I suspect I'm going to have people comparing me with the pot calling the kettle black here, considering the number of smartphones I get through, but more and more I'm realising that a lot of what's really smart about a smartphone is you - and your own set-up and preferences. In other words, chasing the very latest models and swapping devices every few months is - no doubt - fun, but it's expensive and at the end of the day I bet you set up your home/Start screens almost identically to those of your one or two year old devices - I know I do.
Although I covered something along these lines almost three years ago and, let's be honest, a lot of the basics of video shooting haven't changed much, I wanted to update my feature for 2014 and the much newer devices and their capabilities. For completeness, as much as anything. In other words, I wanted all the best of our smartphone camera video capture tips in one piece, in one place. Hopefully something worth bookmarking and pointing people towards?
Last week's reveal of the Surface Pro 3 by Microsoft continued the evolution of Redmond under CEO Satya Nadella towards a company with a focus on a cloud-powered mobile computing platform. It also surrendered the consumer tablet space to iOS and Android as the Surface was subtly pitched towards the Enterprise market. Is this a sign of Windows Phone's future strategy?
Having had a look at absolute camera quality here, it's time to look at the flagship Nokia and Sony smartphones, the Lumia 1020 (from July 2013) and Xperia Z2 (from April 2014), across all features and capabilities, in blow by blow style. Is there an obvious winner?
It's the latest in my series of smartphone camera battles (following recent confrontations with, for example, the HTC One M8 and Galaxy S5), this time looking at (in theory) one of the most capable competitors yet, the 1/2.3"-sensored mid-2014 Sony Xperia Z2. Lossless zoom, oversampling, heavy duty image processor, will the Z2, which should have more refined image processing than the Z1 or Z1 Compact before it, give the Lumia 1020 a run for its money? Don't bet on it.
It's not entirely clear how this tip will translate into the Windows Phone world once Cortana hits (outside the USA), but it's a favourite of mine that hasn't been covered here on AAWP before, so.... Here's how to look something up directly from quoted web page text! Whether it's a word you don't recognise, a place you want to find or a subject you want to know more about, IE and the search control are your friends...
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?