Microsoft gadgets: things you might not know

Whether it’s the snazzy Surface 2 or the incredible Nokia Lumia 1020, Windows and Windows Phone devices are easy to use and with lots of great features you might not know about. Here are a few cool tips and tricks to get the best out of your nifty gadget.

‘in-the-know’ tips for your new Surface 2


Avoid inky newspaper hands by catching up with the headlines on the Bing News app. Save articles to read offline by opening the app while on Wi-Fi, swiping up from the bottom of the screen and hitting the ‘refresh’ button.

Watching a movie on your Surface and fancy picking up where you left off on your Xbox? No problem. Download the Xbox One Smartglass or Xbox 360 Smartglass app and check out how easy it is to enjoy the same blockbuster on a bigger screen.

Avoid being woken up by Twitter mentions from Rio de Janeiro at 3 in the morning. Set quiet hours by swiping in from the right, selecting the ‘settings’ charm and then tapping ‘change PC settings>search and apps>notifications’.

Set quiet hours on your Windows device
Set quiet hours on your Windows device

January 16, 2014


Set up a picture password using any image you like and a series of secret gestures. We think it’s a far more personal approach to securing your gadgets.

Use the camera on your Surface 2 straight from the lock screen without even having to enter your picture password. Simply press the power switch to illuminate the screen and swipe down.


‘in-the-know’ tips for your Windows Phone

Use Data Sense to make the most of your mobile allowance by tracking how much data you’re using. See which apps are using up the most and set limits each month.

Sports fan? Get tailored sports scores on your home screen simply by opening the Bing Sport app, searching for your team and pinning them to your Start screen. Come on you reds! Obviously, other team colours also available.

Let the kids play on your phone without stressing about in-app shopping bills with Kid’s Corner. What is it? Well, it’s a separate Start screen that you set up just for your children with only the things you want them to use. Don’t forget to pin it to your Start screen for super-quick access.

If you are new to a Nokia Lumia 1020 or 925, make sure you have downloaded the Lumia Black update. The new Nokia Beamer app, available with this update, lets you stream anything from your smartphone straight onto a PC, internet TV or a mate’s smartphone. Download the app from Windows Phone Store and follow a few quick instructions. Check it out on this video from Nokia (from 2:03 onwards). The Lumia Black update will be rolling out on the Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 in the coming weeks.


Here’s another one for folks with Nokia’s Lumia Black update. Organise similar apps into tidy folders on your Start screen App Folder from Nokia. Download the app from Windows Phone Store, open it up and press the ‘+’ button to get going. It’s a piece of cake.

The Nokia Lumia Black software update
The Nokia Lumia Black software update

January 16, 2014

There you have it. A few more tips to get the best out of your new gadgets. Have fun and welcome to the family.


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