Category Archives: Windows Phone

Who else wants 5 social apps for WP?

WindowsPhone_Aug26_ASmartphones are a utilitarian tool. They have given us the ability to connect while on the move, and many people rely on their phones as their main social tool, often checking email and social networks regularly as they are out and about. However, if you have a Windows Phone, you may feel a bit limited when it comes to social media apps. In truth, this isn’t the case at all.

Here is an overview of five useful, and mostly free, social media apps for Windows Phone.

Facebook Beta The Facebook Beta app is essentially the Facebook mobile app, but with some new features that Facebook wants to introduce in the near future. The latest update includes the ability to upload multiple photos, download photos, attach images in messaging and inline tagging (being able to mention another user in a post). While these features may be appealing, they are still in beta, meaning that Facebook is testing them with users. With some beta programs apps may not be 100% stable. That being said, being able to access new features sooner is something many users welcome.

You can download the app for free from the Windows Phone Store.

Pin+ Pinterest has become one of the fastest growing social networks and many businesses have found some intriguing uses for it. The downside is that there is no official Windows Phone app. What there is instead though is Pin+. This unofficial app brings Pinterest to your phone, with almost all of the functionality available with the Web version.

If you want to use Pinterest on your smartphone, this is the app that allows it. You can download it for free on the Windows Phone Store.

4th & Mayor Foursquare is a popular social media service where you can ‘check into’ businesses and see who and what is around you. While there is an official app for Windows Phone, some users aren’t big fans of it. 4th & Mayor is an alternative app that uses the Foursquare programming interface. It has all the functionality of Foursquare, just with a different, more user friendly layout.

It’s available for free on the Windows Phone Store.

6tag It’s widely known that visual content is the key to keeping users interested and invested in your social media efforts. Instagram is a great program for creating visual content with your device by allowing you to take pictures, apply filters and then upload and share images on various social media sites. Unfortunately, there is no official app for Windows Phone, and likely won’t be for some time to come. What you do have is 6tag. This unofficial app was built using the Instagram system, and includes all the same features like filters, sharing on social media, uploading and even video.

The basic version is free on the Windows Phone Store, but does have ads. You can upgrade to remove ads for USD$1.29 and add video support for USD$1.49.

Social Mints Spend any time on social media and you soon understand that trends come and go at an astonishing speed. It can be incredibly hard to stay on top of them all let alone figure out what is worth looking into. Social Mints is an app that lets you monitor and follow social media trends. Put in a popular term and watch as updates pop up in real time. You can even learn through which mediums people are talking about it, including related keywords and top posters.

If you’re looking for a way to keep on top of trends, this is a great app. It’s available for free on the Windows Phone Store.

Looking to learn more about the Windows Phone? Give us a shout, we’d love to help you explore and exploit the full potential of what you can do and how it could potentially help your business.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Useful Windows Phone app: Files

Web_July07_A1Files and folders are essential parts of any operating system, mobile or otherwise. In larger devices, like computers and laptops, we often have hundreds, if not thousands, of files and folders that we use to keep our systems and processes organized. However, with mobile devices, such as Windows Phone, it is difficult to actually manage your files and folders properly. In fact, it’s been one of the most requested Windows Phone features and Microsoft has recently announced a new app to make management of files and folders on your device far easier.

About the Files app for Windows Phone 8.1

In late May, Microsoft posted an article on their Windows Mobile blog announcing that the Files app had been launched. The idea behind this app is that it allows easier viewing and managing of files and folders on your Windows Phone.

With this app you can:

  • Browse for installed files
  • Arrange files into folders
  • Move files or folders from one location to another
  • Open or search for files
  • Change the name of existing files
  • Share individual or multiple files with other users

While this app is a welcome development, there is one feature that makes it great: It allows you to also access and manage files on your device’s SD card – if it has one. This means you no longer have to connect your Windows Phone to your computer in order to manage your files. You can do so directly from your phone.

Where can I get the app?

If you use your device for work we strongly recommend that you install this app, especially if you store files on your device. Find the app on the Windows Phone Store for free. Simply click the Install button in the left-hand ribbon of the page and select your device. You need to be signed into the Microsoft account you use on your phone. You can verify this by looking at the top-right of the page and hovering your mouse over Explore. If you are not signed in hover over Explore and click Sign-in. Enter the username and password of the Microsoft account you use on your phone and you should be able to install the app directly from your browser.

Alternatively, you can install the app directly to your device by:

  1. Going to the Windows Phone Store app on your device.
  2. Searching for Files.
  3. Tapping on the Files app icon (blue square with a white document icon).
  4. Pressing Install.

The app should start to download automatically and install a new tile on your home screen.

Using the Files app

To manage or view the files and folders on your device, simply open the app. You should see a screen open with the option to either look at the files on your Phone or SD card – if your device has an SD card installed.

