Last featured here back in November 2017, Whatsapp is a stalwart Windows Phone 8.1 application that has been continually updated month after month, year after year. And, on the whole, keeping parity with the versions of this messaging tool on iOS and Android. Below, I attempt a changelog summary of everything added so far in 2018.
Recent News - Services
Last covered here, a month ago, Twitter's new PWA app status on many platforms has meant that the company has been able to roll out updates server-side. And a big one hit last night, with the Explore 'tab' now much expanded and with Twitter's 'Moments' now scrolling vertically, which is more intuitive and consistent. All good, though the big downside of using PWA tech for the Windows 10 UWP app is that there are no push notifications (anymore).
The world of Internet services moves at a pace and it's not surprising that older platforms don't get on fully with the latest services and APIs. In this case it's the official Twitter client for Windows Phone 8.1 that has stopped working - we did know that this might happen at the start of June, according to Twitter's own announcements. You'll remember that they replaced their (also quite old) UWP application with an all-encompassing PWA in the Store a few months ago? Don't panic if you're on 8.1 though, third party clients come to the rescue.
It's no secret in the Windows 10 world that Maps has its share of issues - one of which is horribly outdated map data in some countries and one of which is that the online 'quick match' search results aren't (ironically) matched up to the format of place names in the offline maps, resulting in 'We can't find' errors on the very thing you just accepted. Happily, this is now sorted out, as of a server-side fix applied a few hours ago.
As we approach April's Patch Tuesday updates (ok, they've been a day or two late in recent times, but...!), it's worth noting that this one will be the last ever patch for 'Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Update'. Which is massive in theory, but it won't impact too many real world users, especially those clued up phone users who read AAWP, as I explain below.
Following our criticism of the outdated maps used in Windows 10 Maps, Microsoft has now got back to AAWP officially, so see the statement below. Summary? They know that the licensed HERE maps are stale, but there have been some fundamental platform updates which required rework, and they hope to be back on track by the 'summer' (of 2018).
Around six months ago, Microsoft quoted "28 months" as the supported period for each Windows 10 branch, but this figure seems to have been somewhat nebulous and - recently - truncated, judging from the official web site as it is now. At various points (I have screenshot proof), support has been "42 months", then "28 months", and now "18 months". Which is fair enough for the Desktop, but slightly more critical for Mobile...
With the switch/focus at Microsoft away from Windows 10 Mobile 'Insiders' test builds, using these rings to try out advance versions of core UWP applications is also now outdated. Or so evidence from the Microsoft Store suggests.
Well, it didn't take a rocket scientist to see this one coming. Back when the Windows 10 Mobile-running HP Elite x3 was launched, it came with a custom virtualisation solution from HP (actually layered on top of Frame), the idea being that employees out and about could then run enterprise Win32 applications remotely on their Continuum display or HP Lap Dock. But Workspace was slow, clunky and expensive... and now no more.
Hold on... News? NEWS? It's not really, and I'm in severe danger of abusing my position at AAWP just to rant at Microsoft. But in this case they deserve it. One of the central first party applications is broken and I've run out of other ways to bring this to the world's attention. [Update: we now have a workaround!]