Recent News - Software

Twitter UWP gets huge Settings overhaul

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Twitter keeps on improving its UWP application with server side (it's a PWA under the hood) changes and this month's update hit yesterday, with a complete overhaul of the Settings hierarchy. It's, dare I say it, a little Windows Phone-esque now! Twitter is perhaps the flagship social network for W10M in these last days for the OS, so here's what's new, updated and fixed!

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Windows 10 (Mobile) Maps loses traffic access

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I'd normally put this down to a glitch, but traffic data has now been patchy or missing completely in multiple countries for over a week. So, in Windows 10 Mobile, if you head into Maps and plan a route you'll get 'Traffic info isn't available'. It looks like this is simply W10M falling off Microsoft's radar in that a server was changed at their end and the out-of-support Mobile was left stranded. In other news, traffic has stopped working properly in HERE Maps/Drive+ on ye olde Windows Phone 8.1 too. A sad day for Windows phone travellers, methinks.

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UWP apps start slipping from Windows 10 Mobile compatibility

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We've seen Windows 10 Mobile itself lapse from official support (January 2020), we've seen some top apps and services stop working altogether (e.g. Whatsapp, December 2019), and now we're seeing some well known Windows 10 applications compiled such that the minimum Windows branch number is above that which W10M ended on (15254). As a result, some are slipping from the Store and can't be reinstalled. Though not all - the situation is more complex than that, as you'll see below.

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Winsta (Instagram) UWP gets a big '3.0' rewrite

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Winsta UWP (an Instagram client for Windows on phones) has seen numerous updates over the last couple of years, constantly pushing the boundaries in terms of what Instagram features are supported and constantly fixing things which break because of changes at Insta's end. And we now have a big new, shiny v3.0, much of which is a rewrite and involves architecture changes to make Winsta more future-proof.

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(Android) Phone-PC integration moves forward with latest Your Phone announcements

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The original Microsoft vision was to bring as much of Windows to phones as possible, even extending phones to Continuum desktops to run 'as' PCs. Sadly, they gave up on Windows 10 Mobile and had to shift to plan B. Or C, depending on how you're counting(!) Regardless, Microsoft has been pressing forward with their 'Your Phone Companion' (Link to Windows) software for a couple of years now, buoyed up by a developing partnership with Android phone manufacturer Samsung. With the launch of the latter's Note 20 range yesterday, extra integration features were announced - see below for some interesting animations, demonstrating how it works.

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PAWA gets its (possibly) last major update

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PAWA has been a staple here for fans of PWAs, i.e. Progressive Web Aapplications, as being implemented by many companies around the world for their mobile web sites. Edge already runs most of these PWAs under Windows 10 Mobile, with PAWA facilitating their launch without the typical Edge URL bar and other browser 'furniture'. But now a wider range of PWAs should be accessible, thanks to support for telling the relevant sites that you're using an Android or iOS device (even if you're not!) and, with this new major update, the facility to store which user agent you want used on which PWA. Pretty cool.

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Microsoft switches out HERE maps for TomTom, what's the Mobile impact?

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The story so far: HERE Maps (née Nokia Maps, then Navteq) provided all the map data for the mapping and car navigation in Windows Phone for years*. Windows 10 brought a first party mapping client from Microsoft, but using all the HERE map data under the hood, on Desktop and Mobile. But over the last few years Microsoft has been getting cosier with TomTom, a rival map (and traffic data) supplier, and has now announced that future map updates will come from TomTom. Details below, plus I muse on how this affects Windows 10 Mobile and 'Windows 10 Maps' on our phones.

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Unigram Mobile Messenger (Telegram) debuts

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Telegram is an increasingly popular Internet messaging service, one that's fully encrypted, has no limits or fees, one which encourages groups and communities, and one which has nothing to do with Google or Facebook. And, on Windows 10 Mobile, we did have an excellent client, Unigram UWP, last featured here. But the developer has moved on to PC-only builds on more recent branches of Windows, so developer 'abaculi' has taken the code from Unigram UWP and rebuilt it into a separate application, Unigram Mobile Messenger.

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