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.
Recent News - General
As of a few days ago, Microsoft killed the Windows Device Recovery Tool (WDRT) on their servers. As I write this you can't download the Windows application and if you try to run an installed copy of WDRT then it fails at the first hurdle when trying to check 'home' for a possible application update. The good news is that there's a patched version of the tool that still works just fine - at your own risk, of course! UPDATE: Now restored at Microsoft's end.
Last week saw a refocussing of Surface Duo 'for Business' and also launches in many world markets, and since then we've had updates, background chat, long term reviews, and more. No, the price hasn't come down, no, we still don't have review hardware in the UK, yes, it still runs Android, but here's a digest of all sorts of Surface Duo bits spotted in the week. Buckle up.
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...
It's turning into a bit of a scribbling week - after my look at what you can do with an ultra-mobile PC like the Surface Go and the Surface Pen a few days ago, we now have the debut of a new Microsoft Garage tool, Journal - useable with touch and a finger, but even better with a stylus/pen. Summary: Journal is off to a slightly rough start, but the page-based approach is intuitive and it has potential.
Admittedly not applying anymore to Windows 10 Mobile, but Windows 10 Camera (for example, for the Surface Go, which is evidently a mobile device of sorts) today acquired a bunch of extra useful modes for the professional. The new modes are 'powered by Office Lens', coinciding rather neatly with the demise of the latter as a standalone application. Admittedly you don't get all the OCR-in-the-cloud functionaity, but you do get the auto-crop and auto-contrast optimisations. See the examples below.