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.
Recent News - Services
As reported almost a year ago, described then as a 'non-story', it's still really not that big a deal, but any line in the sand is worth noting, at least. As of today, Microsoft is stopping distributing app updates to Windows Phone 8.x or earlier devices in the on-device Store.
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.
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.
Last covered here back in March, Twitter keeps on improving its Twitter PWA, most easily accessed on Windows 10 Mobile through the official UWP Store application, even if the code changes are all server-side. Still, Twitter gets smoother and more functional week by week - it's the flagship social network for W10M these days, I'd argue. Here's what's new, updated and fixed.
With various scare stories being put forward over the weekend, I thought it appropriate to refute them with the aid of an informed tweet or two. The scare was that Microsoft wasn't going to update the Store client for Windows 10 Mobile anymore, potentially leading to something breaking earlier than planned. However, this didn't seem quite right, this early, and the dependable Rudy Huyn came to the rescue with an informed MVP viewpoint.
One of the interesting things about Microsoft's Groove Music player application for Windows 10 (whether for desktop or mobile) is that, in addition to local playback of music files on the device, it can also stream music files found on your OneDrive. Well, it can until April, after which Microsoft is killing the server hook-ups that let this happen. Why Microsoft is doing this is a mystery, especially since it hits Groove Music on their beloved PCs/desktops as well. As many have mentioned on social media, maybe Microsoft really does hate consumers? Now, are there workarounds?
Last November, I lambasted Microsoft for a lack of care in the coding of its Store updates, with various cosmetic and usability issues which have remained... until just now. Because all issues have been fixed with today's update for all Windows 10 Mobile phones. See below for screenshot proof!
Windows 10 Mobile and Cortana may not be quite as dead as some might think. We've still got a year of life and support left, and the last 24 hours saw the switching on of Cortana integration with newish 'wonder' app Microsoft To-Do (UWP), which itself has been getting updates every few weeks. The upshot is that you can now (e.g.) tell Cortana to add such and such a task "to your To-Do list".