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The best hidden features in Windows 10’s major update | The Verge

Microsoft’s first major Windows 10 update debuted yesterday with some new features and changes. Most of the additions are obvious, but there are a few hidden away. Here are several Windows 10 features you might not have discovered yet.

Find my device

 

You’re probably used to using a find my device feature on your phone, but what happens if you lose your laptop? In most versions of Windows you’d have to settle for a third-party app to trust and track your laptop’s location, but Microsoft has decided to add this functionality straight into Windows 10. Just like the mobile equivalent, you can enable find my device and it will track the last known location of your laptop or PC.

It’s linked to your Microsoft Account so you can sign-in on the web from another device if you lose your laptop or it gets stolen. You can find the setting to enable it in settings > update & security > find my device.

Cortana will let you reply to texts and more

 

If you have a Windows Phone then Cortana gets a lot more useful with the latest Windows 10 update. A new option in Cortana’s settings section lets you enable missed call notifications. That’s useful if you simply miss a call, but it also lets you reply to calls with text messages. Cortana will use your phone and its number to send the text, and you can even say “text Joe Bloggs” to initiate a text message without having to miss a call.

Sadly this isn’t available yet in the new Messaging app, so you need to use Cortana at the moment to send text messages. If you have a device with a stylus then Cortana will also let you create reminders based on times, dates, and locations that you scribble into digital notes. If you’re an Uber user then you can even link your account so Cortana will offer driving directions for events alongside an option to request an Uber ride.

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Automatic time zones

 

Windows has had the ability to set automatic time for years, but if you travel to another country it never changed time zones automatically. That’s changing with the latest Windows 10 update. Hidden away in settings > time & language is a new “set time zone automatically” option. It’s enabled by default if you install the latest update, and it does exactly what it says. Now if you’re travelling for vacation or work, you won’t get to your destination and be puzzled by your old time zone. It will finally work just like your smartphone does.

Cast media to device

 

Microsoft already supports DLNA and Miracast streaming inside Windows 10, but the latest update makes it a lot more discoverable. If you’re using Microsoft Edge then there’s a new option to “cast media to device” and elsewhere there’s a little cast icon in apps like photos or videos. The cast media feature lets you send photos, video, and audio to compatible devices with no setup required. It’s a lot like Google’s Chromecast feature now.

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Microsoft Edge sync passwords and favorites

 

It’s surprising that password, favorites, and reading list sync wasn’t enabled for the Microsoft Edge browser in Windows 10, but that’s changing with the new update. If you use multiple Windows 10 devices then you can enable the sync option in Edge settings so the browser finally syncs passwords and favorites across all the laptops and PCs you use.

New Skype apps

 

Microsoft is including Skype integration with its latest Windows 10 update, but you might not even notice it at first. If you install the latest update then apps like Messaging, Phone, and Skype Video will also be installed. You can find them using Cortana or the app list, and they’re basic versions of Skype features. They’re useful if you want a lightweight messaging app to talk to Skype friends, but they still need some improvements.

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Better app snapping

 

Windows 8 introduced some useful “Metro” app snapping features, and now Windows 10 is extending them to all apps. When you place two desktop apps side-by-side, like File Explorer and Notepad, you can now resize them individually and the other window will adjust to fill the gap. It’s a lot more like how Metro-style apps worked in Windows 8, and it’s great if you want to have apps side-by-side but have one act like it’s a sidebar. Just hover your mouse in the middle of two snapped apps and you’ll see a new slider will appear to let you adjust accordingly.

Verge Video: Windows 10 review

Source: The best hidden features in Windows 10’s major update | The Verge

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Top Cases for the Samsung Galaxy Note 5




Samsung’s Phablet line of phones just keeps on pushing the edge going from strong contenders to even stronger. Despite the Note 5 not having a few features (and Samsung taking too many cues from Apple. Just saying.) it still has that large screen and plenty of features to take advantage of it.  The Note 5 is a nice looking phone. I had to check it  out and found it at an AT&T store before launch and I did love the way it looked. It is hands down one of the best looking and will cost you a pretty (ugly) penny too. The Note 5’s aesthetics though come with a price of there own. It is a bit fragile and I had to be extra careful to keep the phone from slipping out of my hand. Don’t get me wrong it is not too bad but coming from a different phone (Also a Note series phone) I felt I had to grip it tighter even though it had a lower footprint in my hand then my current phone at the time. So you will need protection for what  is still a beast of a phone. The cases listed here are in no order or importance or whichever is better so here goes…

Ringke Fusion Crystal Case

Ringke Fusion Note 5
I just happen to like this case and I keep seeing it mentioned in forums by people. The case is a hard slim case that shows off the Note 5 by also being transparent. The case is scratch resistant but nothing big is really talked about this part. You will see some stuff on the case eventually over time. There are TPU plugs that protects the ports from debris and this thing comes with a screen protector. Two for one baby…

