One month on from the previous update, here's the refreshed/latest news and comment on applications and services on Windows 10 Mobile for May 2020 - 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. Details and links have all been updated throughout. Note that this is a new URL and so a chance for new comments, this time round.
Finishing off a short sequence of articles on the Lumia 1020 and Windows Phone 8.1 in general, I thought it would be instructive to look at the OS one last time, almost three years after Microsoft stopped official support for the OS, and four months after the on-device Store physically stopped working. What does still work and what's a no-go?
Something of an oddity, but now that the Store and online Microsoft accounts have disappeared for anyone still interested in using an older Windows Phone 8.1 device (of which more in a few days), you might be wondering about getting files off and on the phone. Now, Windows PC users can do the usual drag and drop in Windows Explorer, but despite recent MTP discoveries by me(!) Windows Phone 8.1 owners can't hook up via cable and MTP to an Apple Mac. However, you can share files wirelessly - not via AirDrop and Wifi(!), but via Bluetooth. Here's how.
By popular request, this latest imaging flagship that's great with Microsoft and not so hot on Google, is pitched head to head for video capture with the classic 1020, the very first high megapixel zoom cameraphone with stabilised sensor. I look at stabilisation and smoothness, at audio and low light handling, with plenty of zoom examples. As I start this feature, I suspect the newer OIS, newer and even larger sensor, plus newer and far faster chipsets will win out, but can this classic 2013 Lumia come close?
Last week I pitched the new Huawei P40 Pro against the classic Lumia 950 XL, spec for spec, and concluded that it's not a terrible shout as a Lumia replacement as long as you're not heavily into Google services. In this feature I wanted to show in screenshot form how this might work, with all your Microsoft and Windows favourites front and centre. What are the highlights and what caveats remain? And you might even feel at home with way you have to drop back to doing things in a browser - just like old times for Windows phone fans, eh?
If you've ever seen Microsoft's rather wonderful themed Windows 10 wallpaper packs announced in news and wished they were available for Windows 10 Mobile then don't worry, they're easy to transplant onto a Lumia too. True, the Store description says 'These images are to be used as desktop wallpaper only', but this is to prevent commercial re-use. For 'desktop wallpaper' here, read 'Windows 10 device wallpaper', and that includes 'Mobile'. At least if you're happy navigating through disk folders to find the relevant JPG files!
Back in the day (2016), with a little effort it was possible to get Apple Macs talking with Windows Phone 8.x devices. But Mac OS has moved on, Windows Phone evolved (in a way) to Windows 10 Mobile and I'd given up on getting a reliable wired conduit between the two systems ever again. However, it's 2020 and there's a simple and free way to have it all working again. Which I (ahem) stumbled on by sheer chance.
One of the Nokia 1020's architects, Eero Salmelin, has been head of imaging at Huawei for some years now, so it's not at all surprising that some of the computational ideas from the 1020 are bearing fruit now. OK, so PureView oversampling from a RGB sensor has been replaced by Quad Bayer pixel binning from a RYYB sensor, but beyond that there's so much else that's made possible by more modern imaging technology, including whole sensor PDAF, OIS on a 1/1.28" sensor's lens stack, periscope telephoto lens systems, and so on. But can the newer device match Eero's seven year old classic for day to day shots?
Especially for the Google-wary among you, following my detailed head to head between the Lumia 950 XL and the new Huawei P40 Pro, here's an imaging comparison too, looking at image quality across a wide range of subjects, and including zoom too. The P40 Pro is touted by some as the best camera phone ever made. So it should be a dead cert to win here - but how will the classic Lumia fare?
One common thread in my head-to-heads here on AAWP is that the option of going to Android isn't appealing because of privacy concerns - of Google knowing too much about us. While I'm not that paranoid, I understand the mind set and - here - present perhaps the perfect smartphone for someone worried about Google. This is a top spec Android flagship that doesn't use Google services at all. Thanks to Trump in the USA and a spat with China, of course, but anti-Google buyers benefit (perhaps). As a bonus, you get perhaps the best camera system ever put into a phone. Ever.