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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Since their launch in late 2012, Windows Phone 8 handsets have built upon the legacy established with the previous Windows Phone 7, released in 2010. There are many developments and key changes, from enabling better control of the Start screen to the opening up of additional APIs to enable developers to build better apps. One particular difference is in the addition of new apps and games from the Windows Phone store.
Windows 8 features two types of foreground application multitasking. The first is the traditional desktop application switching, while the second is a limited full-screen multitasking found only in the Modern applications launched via the Start screen.
One of the improvements delivered with Windows Phone 8 is enhanced support for SkyDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage system that enables users to upload and sync photos, music, video and more between different devices. Up against competition from cloud storage services such as Box, Dropbox and Google Drive (although of these, only Box has an official app), how does SkyDrive stand up?
Slimline, sleek, sexy and silver – but you can’t have everything. The Acer Iconia W7 is a Windows 8 tablet priced between $799 and $999 (depending on the chosen model) that looks as though it should be running Windows 8 RT, but is equipped with a Core i3 CPU, 4 GB RAM and a 64 GB SSD, thereby trouncing the majority of similarly-sized devices in the spec stakes. Realistically, this isn’t a perfect computer. It has some faults, some in the design, others in the execution. But it remains a fascinating piece of equipment, as I’m about to explain. We’re also giving a brand new one, so if you’re looking for sub-$1000 Windows 8 tablet PC, be sure to join the giveaway!
Amazon’s march to online domination has come thanks to a number of strategies. Most obvious is the low pricing, the supply chain management and the facility to let anyone sell their wares through the marketplace. However, the ease of use of the website is also a core part of this – and by extension, any mobile app created needs to offer all of the main features of the browser-based experience.
Over the years on MakeUseOf, we’ve provided guidance on how to move closer to the Utopian dream of a universal media centre, capable of playing anything. In that time, it has become apparent to us that there are countless ways in which you can create your own media centre, using PCs, games consoles and even smartphones and tablets. In fact, it is getting to the point where households are finding that their various appliances are split into two groups.
If you’ve been following our recent articles about the Raspberry Pi, you’ll know that it can be set up as a media streaming client with a dedicated XBMC build and you should also be aware that by teaming the device up with any additional hardware (external hard disk drive, cables and adhesives), it can become the complete media center.
Winning an auction that ends when you’re away from your keyboard has proved much tougher – which is where mobile apps come in. Available free from the Windows Phone apps + games service, the eBay app doesn’t only let you purchase, however. With eBay installed on your device, you can browse, buy and sell, making great use of your handset’s camera and keyboard!
A quick look at the Windows Phone apps + games service will reveal an endless list of Twitter related apps for the device – which is strange as Twitter functions (such as Tweeting and retweeting) can be found in the People Hub! So, why do so many Twitter apps exist, and why would you choose the official Twitter app as your preferred choice?
Windows 8 hasn’t quite taken off yet, but this shortcoming certainly isn’t due to a lack of apps. After all, there are several years’ worth of traditional Windows desktop apps to fall back on! As for those optimized for use under the Start screen and the Modern UI, however, there are several that really take advantage of the platform and its new visual style.
With so many ways of using it, you shouldn’t be surprised to find that the Raspberry Pi has sold over 1 million units. Although designed for one key purpose (programming) this small credit card-sized computer is capable of so much more – which is why it seems to have become a popular choice as a home media centre solution.
Whichever way you look at it, Windows 8 has been a controversial release. The latest version of Microsoft’s domestic operating system has built in touch and no Start button on the Desktop view, something that has led many to avoid it. This is a shame as beyond the Start screen and Charms bar, things run pretty much as they always did. One area in which Windows 8’s Desktop isn’t quite the same as Windows 7, however, is in the selection of themes.
Public wireless networks are becoming more and more popular as a means of attracting people to a particular business or service, and this is just one of the many ways in which free (or almost free) Wi-Fi can be accessed. It seems, in fact, that there are many ways in which you can connect wirelessly to the Internet, almost anywhere…
Aware that I should probably listen to the occasional contemporary sound, I became a convert to the BBC’s 6 Music channel, which plays an astounding mix of great tunes from the 1950′s to the 2010′s. Now able to get my fix of good music, it suddenly occurred to be one day when I was heading out that I would be unable to listen to this digital-only radio station in the street – without a suitable mobile app with which to do so.
Just like a full desktop, a new PC build can be expensive. The best way to minimize the cost while focusing on the most suitable components is to upgrade your unit, rather than start from scratch. Various cost-saving options are open to anyone building a brand new computer or upgrading an existing device.