Back in May, I took a look at Launcher 10, an Android app launcher/front end that mimics Windows Phone/Windows 10 Mobile and helps keep continuity of interface for anyone switching away to an Android flagship, in the absence of current Windows hardware. Since May, the launcher has added a big new feature that even Windows phones never had - landscape mode! See below for screenshot proof.
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At the end of last week, fellow Brit Zac Bowden published his take on an unreleased Windows 10 Mobile phone from HP from 2017 - the Pro x3, a cheaper consumer alternative to the enterprise-focussed Elite x3. See below for some review quotes and my thoughts, along with a more complete comparison table. Could the Pro x3 have 'moved the needle' for W10M? I doubt it. But the prototype's certainly of interest.
BBC iPlayer has been quite useable in Edge (and other browsers) under Windows 10 Mobile for the last three years, since the dropping of support to Windows Phone 8.1 in 2015. OK, so DRM-ed downloads weren't possible, but you could still stream videos seamlessly. With a change last week to its streams - and with no sign of Windows 10 Mobile or Edge in its compatibility page - the watching experience just took a step backwards. Programmes now play in a smaller, offset window. And it's clearly not intentional, since the rest of the UI uses the whole screen. Sigh.
Windows 10 Mobile is now into its last six month stretch in terms of Microsoft's official support, though it can be argued that its spirit will live on in terms of 'modern OS'. Under the hood there are kernel and security fixes today, for all phones currently running the '1709' branch. Grab this July 2019 update in Settings.
A month ago I featured Launcher10, a replacement launcher for Android which emulates the live tile system of Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile. But if you want to switch to a newer platform yet don't have to take tiles with you then Microsoft offers its own replacement launcher for Android, tying its own Assistant, browser, services and ideas - yet keeping the look and feel of an Android launcher, with no unexpected surprises. I reviewed this last year, but it has seen numerous updates since then, summarised below, to coincide with the new v5.5 being available in the Play Store (in the UK and elsewhere outside the USA), a rather massive update in itself.
The biggest new UWP application for Windows 10 (and yes, including phones) to arrive in June, Spotimo is a third party Spotify client that pulls out every stop in order to deliver a smooth and fluent interface. It's beautiful, it's fast, it's arguably way better than an official Spotify UWP client might have been. Read on for the link, screenshots and impressions.
Windows 10 Mobile is now somewhat in the rear view mirror in terms of Microsoft's mobile plans, though it can be argued that its spirit will live on in terms of 'modern OS'. And the OS is still supported, whatever you might have read elsewhere. Under the hood the foundations are receiving kernel and security fixes today, for all phones currently running the 1709 and 1703 branches. Grab this June 2019 update in Settings, in the usual way. Note that this may be branch 1703's last ever kernel and security update.
VLC's UWP version for all Windows 10 phones, tablets and (yes) desktops has been advancing steadily in terms of reliability, performance, and international support. It's such a useful media player, even on phones which already have Microsoft (local) music and video players. Below is my summarised changelog (for v3.2.1) since we last featured VLC here a year ago (for v3.0.2), including four separate updates during approximately 14 months.
Last covered at the start of 2019, myTube! hasn't quite reached the 'next generation' v4.x that is promised for 2019, though it's definitely still coming. But fear not, for there has been a mountain of changes and fixes to the main v3.x codebase since our last story, see the list below and with the app last updated yesterday.
Spotify has effectively ended its service on Windows-powered phones, as of last week, with the withdrawal of the core search facilities (i.e. for music). This was expected and I try to provide links and quotes below to chronicle Spotify on the platform(s). As to alternatives, there's a third party client, but it does come with a few quirks and caveats.