Windows Phone 8.1 Screenshot Button Combo Changed

While downloading and playing around with windows phone 8.1 today I found that the typical volume down + windows key combo that used to take a screenshot has been updated to volume up + power key. I assume this has been done to allow for the new devices that may have on screen buttons rather than physical ones.

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The Official Facebook App is coming to Windows 8.1

The Windows Facebook account has just announced that the Official Facebook App will be coming to Windows 8.1. Up to this point Windows 8 users had to use the Facebook website, the Windows People App, or third party apps like Fliptoast to use Facebook. None of those were ideal so it’s refreshing to see the the Official app be announced. No word on release date yet, bit we’ll. Keep you updated.

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Nokia offers cash for your trade-in phone

Nokia announced on its Facebook page today that they are now offering you cash, up to $3oo, when you trade in your old phone towards the purchase of a Lumia with Windows 8. Just for grins I checked an ATT Lumia 900 and as of today Nokia is offering me $84 for that. Interested in finding out more? Just visit http://www.nokia.com/us-en/tradeup and take the first step towards owning an amazing Lumia. You won’t regret it.

Source: Facebook

Posted in Hardware, Nokia

St. Louis Microsoft Store Grand Opening

Although I wasn’t able to attend the grand opening of the permanent Microsoft store at the St. Louis Galleria, our friends over at STL Tech Talk was able to attend and posted a great write up.

I haven’t had a chance to visit the store yet but it appears to follow the typical Microsoft Store layout. I was lucky enough to visit the first Microsoft Store in Scottsdale, AZ when it was the only one in existence and it’s an experience I won’t forget. It’s exciting there are over 60 now in existence and St. Louis has its own for us who enjoy the products out of Redmond.

The Microsoft stores are exciting to visit and are a unique experience. I think they’re far and above an Apple store. In fact I was in Bellevue, WA recently and it just so happened that some of the cast of Star Trek: Into Darkness we’re signing free autographs. I encourage you to check out the Microsoft store at the St. Louis Galleria yourself, and more importantly check out the great products yourself. I hope to see you there!

Posted in Community, Microsoft

St. Louis Permanent Microsoft Store Grand Opening June 7

Today, Microsoft announced on its Facebook page that the permanent Microsoft Store in the St. Louis Galleria will be opening on Friday, June 7, 2013. Microsoft has had a specialty “pop-up” store in the Galleria since last year, but its products were limited to mostly Surface tablets and accessories. Permanent stores have signature tablets and PCs from various manufactures, Xbox games and accessories, Windows Phones, software and much more. As with all of Microsoft’s permanent store openings this one will be headlined by a popular musical artist, in the St. Louis store’s case that artist is Ne-Yo. Follow the source link below for all the details of the opening and how to find out how you can meet Ne-Yo (hint: it involves standing in line Thursday night).

Are you looking forward to having a Microsoft store in St. Louis? Sound off in the comments.

Source: Facebook

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Lumia 920 in Wendy’s Commercial

I saw a new Wendy’s commercial for their new flatbread sandwiches and immediately noticed a black Nokia Lumia 920. Per typical the branding on the device is obscured but you can’t mistake the Lumia’s sexy lines. The commercial talks a bit about social networking and it’s a shame that they don’t show one of Windows Phone’s beautiful Twitter clients as they’re pushing the hashtag #twEATfor1k in this promotion. The promotion is if you tweet a picture of their new sandwich with that hashtag you have a chane to win $1000  It’s too bad this isn’t a cross promotion with Nokia or Windows Phone but it’s nice to see the phone on TV. Check out the pics below and make sure to tweet @wendys to let them know you saw the phone.

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Posted in advertising, Microsoft, Mobile, Nokia

Windows 8 Annoyances

Written on Surface RT Touch Cover.

Last updated: 3/9/2013

I’ve been using Windows 8 regularly on my Surface RT since launch and overall I enjoy it and find myself using the Surface much more than my desktop for my day to day computing. As good as Windows 8 is, there are some minor and a few major annoyances that I hope are corrected soon. The two major annoyances I have, since I know you’re interested, are XBOX music and the lack of Tell ME integration. Those two items will have separate posts. So on to my minor annoyances. You’ll see me make comparison to Windows Phone a lot below, but that is because I believe that Windows Phone is a more mature experience. This will be updated as I continue to spend more time with the platform.

