Blog

March 13th, 2014

WindowsPhone_Mar10_CAre you looking for the best mobile platform for your business? While there are several mobile phones in the market, nothing can compare to the Windows Phone platform and the features that it can offer your business. Not only is it stable and trusted, but it’s also a very intuitive platform that you can easily manage to get things going for your business.

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.

February 13th, 2014

WindowsPhone_Feb10_CMicrosoft’s series of proprietary mobile operating systems picked up momentum in the market, after the release of Windows Phone 8 in 2012. As a Windows OS, it features the same design language as its predecessor - Windows Phone 7. Now, just over a year on, the platform is starting to get into its stride, especially when it comes to features.

Windows Phone 8 has many worthwhile features and here are a few of the most instrumental new features.

Data Sense

If you haven’t subscribed to an unlimited data plan, perhaps you should be looking for ways to monitor and reduce the mobile data you’re using. Well, in this case, Data Sense can be a really useful Windows Phone 8 app because it helps you monitor your mobile data usage and explore a variety of efficient ways to use the data you have.

Data Sense compresses every single website you are opening, to minimize the data your smartphone is consuming. On top of it all, it provides an alarm feature called Live Tile that gives you a status update of the amount of data you’ve consumed, and alerts you when it's near the preset limit.

Kid’s Corner

The Kid’s Corner is a special feature in Windows Phone 8 that allows parents and guardians to have total control over a phone. This app effectively manages the functionality of the apps that are accessible to children. Parents can configure the applications, music, or movies their child can access through the Windows Phone. Everything else that is not configured is protected by the PIN and Lock screen.

With this feature, parents can minimize accidental misuse and access to restricted content. However, this is not limited to children only, but to other people who want to use your phone as well. This feature app secures your smartphone, bringing you greater peace of mind.

FM Radio

Well, FM radio may not seem like the most innovative and groundbreaking feature in the smartphone era. But unlike its predecessors, FM Radio doesn’t require a data connection, and won’t eat up much of your battery life.

If you want to use this feature you need to have a headset - headphones - plugged into your device. Simply go to Music + Videos, click Collection, select the station number, and start listening to your favorite radio stations. Just make sure to buy a smartphone that has an FM radio on it, because not all WP8-based smartphones offer this feature.

The camera

WP8’s new camera feature has better support for high-resolution displays. Also, the update to WP8 includes several tweaks that will surely please photo enthusiasts, allowing them to take not only better pictures, but also edit and share these more easily.

The Windows Phone 8 is a highly customizable and sophisticated operating system, especially for businesses who use Microsoft's products in the office. If you would like to learn more about Windows Phone 8, Contact us today for more information.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

January 16th, 2014

WindowsPhone_Jan13_CThere are many futuristic features on the modern smartphone that allow users to interact with their phones in different ways. One such feature is the ability to interact by simply using your voice. This feature is available on all three of the major mobile operating systems, including Windows Phone. With the Speech feature on Windows Phone, did you know you can actually interact with some apps too?

If you have a phone running Windows Phone 8, there are apps that support voice commands. This feature is actually built into the OS through the Speech feature.

About Speech

By using the Speech feature on Windows Phone 8, you can use your voice to launch apps, write an SMS, call people and more. You can also tell your phone to open apps and even navigate to a part of the app.

To access the Speech feature on your phone, press and hold the Windows icon at the bottom of your screen and it should pop up. In the window that opens, you should be able to just speak your command. If that doesn't work, press the microphone icon, and you should see a message flash that says Listening…. You can then speak your command.

Some useful Speech voice commands

Here are five useful commands that you may find useful:
  1. "Call 'contact name'" - This will call whatever person you say from your contact list.
  2. "Redial" - This will call the last number you called.
  3. "Text 'contact name'" - This will start a new text message that will be sent to the contact you say. You can then dictate the the message without having to type it.
  4. "Start 'application'" - This will open the application you say.
  5. "Search for 'term'" - This will open your browser and search for the term you say.

How to tell what apps you can interact with using your voice

Not every app available on the Windows Store supports voice commands, and many don't actually tell you the app does support them. Luckily, there is a way to see which apps you can interact with using your voice:
  1. Pressing and holding the Windows icon on your phone until the Speech feature opens.
  2. Saying "What can I say?".
  3. Swiping right to the menu that says apps.
This will present you with a list of apps and pressing on each app will tell you what commands you can use while the app is open.