When you tap on either Phone or SD card, you should see the file structure pop up. Scrolling up or down and tapping on files or folders will open them. If you tap on the square box beside each file you will see a number of options pop up at the bottom of the screen. Pressing the related icon will allow you to interact with that file. For example, if you select a file and press the Trash Can icon, the file will be deleted. You can select multiple files at the same time by simply tapping on the white boxes before hitting any of the action buttons.

If you are looking for a specific file, make sure you don’t have any files or folders selected and press the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the screen. Enter the name of the file or folder you would like to find and it should pop up below the search bar.

Looking to learn more about using Windows Phone in the office? Contact us today to see how our services can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

A quick look at Surface Pro 3

WindowsPhone_June02_AMicrosoft, well known developer of some of the most popular business software, has for the past couple of years been trying to break into the hardware market with their own tablet – Surface. While the first two versions of Surface were met with largely mixed reviews, Microsoft is determined to make this platform work and has recently released a new version – Surface Pro 3.

About the Surface Pro 3 tablet

Officially announced on May 20, this newest version of Surface brings about a number of changes to the platform. First and foremost, there is a change in the device’s positioning. While previous versions were designed to be direct competitors to the Apple iPad, the new version of Surface Pro 3 is being marketed as a highly mobile device that is meant to replace your laptop.

In fact, Microsoft has noted that they are targeting users, especially business owners, who have both a tablet and a laptop. The company is billing Surface Pro 3 as the device that will allow users to ditch the two, and instead replace it with one.

In pursuit of this goal, Surface Pro 3 has a larger screen and some advanced tech specs that provide it with laptop-level power, while keeping the overall portability of the modern tablet.

Technical specs business owners will find useful

Surface Pro 3 comes in five different versions, with the models being separated by which 4th generation Intel processor is included and the amount of storage space they have:

  • 64GB Intel i3
  • 128GB Intel i5
  • 256GB Intel i5
  • 256GB Intel i7
  • 512GB Intel i7

Aside from the processor, RAM and storage space, all versions share the following specs:

  • Size - The Surface Pro 3 is 11.5 inches wide by 7.93 inches high and weighs 1.76lbs.
  • Memory - The 64GB and 128GB models have 4GB of RAM, while the 256GB and 512GB models have 8GB of RAM.
  • Screen - There is a 12 inch screen with all models and a resolution of 2160 x 1440. This equates to a high resolution screen that should be more than enough for every user.
  • Connectivity - All models can connect to Wi-Fi, support Bluetooth 4.0, and have a full-size USB 3.0 port, along with a microSD card reader, and Mini display port.
  • Operating system - Surface Pro 3 runs a full version of Windows 8.1, which comes pre-installed on the device.
  • Accessories - There are a number of cases you can buy including the Surface Pro Type Cover which includes a full keyboard and trackpad built into the case. Combine this with the built-in multi-function hinge and you can use the device almost anywhere.
  • Battery life - Previous versions of the Surface had average, or slightly below average battery life. Because this device isn’t out yet, we can’t give an accurate number as to how long the battery should last. That being said, this is a powerful device so battery life will likely be closer to most laptops rather than tablets – anywhere from four to eight hours.

Should my business invest in this technology?

From the specs alone, the Surface Pro 3 looks to be a good investment for users who are looking to merge their tablet and laptop. Also, because this is a Microsoft tablet, users of the company’s other systems and software, especially Office 365 and Windows 8, will be at home with this device.

If you or your employees are looking to be productive while on the go, and use Microsoft or cloud systems, this device could be the perfect business tool. The major downside to Surface Pro 3, as with previous versions, is the price, which starts at USD$799 just for the device, so you are looking at almost USD$940 per unit. The most powerful version – the 512 GB/ Intel i7 starts at USD$1,949.

Should you be about to replace your tablet and laptop, this could be a viable solution as the cost of replacing both could be more than, or at least similar to, the cost of a Surface Pro 3. That being said, this is still a new device so it may be worthwhile waiting a few months to see how people who purchase the unit like it, and how it can be integrated into your business better.

Where can I find one?

Because this tablet was just announced the other week, it actually isn’t available to purchase just yet. You can go to the Surface website and pre order one now and as of the writing of this article, the i3 and i7 devices will be shipped August 31, 2014 while the i5 devices are scheduled to ship June 20, 2014.

If you can wait until the release, you should be also able to pick up the device from most major retailers and Microsoft partners who carry hardware. And, if you would like to learn more about this device and how it can integrate with your business contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Introducing Windows Phone 8.1

WindowsPhone_May06_AAre you looking for a Windows Phone that’s intuitive, highly customizable, and a perfect fit for your business? If you answered yes, then the new Windows Phone 8.1 might be just what you’re looking for. All you need to do first is learn more about what the new phone’s features are and how you can personalize these to fit your business needs.

Every phone user desires a phone to reflect what they need a phone for; or how they use a phone. With this in mind, Windows Phone 8.1 was designed with customizable tools to allow users to creatively express their own individuality. Innovators in Windows even coined this, “the world’s most personal Smartphone”. So why is this? Let us first take a look at the screen.

