 930/Icon and 1520, and - above all - Microsoft's idiosyncratic policies, then here indeed is how to get your Lumia 930 or 1520 onto the Creators Update.
It's easy to look back from a world in which Windows-based phone hardware sales have dropped to millions rather than billions, and to point the finger at what went wrong. In fact, that's just what I'm doing here. Five of the biggest mistakes from my own perspective, at least, from devices to employees to misplaced spending.
A year ago I pitched the Huawei P9 against the camera phone world champion (in terms of image quality), the Lumia 950. A year on, the P10 adds extra resolution and OIS to the mix in trying to challenge the Lumia - but is it enough? With a bunch of interesting lighting challenges I test the phone cameras out...
After many editorials and features, there still seems to be much confusion about exactly where each Windows Phone will end up - officially. So I thought I'd produce an upgrade grid, for easy bookmarking. And note that I'm ignoring hacks like fiddling with phone registries - we're keeping things 100% legitimate here.
1Shot was always the camera application for Windows Phone that got you closer to the sensor in your phone camera than any other application - what you see on screen is what you get, with no post processing, no lossy digital zoom, no effects. Uniquely, this also means that it's the perfect app to deliver truly lossless zoom on Windows 10 Mobile, with only a slight adjustment to your own mindset about resolution.
Guest writer 'Edward' takes AAWP (even further) into geek territory here, with a guide to converting commercial 3D movie content into a file that can be played on a high spec Windows 10 Mobile phone (e.g. Lumia 950) and enjoyed through any VR viewer/holder - it's (potentially) a 3D cinema in your living room!