How To

I feel so embarrassed right now. I've had the Xbox One for about 3 months, and I just learned that the Kinect microphone has been on while playing multiplayer games. I assumed that no one could hear me when the headset isn't connected. This means other people may have heard things that I didn't want them to hear. Don't make the same mistake. Turn off that Kinect microphone.

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How to set an alarm with Cortana

Cortana knows how to sing. She can also tell jokes. She can do a lot of other things, but one feature that we frequently use is setting the alarm. Some of you may know how to do this already, but continue reading if this is new to you. Watch our how-to video after the break.

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We absolutely love MixRadio, even after the recent removal of the Nokia branding. If you haven't heard of it by now, it's a streaming music service that brings you free, personalized music with no advertising. There are hundreds of handcrafted mixes available, so you might even find new favorite artists.

One of MixRadio's key features is offline mixes. You can save your favorite mixes for offline playback so you can listen even without an internet connection. Want to know how to do it? Head past the break to watch the tutorial.

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Gameplay videos are really popular on YouTube especially the ones with commentary. It's a fact that many people love watching them. For example, you might have heard of PewDiePie who makes $4 million a year sharing gameplay videos on YouTube with his 27 million subscribers. Want to start sharing your own Xbox One gameplay videos on Youtube? We'll show you how to do it without buying additional hardware or accessories.

Head past the break to watch the tutorial!

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The World Cup is in full swing after host country Brazil defeated Croatia in the opening match. There's an entire month of football action remaining with the 2014 final taking place on July 13. Yesterday Abby showed you all a bunch of great apps and tricks to stay current with the 2014 FIFA World Cup on your Windows Phone. Here's one more tip from the Windows Phone Central forums that we wanted to point out – how do add the World Cup 2014 schedule to your Windows Phone Calendar so that you never miss a game.

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Nokia's Living Images is a new feature coming to Windows Phone 8.1 and their Lumia Cyan firmware update for the high-end PureView devices, like the Lumia 1020, Lumia 1520, Icon and so forth. Living Images captures a few seconds before you snap a photo, so that when you're browsing through your Camera Roll or StoryTeller, your photos come alive. It's like Cinemagraph, but without having to think, as it just works automatically.

A Nokia Camera Beta update a few weeks ago introduced Living Images, but no one could use it without the Cyan firmware. Even those with a Lumia 630 can't use it as that device is not PureView. But I started getting tips from people who had Living Images enabled, though they didn't know how it happened. Finally, Jason in our comments explained a simple trick to get it working, at least mostly.

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Being on a US carrier has quite a few downsides, from high data costs to exclusive Lumia phones, it can be a drudgery. We can add a new one to the mix today too: carrier-branded apps that are outdated.

This morning I wrote about the new Slacker Radio 2.0 update, which brings a new UI and improvements to the app for the first time since 2013. But if you’re on Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint or AT&T, searching for Slacker Radio brings you to their old, outdated branded version. Lame. Luckily, I’ve managed to get the apps to download and install, bypassing the carrier blockage.

Here’s how.

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So you decided to bring your Xbox along with you on your road trip, so you could catch up on “Game of Thrones” or unwind with some Peggle 2 when your sight-seeing expedition had come to an end for the day. But when you fire up your console and try to connect to the Wi-Fi that you so easily hopped on with your phone or laptop, you realize that it isn’t quite as simple with your Xbox. The reason: You cannot log in or accept the terms and conditions via your browser, like you can on your other devices.

Fear not, traveler, for not all is lost. Like the countless roads under construction in Massachusetts, there is a detour you can take to once again find your way to the internet. And all you will need is a phone, tablet or computer and a little bit of know-how.

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Back in the day, Microsoft had a neat little tool under settings called the Windows Experience Index (WEI). It rated the processor, RAM, graphics, gaming graphics and primary hard disk to give you an overall rating of your PC. It was a neat baseline tool used to compare and contrast different computers, with the higher overall score being obviously better. You could also diagnose your computer to see where the ‘weak’ spot was in performance.

That tool came out with Windows Vista and it disappeared in Windows 8.1, but there are a few ways to get it back. Scott Hanselman works on the Web Platform Team at Microsoft, but he also runs an informative personal blog dealing with technology. Last night he posted a neat little trick to get your results for the WEI.

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When we got our hands on the new Surface Pro 3 yesterday, Microsoft has already attached the Surface Pen to the new Type Cover. While it does a great job at securing the Pen, we’re not completely happy with the way it looks. Check out some of the other ways you can attach the Surface Pen to the Surface Pro 3. Head past the break to watch the video.

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The Lumia 630 is the first Windows Phone 8.1 device to go on sale in select markets this week and is also the first Dual SIM Windows Phone. The ability to use two SIM cards in one device has been a much requested feature amongst potential Windows Phone customers in certain markets like India.

Microsoft claims that the Smart Dual SIM implementation in Lumia 630 offers seamless switching to help people manage their contacts and communication with ease. While we’ll bring a comprehensive review of Lumia 630 here on Windows Phone Central soon, let’s have a walkthrough of the dual SIM experience on the device.

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We’ve had Windows Phone 8.1 for a handful of weeks, but we’re still learning new things all the time. Remember back on Windows Phone 8.0 and below how much of a pain it was to change your primary Microsoft account email? Adding an alias to your account and making it your primary required a hard reset of the phone to add it. That changes in Windows Phone 8.1. Today you can add an alias to your account and make it your primary without needing to change anything! Here’s how.

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One neat and understated feature of Windows Phone 8.1 is the ability to backup apps + settings. Previously, Windows Phone could restore apps, but your Start screen was left off of the restore point in addition to passwords, browser favorites and app configurations.

Now, with Windows Phone 8.1 users can finally restore all of that when jumping to a new phone or after hard resetting. Let’s take a quick look at how it works.

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A few weeks back, we reported on how the new SanDisk 128 GB micro SD card works on the Lumia 1520. Since that time, it has also been confirmed to work on the new ATIV SE from Samsung and even Nokia boasts it on their Lumia 630 page.

In other words, 128 GB cards are a ‘go’ on Windows Phone, should you be blessed with an expansion slot (cue rants for those without…now). I managed to get my hands on one of these elusive cards (they’re in high demand, short supply) and have successfully upgraded my Lumia 1520’s 64 GB to this 128 GB version.

Want to know how it went? Read on for some tips and what to expect if you choose to do the same!

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It’s an open secret that the old Xbox Music hub is still actually buried in the Windows Phone 8.1 OS, with the new version overriding it. Users have been bringing it back via an NFC trick, which works but it’s far from convenient. Now, a developer has taken the extra step and released a free app that lets you pin a direct link to the old version on your Start screen.

The app is named Music Hub Tile, and when initially launched it will let you pin either the green Music Tile or a transparent one to your Start screen. The transparent one though will cost you 99 cents via an in-app purchase, whereas the green is free.

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