Christian Cawley

Joined December 2011

Christian Cawley is MakeUseOf's security editor, Android tinkerer, Windows Phone mentalist, and Doctor Who fan. Follow him as @thegadgetmonkey on Twitter.

Security Editor

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Christian's Latest Posts


Reading eBooks on Your Tablet: Windows 8 vs. iPad

25th July, 2013

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?


How To Program NFC Tags & Automate Windows Phone 8

24th July, 2013

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.


4 Tweaks to Super Charge Your Raspberry Pi

19th July, 2013

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.


4 Amazing Lens Apps for Nokia Windows Phones

18th July, 2013

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.


Retro Gaming on the Raspberry Pi: Everything You Need to Know

17th July, 2013

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.


Tips For Fixing Common Windows Phone 8 Issues

12th July, 2013

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.


Which Game Consoles Can You Use as a Media Center?

11th July, 2013

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?


Five Amazing Nokia Camera and Image Apps for Lumia Windows Phones

10th July, 2013

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.


10 Tips To Get The Most Out Of BBC iPlayer

5th July, 2013

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.


Everything You Need to Know About Adding Ringtones on Windows Phone 8

5th July, 2013

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.


How To Backup Media, Apps & Settings On Windows Phone 8

3rd July, 2013

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.


Useful Controller Configuration Tips For a Raspberry Pi Retro Gaming Centre

28th June, 2013

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 […]


What Is The True Cost Of Running a Raspberry Pi?

27th June, 2013

The Raspberry Pi – a small, compact and versatile computer, capable of processing HDMI and MPEG-2 being the central component of any number of weekend projects from retro gaming stations and media centres to smart TVs, Internet radios and low budget space programs. Since its release in 2012 the Raspberry Pi has proved something of a phenomenon. Costing less than $40, the Raspberry Pi is a hugely successful computer, largely due to its low price.


File Sharing, Manual Syncing & Bluetooth Tips For Windows Phone 8

26th June, 2013

Having used the Windows Phone platform since 2010, one of the things that has struck me is how difficult Microsoft initially made it to share files to and from your phone. With the original Windows Phone 7 a registry hack was required to use a device as mass storage, but this workaround was soon shored up in a subsequent update. Fortunately with Windows Phone 8, Microsoft has taken a more accepting position on the use of phones as mass storage devices.


How To Tether The Nokia Lumia 920 & Other Connectivity Options

21st June, 2013

Here in the UK, 4G is currently being rolled out across major towns and cities by the EE network (previously T-Mobile and Orange). Where I live we’re stuck with 3G, but I do have a 4G SIM to take advantage of high-speed mobile Internet when travelling. This always comes in useful, particularly if local Wi-Fi networks aren’t doing their job properly.