Ask Juan: Now that I own an RT tablet, will Windows RT disappear?

lumia 2520 20Just got this question from a reader. Jim asks:

As a recent purchaser of a Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet I am starting to get a little concerned about Windows RT folding or at least developers not making apps. Is this real and if so what does that mean for my tabby?

Hey Jim! First of all congrats on the Lumia! It was my Windows Tablet pick of the year!

So here’s the deal.

Windows RT as we know it today probably wont stick around long, and as the owner of a 2520 this is a good thing for you…  Continue reading “Ask Juan: Now that I own an RT tablet, will Windows RT disappear?”

Windows 8 Phone Tip and Trick: Custom lock screen photo

Each of us have our own unique sense of style. We customize our phones to match our style with ringtones, cases and wallpapers. Today I am going to show you how to make your own wallpaper for your Windows 8 phone. If you are handy with photoshop this will be a breeze along with newbies.044

As much as I love cupcakes, this lock screen image just isn’t going to do it for me. I need something else like the background picture for www.somegadgetguy.com banner! Take a sip of coffee and let’s get started!

Step 1: You will need a pc or mac with photoshop or a photo editing software. Today I will be using photoshop. Continue reading “Windows 8 Phone Tip and Trick: Custom lock screen photo”

Ask Juan: Why won’t my Moto X show up as a USB drive on my Mac?

surface connected to lg g2 file management transfer somegadgetguyFrom our Facebook page, Robin asks:

Here’s a question relating to Android… When I plug my Moto X into my Windows PC using the supplied USB cable, it shows up as a storage device and I can copy stuff to/from it with no problems. But when I plug it into a USB port on my wife’s MacBook Pro, it’s not even recognized as a device. How can I access my Moto X from Mac OSX?

Hey Robin,

It’s because Apple can be frustrating about supporting standards like MTP. Apple refuses to natively support the USB Media Transfer Protocol. It’s how you can plug your phone into a PC and see files on your phone and computer at the same time.

There are two different ways to share files between a phone and computer, MTP and Mass Storage. If you use Mass Storage, the storage on your phone becomes a standalone drive for your computer, and your phone will no longer be able to see any of those files. That was fine during the Windows Mobile and early Android days. You’d plug in your phone, and it would essentially become a dead lump of a USB drive. Now though, we don’t want to lose access to our precious communication tools, even for a brief file transfer. That’s why Android and Windows Phone now utilize MTP. It comes with some drawbacks like slower file transfers, and you can only move one file at a time, but your phone wont be separated from its storage while connected to a computer. Given the trade off, I’d rather be able to connect my phone to my computer, and still being able to use it as a normal phone with all of my files and apps intact.

The iPhone just doesn’t work that way, so Apple doesn’t feel any great pressure to support other mobile device file management protocols. As far as they’re concerned you should be using iOS and iTunes.

Google did release an Android file manager program for Mac users which might work for you – http://www.android.com/filetransfer/

If that doesn’t work you might need to look at cloud solutions. The nice thing about Android, it’s silly easy to move files on and off via services like Google Drive, Box, and DropBox.

You could also do a local network sync via an app like AirSync –http://www.doubletwist.com/airsync/ or Air Droid – http://www.airdroid.com/ which will use your home WiFi network. It wont be as fast as a cable connection, but it’ll be faster than Bluetooth. 

But yeah. Short story long, this is basically Apple’s fault.

Watch our Experts Q&A LIVE here! BWOne, Mobile Burn, Boored At Work, & SomeGadgetGuy answer YOUR Microsoft Questions!

windows 8 live tiles experts Q&AHere it is folks! The first of a new series where we bring experts, bloggers, and journalists to you!

To kick things off we’re talking all things Live Tiles! Have you been thinking about trying out a Windows Phone? Are you curious about tablets and hybrids? Are you looking at software solutions for your small business? Are you thinking about buying an Xbox?

We’re here to help! We’ll be answering your questions on the air from 8-9pm Pacific on the Youtubes!

If you’d like to skip to specific question there are links below the video!