A more personalized look.

Customization is the word to describe your phone screen if you have Windows 8.1 OS. Windows has made the Windows Phone start screen highly customizable by providing an additional column to give way to more tiles so that more can be seen, allowing ease in navigation. These tiles are also set on top of a customizable start background where you can add your favorite image or use the default options. There is also a new app that allows you to set up screen lock themes with tons of visual and animation themes available to choose from.

Superior streaming experience.

Aside from the highly customizable look of the start screen, Windows Phone 8.1 also offers an improved video and music streaming experience. Windows has added Internet Explorer 11, an upgraded browser that enhances video playback significantly. In fact, this new browser offers a playback experience like that of a desktop. It even allows for video and music playback even behind a locked screen.

Simplicity of navigation.

One of the most anticipated feature of this phone OS is its new notification center. This feature allows for users to manage all alerts from different apps by simply bringing them all to one location. It also has an action centre for easy access to settings.

Your own personal assistant.

What truly makes this OS a standout is Cortana. This voice assistant competes against Siri and Google Now. This feature is more than just a voice assistant; it can get to know your personal inclinations and update you regarding news and weather based on your location and preferences. Cortana behaves like a personal assistant by getting to know you the first time you interact with the feature and building a relationship by asking questions. Over time, Cortana will draw on the answers you provide and base actions on your pretences provided by you. Basically, Cortana detects what you care about, looks out for relevant information and even manages the phone volume so you can focus on whatever it is you are doing.

The Windows Phone 8.1 Operating System will be undoubtedly snapped up by smartphone users. This particular OS is available in Lumia 630, Lumia 635, and Lumia 930; it is also compatible to existing Windows Phone 8 OS users.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Why business owners need a Windows Phone

WindowsPhone_Mar10_AMicrosoft’s Windows Phone platform, despite being slightly behind in the Smartphone race between Android and Apple, is gaining traction among users. Especially since the release of Windows Phone 8.1, business owners are increasingly enticed to jump on the Windows bandwagon. Why you might ask? One reason is that there are several features that business owners love about the Windows Phone platform.

While there’s a plethora of reasons as to why business owners are moving to the Windows platform, these three powerful ones will give you a good idea of why people are making the shift.

Office apps, Lync and Outlook

Windows Phones have access to a number of Windows apps including the powerful Office suite which can turn your phone into a mobile office. By using the various Microsoft Office apps, you can share, access and edit your office documents all in one place. You can then sync all of the documents to SkyDrive, Office 365, or SharePoint sites after you’re done editing.

Are you a huge fan or avid user of Outlook tasks and calendar? If you are, then you’ll love how you can sync your Outlook tasks with your Windows Phone and have access to all of your messages, tasks and calendars at the touch of a button.

Beyond the core Office apps, there are also apps like Lync which allows for voice and video communication. Using Lync Mobile can be a game changer for your business. You can view your colleague’s availability, chat with individuals or groups through Instant Messaging, all from your phone.

Encryption and security

Viruses, hackers or malware can put you in a lot of trouble if left unchecked. Not only is it a good idea for business owners to make sure that their system is well optimized, they need to also make sure that their security is robust as well.

The Windows Phone has a trusted boot process that ensures only validated software runs, meaning that if software hasn’t been validated by Microsoft, it won’t be allowed to run. It’s also the only phone with native support for Information Rights Management that you can use for your business to protect critical and sensitive data.

Have you misplaced your phone before? If you answered yes, then you won’t have to worry as much if you misplace your Windows Phone as it has several layers of protection against that.

Here are some of the features that you can use:

  • Password or Pin
  • Remote wipe
  • Tools that you can use to find lost phones included in the Windows Phone management site

Have all of your contacts in one place!

The Windows Phone allows you to see all of your contacts on Hotmail, Messenger, Outlook, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google and all other compatible email accounts. If you’re a Skype user, you can also see your Skype contacts. The neat part is, you can customize your phone to show from which source the contacts are coming from. So if you want only the contacts from Facebook and Skype to display on your phone, you can customize your phone to show just that and disable the other sources like LinkedIn etc.

Once you tap a name, you can then see a consolidated contact card showing all of the information you have about that specific contact. This includes all the methods to communicate, conversations, recent calls and even their social media activity.

This feature is especially helpful when building relationships with thought leaders and the influencers in your niche. You can easily be updated on what they’re doing giving you some more insight on how you can implement their techniques in your business. Using this to study your competition’s activities is another effective way of using this feature for your business.

A lot of business owners are shifting to the Windows Phone platform and they’re right in doing so. The features mentioned above can give an advantage over the competition and help boost business to greater heights. And the best part is – we’re just on the tip of the iceberg with all the features that Windows Phones have to offer.

Do you want to know more?

If you want to know more about how you can use your Windows Phone to better your business, then give us a call now and we’ll help you.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.