Posts Tagged

windows 8

Like its predecessors, Windows 8 makes customization of the computer mostly easy and, where it lacks, third-party software makers have stepped up and filled in. There are multiple free and paid ways of adding the lost Start button and menu and making numerous other tweaks like adding tabs to Explorer and more. 

As for the desktop and lock screen, customers can use built-in functionality to change the background to any image they wish to use, but the Start screen has a limited number of options — users can only change the color and choose from a limited number of design options.

Enter Stardock. The company makes numerous affordable apps that customers can try and buy to make tweaks to almost every aspect of the Windows 8 operating system.

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For those who have a Windows Phone handset produced by Nokia, you likely are aware there is a Nokia suite of apps that the device maker has created specifically for its customers. The suite includes Music, Maps, Drive and Transit. Now the Finnish company is starting to make some of its apps available for Windows 8.

Previously, Nokia had supported Windows for backing up your phone via copying your contacts, calendar and photos from existing Nokia phones to the Microsoft SkyDrive service.

Recently Nokia Music rolled into the Windows Store with a brand new Metro, or Modern UI, style app that installs right to the new Windows 8 Start screen. The new app also will work on the Windows RT platform, which is the ARM-based version of the new operating system that powers such devices as the Surface tablet.

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My name is Sydney and I’m an AppStorm writer, a freelance web designer, a beagle mom and a software enthusiast. I’m flexible when it comes to operating systems. My current setup is a Windows 8 desktop PC, a 13″ MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion, a jailbroken iPhone 4 and a decked out installation of Chrome synced between my computers. I spend a lot of time in my browser and I’m a huge fan of text expansion and shortcuts.

These are the apps that I couldn’t write without.

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Inevitably, an app store will revolve around several types of apps – with many different alternatives available. This is the case with any app store, with Windows 8 as well. Pocket is a popular application for reading blog posts and other content not right at the moment. Articles are saved in a queue – and there are several Pocket clients in the Windows app store that promise to fulfill this task.

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Paint a Story and Get in Touch with Your Creativity

Graphics packages can be terrifying applications. Fire up a program such as a Photoshop and the plethora of options and tools spreads before you is likely to be rather overwhelming. This is even more the case for children, but at the same time, it is only right that they are given the opportunity to experiment with computer-based painting. This is what Paint a Story offers – but there’s more to explore as well.

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An operating system is most useful in its day-to-day functions – functions like an RSS reader, a chat program, a note-taking app; and a news app. And, in theory, every political app reports on the news with absolutely no slant at all – because we all know how unbiased the journalism scene is.

Still, it’s no crime to want to read the news in a format that’s easy to use and comfortable to read in. Which news app for Windows 8 does the best job of this? Read on for more.

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Explorer is a tool that gets used every day. Few people give a second thought to looking for an alternative – there is a reasonably capable utility built into Windows for managing files, so why bother? – but when you start to investigate just what else is available, you start to realize what is missing from Microsoft’s file manager. Better Explorer is just one of many Explorer replacement tools and there’s a lot to explore.

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Perhaps the most basic requirement of any operating system is a good chat app. Windows 8 ships with the default Messaging app, but as it lacks Google Talk support, this essentially cripples that app. So in my quest to find Windows 8 apps for all of my day-to-day functions, I stumbled upon Chat.

The simply-named, even simpler program is one of many chat programs in the Windows 8 store that promise simple day to day use. But so far, I’d not stumbled upon a program that meets any of those promises, until I found Chat.

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There are a number of ways in which you can secure your computer. To help protect against online threats you’ll probably want to ensure that you have a firewall in place and anti-virus and anti-malware software installed.

But not all threats are external. If you share your computer with other people – such as your children – there is potential for settings to get changed without your consent. Many settings can be locked down by editing the registry, but you can also turn to the Group Policy Editor to put restrictions in place far more easily.

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Microsoft is not a company renown for producing great image related software (Paint anyone?) but sometimes it can surprise. Fresh Paint is a touchscreen and finger friendly painting app that, while clearly aimed at kids, is great fun for anyone looking to get a little creative.

But while this is certainly an app that will be loved by kids, there is a degree of realism to the painting materials that make this worth a look even if you are slightly out of the target age bracket.

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