Continue reading “Watch our Experts Q&A LIVE here! BWOne, Mobile Burn, Boored At Work, & SomeGadgetGuy answer YOUR Microsoft Questions!”

Using the Surface RT 2 for Podcasting and Voice Over Recording (RT not Pro)

surface 2 audio recording mobile home sound USB microphone Zoom h4n somegadgetguyIf you’re into mobile audio, field recording, voice over, or podcasting, it’s been the dream for a while. The ability to use our consumer tablets as recording solutions.

It still hasn’t come to Android. Plug a USB mic into an Android tablet, and it’ll likely power up, but Android wont know what to do with it. Microsoft might have the hardware to offer up a solution for us mobile audio junkies. Let’s take a look at how recording works on a Surface 2, and what happens to the files you create after you’re done editing.

App Review: Nokia Refocus for Windows Phone – Shoot first THEN make sure your subject is in focus!

nokia refocus logoLike something out of a bad CSI re-run:

“Zoom into that flower. Enhance. See if you can clean up that focus.”

It’s a trip that we can now do things kinda like that. Refocus turns your Lumia into a Lytro style camera. Hold your camera steady for a couple seconds as the camera scans a scene, and then you can choose what to focus on later. We’re now officially living in the future.

Let’s take a look!

Refocus on the Windows App Store.

Here’s an example of how Refocus works. The flower pic I showed in the video can be embedded, allowing you to play with the focus points in a web browser.

Ask Juan: Should I Upgrade my Desktop (non-touchscreen) to Windows 8.1?

Screenshot (1)From one of our readers using our contact page:

Hey,I have an older quad core AMD desktop running Windows 7 and was going to put in a SSD. While I was doing that I thought maybe I should upgrade to Windows 8. I don’t have a touchscreen though, so I was curious if you thought that would be a good idea? Thanks, Alex

First of all, I run an older quad core in my workstation, and installing a solid state drive (specifically a Kingston HyperX) made my system feel brand new. I think you’ll really dig it.

The upgrade to Windows 8.1 is a slightly trickier question. It’s pretty obvious that Microsoft is using this new interface as their first attack on tablets and touchscreens. Microsoft’s job moving forward isn’t to “save” the PC market, but redefine the what a PC is. If you’ve read much on this site, you would know that I’ve been fairly positive on their progress so far.

Stepping outside the tablet-y stuff however, I think Windows 8 can offer up some benefits to non-touchscreen users as well.

First of all, boot times are seriously improved. The combo of Windows 8.1 and an SSD will feel like an absolute screamer compared to Windows 7 and a spinning disc hard drive. My low power Windows 8.1 ultrabook with an SSD cache boots in about half the time as my desktop did with Windows 7 and a proper SSD. My Lenovo absolutely destroys my Nexus 7 in a cold boot race.

windows 8_1 file transfer dialog boxSecond, I think Microsoft has made some solid improvements to file management. It’s not the sexiest aspect of an OS upgrade, but you get substantially more info when moving files, better estimates for completion, and the entire file browsing experience has been more stable. I would run into issues on Windows 7 with folders that had tons of files. As my computer would scan through creating thumbnails it would occasionally just get stuck on a file and never finish the scan. What ever file it would lag on would just become completely inaccessible, and I’d have to jump through CMD prompt nonsense to fix it. I haven’t had any issues like that with Win8.1 so far (knocks on wood). Continue reading “Ask Juan: Should I Upgrade my Desktop (non-touchscreen) to Windows 8.1?”

Quick Tip: Boot Directly to the Traditional Desktop in Windows 8.1 – Super Easy!

Screenshot (91)I’ve been a fan of Windows 8 from the first release. I think it’s elegant, and it’s very interesting that Microsoft (of all companies) will be the first to offer up a unified UI across all of their various products.

However, I also totally get that for people on non-touch screen devices, the traditional desktop might be a better fit for getting work done. With the Windows 8.1 update, Microsoft has now included an option to boot directly to the traditional desktop, so let’s walk you through setting that option up!