It's true that this gallery is somewhat out of time - the 'Alcatel IDOL 4S with Windows 10' has been out for T-Mobile in the USA since November 2016 and available SIM-free in the USA generally for around a month. However, AAWP is based in the UK and we've had no access to this new Windows 10 Mobile flagship... until now. Guest contributor (and ex-pat) Anthony Fear lives in North America and brings us an initial IDOL 4S gallery, ahead of more detailed review coverage.
AAWP Insight #213: the not-so-idle IDOL, and the WOA roadmap
Following on from our first four review parts and various features on the HP Elite X3, we now have the production Lap Dock in house - here's our annotated image gallery of the latter. Of course, there will be a full review along very shortly - after enough time 'on the road'!
View additional galleries here.
In AAWP Insight #178, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by talking about the latest Redstone build (and saying sorry for last week's 'enthusiasm'). We also cover Cortana as an audio letter, give a shout out to a Continuum update for the TeamViewer UWP, talk about the under appreciated benefits of Dynamic Exposure, and recap Steve's Lumia 950 versus Huawei P9 head-to-head.
In AAWP Insight #177, we talk a little more about Redstone (and availability on various devices) and recap the Steve's recent Lumia 920 vs 435 investigations, which considered the performance of Windows 10 Mobile of these two devices. Other topics discussed this week include the auto-updating of apps, the availability of Universal Remote Desktop as a Continuum app, and some imaging chat off the back of an iPhone SE versus Lumia 950 head-to-head.
In AAWP Insight #176, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we discuss the news (and non-news) from Microsoft's recent Build conference, in the context of mobile and Windows 10 Mobile, and against the background of potential Microsoft mobile device plans. We also review some of the details of Windows Phone/Mobile versions and branches, give another shout-out to our recent curated list of games, and throw down a Microsoft Health challenge.
In an extra-length AAWP Insight #175, we discuss the arrival of the Windows 10 Mobile update for existing Windows Phone 8.1 handsets - if users opt in by using the Upgrade Advisor. We cover the devices that can get the update (and those that can't) and ponder Microsoft's thinking, highlighting the importance of real-world user experience, as measured through feedback from the Insiders program.
In AAWP Insight #174, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we discuss the news that HERE apps will disappear from the Windows 10 Store and updates on Windows Phone 8 will be limited to critical security fixes; it's the end of an era, but the impact on consumers may not be as big as some will assume. We also cover some Redstone news (Insider Preview Build 14283), talk over the arrival of Android's OTA "Insiders" program, and highlight Steve's latest camera head-to-head.
In a special AAWP podcast, Matt Lacey steps into Rafe's shoes (he's travelling again). Matt is a freelance Windows developer and well placed to comment on the state of the ecosystem and its applications. As ever, you can subscribe to the AAWP podcast and even catch up with old episodes - see the link below.
In AAWP Insight #172, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by talking about the Lumia 650, following on from Steve's review and Rafe's hands-on in Barcelona. Rafe reports back from MWC highlighting new hardware, including the HP Elite x3 and VAIO Phone Biz, and the overall trends from the biggest show in mobile. We also cover Microsoft's acquisition of cross platform development tool Xamarin and the release of the Deezer Universal app.
In a special AAWP podcast, Jason Snowden steps into Rafe's shoes, since the latter is at MWC 2016. Jason reports back on his experiences with the Lumia 950 and Windows 10 Mobile, before diving into thoughts on (and experiences of) Continuum. We touch on apps, updates and on the new HP Elite X3 and its Mobile Extender too....
In AAWP Insight #170, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start with a quick preview and discussion of what we expect to see in Barcelona at MWC next week. We follow this with some thoughts on the software update experience for modern smartphones, before going on to talk about the Lumia 650 (specification, positioning and design). In the second part of the podcast Rafe laments the demise of MixRadio and we recall some of the highlights of this groundbreaking music streaming service.
In AAWP Insight #169, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by talking about the new rings for Windows 10 Mobile updates (Insider program) and ponder what's going to the best option for various groups of users. We follow this by sharing some thoughts on general and personal preferences between the Lumia 950 and 950 XL and conclude there's more to it that the on-paper specifications might suggest. We finish with some thoughts around recent editorials on the 'death and/or decline' of Microsoft's mobile platform.
In a special AAWP podcast, Neil Gilroy steps into Rafe's shoes, delivering a verdict on the state of Windows 10 Mobile and the Lumia 950 XL, from the point of view of someone usually found at the cutting edge on iOS and Android. How well does Windows and the new hardware stack up?
