Possibly the most unusually timed gallery ever put on AAWP, this is the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro, brand new in Europe, a Windows 10 Mobile flagship in mid-2017, against all the odds, or at least against the perception of the tech media. Following an (initially) one carrier, USA-only release in late 2016, we now have a tweaked version for the rest of the world, here in full retail form.
AAWP Insight #231: New branch, new support deadline!
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.
View additional galleries here.
In this week's Insight podcast, guest Stephen Quin and I chew over the news stories and features from the last 12 days since the last podcast - including some of my rants, some of Stephen's, and a whole host of pricing, UWP apps, and platform comment.
In AAWP Insight #195, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by considering the news of Lumia device support switching over to B2X, before digesting some potential device signposts from Microsoft's Ignite 2016 conference. There's also the usual roundup of UWP apps, including a 3rd party Google Maps client, an RSS reader, and the visually pleasing Perfect Weather. At the end of the podcast we chat around Steve's recent editorial on the 18 month 'Redstone 2 beta test'.
In this week's Insight podcast, Rafe and I chew over the news stories and features from the last couple of weeks - here's Rafe's take on everything Acer, AudioCloud and Apple, plus chat about the HP Elite X3, imaging and Skype Preview.
In AAWP Insight #193, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we offer some short commentary on the HP Elite X3 (software updates and imaging), talk about imaging innovation in Apple's iPhone 7 compared to the classic Nokia PureView devices, and promise some future camera-phone shootouts. Other topics covered in the podcast include the Skype UWP app roadmap, thoughts on the retirement of older Windows Phone 8.1 apps, and more.
In a special AAWP podcast, Jason Snowden steps into Rafe's shoes again, since the latter is taking a well earned holiday from his day job. Jason is keen to defend Facebook's new UWP apps, plus he's still very happy with this Lumia 950. We cover some of the stories from the site and I get his reaction to my rants and eulogies...
In AAWP Insight #191, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we spend the greater part of the podcast talking about the HP Elite X3, following on from Steve's early verdict coverage. We cover the high points and low points, consider the importance of hardware/software integration, and remind ourselves of the device's enterprise positioning. Other topics covered in the podcast include new UWP apps: Instagram, Office Lens and Perfect Flicker, plus details of the latest Insider Build.
In AAWP Insight #190, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we spend the major portion of the podcast talking about what we expect to see in a 2017 'Surface Phone'. The main discussion points are around the hardware spec, but we also discuss the positioning and potential presentation of Microsoft's assumed mobile flagship. Other topics covered in the podcast include the details of the first Redstone 2 Insiders Build, some app availability news, and a plug for a recent Rafe-related podcast.
In AAWP Insight #189, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by covering the breaking news of the roll out of the Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Update (Redstone). Also covered in this podcast is the Lumia 950 price drop (down to 295 GBP in the UK), some more details on Skype support on Windows Phone 8.1 and beyond, a reminder about using a laptop/PC display as a host for Continuum from your phone, and a discussion of benchmarking Redstone vs Threshold on the Lumia 1020/920 and other older devices.
In AAWP Insight #188, hosted by Steve and with Stephen Quin as guest, we cover a range of topics including answering some reader letters, details on pre-ordering the HP Elite X3, some dangerous Lumia x20 to Redstone experiments, and some thoughts on iris scanning and innovations.
In AAWP Insight #187, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we spend the majority of the podcast talking about what's in the Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Update, which, as we mention, will start rolling out "in the coming weeks". We also cover the arrival of the '53' firmware in Europe for the Lumia 950, updates for the AAWP UWP app, and details of a great third party Wikipedia UWP app.
In this extra length AAWP Insight #186, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by talking about Skype on Windows Phone 8.1 (no more development), which leads to some other Skype connected thoughts, including how we will (or won't) access bots. Other topics covered in the podcast include the new Panorama mode for Windows 10 Camera, updates for Outlook Calendar, details on the latest Insider updates, thoughts on the Acer Jade Primo, and more.
In AAWP Insight #185, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by talking about the Windows 10 'Anniversary Update', primarily the August 2nd (or otherwise) timing for the Mobile part of the release. Other topics covered in the podcast include UWP updates (AAWP and [the upcoming] Podcast Lounge), comments on transferring HERE Maps location favourites, reviews of Terrapin's leather cases, and Tap to Pay in Microsoft Wallet version 2.
In AAWP Insight #184, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by talking about the Alcatel Idol Pro 4, a much rumoured, high-end Windows 10 Mobile device. We also talk about some new UWP apps, including a beta version of the UWP app for AAWP, but the major part of the podcast is devoted to a discussion of our recent hands-on time with the HP Elite X3 and companion accessories.
In AAWP Insight #183, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we start by talking around Microsoft's acquisition of LinkedIn and how the two companies fit together. We also discuss a number of new UWP apps (USPS, Expedia, Grover Pro, Facebook Beta and Facebook Messenger Beta), talk through the latest builds (software updates) from Microsoft for Windows 10 Mobile, and compare the current flagship specificiations.
In AAWP Insight #182, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we use the arrival of Bank of America's UWP app to talk about the current nature of the app gap on Windows, the importance of mobile web as the "great universal", and the future form and nature of apps in general. Also covered is a price drop for the Lumia 950/XL and details on the newest addition to the Windows 10 Mobile device lineup.
In an extra length AAWP Insight #181, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we reflect on the implications of the latest round of redundancies and restructuring in Microsoft's mobile business. Also covered is a roundup of new phone makers in the Windows ecosystem and details of a number of platform and app updates.
In an extra length AAWP Insight #180 (sorry for the fortnight's gap), we talk about the latest updates to Windows 10 Mobile (Threshold), which leads to a more general conversation about the shape of computing platforms. We also talk about what updates you can get for all Windows Phone models, ruminate on the benefits of UWPs (one of the big benefits of upgrading), and mention our plans for curating apps and games on AAWP.
In AAWP Insight #179, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we talk about Microsoft's (leaked) reaffirmation of its commitment to Windows 10 Mobile, then we cover a number of Continuum-related topics, including the future roadmap for Windows 10 (desktop devices as Continuum displays), lap-docks (in the form of Acer Liquid Extend), before moving on to talk about Steve's flash and speaker head-to-heads.
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.