Help and Howto

The Xbox One launched in Japan at the beginning of September this year. There it has struggled to against competition from the more popular Playstation 4 and declining interest in consoles from Japanese consumers. Despite those difficulties, Japanese software has started to trickle out for the Xbox One.

First there was the free Chaos;Child demo, and now the Xbox One even has an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) in Japan: Onigiri! The release of Onigiri is exciting because the game is free and not region locked. Anybody can download and start questing with friends, provided they don't mind a little legwork and a lot of Japanese text. We're here to help with a full guide to downloading and getting started in Onigiri, complete with video!

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Every week we do a fun photography contest in the Windows Central forums. Each week we go with a different theme and get so many good entries into the contest. But without fail we also have a handful of readers who aren't sure on how to submit their photos from Windows Phone into the forums. Here's how you can use the excellent forum app Tapatalk to enter our weekly photo contests!

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Beginners' Tips Series!

Xbox One is more than just a game console. It is an entertainment hub for games, television, music, and videos. And although the available apps put a ton of media at your fingertips, you can get even more out of your Xbox One by configuring it to play your own music and video collection with it.

You can stream via Play (Charms > Devices > Play), but today we will walk you through the networked approach, which assumes you have computers sharing the same network. There are two primary ways to do this. The first is to stream your media from your computer or tablet, and the second is to play it directly off of a USB drive. Today we will review how to do both. The beauty of this method over the Play system is you can do it all from your couch via the Xbox One, instead of sending the video from a PC to your console.

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Microsoft's Cortana is certainly one of the most exciting consumer stories for the company in 2014. Building on the legacy of the Halo franchise, Cortana is rapidly becoming a well-known piece of tech for those who follow mobile. However, Cortana still has a few bugs and quirks, including one that is rearing its head for users in New England today.

If you use Cortana and you have weather alerts set up, you probably have witnessed the flood of…well, flood alerts that arrive on your phone. Although one or two warnings are okay during a six-hour period, when you bump it to more than five (and upwards of twenty) it is downright annoying. Even more so if you use the Microsoft Band.

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When the Surface Pro 3 was announced, Microsoft had righted many wrongs with the previous version of the hardware. Faster, more processor choices, thinner, lighter, larger display, the list goes on.

However, one thing that irked some people who used the Surface Pen was the placement of the Windows Key. Due to the new keyboard positioning, placing the key near the bottom was simply not possible, so Microsoft opted to put it on the right. The downside? Some artists and graphic designers complained of accidental clicks when they laid their hands on the display to draw.

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Beginners' Tips Series!

Do you have the Type Cover for Surface Pro 3? If you said yes, we have a very quick tip for you. There's no dedicated screen brightness button, but you can still adjust the brightness with a couple of keyboard shortcuts. Simply press Fn + Del or the Fn + Backspace buttons. A screen brightness indicator pops up on the top left corner of the screen. You can play with the slider to continue adjusting the screen brightness.

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Beginners' Tips Series!

One of the many features that is alluring about the Surface Pro 3 is its incredible stylus with OneNote integration. It in a convenient way to take notes in meetings or jot down ideas, and then transform your writing into type.

While the Surface Pro 3 is splendid at recognizing handwriting out of the box, it can be an imperfect science, as writing varies from person to person. Not to mention that writing on a tablet takes some practice, if it is not something you are used to doing, so that can affect the form of your handwriting.

But just like you can learn how to write on a Surface, the Surface Pro 3 can learn to recognize your handwriting. Training your Surface Pro 3 takes a little bit of time, but it is worth doing.

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Beginners' Tips Series!

The days of having a single family computer that everyone shares are long gone. Now it isn't uncommon to find multiple computers, tablets, printers, gaming consoles, etc. all in one household. With so many users and devices in a single place, it may seem like sharing data between them might be a challenge.

Fortunately, you don't have to be a network engineer to figure out how to get Microsoft devices all talking to each other and sharing data. With HomeGroups, it's easy to set up.

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6 tips to extend the battery life on your Microsoft Band

The Microsoft Band has been advertised of having 48 hours battery life, but that can vary significantly depending on your settings, usage, and other factors. On the days we track workouts or runs, and sleep, we find the Band to last until about lunchtime the next day. Want to extend the battery life on your Microsoft Band? Here are some tips that can help you out. These tips include turning off some features when you aren't using them and other settings that can save battery.

