Twenty years of mobile coverage, almost 25,000 articles across (at times) up to five sites, half a dozen writers, Symbian through Meego and Windows Phone operating systems, then cross-platform to iOS and Android for the last couple of years, Rafe Blandford’s ‘All About’ sites have had a good run. And most of it is still accessible and will hopefully remain so for a while. But I do have an announcement...
Recent News - General
Apple's iMovie system, for both Macs and iPhones, is one of a number of stand-out value-add features for their hardware. In other words, budgeting for commercial quality video editing on other desktop and mobile platforms isn't needed when you opt for a Mac or iPhone. The full Office suite, GarageBand, and - here - iMovie are just all built in and free forever. iMovie just got itself a major update across the board, in any case, a brief walkthrough below.
Just in case you were wondering... You may have noticed a further, drastic slow down of content on this site - there's a complicated server issue which means that I can't post any new feature articles.
The Surface Duo 2 continues to dominate headspace at All About Towers, with major improvements arriving today, with a feature-packed January 2022 update hitting the folding communicator over-the-air. So whether you've only just finished reading about its faux-Continuum mode or its Lumia-like image processing or my Bumpers review, this update is well worth taking note of since it's yet another software step forwards for this somewhat ground-breaking device.
In this privacy-paranoid world people are often looking for ways to avoid Big Brother, and one of the latter is Google, it seems. "/e/ OS" (odd and problematic name, see below for a quote) is a fork of AOSP (Android Open Source Project) that deliberately strips out anything to do with Google, at all levels, enabling (in theory) a more private phone experience. See below for some news from 'All About' favourite Fairphone regarding their new '4' coming with /e/ OS if you like. Personally? I think it's all poppycock. Read on.
Writing on the All About sites is currently paused by the sudden death of my (Steve's) father on 21 December 2021. See below for more, and general site status comments.
Back in March 2020, so just under two years ago, Planet Computers launched the Indiegogo campaign for the Astro Slide 5G, the follow up to the Gemini and Cosmo Communicators, all with full mechanical QWERTY keyboards. While the latter two were more akin to the old Psion palmtop or Nokia Communicator form factors, i.e. clamshells, the Astro Slide 5G is similar to the classic 2010 Nokia E7 (on Symbian), with an external full touchscreen that slides out of the way when needed to reveal, in this case, the famous QWERTY key layout. We've been getting drip fed news from the Planet team over the last 12 months, so here's my round-up and summary.
Another one bites the dust. Or is about to. Microsoft has formally announced that its To-Do service is to stop syncing with old clients (such as the one for Windows 10 Mobile) at the end of 2021. It's amazing that sync has carried on so long, to be honest. And you still have six weeks to switch to another platform if To-Do support is critical to you. Notably, if you just find it a useful place to store to-do items locally on a Lumia, you'll still be able to use the application 'offline', i.e. it won't actually stop working.
A slightly niche news post, but one that's important to anyone who accesses Twitter on Windows 10 Mobile or under any desktop browser. So perhaps that's more people than I'd at first have thought. For years, Twitter has been cropping (e.g. 4:3 and 16:9) photos to a 'letter box' (often the 'wrong' way) or square aspect ratio to try and keep people's timelines tidier - but it seems that users would rather see the whole of a posted image rather than just part of it, so Twitter has now dropped cropping in its web/PWA code. Which directly feeds into the Windows 10 Mobile Twitter app, of course.
Much linked to over the last few days has been a Google video showing exactly how to assemble a Pixel 6 Pro from first principles. But this is much more than someone reassembling something they've previously torn down - all the factory 'jigs', tools, and protective films are shown - despite the video quirks, it's a really interesting look at how a modern phone is 'made'.