If you would like to learn more tips and tricks for the Windows Phone, please contact us today to see how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

October 24th, 2013

WindowsPhone_Oct21_CThe tablet has taken off in a big way. Almost every device manufacturer has one, and many business users are integrating it into their daily activities. Last year, Microsoft took a stab at their own tablet and released the Surface and Surface Pro. While a brilliant idea - who doesn't want a tablet that can run Windows programs?-- the devices fell a bit short of the mark. Recently, Microsoft announced two new versions of the Surface. Will they bring a bit more to the table?

In late September, Microsoft held an event where they announced a refresh of the Surface brand. Last year's Surface and Surface Pro have both received updates which could entice businesses users to look at the platform. Here's an overview of the important specs for both new devices.

The Surface 2 Last year's naming scheme was a little confusing, so this year Microsoft renamed the Surface RT the Surface 2. This is a tablet device that is meant to compete with the iPad and Android tablets.

  • Operating system - The Surface 2 will run Windows 8.1 RT, a more useable tablet-based version of Windows 8. The most popular change 8.1 RT will introduce is full support for Outlook. The Surface 2 also comes preinstalled with a touch optimized version of Microsoft Office - Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.
  • Processor - This year's device will run a NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, one of the fastest and most powerful mobile processors currently available. It should be powerful enough to be able to handle pretty much every task with ease.
  • Screen size - With a 10.6 inch screen and a resolution of 1920 x 1080, this device has a full HD display that should look great.
  • Memory and storage - There are two versions of this tablet - one with 32GB of storage and the other with 64GB. Users will also get 200 GB of SkyDrive storage for two years. The device also has 2GB of RAM which should be more than enough to cover all types of use. There is also a full USB 3.0 port, so you should be able to attach an external hard drive for even further storage.
  • Battery life - According to Microsoft, users should get around 10 hours of use out of the device, but this hasn't been tested yet. However, you can expect the device to last at least a full day at the office.
  • Price and availability - The device can currently be pre-ordered from the Windows Store now, and will start shipping October 25. The 32 GB version costs USD$449 while the 64 HB version costs USD$549
The Surface 2 Pro The Surface 2 Pro is Microsoft's high-end tablet, but really, it’s more like an incredibly portable computer with a touch screen. This years update has even further improved specs that make it more or less competitive with most low to mid-range laptops.
  • Operating system - The Surface 2 Pro will run on a full version of Windows 8.1 Pro. From what we can see, there will be no difference between this version and that found on laptops and desktops.
  • Processor - This years device has seen a bump in processing speed and has a fourth generation i5 processor from Intel. This same type of processor is found in many laptops, which means there should be more than enough power to meet most, if not all of your business computing needs. It may struggle a bit with intense operations like graphics editing or gaming however.
  • Screen size - With a 10.6 inch screen and a resolution of 1920 x 1080, this device has a full HD display that should look great.
  • Memory and storage - There are four storage versions of the Surface Pro 2 - 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB. The 64 and 128 GB versions come with 4 GB of RAM while the 256 GB and 512 GB versions come with 8 GB of RAM. This means the device should be able to run almost any programs. Each device also comes with 200 GB of SkyDrive storage and a USB 3.0 port that you can plug an external hard drive into, so storage issues shouldn't be a problem.
  • Battery life - Battery life of this device has not been published, but you can expect it to be similar to most current laptops.
  • Price and availability - The Surface Pro 2 starts at USD$899 for the 64 GB version. The 128 GB version costs USD$999, the 256 GB version costs USD$1,299 and the 512 GB version costs USD$1,799. You can pre-order all four versions of the device from the Microsoft Store now, but the 256 HB and 512 GB versions won't ship until at least December 15. The 2 versions with the smaller hard drives will ship by October 22.
If you are looking to learn more about the Surface 2 or Surface 2 Pro, please contact us today to see how we can help.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

August 29th, 2013

WindowsPhone_Aug26_CA popular reason why many people have smartphones is to be able to check their social media profiles while on the go. While the major OSs offer some great social media apps, Windows Phone can often come across as a bit lacking. Sure, there are versions of the most popular services, but it may not seem like much else. In fact, this isn't quite the true picture and there are actually some pretty good apps available.

