Recent Features

In hindsight... Microsoft really SHOULD have stuck with Windows for Surface Duo

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Yes, yes, we at AAWP said this all along - Windows 10 Mobile was in pretty good shape by 2017 and was the obvious choice for the dual-screened 'Andromeda' project that was taking shape (also wistfully referred to here as 'Surface Phone' sometimes). The two big challenges were adaptation for two displays and the absence of some big name third party applications. Microsoft solved these by switching OS and going with Android, but in hindsight, amidst two years of excitement about Windows on ARM (including 10X), maybe it would have been better to have stuck with Windows after all?

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How to: get Microsoft's Over-the-cable Updater working again

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Internet security protocols evolve over time and this can scupper older platforms and their support tools. In this case it's Microsoft's rather handy Over-the-cable Updater utility. This runs with a command line interface under Windows and - in theory - updates any Windows phone (8.1 or 10) to the latest officially supported OS/firmware version. Very useful over the years, but security (TLS) changes at Microsoft's end have broken it - and it seems there's no hope at this stage of Microsoft fixing the tool to work seamlessly with the newer Internet security. Hence this slightly geeky workaround.

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Battery life in old Lumias - WP8.1 to the rescue in 2021

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Regular guest author Nico brings us a look at using old Windows Phone 8.1 Lumias in 2021, in defiance of the Microsoft service removals. He concentrates on the battery advantages on staying with 8.1 rather than accepting (or hacking on) a Windows 10 Mobile 'upgrade', but he also gives a good flavour of what still works for him. In Nico's case, a Lumia 1320. A useful data point for others with older hardware - and, in this case, software!

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4 years on - the verdict on HMD's version of 'Nokia'

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The Nokia name has had a rough time over the last two decades, from market dominance in the early 2000s to an unsuccessful chase after the bottom end of the smartphone market with Windows Phone in the early 2010s - and then into oblivion between 2014 and 2016 after the sale of the business to Microsoft. But Finland-based HMD acquired the rights to the Nokia name in 2016 and announced its first Android-running smartphone in 2017 - four years ago. Long enough to form a verdict on HMD's performance with the brand...

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Mobile MicroSD Musings - and the iPhone zeitgeist

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It's a debating point as old as the hills... Should smartphones have storage expansion slots (e.g. microSD)? From earliest Symbian days to the era of Windows Phone and now Android and iOS, the answer varies according to which manufacturer and model you look at, together with the price point involved. Let's look at the pros... and the cons.

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Steve's Top 10 phone-related gadgets/accessories

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Yes, yes, a personal Top 10 - and yours will no doubt be very different. But here goes anyway - at the very least it might give you some good ideas (and links). We love our smartphones. And we love our gadgets. So let's link the two up, with gadgets and accessories that help the smartphone work better. Much, much better. Powered, connected, productive.

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Camera battle: Lumia 1020 vs iPhone 12 Pro Max (pt2)

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Following my initial imaging battle between the PureView champion and the new iPhone 12 Pro Max, in which the latter triumphed by a small margin, I promised a 'part 2', this time using the iPhone in its new ProRAW mode, in which you get the best of both worlds - modern multi-frame HDR and yet perfect pixel purity, with no populist enhancements. This should present the toughest challenge yet for the venerable 1020...

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'Your Phone' vs Samsung DeX for Windows

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Last week I looked at how Microsoft's Your Phone system had been evolving over the last 12 months, but I did tease that I wanted to compare it to Samsung's DeX for Windows (or Mac) - both seem to offer functions that have overlap, to say the least. Having established that Your Phone's core features can be helpful but that the concept isn't exactly foolproof or mainstream, is DeX for Windows (or Mac) any better?

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By popular demand: Camera battle: Lumia 1020 vs iPhone 12 Pro Max (pt1)

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I've done a number of Lumia vs iPhone imaging battles in recent years, but one that keeps getting requested is the classic 2013 Lumia 1020 (running the original Windows Phone 8.1) against the new top end imaging monster, the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Original PureView against seven years of sensor, stabilisation, and processor development. I've a feeling the 1020 might not pull this one back, despite this Flow recently. But let's see the margin, shall we...

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'Your Phone' in 2021: What is it, is it finished, who's it for?

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Microsoft's 'Your Phone' software, now effectively built into Windows (in that you're prompted to 'link your phone' when first signing into Windows on a PC), has been evolving nicely through 2019 and 2020, see the linked stories below. But it's not quite a 'slam dunk' yet, partly due to mobile platform limitations, partly because it still feels a little like a solution to a problem that few people have in the real world...

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