  • Inability to “Share” to multiple social networks via the people hub. In Windows Phone 7 you regularly saw a share to “social networks” which allowed you to choose one or many of the natively integrated social networks and post to multiple places at once. Interestingly I have yet to see this ability in Windows Phone 8 or Windows 8. You could use a third party app such as Flip Toast to do this, but it needs to be native.
  • Playing music controls only available by hitting the physical volume rocker (or the source app). Wished I could get to those quickly via the charms bar also. The volume rocker is just a bit inconvenient in its location (on the Surface at least).
  • Lack of a Windows 8 tips app from Microsoft. Yes, you get the how on OS installation or set up but for the average consumer you need that available as a standalone app. This could act as a refresher or a “hey look it’s easy” when you pass your new Windows 8 tablet off to someone who’s unfamiliar. Also, this really needs to include how to for selecting items in a list with touch. I won’t lie when I first got my Surface it took me about 3 days to figure out how to select multiple playlists with touch from within XBOX music.
  • Quick access to the “My Pictures”, “My Videos”, etc. folders from within the pictures/ videos metro apps. I have my surface connected to my home group so when I open either of those apps and tap pictures library I get all the folders from my Home Server in what seems to be an arbitrary order. While that is mostly awesome that it aggregates everything its more difficult than it should be to find my way to that local folder. If I want to find a screenshot I just took on my Surface, which gets saved in the local My Pictures folder I have to tap the breadcrumbs and find my way back to that specific local folder. It is not ideal. Maybe there should be a shortcut in the right click application menu to the local folder.
  • You have to manually launch the on screen keyboard in desktop mode. There should be an option to make it act like it does on the metro side and pop up automatically in desktop mode.
  • No option to automatically install app updates from the Windows store. Yes, I get notified of updates via the counter on the tile and it is only two taps to install it from there, but there should be an option to just install those automatically as they come in.
  • There is no equivalent to the jump menu’s you got via IE9 pinning when you pin a website to the start menu. Let’s face it a pinned Facebook website in IE9 has more of a live tile feel than does the pinned Facebook website in Windows 8. With no official Facebook app, they need to push an update to IE10 to make those work again.
  • No 50% screen on metro. The 70/30 split pinning (or whatever the ratio is) is nice, but I should be able to pin 2 apps side by side splitting the desktop, especially with the widescreen resolution of the Surface. Even if it just shrank the full screen apps that would work.
  • There is no jump list in the all app list, I have a lot of apps and when clicking a letter in the app list I’d like to be able to select another letter like on Windows Phone.
    (edit: If you click on all apps, pinch to zoom out (or click on semantic zoom button) you get a picker similar to windows phone. Thanks @kennedyneil. Although I believe that is an extra unnecessary step.)
  • Tap and hold cursor. This should work exactly as on Windows Phone. Yes you can select the word and use the arrow keys on the virtual /physical keyboard but it’s not as smooth as on Windows Phone with the tap and hold cursor.
  • No Bing vision. I had to download a QR code reader app to scan tags with the camera on my Surface. Want to scan’s Microsoft’s own TAG format? You can’t as they don’t even have their own TAG app available.
  • You cannot run Windows Phone apps snapped in Windows 8. They look like they’d fit right? As I said before the Windows Phone platform and most of their apps are more mature than their equivalent on Windows 8. If I could run many of the apps of Windows Phone in Windows 8 snapped to the side the platform would feel more complete.
  • Bluetooth device management. It is easy enough to add or delete a Bluetooth device by navigating to the charms-> settings -> change pc settings -> devices. But let’s say you are currently connected to a Bluetooth device but want to disconnect from it and connect to another? The easiest way to do it is remove the device, which is not ideal. Unfortunately there are no third party apps to help with this issue either. Once again Windows Phone is the more mature platform and shows how easily this can be managed.
Posted in Microsoft, Surface, Windows