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.

August 1st, 2013

WindowsPhone_July29_COk, we admit it, Windows Phones are not as popular as other systems like Android or Apple's iOS. But, that doesn't mean the system is no good. In fact, Windows Phone 8, launched in 2012, is a great system. In order to keep it that way, and improve on it, Microsoft has been releasing small updates, the latest of which has just been implemented. These developments introduce improvements and even some new features.

This latest update, called GDR2 by Microsoft (GRD2 stands for: General Distribution Release 2), brings a number of small features to devices running Windows Phone 8, and was released for most phones on July 22, 2013. So far, this is the second update to the platform this year, and will likely not be the last, with more updates and a new version of Windows Phone 8 - Windows Phone 8.1 - rumored to be launched later this year, or early next.

Here are the main changes GDR2 introduces

  • Support for Google Calendar and Contacts - Google Calendar and Contacts can be stored in file formats called calDAV and cardDAV. It is these formats that, when other systems can support or read them, allow for seamless syncing with Google. These formats have been introduced making syncing your Google Calendar and Contacts with your Windows Phone much easier.
  • Data Sense - Because most smartphone users have a data plan that comes with a limited amount of bandwidth, they could benefit from an app or way to track how much data they have used. With the update and introduction of Data Sense, you can now do exactly that. After you install the update, you will be able to find Data Sense in your App list. Open the app, and press Settings to set your data limit and plan type.
  • Ability to change your camera app - There are a number of camera apps on the Windows Phone store. The problem with the older version of Windows Phone is that it didn't allow users to choose which app was their default camera. The update allows for this ability.
  • Improved Skype stability - Anyone who has used Skype for an extended period of time, on any mobile platform, knows that it could use a bit of work stability wise. GDR2 improves the overall stability of Skype, making it an overall better platform.
  • Improved HTML5 for Internet Explorer - HTML5 is still relatively quite new, and many phones lack full support of this language. Because it is becoming more popular amongst web designers, mobile users are starting to view these sites too. However, they may be missing out due to lack of support in the browser they are using. GDR2 brings some improvements to Internet Explorer and how it handles HTML5 on mobile devices, and improving the browsing experience.
How do I know if my phone has been updated? If you are unsure whether you have received this latest update, you can check what version of Windows Phone your device is using by tapping on Settings from the App list, selecting About followed by More Info. Scroll down until you see Software and it would tell you what version you are running. If you have GDR2 installed, it should say: 8.0.10327.77 or 8.0.10328.78 depending on the phone manufactuerer.

How do I install the update? If you haven't received the update, you can check and see if it is available by opening the Settings app on your phone and tapping on Phone update, followed by Check for updates. Should the update be available, you will be given a prompt to update and then you can press Download. It is a good idea to ensure you are connected to Wi-Fi before doing this. Once the download is finished, you should see the phone turn off and on again, and the update install. Tap Done when instructed to do so, and you should be updated.

Looking to learn more about the Windows Phone? Why not contact us today to see how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

July 4th, 2013

WindowsPhone_July03_CTake a step back for a minute and observe smartphone users. You will likely see numerous iPhones and Android devices, and even a few Windows Phones. The thing you may also notice is that most users likely won’t switch to another system. However, from time-to-time, new features and phones tempt a certain number to make the switch and move from say an iPhone to a Windows Phone, for example.

If you are thinking of switching from an iPhone to a Windows Phone, here is a brief guide on how you can migrate your important information and tools over to your new phone.

Switch your email

Chances are high that you linked an email account to your iPhone. Regardless of the type of account you have – Gmail, Outlook, iCloud, etc., moving email is pretty easy. In fact, Windows Phone allows you to link almost any email account. Here’s how:

  1. Tap the Settings icon on your Windows Phone.

  2. Select Email + accounts followed by Next.

  3. Tap Add an account along with the account you want to add.

  4. Enter your email address and password.

  5. Tap Next, select Email only followed by Sign in.

The phone will sync with your account and your email should start showing in the email tile on the main screen. If you use other accounts, say a Google account, you can sync these in the same way.

