Recent Features

How to (2018 edition): Take the Lumia 930 to Creators Update and beyond

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The Lumia 930 (and 1520, 830 and 735 too, though the latter two do less well, with their limited RAM) works really well with Windows 10 Mobile Creators Update (CU)* and even Fall Creators Update (FCU), yet they're sufficiently old that Microsoft decided to end updates for them on Anniversary Update (AU). Up until 8th February 2018, there was the easy option of putting these phones on the Insiders programme and getting onto more recent OS branches, but that avenue has now closed. However, AAWP to the rescue with a somewhat geeky but hopefully clear tutorial on giving your older Windows Phone an extra year of life, features and updates.

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Pros and cons - which 'flagship' to run Windows 10 Mobile in 2018?

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If the table below looks familiar then that's because it's adapted from a feature I wrote just after the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro's release, in August 2017, i.e. seven months ago. With some new information, some new context and some new links, here's a fresh 2018 look at where these two consumer Windows 10 Mobile handsets sit with respect to each other. Tough choices this way lie....

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How to (2018 edition): Take the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro to Creators Update and beyond

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Update: the situation has now been resolved. See link below. [Original text:]You would have thought that Microsoft could have spared some manpower to add the IDOL 4 Pro (out for over six months now) to its provisioning lists for Creators Update (CU) and Fall Creators Update (FCU), as they did for the IDOL 4S in the States. But no, the IDOL 4 Pro is shipped with, and stuck on, 2016's Anniversary Update. Which is terribly disappointing*. Of course, this is AAWP, and I couldn't resist putting together a tutorial for 2018, for new IDOL 4 Pro users, to get them up and running with CU and then FCU. It's geeky, but not impossibly hard, and the benefits are huge, topping out at an extra year's worth of patches and security fixes.

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An honest comparison: the pros and cons of a switch to Android

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Windows 10 Mobile's imperfections are well known, at least around these parts, since we're intensive users. (Ask the wider world and they probably think the OS is dead.) And, while waiting for Microsoft and an all-singing folding phablet, there's a very real temptation to switch over to Android as your phone OS of choice. But is the grass any greener on that side of the fence? In this feature, I present, hopefully honestly, the various pros and cons.

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How to: Read PDF files on Windows 10 Mobile

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Microsoft's continued changes to the Edge browser (hopefully continuing to make it more secure and more powerful) under Windows 10 Mobile have had a side effect - it now makes a mess of reading PDF (Acrobat) files, with blank pages or error messages. Microsoft has promised a fix in the next update, but in the meantime, here's how to carry on reading your downloaded PDF documents.

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How to: run Google Maps Go (PWA) on Windows 10 Mobile

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A week or two ago I did a feature on running modern (2018) PWAs (Progressive Web Applications) under Edge on Windows 10 Mobile. And, while it's clear that Edge/W10M will never get to the same functionality level as desktop browsers, most PWAs run just fine right now. In this case, I wanted to highlight Google Maps Go, a PWA designed for running on low end Android phones. Turns out it runs perfectly under Windows 10 Mobile too!

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Staring at name corruptions and stuck in the Insiders world? Here's how to get out!

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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...

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2018 update: How to get your Lumia 735/830/930/1520 onto the Creators Update

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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!

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Camera head to head: Lumia 950 XL vs Huawei Mate 10 Pro

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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?

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