While the release of Windows Vista was plagued with burden and its legacy was remembered as such, one excellent feature to rise out of the wreckage has served its way through Windows 7 up to current day Windows 8 operating systems. The feature that we are referring to is, of course, Microsoft’s BitLocker Drive Encryption – full disk encryption at the click of a button.
WARNING: Disk Encryption is a delicate process, please be sure to backup your data before beginning. WPCentral, Mobile Nations, Smartphone Experts are not responsible for any data loss caused by a failure to read instructions carefully or ignoring our recommendation to backup ALL of your data before beginning. Please be sure to read the entire article before beginning your encryption journey. If you have doubts about anything, please ask in the comments below before proceeding.
There will be a time in life when you need to block someone, be it a cold sales contact or someone who may be harassing you. Unfortunately, Windows Phone 8 doesn't currently have a built-in blocking feature to prevent numbers from sending messages to your smartphone, nor can the operating system halt calls in their tracks. But Microsoft did make tools for manufacturers to enable this feature, should they want to make it for their customers.
All of us here at Windows Phone Central use Bing for our day-to-day searches, and we are positive that most of our readers do also. For those of you who have installed the Google Search app onto your Windows Phone or Windows 8 machine, we will try not to judge you. Despite your choice of search engine, we reached out to the community to find out what your favorite Bing features are, and presented them in our beautiful typeface below.
Spring is quickly approaching and with the warm weather, everyone will start finding their way outdoors and our Windows Phone cameras will become more active. We’ll be shooting pics of flowers, the kids running around the back yard, little league ball games, vacation spots and other warm weather hot spots.
These photos are important to you and should something happen to your Windows Phone, you would want them backed up, right? Well, for those new to Windows Phone (and those who have forgotten) there is an easy way to back up your photos.
By Mark Guim, Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 10:04 am EDT
When choosing accent colors for your Windows Phone, you’re not going to see the color black. There’s still a way to get that color, though, and Windows Phone veterans probably know this trick already. Are you new to Windows Phone and want to know how? Head past the break and follow the steps in our video.
By Sam Sabri, Saturday, Mar 15, 2014 at 5:50 pm EDT
Using YouTube in Internet Explorer on Windows Phone 8 can be a bit of a pain. The mobile website is barebones and doesn’t work as well as it should. And as you know, YouTube has yet to release a competent native app for Windows Phone users. Their loss since we’re getting by fine with stellar apps like Metrotube and myTube.
However, every now and then you end up on YouTube in the browser. Maybe you clicked a link in a tweet or someone sent a link in an email. You’re now about to watch a YouTube video with poor playback controls and no option for 720p video. Or are you? Probably not if you’re a fan of Metrotube. You can now open YouTube links in Metrotube with minimal effort. Details on how below.
By Sam Sabri, Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 at 4:00 pm EDT
The Windows Phone Store has nearly every major music platform available, with the obvious exception of official iTunes or Google Play apps. You’ll find Xbox Music, Beats Music, Songza, Spotify, and more available to you as a Windows Phone (and probable Windows 8) user.
However odds are a lot of you are rocking out to Xbox Music on Windows Phone. It is of course the native music application available and built-in to Windows Phone 8. If you’re a power user you probably know the ins and outs of how Xbox Music works on both Windows Phone and Windows 8. If you’re not a power user, then this article is for you. Here’s how to create and manage playlists with Xbox Music on Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.
The Xbox One controller is one of the finest control pads ever designed. The same goes for the Titanfall Limited Edition Controller we just reviewed. But one flaw compared to Xbox 360 controllers is that Xbox One controllers don’t work on computers and tablets. Blame Microsoft, who have yet to release a PC driver even though it would take virtually no effort to do so.
Luckily, a hobbyist developer named Lucas Assis has developed a temporary Xbox One controller driver for Windows 7 and 8. It doesn't work on Windows RT, so this won't help regular Surface users. His solution requires the use of several companion programs (bundled with the driver) and a few quarts of elbow grease, but it does actually work. Until now, you’d have to endure a somewhat painful tutorial video in order to guide you through the process. Lucky for you guys, I’ve gone through that already so that we can bring you this easy-to-understand written guide!
When Microsoft released the Xbox One back in November of 2013, the console came without the ability to play multimedia from an external device, such as a flash drive. It seemed that the ultimate entertainment console would not be able to play any of your personal content and instead you would be locked to approve multimedia apps on the platform, but that is not the case.
By Mark Guim, Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 2:43 pm EDT
Losing your phone can be really annoying. Fortunately, Windows Phone has a free service called Find My Phone that can help you recover your phone. It even goes a step further by giving you options to lock or erase your phone from any computer.
Niche apps are always tough to write about. For some, they’re indispensable. To others, they don’t make sense. DayGlance is one of those apps, designed specifically for Lumia devices running Nokia’s Glance screen.
You may not have noticed, but Nokia’s Glance screen omits the date. Instead, it just shows the time and any notifications. While I understand the logic – keep it simple – for some, knowing the calendar day is important. Luckily DayGlance fills that gap by let users show the date in the notification bar.
By Mark Guim, Monday, Mar 10, 2014 at 12:39 pm EDT
There might be a situation in which you might have to reinstall apps you’ve already purchased from the Windows Phone Store. Perhaps, you just upgraded to another Window Phone device or you have accidentally deleted an app. You do not have to pay for them again. We’ll show you three ways to reinstall apps or games you've bought without paying for them again.