Migrate your contacts

Contacts are an important part of any phone, and you probably want to take them with you, or migrate them over to the new system. You have a couple of options to get your contacts onto your new Windows Phone. The method you use should reflect where you store your contacts.

  1. Contacts linked with an online account – If you have set up your iPhone to sync contacts with an online account like Google or Outlook.com, you can simply follow the steps in the email section above and select Email, contacts, and calendar. Your contacts should show up within a couple of minutes.

  2. Contacts stored on your iPhone – If you have contacts stored on your iPhone, but not linked to an online account, the steps to get them off may be a little complicated. The easiest way is to export the contacts to Outlook on your computer. You can do this by:

    1. Plugging your phone into your computer and opening iTunes.

    2. Selecting your iPhone in iTunes.

    3. Clicking Info followed by Sync Contacts with and selecting Outlook.

    4. Clicking Apply.

If you use Exchange (which is likely at work), sign into your Windows Phone using that account, and your contacts will be migrated over automatically. If you don’t use Exchange, follow the instructions on the Microsoft site here.

  1. Contacts stored on your computer – The easiest way to migrate your contacts from your computer to your phone is through Outlook. Sign into Outlook using a Microsoft account, then drag your contacts from Outlook into the account and sign into your phone using the same account. Your contacts will automatically transfer over. If you have an older version of Outlook, try the Hotmail connector, (instructions on how to transfer files are below the download link).

Import important documents

If you have files that you would like to access on your phone the easiest option is to download these onto your computer first by connecting your phone to iTunes and transferring them off. If these are spreadsheets, presentations or word processing files you should upload them to your SkyDrive.

When the files are on your computer, plug your Windows Phone in using a USB cable. The computer should recognize this and show you a window with options of what you can do with your phone. Select Explore Files and a window will open with the phone’s file structure. Double-click on Documents. Then, open the folder where you downloaded the documents to, in another window. Simply drag the files from this folder to Documents and they will be available on your phone.

Get your apps

At the writing of this article, there is no easy way to transfer your apps over from the iPhone to the Windows Phone. You will have to go into the Windows Store and search for the apps you use. The good news is that many popular apps are available.

Move your SIM card/phone number

Moving to a new phone system can sometimes be confusing, especially in relation to SIM cards. The vast majority of iPhones use micro SIMs, while Windows Phones use regular or micro. If your Windows Phone uses the same size of SIM as your iPhone, you should be able to pull it out of the iPhone and switch it over to your new phone without a problem. If your new device uses a different sized SIM, you will have to go to your mobile provider and ask them for a new card.

The one thing to be careful with is if your iPhone is on a contract. Some mobile carriers have been known to lock the SIM to the device, meaning it won’t work if you switch phones. You will have to go into the mobile carrier and pay them to switch.

In general, moving from an iPhone to a Windows Phone is a painless affair that shouldn’t take a long time, especially if you already sync your contacts, calendar and email online. If you are making the move and have further questions, please give us a call. We are happy to help.

 

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

June 5th, 2013

WindowsPhone_June05_CHistorically speaking, it has been a bit of a chore to move from one Operating System to another. You have to worry about file compatibility and then transferring all of your important information like contacts and email. When it comes to a mobile OS, it may seem a complicated process but it really isn't, especially if you are moving from Android to Windows Phone.

If you are a current Android user and either thinking of switching to a Windows Phone, or are getting one for the office, you are likely wondering how you are going to switch or get your important information from one system to the other. While you may imagine it is going to be a real chore, it's actually quite easy and straightforward. Here is a short guide on how to switch to the Windows Phone from Android.

Switch your email

Your email account is arguably the most important account you have. It is also the account you use to essentially make your phone yours. As a current Android user, you likely have linked a Gmail account to your device and probably want to continue using this account. The good news is that a Windows Phone still allows you to link your email account. Here's how:

  1. Tap the Settings icon on your Windows Phone.
  2. Select Email + accounts followed by Next.
  3. Tap Add an account along with the account you want to add, (for most Android users this will be Google).
  4. Enter your email address and password.
  5. Tap Next, select Email only followed by Sign in.

