Recent Features

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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Phone to emergency laptop via the Microsoft UFK?

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Back in mid 2015, two and a half years ago, Microsoft debuted the premium Universal Folding Keyboard (UFK) and I reviewed it here, pronouncing it massively overpriced (£100) and with poor Windows Phone support. Then, exactly a year ago, I briefly reviewed the UFK again in the light of a new price (£40) and Windows 10 Mobile's far more complete Bluetooth profiles - ending up recommending it to all. What's new here then? Not much, except that I've been using it for a year and I wanted to put into context - the UFK is more than a humble Bluetooth keyboard, yet (obviously) less than a laptop. So where does it fit in?

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Choosing a camera application for Windows 10 Mobile

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The very title may seem odd to you - after all, a camera app is a simple enough entity, surely? What difference does it make which app you 'snap' with? In terms of quality of images on full auto, not much difference at all, but in terms of flexibility and functionality then there are subtleties offered by alternatives to the Windows 10 default Camera application. Here's a breakdown.

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Beyond HTML5: Windows 10 Mobile and Edge work well with PWAs

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It's true that there are loads of good Windows 10 Mobile applications, but with 'long tail' titles (heck, even 'medium tail', these days) usually missing in action, anyone worrying about the 'app gap' might like to give attention to PWAs, Progressive Web Applications. These are the next step beyond HTML5 and you may be surprised to know that Edge under Windows 10 Mobile is perfectly capable of running PWAs. Maybe the 'app gap' will simply go away as PWAs become more commonplace?

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