Tips

While Windows 10 is still a preview and months away from final release (aka RTM), Microsoft's upcoming operating system is already taking shape with tons of new features and improvements. Every day more people are becoming part of the Windows Insider program to get a taste of what's to come later this summer, when Microsoft launches Windows 10 to the public.

As such, we thought we would share 10 of the most useful tips every Windows Insider should know to get started with Windows 10 Technical Preview.

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One of the benefits of using the Chrome browser (and Firefox) is the ability to install extensions to add unique functionality to the browser. One of them is a QR code generator for the Windows Phone Store. We have covered a similar extension before, but it stopped working after the Store switched to HTTPS.

Now, a new developer by the name of George Schizas has shared his updated version of the extension, which is, of course, free.

The extension is simple: navigate to the Windows Phone Store web site on your PC, and whichever app you are looking at, a corresponding QR code is generated.

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Happy holidays to everyone! At this time of year gifts are given and gifts are received, and that includes smartphones, tablets and all manner of other techy products. If you were lucky enough to be gifted a new Windows Phone, then we're here to help you get the best out of it. If it's your first, then welcome!

But whether you're new to the platform or returning with a newer device, here's everything you need to know to get up and running with the best experience on your new Windows Phone.

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As Microsoft and the Cortana team continue to refine the powerful AI and assistant, more features are slowly popping up online. A new one noticed by numerous people in our audience is definitions, powered by Oxford Dictionaries.

Load up Cortana and directly ask her 'What does _____ mean?' alternatively, 'What is the meaning of ____?' and the personal assistant from 500 years in the future pulls up a nice little card, complete with the word category and multiple definitions while exclaiming "I've found the meaning of…".

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The most recent update to the evolving Skype client for Windows Phone brought location sharing, a useful feature if you use Skype for frequent peer to peer messaging.

Users can just tap the '+' sign and instead of sharing a photo, they can choose their position, creating a little map and a hyperlinked address within the chat. Tapping that address brings up a full-screen map and you can then use the up arrow icon near the top to send to the Windows Phone mapping system to get directions to the location.

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Data Sense is a vital Windows Phone 8.1 tool for many who like to keep track of how much data their phone consumes each month. Even more, the gizmo gives users the ability to restrict background data when roaming, set data limits, and see which apps grabs the most data.

Earlier this week, Microsoft released a companion app for Data Sense called IE Data Savings. The app taps into Data Sense but gives users a more detailed analysis of their Internet Explorer web usage. The app is free, and it should work all phones with the Windows Phone 8.1 OS installed.

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Earlier this morning, the Nokia Developer Team tweeted out some information regarding developer devices getting Lumia Cyan. The Lumia 920 is now getting Lumia Cyan, with the Lumia 620 getting it next week and the Lumia 820 in early September. Good news, right?

Unfortunately, a few fan blogs took this news to mean that phones enrolled with the Preview for Developers program are now getting the Lumia Cyan update, which is far from accurate.

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When it comes to the Surface Pro 3, you can never have enough battery life. One trick that I have found to help preserve mine may also give you some peace of mind, and it involves disabling the Type Cover's ability to wake up your Surface.

The trick just takes seconds to do, and it might make your Surface go the distance. Let me explain.

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One of the smaller, but very useful features in Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 is Network Time Protocol (NTP) support. If you run a PC, NTP is nothing new, it is simply the ability for the computer to ping the server and pulldown the time off the internet. (Wikipedia fact: It is one of the oldest internet protocols in use!)

However, Windows Phone did not support this, at least not until Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1.

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