Christian Cawley is MakeUseOf's security editor, Android tinkerer, Windows Phone mentalist, and Doctor Who fan. Follow him as @thegadgetmonkey on Twitter.
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An early adopter of Windows Phone 7, I am now the owner of a Nokia Lumia 920, powered by Windows Phone 8, and thrilled each time Nokia releases a new app. Although manufacturer apps aren’t available to owners of other devices, the Nokia apps tend to have a quality and authority that is missing from many of the poorer third party titles. In fact, there is a collection of superb manufacturer apps for the Nokia-built phones – apps that you should check out if you’re using a Nokia Lumia and Windows Phone 8.
During my recent holiday I had some spare time and tried to find something interesting to watch on my Windows Phone. Now, I could have used the YouTube or BBC iPlayer or many other apps, but instead I decided to have a browser-only mobile experience. Unfortunately, Windows Phone doesn’t support Adobe Flash. Although the Internet Explorer mobile app has HTML5 support, if you want to enjoy media streamed using Flash you’re stuck. The alternative is to use HTML5 or apps from the Windows Phone Store.
I’ve recently been looking at options for expanding the storage on my Raspberry Pi. Such choices are limited – the USB ports are often used by a keyboard, mouse or retro game controllers, while the SD card slot is naturally limited to just a single device. In terms of expanding storage via USB devices, there are two options. For instance, you might connect your USB hard disk drive or flash drive to one of the USB ports – but if that port is needed for another device, things can get tricky.
I’m off on holiday today, and intend to do a bit of reading. This is all very well, especially when it comes to my handful of print books that I want to catch up with. The problem comes in the shape of my digital media. I’ve a fair few titles in Kindle, which I can read across a number of devices. But which one is the most comfortable for reading?
There’s a black sticker on my desk, which is remarkably useful. Thanks to the magic of NFC, it enables me to activate my Nokia Lumia 920’s wireless networking with a single touch. NFC, or near field communication, has been around for a few years now, and is an increasingly popular feature in smartphones. Intended to facilitate data transfer, contactless transactions in stores and even simplify the setup of things like WiFi connections, NFC can also be used to program NFC tags, usually sticky labels like the one on my desk.
You may be surprised to learn that there are many tweaks that can be applied to the Raspberry Pi, both from within the configuration screen and in how you set up and install your operating system. The following tweaks and tips can help you drastically improve performance on your Raspberry Pi.
Windows Phone 8’s growth has been slow but steady in the months since its release, an increase that can in part be contributed to Nokia’s excellent series of smartphones and camera hardware. Complementing this is a series of apps intended for Nokia phones that integrated with the camera to produce enhanced photo tools, augmented reality and other excellent utilities. There are four amazing lens apps for Nokia Windows Phones below, each of which is available free from the Windows Phone Store.
Indeed, who in their right mind would have guessed that the little Raspberry Pi could prove so vital as a platform for so-called retro gaming, offering support for a vast array of emulators and different types of controller device. We’ve recently looked at setting up a “RetroPie” and configuring game controllers, but there are a few other things you will need to know in order to get the most out of your Raspberry Pi-based retro gaming centre, including a run-down of the potential outlay and the best places to find and download games.
Windows Phone 8: a great platform that is fast, slick and responsive. Most of the time. Windows Phone 8 is an improvement over Windows Phone 7, but while I enjoy its responsiveness, the ease with which I can perform particular tasks quickly and the way the OS syncs with SkyDrive, I’m more than aware that this is a platform with a few notable bugs. I’ve already looked at improving battery life on Windows Phone 8 and here are several more fixes for the most common issues.
Looking at Microsoft and Sony’s next generation offerings, it seems that bringing video, TV, music and your photo collection (and probably social networking) into the mix of games and achievement unlocking is now part and parcel of owning a game console. It’s a major selling point, one that should deliver the ultimate entertainment experience to living rooms and dens across the developed world. But hold on – why wait for an Xbox One or a PlayStation 4 when you can already stream video and music from computers across your home network and from the Internet into the existing Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo consoles?
Since Microsoft and Nokia announced their joint venture back in 2011, there has been a general shift towards the Finnish company in the Windows Phone manufacturers’ market share. Nokia has been innovating and producing a series of superb apps for Windows Phone, exclusive to Lumia devices. Put simply, if you own a Windows Phone 8 device from Nokia, you should have these camera and image apps, which are all available free (for the full app or with trial) from the Windows Phone Store.
What is the best in British entertainment? Is it on TV or on the radio? Either way, both media are accessible with the BBC’s iPlayer service. BBC iPlayer is a browser-based service that is also available as desktop, mobile, and console apps. International viewers can also take advantage of the service, with some restrictions. With so many shows on offer and many options for playback and downloading shows (with DRM) if you’ve ever used the service it might be the case that you haven’t used BBC iPlayer to its full ability.
Over the 15 or so years of owning a mobile phone, I’ve always been interested in pushing the device as far as it can possibly go. In the early days, this would often involve finding ways to add custom ringtones. When Windows Phone 7 was first released, the customization options were limited. Windows Phone 8 takes a whole new approach to ringtones, making the addition of user-chosen audio far simpler. If you own a Nokia Lumia 920, you could have custom ringtones set up by the time you finish reading this page.
I’ve just about filled the 32 GB internal storage on my Nokia Lumia 920. Initially, I was surprised that it only took me six months, until I realised that I’ve been recording videos in HD. When you consider everything that relies on internal storage, it certainly seems like a complete removal of personal storage is required. There are several options. Backing up data can be performed manually, using the Windows Phone Tool via USB and you can rely on native tools to back up your photos, apps, settings and messages.
While building my Raspberry Pi retro gaming centre I ran into some problems with configuring game controllers. The challenges were straightforward. Would I use my Xbox 360 controller, or resort to a pair of basic USB controllers for two player gaming? Establishing a solution was difficult. In the end, despite my preferences, I opted to […]