In AAWP Insight #167, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by talking about Windows 10 Mobile updates, both in terms of versions for existing devices and the stability of the latest Insider releases and along the way we mention a few feature highlights plus recent built-in app updates. We follow this up with imaging chat around bracketing and Force HDR (rich capture and related topics), comments on recent Lumia 950/950 XL price drops, and answer a listener question on the app gap.
In AAWP Insight #166, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we talk CES 2016 and the latest Windows 10 Mobile topics. Rafe reports back from his recent trip to CES, outlining some broad themes and overall thoughts, before moving on to highlight some Windows specifics in the form of new hardware from Alcatel (including the first 8 inch tablets to run Windows Mobile 10) and how the Lumia 950 XL performed at the show. We also cover off the latest build of Windows 10 Mobile (10586.63) and Microsoft's details on the official Windows 10 Mobile roll out.
With Rafe missing-in-action, prowling the halls at CES in Las Vegas looking for new Windows 10 Mobile hardware (of which... not so much), I drafted in semi-regular Stephen Quin to fill his boots. It's mainly a catch-up with how Stephen is getting on with the Lumia 950 XL, with Continuum and with the OS in general. Given that my own views and verdicts are well known on the site, this is a chance to get someone else's take on the state of the hardware and software offerings from Microsoft.
In AAWP Insight #164, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we have a (longer than usual) Christmas edition of the podcast. We continue our coverage of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. This time Steve shares his thoughts after a few weeks with the new flagships, with dives deeper into design, camera performance and software readiness (or lack of it). We also discuss the Microsoft HD-500 Display Dock and the related Continuum functionality of Windows 10 Mobile, plus answer a listener letter on the app gap.
In AAWP Insight #163, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we kick off our detailed coverage of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. Some of the key topics covered include design, performance, and imaging, with plenty of chat on other topics interspersed. We also look to set the new flagships in the context of the Nokia and Microsoft Lumia eras and the respective contribution of each to both these and future devices.
In AAWP Insight #162, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we talk about some of early (US) Lumia 950 review coverage, while awaiting the UK arrival of Microsoft's new flagship smartphones. As well as debating who is going to buy the devices, we also cover the latest Windows 10 Mobile Build and camera related app updates. We also find time for a OneDrive mention (again), a quick heads up on a Xiaomi tablet device, and a freemium busting game pick.
In AAWP Insight #161, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by revisiting Microsoft's recent quota changes to OneDrive, prompted by some listener feedback. We also discuss when existing devices will get the Windows 10 Mobile update, whether you should choose the Lumia 950 or 950 XL (and when they are likely to arrive in shops). The other major topic in the podcast is the Microsoft Band 2, following on from Steve's review of Microsoft's second generation wearable.
In AAWP Insight #160, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by talking about the top 0.1% of Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile apps (as seen in our recent directory/list of top apps). We also share some thoughts on the Lumia 950 and Continuum after some hand on time at Microsoft's recent Future Decoded event. We also talk about experiences with the latest build of Windows 10 Mobile (10581) and note the "retail" release is just around the corner.
In AAWP Insight #159, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we talk about the recently announced changes to Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage space quota, considering both the "levels" of changes, the way Microsoft communicated them, and the potential long term impact. In the second half of the podcast, we discuss Steve's recent feature that compared the speed of various tasks and activities on Windows Phone 8.1 versus the latest build of Windows 10 Mobile.
In AAWP Insight #158, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we talk about Lumia 950 / 950 XL pre-orders, which are now live (and have a price adjustment) in the UK. That leads to a conversation about Microsoft's latest set of results and the poor Lumia sales numbers, which leads us back to the Lumia 950. We also cover some updates for the Maps and Calendar apps for Windows 10 Mobile. We finish by talking about zoom on camera phones through the years and what the best approach is for today's devices.
In AAWP Insight #157, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we talk about some new Windows 10 Mobile handsets that were shown off in Japan recently, the latest build of Windows 10 Mobile (10549) and look ahead to the next build (10572), and muse on the state of readiness of Windows 10 Mobile (for new devices and in place updates). We also contrast the Lumia 1520 with the 950 XL and run through our latest camera features.
In AAWP Insight #156, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we continue the discussion about Microsoft's big October 6th event. Following some comment on future devices and design, the main focus is on the entry level Lumia 550 and the Microsoft Band 2 wearable. In the second half of the podcast, we talk about the state of the Windows Phone app ecosystem, following on from Steve's recent feature on the same subject, and look ahead to some future content topics.
