How To

Starting about ten days ago, reports that Samsung was pushing out Windows Phone 8.1 Update for ATIV S users began circulating the 'nets. We have our own ATIV S here in the house, which is an unbranded UK release, and were not able to get any such update. Instead, we are stuck on Windows Phone 8.0 GDR3 (Build 10517; Firmware 2424.13.10.1).

As it turns out, a very select few ATIV S users are getting Windows Phone 8.1 Update (Build 14157; Firmware 2424.14.9.3), which is splendid news. The bad news is it is isolated to specific regions like Austria and maybe Hong Kong.

Samsung ATIV S devices released through carriers and most other areas are not seeing the update yet, although obviously this can change. Let me try and explain and give you the full story.

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Windows Phone users currently do not have an official YouTube application, but there are third-party apps available. One of those awesome apps is Tubecast, which we've recently reviewed. If you haven't installed it yet, you definitely should. It has an amazing feature that lets you "cast" videos from your phone to the Xbox One. Don't believe us? We'll show you how it works.

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Beginners' Tips Series!

One of the many conveniences that the Windows family of products offers is the ability to receive notifications from apps on your Lock screen. These Lock screen notifications appear under the time and date on your device and give you a quick glimpse of any new emails, updates, events, etc. The notifications await your acknowledgement without having to log in and open any apps.

In Windows, you are limited to a total of seven apps that can notify you via the Lock screen, while Windows phone keeps it to a maximum of five. Since some apps come with Lock screen notifications enabled by default, you could find yourself running out of options. So we threw together this quick guide on how to choose which applications appear on your Lock screen.

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You've probably heard that Microsoft released its first build update to Windows 10 Technical Preview today, which adds the Action Center and Battery Saver, amongst other things.

It is the first of what will be many updates to come. In fact, there's already a small patch out for the build that was just released today. For that reason, it may be helpful to know how to go about upgrading your version of Windows 10 to the latest release.

Here's how.

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Microsoft's Cortana is winning the hearts and minds of users lucky enough to have the personal assistant on their Windows Phone. One feature we know people would really like to have is the ability for Cortana to read out notifications for incoming alerts. For instance, imagine if Cortana could announce a phone call and even the person calling when your phone rings.

Redditor clang_ley has made your dream one-step closer to reality by creating 19 Cortana ringtones and notifications hosted on their OneDrive account. The notifications range from various email scenarios, like work or school, to Facebook and Skype messages. The MP3 clips say things like 'Somebody messaged you on Facebook' or 'Chief, someone is calling you' all in Cortana's distinctive voice.

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Beginners' Tips Series!

Now, more than ever before, people have tons of data about themselves stored online. We have information in emails, bank accounts, social media, and countless other places. And at no other time has all of this data been more at risk.

While we cannot prevent the Targets and Home Depots of the world from being breached and exposing our credit card data, there are some measures that we can take in to help secure our information.

One of the easiest and most effective ways of doing that is by setting up two-step verification in our online accounts, like our Microsoft account.

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How to send drawings on Skype for Windows Phone

On Monday, Skype added drawings to their Windows Phone app. You can draw on empty canvas, add scribbles to a photo, or even add markers on a map. There were other updates too, including sign-in improvements, HD screen support, and faster resume time, but drawings stand out. Not sure how to do it with the new update? Don't worry. We'll show you in this video.

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Advanced Tip Series!

There has been a tremendous outpouring of comments on Windows 10 Technical Preview, both positive and negative. Some people have had a lot of luck running it while others have run into problem after problem. When you're dealing with a software preview, that's just the nature of the beast.

You may be one of the technical daredevils that boldly loaded Windows 10 on your Surface Pro 3. You may also be one of those sad souls who now regret that decision. If you fell into the second category and neglected to heed all the warnings about creating recovery media for your device, Windows 10 install has almost certainly wiped out the recovery partition on your Surface. This missing recovery partition makes an easy return to Windows 8 impossible.