You've seen something awesome on your Windows Phone (perhaps a sunny day in England reported by a weather app) and you wish to share this screen with the world. Taking screenshots is super easy and fast (hold power and tap the Start key).
The only issue with taking screenshots on any Windows Phone, especially when wearing earphones and listening to music, is the camera shutter sound when an image has been saved. Luckily, there's an easy way to disable this audible alert.
Microsoft’s Bing search engine keeps getting better, especially with all the little refinements and new features that keep getting tacked on. One of those we were alerted to today is the new interactive calculator.
By Mark Guim, Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 10:20 am EST
Light paintings are made with moving light sources in front of a camera to create an image. You need long exposure so the camera can capture the flow of moving lights. Nokia’s latest video shows how an expert light painter does it, using the Nokia Lumia 1020 with Nokia Camera. They also share tips on how you can do it, too. Head past the break to watch the video.
By Sam Sabri, Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 12:00 pm EST
Xbox Music is the phoenix that rose from the ashes of Zune. As you know, Zune wasn’t just digital media hardware from Microsoft. It was an entire ecosystem of music and videos that went with you from your smartphone, to your desktop and to the browser. The entire Zune brand and marketplace was more or less killed off in late 2012 so that Microsoft could instead focus on building Xbox Music and Xbox Video.
Microsoft learned a lot from doing Zune. They made a few mistakes here and there, but overall there weren’t too many complaints from users about the service itself. It definitely laid the foundation for Xbox Music. You’ll even still see relics from Zune in Xbox Music, like that little heart button.
So you are new to Windows Phone, loaded a ton of apps and games on to your phone and now face a hard reset that will wipe out everything. Or even better, you bought a new Windows Phone. The good news is that all the apps and games you’ve purchased won’t have to be re-purchased, as those licenses are linked to your Microsoft Account. The better news is that you can backup your app listings to make re-installing things a lot easier.
While many of the seasoned Windows Phone users already know this, we have a few discussions going on in the Windows Phone Central Forums asking about re-installing apps and games after a hard reset. WPCentral reader WaseemAkram poses that very question in this forums discussion and several readers quickly stepped up to offer reassurances that he would not have to re-purchase all his apps and games.
By Mark Guim, Thursday, Feb 6, 2014 at 2:52 pm EST
We check out a lot of phones here at WPCentral, so we frequently switch where our SIM cards go. Many devices nowadays like the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1020 have SIM card trays that require pins to open. It can be frustrating when we lose them. Good luck asking around for one. Chances are, they aren’t carrying it.
We have one quick tip that will make it hard to lose your SIM card tray pin. Put it in your key ring!
Nokia Windows Phones are solid smartphones running Microsoft's mobile operating system and we've previously looked at how physically durable the devices are. According to AdDuplex reports, almost 90 percent of all Windows Phones are part of the Nokia Lumia family of devices. Consumers have enjoyed both stability and reliability when it comes to said Nokia hardware, but there are times when things can go wrong.
The Finnish manufacturer has made its Software Recovery Tool available for consumers to download, should they experience issues with their Nokia Windows Phone and its OS. It seems to be a re-brand of the 'Nokia Software Update for Retail', which we covered months ago as a solution to fixing your Lumia. Nokia appears to have made now made it 'public' instead of a tool for themselves.
With all the neglect we’ve seen the Xbox Windows Phone versions of multiplatform games receive, Electronic Arts’ treatment of The Sims FreePlay is nothing short of amazing. Since debuting in September of last year, FreePlay has been updated four times already. These updates contain more than simple bug fixes. They tweak the gameplay and add new content and quests to the game. Each time FreePlay receives a major update on iOS and Android, a Windows Phone update follows closely behind.
The latest Sims FreePlay to arrive adds two huge new quests: “Adulthood” and “Seniors.” By completing these quests, players can advance their teenage Sims to adulthood and even grow regular Sims into wrinkly old elderly Sims. More details and quest walkthroughs after the break!
By Mark Guim, Thursday, Jan 23, 2014 at 1:12 pm EST
If you have the Nokia Lumia 1520 from AT&T and plan to travel overseas, you’re probably interested in unlocking the device so you can use local a SIM. This will save you money on roaming fees or international rates. AT&T makes it very easy to unlock your device by providing an online form, but you must meet several requirements.
We have just unlocked our AT&T Nokia Lumia 1520. Read on to find out how.
By Mark Guim, Tuesday, Jan 21, 2014 at 11:06 pm EST
We were hopeful that the replacement shells we found earlier would add Qi wireless charging to our AT&T variant of the Nokia Lumia 1520, but that didn’t work. Fortunately, there is another method found by WPCentral forum member, SonarTech. It is a bit complicated and requires some soldering skills.
Head past the break if you feel brave enough to tackle this challenge.
The keyboard on Windows Phone works really well. We can type really fast on it, but maybe it’s because we’ve been using Windows Phone devices for a while now. Whether you’re already a pro at typing away several emails or just getting familiar with a new Windows Phone device, there are definitely some tips and tricks that will make you type faster. We’ve gathered 7 keyboard tips that will help new users or those who may have not had the time to experiment.
By Mark Guim, Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 10:15 am EST
We love our smartphones, but one issue that might come up is battery life. If you’re a heavy user, you want to find ways to be able to use the phone as long as you can before needing to recharge. We have included 17 tips to extend your Windows Phone 8 battery life, but many of these tips involve turning off services and features. You decide which services you’re willing to let go to save juice. You don’t need to follow all of them, but following some will help extend the battery life on your Windows Phone 8 device.
Head past the break to read our tips with screenshots and video.