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 - Editorial Thoughts
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.
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.
With the launch of iOS 15, the promised major enhancements to Apple Maps are available to the general public for the first time. Admittedly, quite a bit is only for major cities around the world, but this will expand and you can have fun exploring your own closest capital. Or just spinning the virtual globe and having run zooming in, rotating, tilting, and so on. Below I take a lot of this for a spin on my iPhone 12 Pro Max.
There was a Huawei event yesterday, which I'd failed to remember, and the P50 series phones were the star, albeit not very exciting for people outside China, since they come with the Google-less Harmony OS Android fork. But I was intrigued to see, GSMArena story below, that Huawei has started offering upgrades of internal storage for a wide variety of its phone models. Eh? Are they - literally - going to start opening up phones, desoldering chips and soldering in new ones? I don't think so, but there's certainly a lot going on here...
With Windows Phone (8.1 and W10M) news and software now almost at a standstill, you'll have noticed that a lot of AAWP content has involved comparisons and recommendations from the wider mobile world. So, going forwards, we've expanded the 'All About' sites to include All About Mobile. As the name suggests, it covers features about all mobile platforms of interest. All content is tagged and we'll make sure that it appears on each relevant site in the family. Which is partly why AAM (hey, a new acronym) launches with up to three years of relevant content! Do please be gentle with us in the comments, since there are a few minor quirks and rough edges that are still being ironed out.
Last week saw a refocussing of Surface Duo 'for Business' and also launches in many world markets, and since then we've had updates, background chat, long term reviews, and more. No, the price hasn't come down, no, we still don't have review hardware in the UK, yes, it still runs Android, but here's a digest of all sorts of Surface Duo bits spotted in the week. Buckle up.
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.
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.