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As people continue to use the Windows 10 Technical Preview, they are identifying subtle differences between it and its predecessor. One such feature that seems to be a double-edged sword is the Home folder in the File Explorer. When clicked, the Home folder displays a list of your File Explorer Favorites, folders that you frequent, and your recently-accessed files. It is the last two that have people questioning whether the Home folder is a good or bad idea.

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Beginners' Tips Series!

My Surface Pro 3 has quickly become the device I use most often. And since what I do on it is typically limited to writing, crawling the web and communicating with people, my demand for storage is not very high. However, I always make sure that I have plenty of music on my Surface, which can take up a lot of space.

When deciding on which version of the Surface I was going to buy I knew I wanted an Intel i5 processor, which left me with 128GB and 256GB for hard drive options. From a storage perspective, it was a no-brainer for me to go with the 128GB drive. Knowing full well that I could increase the amount of storage at any given time by taking advantage of the Surface's microSD card slot helps with that decision.

Considering I already had a 64GB microSD card sitting at home, it was a decision that saved me $300 over the 256GB model.

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Beginner's Tips Series!

About a year ago, I decided to move away from using Gmail as my primary email address, in favor of Outlook.com. I initially considered it way back at the end of 2012 when Google decided it was going to drop support for Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), but I had been using Gmail for over a decade and was, frankly, just too lazy. Finally, after growing more and more concerned about the privacy of my email data, I bit the bullet and made the switch.

Though I had been using Gmail for so long, the transition was generally painless. One of the most important things that I needed to transfer over, was my list of Contacts. Thankfully, that too, was very straightforward.

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In case you missed it, Creative Studio has just been updated to bring back Color Pop. This feature lets you create black and white images with the exception of certain objects. If done correctly, you can come up with some awesome photos. I walked around New York City today and took some photos with the Lumia 1520. Check out some of the images I've created and my 5 tips with Color Pop.

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Beginner's Tips Series!

Previously, we took a look at different methods of creating screenshots on the Surface Pro 3 and other Windows 8 devices, some of which automatically saved to a subfolder in the Pictures directory called Screenshots. This folder gets created the first time you use the Home (Windows) button + Down Volume to make a screen grab and becomes the default folder going forward.

You may decide that for ease of use or organizational purposes that you want to change the default folder where these files are saved. If that is the case, fear not, you can easily change it. Furthermore, this procedure is not limited to your Screenshots folder. It will work with just about any of your default folders, like Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos. However, for the sake of continuity, we will stick with the Screenshots folder.

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Four different ways to do a Windows 8 screenshot

Beginner's Tips Series!

There are tons of reasons why you might want to capture an image on your Surface Pro 3, or other Windows 8 computer. Maybe you want to preserve a pic of your high score for posterity. Perhaps your IT guy won't accept "My Outlook isn't working" as a legitimate gripe and wants a screenshot of the error message. Or just maybe, you write for a technology website and often find yourself needing images when creating "How To's" for your readers.

Whatever the reason, Windows 8 makes is super easy to getting a pic of your screen. If you are new to Windows 8.1 or have a Surface Pro 3, you may be wondering what your screenshot options are, so we break 'em down for you.

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Today, Microsoft unveiled their Windows Technical Preview for the new Windows 10 operating system. There are obviously plenty of questions from users about upgrading to the Preview, and one of those has to deal with the Modern Start Screen.

If like me, you installed the Technical Preview but you would like to get back the Modern Start Screen, here is a quick and easy way to make that happen.

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When the World Cup ended, I became highly interested in watching more football (soccer) games. Friends who follow football more than me said I have to check out the English Premier League (premierleague.com). I'm in luck because NBC here in the United States has acquired rights to broadcast all the games. Their app, NBC Sports Live Extra, is also available on Windows Phone so you can stream the games live or watch replays and highlights.

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