Following on from our more detailed coverage, Ewan took the Lumia 1320 for a spin in his normal routine to see how he got on with the Microsoft-powered phablet. With the size, mid-range specs, and questions over the UI in mind, the 1320 managed to surprise him.
A big issue for many people (now hopefully solved, in the DP update for 8.1) has been battery life with Windows Phone 8.1. Even with the latest update though, there are still things you can tweak to make sure that you end a heavy day without having to desperately seek out a power point. Herein is my 'Top 10 Tips' guide to improve your battery life as much as possible under Windows Phone 8.1.
'Sod's law' it used to be called. Or perhaps Microsoft really does respond that fast when AAWP writes. No, perhaps not! Either way, a mere 36 hours after my semi-scientific chart showing the battery drain problem that existed (at that time) in the Developer Preview of Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft pushed out a big update to the OS, claiming battery life improvements. And it wasn't kidding - I've redone the appropriate drain test with the update and the difference is impressive.
Spotify's updated client for Windows Phone 8 finally brings Microsoft's mobile platform into line with iOS and Android in terms of support for one of the biggest names in streaming and subscription music. Spotify and Windows Phone 8 are not perfect partners, but does this app signifiy something larger?
1998 was the year. I got myself a second-hand Psion 5, running the grand daddy of mobile OS - EPOC, that evolved into Symbian. Yeah, the OS that we all love and hate in almost equal proportion. For the last 5 years, I have been exclusively on Symbian - Nokia 6120 Classic, E63, E72, N8 and finally, 808 PureView. Yet, mid 2014, it's time for a major change.
"It's just got to get me through the day" is something often heard in relation to smartphones. And it's something that's very true - almost everyone has at least one opportunity in each 24 hour period to plug and charge a smartphone up. But, in an effort to assess complaints about battery life in the Developer Preview of Windows Phone 8.1, I set about a little scientific data collection - and uncovered the scale of how much Windows Phone needs to improve in terms of battery life... [updated]
There's a facility that's been there in Windows Phone for a while but which not a lot of people know about. You'll probably realise that all photos you take are archived onto OneDrive (SkyDrive, before it), with quality as set in your Settings, but did you know that these are all accessible, any time, through the standard Photos hub/app and that you can speed up access to this archive with a little pre-caching and thumbnail-building?
If you, like us, have been using a Nokia PureView oversampling device like the Lumia 1020 or 1520 with the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview then you'll have noted something rather odd. The photos backed up to OneDrive automatically are the full 34/16MP versions (at 16:9) rather than the 5MP oversampled versions previously sent up the virtual wires under Windows Phone 8.0. As it turns out, after talking to the people involved, Nokia (and Microsoft) are changing what's supposed to happen, as explained below.
Microsoft, Nokia, Lumia, HERE, all brands and names that are prominent in the world of 'All About' writing. Yet I'm fascinated by the timing of the various name and brand changes - it's clear that every time something changed, whether Maps/Drive or from Nokia's Symbian smartphones to something more future-proof, the writing was on the wall for anyone with eyes to see....
One of the advantages of the UK not having received the Cortana rollout yet is that we still have Bing Vision. No, doesn't sound very exciting, but this was the interface to scanning QR codes, both for applications and when accessing information out and about in the real world. However, USA users and - well, all of us, eventually, are going to have Cortana mapped to our search keys, begging the question of the best way to scan QR codes in the future.