Spigen Slim Armor Case

Spigen Slim Armor Note 5
I have this case for my Galaxy Note 4 and this case is just fine for me and it looks good. I bought it in a blue color and Spigen has continued onto the Note 5. The case has a kickstand and two layers. One layer being a rubber-type layer which is great for protection. Its TPU core helps to increase grip around the edges. The shell is smooth (polycarbonate) looks great while is a bit slippery though but still feels good in the hand. The buttons sit flush with the case which does take some getting used to. I noticed it takes a lil bit more strength to press the buttons too. (That is how the case is on my Note 4) Oh I will add in that the kickstand you should take care when using it. The kickstand is more stable while the phone is in the case so if you decide to try to pull it out while the phone is not in the case and find it either hard to do or whatever you notice….its better with the phone inside. I used the kickstand from time to time but I make sure I am careful with it. The Slim Armor Case for the Note 5 comes in gunmetal, metal slate, violet, and gold.

OBLIQ Slim Fit Hard Case

Obliq Bumper Case-Note 5
The OBLIQ Case is another option if you do not want fatten that Note 5 too much. This case (also polycarbonate) snaps on your phone allowing easier access to the ports, side buttons, and whatever else. The case has an airbrushed finish, looks great, and is easy to grip.[add_to_cart id=”2622″ style=”border:0;”]

SUPCASE Heavy Duty Case and Holster

Supcase HD Combo Note 5
This next case is one we all have seen some version of on different phones. Kind of remeniscent of an Otterbox but without the Otterbox price tag. So if you want that level of protection for your phone but do not wanna spend alot this case is an option. The Supcase has a built-in screen protector for that guard against scratches and the polycarbonate shell. TPU increases its grip while handling impact quite well. It has that rugged Hummer style to it and it has a few colors even for that rugged ride-or-die female.

Caseology Wavelength Series

Caseology Wavelength Case Note 5
The next case, the Caseology Wavelength at first glance I would say it must have some grip. This is a nice case also which adds a bit more to the look of your device while at the same time offering protection. Okay this case does have a polycarbonate frame and the matching TPU that covers most of the phone which also supplies the grip. The buttons are raised and the camera/ports are open. The colors it comes in are navy blue, mint, pink, and black.

Pelican ProGear Voyager Case

Pelican Pink Voyager Case & Holster Note5
This Pelican case made its way in recently for a case that is military grade. Like alot of cases it is built from a shock-absorbing layer with a polycarbonate shell but… with extra rubber on the outside where you will need it most. This case comes with a screen protector and the space from the edge to the screen is rather spacey for what I am used to. The usual button covers and cut-outs for all the ports and stuff along with a holster that can be used as a kickstand. This case though seems harder to find. I found a pink one floating around and the black one I think is an AT&T exclusive offering. So you will have to hit up the AT&T site to find that one.

Honorable Mention for Outdoors

I added this in because I did wonder what was around for say policeman or security guards. Most cases aren’t really great for running with and when I run with my phone I find myself having to hold the phone in order to keep it from jumping out of my pocket. (Cargo pockets are out cause as you run the phone will literally start banging on your knee. Unless you wear tight pants………………)

OneTigris MOLLE Tactical Smartphone Pouch for iPhone6 iPhone6 Plus and Galaxy Note 4, Blackberry 8300, HTC One Max

OneTigris-MOLLE-Tactical-Smartphone-Pouch-for-iPhone6-iPhone6-Plus-and-Galaxy-Note-Black-0
This pouch is designed to hold a smartphone with a larger screen. The ONETIGRIS site says it fits the iPhone 6 Plus perfectly. The site also says that with an Otterbox Defender case the phone would fit so tightly. The iphone 6 plus is very much the same size so grab you a slim case with a screen protector and rock this pouch to keep you phone around while on duty. The pouch is made of rugged 1000D nylon with a padding interior and strengthen buckle. The pouch allows for attaching to the MOLLE-compatible backpacks and vests that ONETIGRIS makes. Horizontal and verticalically worn on a belt and can be installed into webbing.
Veterans Advantage, Inc.
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Windows 10 – Getting the white out.

Windows 10 Inside Out
Written by the award-winning team that created the best-seller Windows 7 Inside Out, it digs deep to explain not just how new features work, but why they work that way. The authors are backed by world-class technical editors and inside sources at Microsoft to make sure their information is accurate and complete.

