Recent News

LG Mobile officially shuts down, ends 15 years in smartphones

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Starting off (in the smartphone world) with Series 60 (on Symbian) handsets, transitioning through Windows Phone 7.x phones, and ending up on Android, LG has officially closed its Mobile division, with the short statement quoted below. It's been a rocky road for LG, but even back in the mid 2000s at the Symbian shows, I never really felt their heart was in it, at least in terms of selling to - and supporting - the West. Some thoughts and a few looks back below.

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Netflix and Windows Phone/Windows 10 Mobile... lives again!

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A year ago, Netflix stopped working on all Windows-powered phones - the fear was that this was a conscious decision by Netflix to axe streams to specific platforms. In fact, it turns out that something was just 'broken'. And clearly the broken bit affected enough customers on enough legacy platforms that Netflix's engineers tracked down the bug and fixed it - Netflix works again on Windows 10 Mobile!*

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Microsoft Edge hits EOL, its scripting engine shows problems under Windows 10 Mobile

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Something's happened to Edge. No, not the modern Chromium-based Edge that's been in the Windows 10 for the last couple of years (including preview time). I'm talking Edge 'legacy', the browser that shipped with Windows 10 when it first appeared and which Windows 10 Mobile still has to use (sadly). Firstly, it's now officially 'End of Life' and out of support, and secondly, its scripting engine is hitting issues on many popular sites, see below for some examples on my Lumia 950 XL. Missing images, mainly, but these do sometimes impact page navigation.

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Q4 2020/Q1 2021 smartphone stats: a four horse race: Apple, Samsung, Oppo, and Xiaomi

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It's a fair cop, we used to report on smartphone sales and market share back in the day (2000-2012), but stopped when the numbers got too depressing. Nokia, and then Microsoft's determined attempts to shoot themselves in the foot finally paid off and first Symbian and then Windows Phone became marginalised. But, being realistic, where are we today, in 2021? Professional analysis does creep out to the public occasionally, as with this Trendforce press release and table quoted below. In summary, Apple, Samsung, (and perhaps surprisingly) Oppo (BBK), and Xiaomi are the big names worldwide.

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Windows (and Paint): unsurprisingly, 3D Objects are on the way out

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Microsoft has announced that the '3D Objects' folder (created and shown for everyone, by default) is going to be removed from sight in Windows 10, going forward. While a minor change in itself, there's an interesting (and perhaps unsurprising) story here that bears a little unpacking, and - yes, includes Mobile...

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Surface Pen week continues - introducing Microsoft Journal

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It's turning into a bit of a scribbling week - after my look at what you can do with an ultra-mobile PC like the Surface Go and the Surface Pen a few days ago, we now have the debut of a new Microsoft Garage tool, Journal - useable with touch and a finger, but even better with a stylus/pen. Summary: Journal is off to a slightly rough start, but the page-based approach is intuitive and it has potential.

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Windows 10 Camera... 'powered by Office Lens'

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Admittedly not applying anymore to Windows 10 Mobile, but Windows 10 Camera (for example, for the Surface Go, which is evidently a mobile device of sorts) today acquired a bunch of extra useful modes for the professional. The new modes are 'powered by Office Lens', coinciding rather neatly with the demise of the latter as a standalone application. Admittedly you don't get all the OCR-in-the-cloud functionaity, but you do get the auto-crop and auto-contrast optimisations. See the examples below.

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'News and Interests' hits the Windows taskbar

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For anything which can run full-on Windows 10, a significant new UI and services element just hit the Dev Channel (my Surface Pro is on this, hence the screenshots below). See also the quote from Microsoft about this - adding weather and more to the taskbar is a nice touch providing one has the screen real estate.

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Office Lens UWP loses all cloud converters

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A day later than planned, but Microsoft has now thrown the server-side switch on Office Lens as a separate app on both Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 Desktop. From now on, it's a service inside the likes of Office (for all platforms). Which makes sense in a way and it's nice to have it integrated, but I for one will miss it as a general purpose OCR and archival tool. See below for links, quotes and screenshots.

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