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.
Recent News - Microsoft
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.
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.
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.
For anything which can run full-on Windows 10, a significant new UI and services element just hit the Dev Channel (my Surface Pro is on this, hence the screenshots below). See also the quote from Microsoft about this - adding weather and more to the taskbar is a nice touch providing one has the screen real estate.
A day later than planned, but Microsoft has now thrown the server-side switch on Office Lens as a separate app on both Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 Desktop. From now on, it's a service inside the likes of Office (for all platforms). Which makes sense in a way and it's nice to have it integrated, but I for one will miss it as a general purpose OCR and archival tool. See below for links, quotes and screenshots.
Having been a fan of the Continuum/DeX lapdocks from NexDock, I've reviewed the '2' (2019) - and the 'Touch' (2020). But it seems that Covid-19 logistics and the boom in laptop sales worldwide have got in the way of a continued run of the latter. Making both my NexDock Touch a somewhat limited edition(!) and meaning that NexDock have had to change tack in terms of form factor. They've kept touch as a feature, but evolved the lapdock concept into a wrap-around form factor, with the NexDock 360 due to ship in March 2021. See below for details.
We've covered the Surface Duo ('Surface Phone') quite a bit on AAWP, but this is the last coverage until we actually get one in... well, 2021, when the Duo 2 starts to leak, since that will be the one for the UK and world markets, with NFC for tap-to-pay, etc. But I did think it was worth rounding up the USA reviews of the first Surface Duo, since the embargo on these just lifted. See below for typical videos and verdicts.