Hands on Review: Microsoft Surface Music Kit for Surface Pro and Surface 2

microsoft surface music kit review remix somegadgetguyYou can’t even buy one yet!

Microsoft has been sending them out in limited batches via contests, and it’s a very interesting beginning. A first step towards offering up custom hardware interfaces for our tablets and hybrids. No longer shall we be ruled by the tyranny of QWERTY!

Well then, let’s take a look at the Surface Music Kit!

Audio recording on the Surface 2 for Voice Over and Podcasting!

Set your Calendar! Experts Q&A Episode 2: Android Boogaloo!

experts round table androidThis will be a Hangout on Air event. Link will be provided here before the broadcast goes live.

Our first Experts Q&A was a hit, and now we’re ready to follow it up with our next topic! For this next round table, we’re going to chat all things Android! Phones, Tablets, Apps, Updates, Services. You bring the questions, we’ll bring the experts! Chat with us live while we’re on the air! It’ll be fun. I promise.

Mark your calendars! We’re a GO for Wednesday December 11 at 8pm Pacific. Hope to see you there!

Google Plus event page.

Experts Q&A 1: Live Tiles are the Future! – http://somegadgetguy.com/2013/11/26/watch-our-experts-qa-live-here-bwone-somegadgetguy-answer-your-microsoft-questions/

Quick Tip: Stream movies and music in the background on Windows 8 and RT

youtube on windows 8Reader question!

500embo has a problem. When streaming Youtube in Windows 8, he can’t find a way to keep the audio playing in the background whenever his browser isn’t on the screen.

Fret not, it’s an easy trick. Here’s how!


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!”

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?”