Windows 10 is better (in ways) yet all that white is just annoying. I find it a bit hard to find where to place the mouse so I can drag windows from screen to screen. (Yes I have 2 screens.) Well Windows 10 uses white title bars (That is what they are called.) by default.  This is a bit of  a change from Windows 8 which did let you choose any color you wanted. There is a way to get some color to your desktop title bars.  Okay this method only affect some apps, mainly the traditional apps but not the universal apps. The universal apps stick to the white but a color change for some apps can really make a different for some depending on what apps you use consecutively. The univeral apps though depend on the developer of the app to specify a color. You can make the universal apps use a dark (hidden) theme though. I will talk about that after.

Microsoft Store

Change Windows Theme Files

Since Microsoft chose to rather force the white title bars we have to make a few changes. See in the DWM.dll theme file, there is code  that compares the current theme file with the “aero.msstyles” file which is the default theme  file. If it matches windows ignores the color in the file and sets the color to white. A solution… Just change the default Windows theme file to not have the name “aero.msstyles”.

 

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes. (The more windows changes the more it stays the same.)
  2. Select the “aero” folder and copy it  (CTRL+C to copy) then paste it (CTRL+V to paste) right after into the same folder so you end up with 2 folders called aero, the 2nd folder having “copy” in its name. During the process you will get a UAC prompt that you will click “Continue” for. After select “Do this for all current items” and click “skip” when you see the File Access Denied window.
  3. FolderDeny Once you do that you will have made a folder called “aero – copy”. Rename it to whatever you want, in this case I will say rename it to “mytheme”. Just make sure you remember what you named it because you will have use that name later.
  4. Go inside your new folder “mytheme” and you will see a file named “aero.msstyles”. Rename it to “mytheme.msstyles”. Oh and click Continue when you see the UAC prompt.
  5. MsStylesRename.jpgOpen the en-US folder and you will see a file called “aero.msstyles.mui”. You need to rename it to “mytheme.msstyles.mui”. Again when you see the UAC prompt just click Continue. (The en-US folder may have a different name if you are using a different language version of Windows so just use a little common sense and goto the the folder with your language name with its shortened 2-letters and a dash with country code. Which in this case is US. (en = English, US = United States)
  6. StyleMUIRename imageNow go back to the main Themes folder and there is a file named “aero.theme”. You will need to copy it to your desktop because Windows will fight you in altering this file so copy and paste it to your desktop. Once you have your copy of the file on your desktop just rename it to “mytheme.theme”.
  7. Right-click on the mytheme.theme file and select OPEN WITH, then select CHOOSE another app (click on MORE APPs) and open the file with Notepad. Scroll down in the file and locate the line under [VisualStyles]. It should be reading like this: Path=%ResourceDir%\Themes\Aero\aero.msstyles. Replace or change the Aero part to mytheme so it reads like this:
    Path=%ResourceDir%\Themes\Aero\mytheme.msstyles.
    Save the file and close notepad. It will basically look like this. 

    [VisualStyles]
    Path=%ResourceDir%\Themes\Aero\Aero.msstyles
    ColorStyle=NormalColor
    Size=NormalSize
    AutoColorization=0
    ColorizationColor=0XC40078D7

  8. Now select the mytheme.theme file you edited on your desktop and cut (cut and paste) it by pressing CTRL+X then go back to the C:\Windows\Resources\Themes folder then paste it by pressing CTRL+V. Agree to the UAC prompt when you are done.  These steps have helped you create a theme that can use colored window title bars.
  9. Now you have to activate the theme and you can do that by just simply double-clicking on it. Your title bars once finish applying should be colored now.

Personalization.jpg
From the images I am sure you see I have already done this so you have your proof that it does work. Windows 8 had like a default that auto chose a color based on the colors in your curerently selected wallpaper.   You can pick colors too if you want.  You just have to right-click on the desktop and select Personalize (the long way is to open your Start Menu and select Settings and find Personalization from there.) Once you are there just select the Colors option/category and disable the “Automatically pick an accent color from my background” toggle and a list of colors will show up. (Notice this window is still white.)

Personalization2.jpg
The list is  limited but if you are not satisfied with the choices you can still access the old school control panel applet by first pressing Windows Key+R to open up the Run dialog box then copy-&-paste the following command line into the run box and run the command by clicking OK. There will be a Show or Hide color mixer toggle arrow and using that you can get any color your want. If you do not see it you may have windows set to choose colors based on the wallpaper but you will still see colors in this window so just choose a color and it should show up.

This trick was tested using the latest version of Windows 10 (not a test build) from the date of this article.  Given what I have been seeing I would not be surprised if Microsoft adds more theming options later on as they seem to be listening a bit more to their users.  Alot of us techy people have been testing out development versions even after windows 10’s release and they have an improved feedback tool to help you voice your issues.

Microsoft