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 - Industry
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.
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...
Back in the day (2013), the (Finnish) Nokia Lumia 1020 launched with the PD-95G, a grip accessory that clamped onto the back and bottom of the phone to provide a chunky DSLR-style grip. It came complete with 'pro-grade' shutter button and, interestingly, a built-in power bank (though not a very big one) to help keep the 1020 going, but the core idea was to enhance creativity by making the Lumia feel like a DSLR. And the idea just made a come back, albeit for Apple iPhones, thanks to the (Norwegian) 'Fjorden' system, just launched on Kickstarter. See the demos here, it looks superbly thought out so far, with just two caveats for me personally, of which more below.
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.
Just a small PSA for anyone planning on bringing their Android/Samsung Cloud media (photos/videos/general files) to Microsoft's OneDrive - this has been in the works for months but you now only have 10 days left, as I write this, before the migration ceases to be possible. Samsung had been touting its own Cloud as the best media/file backup destination, but we're now down to the big three - Google Photos, Apple iCloud, and Microsoft OneDrive. As a bonus, you get an extra 15GB of the latter for a year if you trigger the migration.
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.
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.
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...