Recent Features

Of iris scanning and innovation: Lumia and Galaxy Note 7

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I'm sure many people will have spotted that Samsung has introduced 'iris scanning' for its brand new top of the range £700 Galaxy Note 7, to be available soon. Ignore all the claims that it's 'innovative' though, the (now much) cheaper Lumia 950 and 950 XL had this nine months ago. What got me musing though was why Microsoft's implementation wasn't seen as ground breaking in the first place. Why should that be?

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Keeping up with the Rio Olympics on your Windows phone

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The Rio Olympics are due to kick off for real tomorrow (with the opening ceremony). And your Windows phone is a pretty good device to keep up with the 42 sports and 300 events that will happen over the next sixteen days. Here's a rundown of the main ways you can keep tabs on Rio.

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How to share Windows 10 Mobile photos via Flickr

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In theory, the title of this tutorial should make no sense. After all, you just use the Flickr app, right? Oh yeah, there isn't one. What about one of the third party Flickr apps? Ah, they've all now stopped working properly. Hmm.... What about using Flickr via the web interface? Actually, this does provide a way forwards, though it's slightly more involved than you might think. Here are the pointers you need.

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Windows 10 Mobile: what's new from 'Threshold' to the 'Anniversary Update'

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Many people around these parts (AAWP) will have been living with the Insider builds of Redstone for months, but for anyone else coming from a 'production' standpoint, i.e. the Lumia 550, 650, 950/XL out of the box, or on one of the many older Windows Phone 8.1 devices which have been upgraded, there's quite a bit that's new. Also, unusually, there's not much choice about whether to proceed - you'll simply get this update and there's zero benefit from trying to stay on the older version of Windows 10 Mobile, i.e. Threshold.

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Wikipedia on Windows 10 Mobile: introducing Wikipedia UWP

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Wikipedia needs no introduction, of course - and neither does its web site, which works remarkably well in all web browsers, degrading gracefully when needed. But that hasn't stopped several third parties from piggy backing on the accessibly nature of the data to create friendlier app front ends. Comparing like for like, I'm pitching the mobile web (Edge) experience here with the old-but-classic Wikipedia client from Rudy Huyn and the brand new (still in beta) UWP client from Kavimukil.

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The craziest Windows 10 Mobile bug of all? Here's the workaround...

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We've seen some cracking bugs during the development of Windows Phone and then Windows 10 Mobile. But I think this one takes the biscuit, because it's not only quite widespread, it's also mind-manglingly odd, with the cause having no relation to the symptoms! In brief, with your Google account set up in Outlook, 'backspace' stops working when writing messages. Eh? What? Happily, there's an easy workaround/fix, as documented below.

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Why are we stuck at 75% (screen-to-body ratio)?

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Despite the various pros and cons for 'touch' over the years, we're firmly in a mode in the tech world now where touch makes the most sense, in terms of text input, controls and general interaction. So why haven't we seen screen sizes increase to fill most of the front area of our phones? I examine the history of the form factor, in terms of screen-to-body ratio, and wonder whether we can't have our cake and eat it, in terms of phones that are manageable yet with monster displays...

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Google+ comes to Windows 10 Mobile (thanks HTML5)

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One of the bugbears of living on Windows 10 Mobile (and Windows Phone 8.1 before it) for me, was that Google+, the social network that everyone seemingly likes to forget yet which is beloved of geeks and tech communities, was essentially inaccessible. No client from Google (of course) and the mobile web version sucked. However, the arrival of a new HTML5-heavy site from the big 'G' allied to the latest Edge browser from Microsoft equals an experience that's only slightly less slick than a full native application. To say I was impressed is an understatement.

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How to: fix a broken (Photos) live tile

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I recently became very frustrated with my Windows 10 Mobile smartphone when its Start screen steadfastedly refused to show me photos in the err... 'Photos' live tile. Set to the 'double-wide' size, this live tile is one of the stars of the platform, always looking stunning (provided you've taken some stunning photos to populate it with) - but what do you if it misbehaves? Turns out this is quite a common problem, so here are some specific and generic tips...

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Lumia imaging and 'the infinity problem'

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If I've heard one complaint about Windows Phone cameras and flagships like the Lumia 1020 and 950 over and over again it's this: "when I set the focus (manually) to 'infinity', my landscape photos are blurred". Thankfully, this issue is easy to demonstrate and to understand - and, indeed, to solve - or at least work around. I explain all below.

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