Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Written by Peter J. Bruzzesse infoworld.com | Feb, 14 2013
Microsoft's forthcoming PC and tablet OS has lots of good stuff for those willing to look
We're just a few months away from Windows 8's final release. A new operating system can be overwhelming, and not all the changes and additions will appeal to you, but a lot of good stuff in Windows 8 is getting lost in the complaints about what Windows 8 doesn't do so well.
I've found eight cool new features in Windows 8 worth celebrating, and I've found eight tips and tricks to make using Windows 8 even nicer. Plus, there are some keyboard shortcuts and hot-corner capabilities you should know about to make using Windows 8 easier.
[ Windows 8 is coming, and InfoWorld can help you get ready with the Windows 8 Deep Dive PDF special report, which explains Microsoft's bold new direction for Windows, the new Metro interface for tablet and desktop apps, the transition from Windows 7, and more. | Stay abreast of key Microsoft technologies in our Technology: Microsoft newsletter. ]
8 cool new features in Windows 8
First, here are the eight new capabilities I believe you'll quickly warm up to:
1. The charms bar: I'm finding the charms bar (which appears on the right side of the screen if you click or swipe there) to be much more helpful than I'd originally thought. For example, click or tap Settings, then Power to put the computer to sleep. The charms bar has icons for setting preferences, searching, sharing, and switching between the Metro environment and the Windows 7 desktop.
2. Microsoft Store: I love that I can get Metro apps from the store for my PC now just like I do for my Windows Phone.
3. Windows Reader: With this built-in app, I can open a PDF and highlight paragraphs or use the stylus on a tablet to make notes in the file. Speaking of PDFs, you can also bring PDFs into the forthcoming Word 2013 and work with their text in Word.
4. Live syncing: I like that you can log into your Windows Live account when logging onto your PC and have your personalization settings follow you from one device to another (assuming they use the same Live account).
5. Storage spaces: This feature helps to protect you from a drive failure by letting you can pool multiple drives, à la RAID redundancy.
6. File history: This new, simplified way of saving copies of your files lets you get previous versions back if the current file is lost or damaged, similar to OS X's Time Machine utility.
7. The new task manager: The revamped task manager provides a more detailed, more readable view of running processes. Admins and power users will love it.
8. Windows to Go: With the Enterprise Edition of Windows 8, you can put your Windows environment on a USB thumb drive and take it with you for use on any PC compatible with Windows 7 or 8. IT can manage these Windows to Go images via Windows Server.
1. Start screen search: Do you need to find a file or an app fast? Head over to the Metro Start screen and begin typing. Windows will automatically search for what you type and show you the results quickly. There's no need to open a search box.
2. "Power user" menu: Place the cursor in the lower left of the Windows Desktop screen (a hot corner) -- to the left and below any application tiles -- and right-click the thumbnail image that appears. You can now open the new "power user" menu that gives you quick access to some of the most used features in Windows for techies and enthusiasts. Note: You can also press Windows-X to bring up this menu, but there is no touch gesture to invoke it on a tablet.
3. Shutdown and sleep: One of the most confusing aspects to Windows 8 is how to shut it down or put it to sleep. From the charms bar, click or tap Settings, then Power in the pane that appears. You then get options to sleep, shut down, or restart. If you have a physical keyboard, you can also press the traditional Ctrl-Alt-Del to bring up these options.
4. Picture password: On touch-enabled devices, you can choose a picture and a gesture (or mouse movement) you apply on it to be your password. To set that picture password, choose Settings in the charms bar, click or tap Change PC Settings, and select Users in the pane that appears. From the charms bar, select Settings > Change PC Settings > Users, followed by Create a Picture Password.
5. Show admin applications on the Metro Start screen: In the Metro Start screen, open the charms bar, click or tap Settings, and select Tiles. Move the Show Administrative Tools switch from No to Yes. Now, your Metro Start screen has tiles for all those admin apps!
6. Organize Metro Start screen tiles into groups: You can "semantic zoom" (using a pinch gesture on screen or mouse pad, or using your trackball) out of your normal Smart Screen to view all app groups. You can move your groups around as a block. Right-click the block and give your groups a name.
7. See what's running: From the Windows 7 Desktop, press Windows-Tab to see what apps are running. For more details, press Ctrl-Shift-Escape, and select More Details for an improved view.
8. Get the Start orb back: There's no built-in way in Windows 8 to get this missing feature, which makes it a lot harder to access commonly used applications in Windows 8. (Tip: Pin those apps to the Windows 7 Desktop's task bar so that you can open them from there.) Or download Stardock's free Start8 utility to get a Start orb.
Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts and hot corners you should know
Working faster usually involves some kind of shortcut. Windows 8 provides a bunch of shortcuts using the Windows key (which means you need a physical keyboard to enter them), as well as hot corners you can click with a mouse that make other features available.
Here are the essential shortcuts:
Windows: Pressing just this key toggles among the Metro Start screen, the last-run Metro app, and the Windows 7 Desktop.
Windows-C: Displays the charms bar.
Windows-D: Launches the Windows 7 Desktop.
Windows-E: Launches the Windows 7 Explorer.
Windows-F: Opens the File Search pane.
Windows-H: Opens the Share pane.
Windows-I: Opens the Settings pane.
Windows-K: Opens the Devices pane.
Windows-L: Locks the PC.
Windows-Q: Opens the global search utility.
Windows-1, Windows-2, and Windows-3: Open the first, second, and third open apps on the Windows 7 taskbar, respectively.
If you hover the mouse over or right-click the four corners of the screen (called hot corners), you get these quick-access options:
Lower left and upper left: This shows a thumbnail preview of the Metro Start screen, the last-opened Metro app, or the Windows 7 Desktop; click the thumbnail to switch to the item. If you scroll down from the upper-left corner's thumbnail or up from the lower-left corner's thumbnail, a pane appears with all open Metro apps, the Windows 7 Desktop, and the Metro Start screen; click the desired thumbnail to open its item.
Upper right and lower right: These hot corners open the charms bar.
On a touchscreen PC or tablet, you can accomplish the same functions that the hot corners provide via a mouse. For example, slide one finger from the left side of the screen to switch to the next open application, the Windows 7 Desktop, or the Metro Start screen (whatever Windows 8 sees as "next" in its list of running apps). To see the thumbnails of those running apps, slide your finger to the right from the left edge; when the thumbnail for the "next" app appears, slide to the left until your finger approaches the screen edge. Just don't release your finger when doing the motion reversal! To open the charms bar, slide one finger to the left from the right side of the screen.
There are certainly many more features in, as well as tips and tricks for, Windows 8. I'll share those as Windows 8 nears and is released, building on the essentials revealed here.
Monday, February 11, 2013
Monday, October 15, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Adam Mills — 09/19/2012 gottabemobile.com
After announcing the iOS 6 release date earlier this month, Apple will push the new software to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners at some point today. For those that are waiting for the update to arrive, we are going to take a look at what you should expect from today’s release date of Apple’s new mobile software.
iOS 6 brings more than 200+ new features to the table which makes it an extremely attractive upgrade for those on iOS 5 and below.
It will be coming to the iPhone 3GS and up, iPad 2 and up and iPod touch fourth generation sometime today and it will be available either through iTunes or Over-the-Air. The installation process should take some time so those who are going to upgrade should set aside sometime to get the ball rolling.
iOS 6 will bring new Maps, Facebook integration, more sharing options, UI changes, and more. And while you already know what to expect from the software itself, lets take a look at some other things iDevice owners should expect from iOS 6′s arrival.
Morning/Early Afternoon Release
Apple tends to release its iOS software in the morning on the west coast and early afternoon on the east coast. It did so with iOS 5 and thus far, we have no reason to believe it won’t do the same thing with iOS 6.
Right now, the release of iOS 6 is pegged for 10AM PST & 1PM EST. This, according to a leaked screenshot. Of course, that evidence could be bogus but it fits right in with what we’ve come to expect from Apple.
In other words, don’t expect iOS 6 to arrive at 11PM tonight.
Last year, the iOS 5 release gave iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners errors. While much of what Apple does in terms of launch and release is flawless, there are bound to be some errors that pop up with the upgrade to iOS 6.
With iOS 5, Error 3200 popped up for quite a few people trying to make the upgrade to the new software and while it’s possible that a similar error could pop up this time around, we can’t be sure.
Hopefully, Apple has ironed these out ahead of time, but there is no way to tell right now.
For those that want to install the software themselves without relying on Apple, you have the option of downloading the iOS 5 update directly, bypassing the stagnant iTunes servers.
All it’s going to take is for someone to post the files online, which they will, and iTunes. Once the file is downloaded, the installation process is a cinch.
While many of you will likely be able to download and install iOS 6 right when it’s released, again, Apple’s servers crumbled last year under the weight and many had to wait several hours and some, even until the next day to install.
You might be better off just waiting a few hours after the initial release to try and install the software as trying right at release time may prove to be extremely frustrating.