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No matter how technically savvy you consider yourself to be, there's always a good chance you will come across something that you just don't know anything about. For instance, a few of us at Windows Central were chatting online, and someone asked what S/MIME is and whether they should enable in their email settings on their Windows phone.

Having worked in IT for a number of years, I had heard the term S/MIME before. However, I didn't know nearly enough about it to answer the questions. Immediately, we all agreed that it was a good idea for a post. What you now have before you is an attempt to explain what S/MIME is and help guide you in deciding if it is something you should use on your Windows phone.

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How to change the background of your Xbox One Dashboard

The Xbox One November system update has begun rolling out over a week ago and one of the new features let you customize your console even more. Each account on your Xbox One can now have a customized background. You can choose a custom color as a theme or achievement art as your background image. You can also use your own image. Want to know how? Watch our how-to video.

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7 steps to make amazing videos with Movie Creator Beta

I've been playing with the newly released Movie Creator Beta and I'm surprised at how good it is for quick and easy editing. You can add videos, photos or Cinemagraph content files together with no length limitations. I shot some videos from Color Me Rad (colormerad.com) a few months ago, but they've just been sitting idle inside my Lumia Icon. With Movie Creator, I was able to create a movie from those clips in just few minutes.

Here are some of my tips to make an incredible video with Movie Creator.

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Buying a new device like a Surface Pro 3 is a significant decision. Not only is it a substantial financial commitment, but there are many other questions that come along with it. Which configuration should you get? What accessories are "must haves" from the start?

Today, we want to answer another question: Is it worth buying the extended Microsoft Complete warranty?

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HaloFest is happening tonight. Microsoft and 343 Industries are kicking off the launch of the Master Chief Collection for Xbox One with HaloFest. They're also going to use the opportunity to give you your first look at the Halo 5: Guardians, present the world premier of the digital series Halo: Nightfall and exclusive interviews from the folks behind Halo. Here's how you're going to watch it across phone, tablet, PC and TV.

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The Microsoft Band tracks your steps automatically. You can see this number from the main tile. Keep pressing the action button until you see the shoe icon. You can use the number of steps to measure the progress against your goals. By default, the Microsoft Band sets the goal at 5,000 steps. We'll show you how to change (increase) that goal. Watch our how-to video.

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Yesterday, the popular messaging service WhatsApp had two updates: one was server side and the other was an actual app update. Although bugs and fixes were listed in the changelog, as it turns out much was included than previously thought.

WhatsApp now included detailed 'seen' and 'read' information for messages you sent to either individuals or groups. In fact, for groups it will show who read the message and at what time, alongside who has not yet read your message (but the time it was delivered to them).

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How to share your Xbox One game clips on Twitter

It's now a lot easier to share your favorite Xbox One game clips on Twitter. One of the new features available on the November Update is Twitter integration. You can try this now if you're a member of the Xbox One preview program. If you need an invite, just ask in the comments. We have plenty of Windows Central readers here that can help you out. Want to see the Twitter integration in action? Watch our how-to video.

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How to track a workout with the Microsoft Band

One of the main features of the Microsoft Band is workout tracking. Any physical activity such as playing basketball, your favorite workout routine, or just walking the dog can be recorded. You can view your stats so you can see if there needs to be changes in your routine. Check out our hands-on video to see how it works.

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How to factory reset the Microsoft Band

If you need to start over, switch phones, or trying to solve a problem, you'll have to factory reset the Microsoft Band. Don't worry. The process is very simple. You also won't lose the data that you've already synced to the cloud. Follow these steps to bring your Microsoft Band back to how it was out of the box.

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How to get your iTunes music on your Windows phone

Beginners' Tips Series!

Let's say that you have been an iPhone user for some time and recently decided to dip your toe into the Windows Phone waters. Chances are that one of the first things you want to do is get all of your music onto your new phone.

As an iPhone user, you either downloaded all of your music directly your device from iTunes, or moved it onto it by using the iTunes desktop application. Now what? You have all these tunes sitting in an application that doesn't know what a Windows phone is.

This situation was bound to happen, so Microsoft put together an easy way to pull your music and playlists from iTunes and onto your Windows phone.

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