The phone should sync with your Google account and your email should start showing in the email tile on the main screen. If you use other accounts, say a Microsoft account, you can add these in the same way.

Migrate your contacts

Contacts are an important part of any phone, and you probably want to take them with you, or migrate them over to the new system. You have a couple of options to get your contacts onto your new Windows Phone. The method you use should reflect where you store your contacts.

  1. Contacts linked with your Google account - If you have set up your Android device to sync contacts with your Google account, (done by going to Settings, Accounts, Google and tapping on Contacts), you can simply follow the steps in the email section above and select Email, contacts, and calendar. Your contacts should show up within a couple of minutes.
  2. Contacts stored on your SIM card - If you have saved your contacts to a SIM card, simply insert it into the new phone, as long as the SIM is the same size. Go to the People app on your phone and select Settings, followed by Import SIM contacts. If your new device has a different sized SIM card, your best bet is to sync your contacts with your Google account.
  3. Contacts stored on your computer - The easiest way to migrate your contacts from your computer to your phone is through Outlook. Sign into Outlook using a Microsoft account, drag your contacts from Outlook into the account and then sign into your phone using the same account. Your contacts will automatically transfer over. If you have an older version of Outlook, try the Hotmail connector, (instructions on how to transfer files are below the download link).

Import important documents

If you have files that you would like to access on your phone the easiest option is to download these onto your computer first. If they are spreadsheets, presentations or word processing files on Google Drive, you should download them as Word, Excel or PowerPoint files.

When the files are on your computer, plug your phone into it using a USB cable. The computer should recognize this and show you a window with options of what you to do with your phone. Select Explore Files and a window will open with the phone's file structure. Double-click on Documents. Then, open the folder where you downloaded the documents to, in another window. Simply drag the files in the folder on your computer to Documents and they will be available on your phone.

Get your apps

As we stated last month, you can download the Switch to Windows Phone app from Google Play. Run the app, and link it with a Microsoft account. On your Windows Phone, download the companion app from the Store, open and run it. Your should be able to download compatible apps from there.

Move your SIM card/phone number

Moving to a new phone system can sometimes be confusing, especially in relation to SIM cards. For the vast majority of phones, you should be able to simply move your SIM card from one to the other and it should work. Many new phones use a new, smaller SIM card and if you use the older version, you will have to go into your mobile provider and ask them to switch your card. It shouldn't be very costly and many providers may even offer to do it for free.

The one thing to be careful with is if your Android device is on a contract. Some mobile carriers have been known to lock the SIM to the device, meaning it won't work if you switch phones. You will have to go into the mobile carrier and pay them to switch.

In general, moving from Android to Windows Phone is a painless affair that shouldn't take a long time, especially if you already sync your contacts, calendar and email with Gmail. If you are making the move and have further questions, please give us a call, we are happy to help.


Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

May 8th, 2013

WindowsPhone_May08_CFor the past five years there have really been only two major smartphone systems: Android and Apple's iOS. Systems like the Windows Phone have been on the outside looking in. Microsoft aims to change that, and has been gaining ground, albeit slowly. The latest version of Windows Phone, Windows Phone 8, offers users a solid mobile system that will likely attract many business users. The problem is, it can be a bit of a chore to switch to a new system. However, Microsoft has recently released an app for Android users that makes this switch much easier.

If you have an Android phone and want to move over to a Windows Phone, Microsoft has recently released an app that can help. "Switch to Windows Phone", available on the Google Play store, is an app that scans your device for installed apps and then links them to your Microsoft Account. It will also tell you how many 'matched apps' are available for the Windows Phone.

Matched apps are either the Windows Phone version, or a similar app that has the same functionality. It is highly likely that you will see more than 70% of your Android apps available on the Windows Phone Store.

After you have matched your apps on the Android device, you can then download the companion app from the Windows Phone Store, log in to your phone using the same Microsoft Account and the app will show you the available apps and allow you to tap on them to install them.

If you have synced your contacts, email and calendar with a Google Account on your Android, you can also log into this on your Windows Phone and the three should sync automatically. This means that switching is technically as simple as signing into two accounts on your Windows Phone.

Looking to switch? Download the free Android app from Google Play here. You can find the free companion app on the Windows Phone Store here. Check back next month for an in-depth look at how to switch to a Windows Phone from another system. If you are considering switching, or would like to learn more about how a smartphone can help make business easier, contact us today.


Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

April 11th, 2013

WindowsPhone_April10_CWhen looking to purchase new technology for a business, many business owners or managers will take their time to shop around and look for the best option available. Nowadays, most of this research is done over the Internet. As you probably know, everyone has an opinion on the Internet, and this can make it harder to figure out which tech is actually good, and what isn't. This is especially true for Microsoft's new tablet, the Surface Pro.

Here's a brief overview of the four main pros and cons of the Microsoft Surface Pro.

Pros

1. Windows 8

The Surface Pro comes with Windows 8 Pro installed. This is the full version - all the functionality of the desktop is on the tablet. For businesses this means that almost any program you use on your Windows 8 desktop will also be useable on the Surface Pro; you can truly take the office with you.

If you don't use Windows 8 at the office, but use an older version of Windows, most programs will still work because Windows 8 supports many legacy Windows programs (Windows 7, Vista and some XP programs).

2. You can connect almost anything

Unlike similar tablet devices, the Surface Pro comes with a full USB port which can accommodate almost any USB device, including external hard drives. There is also a mini DisplayPort which, with an adapter, you will be able to connect an external monitor or projector to.

Beyond that, the Surface Pro also has a MiniSD card slot which allows for up to 64GB of extra storage space. There is also an attachable keyboard case which connects to the tablet by magnets, and gives users a full laptop style keyboard and mouse trackpad.

3. The screen is gorgeous

The 10.6 inch screen of the Surface Pro has a resolution of 1920X1080 pixels, which means the display is full HD. When comparing it to the screen of the iPad 4, most users will not notice much of a difference. For the visual experts among you, the resolution translates to a 16:9 ratio, which means the device is widescreen, much like modern laptop monitors.

4. It's powerful

The Surface Pro has a third generation Intel i5 processor and 4GB of RAM. This is similar to many mid-range laptops currently on the market and is miles ahead of any other business tablet currently available. What this means for most business users is that they will be able to run almost all of their business programs without a problem.

Cons

1. Battery life

Most 10-inch tablets will have between 6 and 10 hours of battery life under normal use conditions - some Web browsing, email, Wi-Fi on, movie playing and screen on a normal level of brightness. The Surface Pro will get around four hours, or less if you are working with programs that require more computing resources.

The reason for the lower than average battery life is largely due to the bigger, faster processor and the HD screen. On the other hand, the battery life is good when compared to similar laptops.

2. Mobility is limited

This device is meant to be held in landscape method (think of an open book). This is evident with the kickstand on the back of the device and the fact that the attachable keyboard cover is only useable in landscape mode.

What's more, the device is quite heavy for a tablet, many users won't be able to hold it for long periods. User reviews have also shown that with the keyboard cover attached, the device won't sit on a lap, only on a flat surface.

In other words, if you plan to move around a lot, or work with the tablet on your lap, you're going to have a tough time of it. It will be even harder if you have peripherals attached.

3. Storage space is limited

Looking at the Surface Pro website, you can see that it comes with two hard drive options - 64GB and 128GB. It's important to note that these numbers are the size of the hard drive before Windows 8 is installed. After the OS is installed, users will have a paltry 23GB and 83GB respectively. Want to install Microsoft Office 2013? Take off another 8GB.

On the plus side, there is a MicroSD slot which can support a card with up to 64GB of space, and the USB port allows you to connect an external hard drive, but that is hardly ideal especially if you are looking for a mobile solution.

4. The price

The Surface Pro is by no means cheap. The 64GB version costs USD$899 while the 128GB version costs USD$999. Want the keyboard cover? The soft version (Surface Touch Cover) costs an extra USD$119 while the hard version (Surface Type Cover) costs USD$129. Add in the cost of an extra hard drive, and this device could cost over USD$1,000. A laptop from a reputable manufacturer with similar hardware could cost as low as USD$500.

Should I buy it for my business?

While the price alone will put many prospective business owners off purchasing this device as a tablet, it is a viable solution that could, in theory, replace a laptop. If you are interested in purchasing a Surface Pro, or would like to know more about how it could fit into your business, please contact us today.


Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.