In any event, expect a delay, that way, if everything goes smoothly, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Thursday, August 30, 2012
PCWorld's Facebook page without custom tabs (upper left) and with tabs added (lower right)Facebook can be a great marketing tool and communications outlet, but there is only so much that you can say in brief status updates and plain-text fields on your About page. If you really want to put Facebook to work for your business, you'll need to explore the option of adding tabs—clickable images of extra pages—to your profile. Done creatively, tabs encourage visitor engagement and showcase your content. They let you post quizzes and polls, and they can display your content from other social networks, such as Twitter and Pinterest.
1. Iframe AppsIf you lack the coding skills to create custom tabs using Facebook's development platform, the following Facebook apps can help. Some enable you to apply fully customized Web pages as additional tabs—a great way to add content about your products, services, and company culture.
The IFrame App is among the simplest for dressing up your Facebook presence.Iframe Apps is one of the simplest custom tab wizards, letting you add two tab pages to your Facebook Page. You can either specify an existing URL or insert text and HTML to display on your custom tab, and define a specific frame height to fit the length of your content. The "fan gate" feature lets you display an image or custom text to encourage visitors to “like” you before viewing the main content.
Keep in mind, though, that to insert HTML code with images or videos you’ll need to upload the files elsewhere since Iframe Apps doesn’t offer online storage.
The free service displays its logo on your page footer. The premium services, starting at $9.90 per month after a free 7-day trial, allow you to remove ads.
Hosted iFrame offers a WSIWYG editor.FanBuildr is a more advanced app that lets you add up to ten tab pages to your Facebook Page. The free service is available to all pages with 25,000 fans or less, and shows a small promo on the footer of your custom tab page. Its premium services, starting at $5 per month, remove ads and let you create unlimited tabs.
When inserting your text or code for the custom tab, you can define different content to display to visitors, depending on whether they "like" your page. A WYSIWYG editor lets you format text and add links or images, with both code and visual views. You can upload up to 25MB worth of files per page—or 250MB and beyond if you subscribe to the premium services. You can also enter your Google Analytics code to track traffic to your Facebook tab.
3. Static Iframe Tab
Check out Static Iframe Tab for adding 20 or more tabs.The Static Iframe Tab from Wooboxlets you add over 20 tabs to your Facebook page. The basic functionality is free, and free of Woobox branding.
What do you want to display on a tab? You can choose a URL, an image, or HTML code. You can also specify a nonfan page source. A WSIWYG editor enables formatting and edits, letting you switch between the code and visual view. The free service includes visitor analytics to display stats for page views, visits, and likes, segmented both by fans and nonfans who view your tab.
Their premium services, starting at $10 per month, allow you to limit access to the tab page—for instance, you can require users either to fill out a form or to have a certain number of Facebook friends who like your page.
4. Extended Info
Extended Info lets you add a tab that’s similar to and alongside the usual About page, but with more details—so you can display things, such as products, with text, HTML code, or videos. You can organize the content via bulleted, numbered, or paragraph lists, each with a custom heading name.
5. Twitter Tab App
Extend your tweets to Facebook with Woobox.Need to publicize your Twitter presence to your Facebook fan base? This free app from Woobox adds a tab to your Facebook Page displaying your Twitter Profile and Tweets, with a small ad link on the bottom of the tab.
In the Twitter tab settings you can choose to display all tweets or only those containing a given search term. You can also optionally hide Tweets that start with @ and hide your Twitter profile background. Additionally, you can enable the fan gate so only Facebook users who “Like” you can see your Twitter tab.
6. Pinterest Tab
Here's a great way to share your Pinterest content to Facebook users who aren’t on Pinterest. This free app, also from Woobox, puts a tab on your Facebook Page showcasing your Pinterest boards and pins, with only a small ad on the bottom. Facebook visitors can browse your Pin boards, and click on them to view your Pins inside your Facebook tab page. When they click on a Pin it opens a new browser window to the Pin on Pinterest.
You can choose to have your Pin tab show all or only select Pin boards—and enable Facebook Like & Send buttons on Pins, to encourage visitors' sharing to their Facebook friends. The Fan Gate feature allows only Facebook users who "like" you to see your Pinterest tab.
7. Fan Appz
This free platform helps you add content and analyze your Twitter and Facebook traffic. Fan Appz lets you post updates to both social sites at once, target specific countries and languages, schedule posts in advance, and create and publish quizzes and polls. Image-based polls let you give users a list of images—maybe of your products—and they can share their preferred top five.
The premium services, designed for larger fan pages, let you create and publish promotions, including special offers, sweepstakes, challenges, and rewards. You can create a gift store and games, and manage your Places and Events. You’d also be able to view the analytics of your posts, engagements, and promotions—all with support for Google Analytics.