Recent Features

How to: Browse and upload to Flickr Groups from your Windows Phone

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I can offer no explanation for why the official Flickr client for Windows Phone has been allowed to languish in an almost unusable state [I blame Yahoo, Flickr's owner]. I can however explain how to use the popular 2flicka client to both browse Groups and then upload your own photos to them. In other words, you can fully contribute content to Flickr groups from your smartphone.

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Why the future of Windows Phone, and Microsoft's mobile plans, is in the service layer

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There is a lot of chatter online about the future direction of Microsoft, especially in mobile. Mobile nowadays does not just mean smartphones, it also means tablets and laptops, gaming and associated services such as music and video provisions. Microsoft's online services are strong not just on their own mobile platform, but on the platforms of the competing mobile operating systems. This is a very healthy place to be as the 2014 mobile story continues.

# Posted by Ewan in Features || Comments

Camera phone flagship shootout: Lumia 1020 vs Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

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You'll have read my general comparison between these two camera flagships already - I'd given the 1020 the nod already, across the board, but then this is AAWP and you might be expecting that(!) What's more interesting is to put the camera units in the 1020 and Z1 Compact to the test across my usual range of scenarios and test cases. Sony claims super results and lossless digital zoom, PureView-style - but surely physics will win out in terms of the 1020's larger optics, sensor, OIS and Xenon flash?

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

How to: Navigate your Camera Roll more efficiently

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Navigating your Camera Roll (in the Photos hub) is simple, surely? You just flick up and down until you see the thumbnail(s) you want. Ah, but what about when, like me, your Windows Phone is the best part of a year old and you have well over a thousand photos (and videos) stored in the system? That's a lot of 'flicking' backwards and forwards. Surely there has to be a better way? There is, and it's built-in.

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Android and Windows Phone camera flagships: Xperia Z1 Compact and Lumia 1020

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Picking devices from the Android world that are aligned similarly to the Nokia Lumia 1020 is tricky - whereas the 1020 is unashamedly camera-centric, you have to go to the ridiculously sized Galaxy S4 Zoom to find something competitive in the Android world. Well, until now. Possibly. You see Sony has just released the Xperia Z1 Compact, slightly smaller than the 1020 and yet with the same high end 1/2.3" 20MP oversampling sensor as the much larger Xperia Z1 - and, hopefully, more recent image processing algorithms. I'll come to actual camera performance in a separate feature, but for now here's a blow by blow comparison of the two devices.

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Managed multitasking for the masses - the Windows Phone and iOS way

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The world as it was back in 2006 or so. Symbian ruled the still fledgling smartphone world with over 50% market share. Windows Mobile had itself a niche, and Blackberry was still growing into an accepted smartphone platform. And all three allowed third party applications to multitask, to do what they liked in the background. This, it seems was one of the core tenets of what made a smartphone ‘smart’. Yet today, iOS and Windows Phone present a different and - much as it pains me to admit it - a better model for the 99% of humanity that has no interest in learning about RAM, GHz and background task management.

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

How to: Scan and OCR text on your Windows Phone

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It's easy to forget how much functionality is built into the operating system in our smartphones - a prime example, demonstrated here, is scanning and applying OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to a page of text. No extra apps or expertise needed.

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

(Phablet) Head to head: Nokia Lumia 1520 vs OPPO N1

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With the ever moving goalposts in the mobile world, it seems that the Samsung Galaxy Note range has been accepted as a bona fide 'phone', while anything bigger is a 'phablet'. Yes, everyone hates the term, but nothing better has come along in the meantime, so.... The Nokia Lumia 1520 and OPPO N1 here, both of which I've been reviewing recently, are definitely too big to be classed as pure phones - even by the Note brigade. Part phone, part tablet, do they offer the best of both worlds? And can I pick a winner?

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Camera head to head: Nokia Lumia 1020 vs Sony QX-10

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You're right to do a double take - the Sony QX-10 isn't a phone. It's a camera accessory for a phone, the idea being that you clip it onto the back of an Android or iOS smartphone and use its better optics instead of the device's integral camera. In this case, for the purposes of comparison, a Galaxy Nexus running Android 4.4.2. Is it a kludge? Yep. Is it capable of results that rival those from the Lumia 1020? Absolutely. Which would I rather have in my pocket? No. Contest. Whatsoever.

# Posted by Steve in Features || Comments

Why Microsoft had to move away from Windows Mobile

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Windows 8.1 is being 'rejigged' to look more like Windows 7 than Windows 8, as Microsoft appears to be backing down in its push to the Metro/Tablet interface across its desktop OS. It's an interesting move, and one that reminds me of the media's calls to carry on with Windows Mobile instead of switching to Windows Phone several years ago. While the switch back to the Windows 7 look feels right, I started to think... should Microsoft have stayed with Windows Mobile?

# Posted by Ewan in Features || Comments

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