Even past the original March 1st deadline, Skype still worked fully on Windows Phone 8.1. But as of July, four months on, it seems as though a switch has been thrown somewhere and Microsoft's now deprecated Windows Phone 8.1 platform and its accompanying Skype client no longer allow sign-ins with the company's new centralised Skype architecture (done mainly to enable many-to-many calls/video).
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There has been another significant update to AAWP's own (ahem) much praised UWP application for Windows 10 Mobile. AAWP Universal v1.5 adds more UI tweaks, Disqus improvements and an option to donate to the developer. Thanks (a million) as always to Joe Blumenow..
Back at the start of 2017, I mentioned a new UWP browser which featured ad-blocking and other 'advanced' technologies, at least scoring points over Edge on Windows 10 Mobile. Since then, there have been numerous app updates, culminating in v2.2.80 that brings the browser, in my opinion, to pre-eminence on the OS, i.e. use this instead of Edge for a faster and more pleasant experience on the modern web.
A bevy of Skype and Messaging-related tweaks and stories has prompted me to round these up in a single post, for completeness. Takeaways include the 'Messaging+Skype' experiment being officially ended and that Skype UWP now supports animated GIFs 'inline', but there's more below too.
In addition to the Fast ring for Insiders, Microsoft has its own internal rings and test releases of the Windows 10 SDKs, meaning that keen developers can sometimes get a heads-up on changes that are heading everyone’s way. In this case, it’s Gustave M., with a screenshot seemingly showing that support for (ye olde) Silverlight applications is being dropped in an upcoming version of Windows 10 Mobile.
myTube! has always one of the 'big three' in terms of Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile YouTube clients and it has just had a major rewrite for its v3.0 relaunch. Given that Google still doesn't see a need for a native first party YouTube client, I reckon that a slick alternative like myTube! in this next gen version is distinctly newsworthy.
Expending zero energy on thinking up a new branch title, Microsoft has announced at BUILD 2017 that the next major Windows 10 branch (for most form factors) will be the 'Fall Creators Update'. I guess this makes sense since there's still an emphasis on creating, in this case desktop-hosted story 'remixing' (photos and videos), but it's still a somewhat weak title, if you ask me. The future for phones and mobile in general is yet to be announced, though I've got a feature on the way which will hopefully reveal all.
I thought it worth noting that Windows 10 Mobile Creators Update (originally codenamed 'Redstone 2') is now rolling out officially to 'production' users in the UK, with multiple people tweeting and emailing me over the last 12 hours to confirm this. The actual build is 15063.251. See below for plenty of helpful links that are relevant here.
Whatever Windows 10 Mobile-running phone you own, whatever its status, the chances are that you have a new OS build waiting for you in Settings right now. This is, of course, Microsoft's regular 'Patch Tuesday', even if they don't call it that, and I've quoted a few example version numbers to look out for.
The Windows 10 Mobile Creators Update is set to roll out from April 25 through June 2017, though there's in fact little to get excited about in terms of timing. 'Production' status regular users won't know it's coming and thus won't care, while enthusiasts reading this can... get it whenever they like, thanks to the 'Release Preview' Insiders ring.