In the bumper length AAWP Insight #155, hosted by Steve and Rafe, it is all about Microsoft's big October 6th event, which saw the announcement of new Lumia and Surface devices, together with a number of related accessories. We cover the launch of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, walking through the specifications and key experiences, including connectivity, camera and Continuum. We also touch on the Lumia 550 and Microsoft Band 2, before concluding with a summary of the new Surface (PC) devices.
In AAWP Insight #154, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by talking about Steve's recent comparison of voice assistants for mobile platforms and the role voice may play in the future. There's the usual commentary and thoughts on the latest Windows 10 Mobile build (10536), plus related app updates (Maps, Office, Photos, and more). There's also time for a rant (on finding battery spares) and a quick look ahead to next week's announcement of new Lumia phones from Microsoft.
In AAWP Insight #153, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we talk through a week's worth of news. First up is some information on the latest Insider Build (10536) of Windows 10 Mobile. We also look forward to October 6th, which is the anticipated announcement day for Microsoft's new premium smartphones (and some other devices), chat around some updates to the Photos app (and related improvement in the imaging flow for Windows 10 Mobile), before finishing with a discussion about "long press", "force touch"/"3D touch" in the light of Apple's iPhone 6s event.
In AAWP Insight #152, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we round up ten days worth of news and views. Topics covered include a series of Windows 10 Mobile app updates (Messaging Skype Beta, .NET runtime, Photos), the recent BBC iPlayer update, the Acer Jade Primo and some thoughts on Continuum, and some comments on phase 1 on the Windows 10 Mobile roll out. In the middle, we also find time to grumble about quality assurance issues related to the Microsoft app Store.
In AAWP Insight #151, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we talk about Windows 10 Mobile performance on lower end devices (build 10512), Windows 10 Mobile compatible phones (and upgrading low storage devices), and the leak of upcoming flagships (Cityman and Talkman). We also touch on ARCHOS' recently announced Windows 10 Mobile device and Steve's most recent camera head to head (Moto X Play versus Lumia 930).
In AAWP Insight #150, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we cover a number of topics including the latest Insider release of Windows 10 Mobile (Build 10512), a tutorial of how to do the upgrade (covering some useful tips and caveats to be aware of), and how Windows 10 Mobile is growing up. We also talk around a number of other recent content items, such as Steve's recent review of Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard.
For our weekly podcast, with Rafe temporarily out of action (he'll be back next week!), I recruit long time Windows Phone enthusiast Stephen Quin to have a chat about some of the recent features and stories. Thanks to Stephen for his time and to you the listener for your patience! Stories covered include Windows Phone competing at the budget end of the market and the 'so near so far' issue of the Lumia 1520....
In an extra length AAWP Insight #148, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start with a wide ranging discussion around Microsoft's Q2 results (8.4 million Lumia phones sold, up 10% year on year) and some thoughts on what comes next. The second part of the podcast is devoted to answering a number of listener questions, ranging from thoughts on Lumia 1320 performance to whether (in the future) other manufacturers will fill the gaps left behind in the Lumia line.
In AAWP Insight #147, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by considering how many existing device owners will upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile (and think about some of the obstacles and motivations). Other topics include our experiences with the latest build of Windows 10 Mobile (including praise for the transparency on IAPs), problems with video streams in the BBC iPlayer app (and implications for testing apps), and a series of app picks.
In AAWP Insight #146, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we talk through the implications of Microsoft's recently announced job cuts to the Devices Group and the associated $7.8 billion write down linked to the acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services business. We also cover the latest Windows 10 Mobile Build (10166) and highlight Steve's recent investigation of Windows 10 Mobile's performance on different processor/RAM configurations (from Lumia 520 to 1520).
In AAWP Insight #145, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we open by responding to a listener question around the BBC's support of Windows Phone (apps). Our second major topic is a discussion around Build 10149 of Windows 10 Mobile, which leads to a follow on topic around RAM configuration and performance. We also cover the rebrand of Xbox Music and Xbox Video to Groove and Movies & TV, trail some off-road mapping apps, and pick out two apps that have caught our attention.
In AAWP Insight #144, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we open with some commentary on the departure, from Microsoft, of Stephen Elop and Jo Harlow. We proceed through a number of news items including a third party Glastonbury app, a software update to fix "Periodic reboot" issues, new Windows 10 Mobile devices from Freetel, and the latest firmware update for Microsoft Band. Our two main discussion topics are on the state of Windows 10 Mobile readiness and Steve's gig video capture comparison feature.