Category: Windows 8.1

How To Turn Off Encryption on Your Windows 8.1 Tablet or PC

Security of portable devices such as tablets and laptops is ever more important in this day where our digital lives are literally on them.  Microsoft recognized this with Windows 8.1 and enabled a new Device Encryption when they released the update last year.  The idea behind Device Encryption is that your device is secure and the recovery key for that encryption is stored on Microsoft’s servers, associated with your Microsoft account (yes, they have access to the key but only access it for law enforcement needs).  Should your Windows 8.1 tablet or PC be stolen or lost, the content of that drive is encrypted and unless someone has your PIN or password then the contents of the device will not be something they can access.

In this How To I’m going to show you how you can disable the Device Encryption on your Windows 8.1 tablet or PC.  It is easy to disable (and enable) but it is a bit buried in the PC Settings.  Now, just because you can do a thing doesn’t mean that you should do a thing.  Really, there is no reason to follow this How To and turn off encryption.  It is for your own safety and personal data security which is why Microsoft has enabled it by default.  If you aren’t comfortable with Microsoft having the recovery key, that’s fine.  Follow this How To so you can disable it then re-encrypt with another encryption software.

Don’t Be Shocked By OS X Being Vulnerable – But Don’t Gloat Either

The news over the weekend that Apple’s flagship OS’ where more vulnerable to security threats should not come as a surprise to anyone. As one who formerly used OS X and iOS, I knew it was just a matter of time before the two platforms were targeted and it appears in 2014 that happened.  Why it shouldn’t come as a surprise is simple and comes down to simple target size for hackers.  The key however my fellow Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 users is not to gloat to much.  We have been here and know the pain.

Review of NextGen Reader – Great Feedly Reader For All Your Windows Powered Devices

Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, has been around since the mid-90s and is a way for websites like this one to publish a “feed” to subscribers providing the highlights of posts so users don’t necessarily have to visit the site until they want to do so for a particular article.  In fact, you can subscribe to the RSS feed for right here and most of the Windows and Windows Phone dedicated sites have their own feeds.  Likewise, RSS readers or aggregators have been around a long time as well.  These app allow you to gather all of your RSS feeds into one place so you can read them in one place at one time.  When it comes to Windows and Windows Phone, one of the best readers out there is NextGen Reader.

NextGen Reader leverages Feedly where you actually configure the RSS feeds and presents them in a modern, easy-to-read and navigate app for both your Windows 8.1 PC and tablets as well as a Windows Phone 8.1 version that is equally as solid.  The app allows you to quickly and easily read your feeds, supports the Modern Windows 8.1 app design and on the Windows Phone version, supports Live Tiles and pinning on your Start screen.  NextGen Reader is as close to a universal app as you can get in the current Windows 8.1 world (true universal apps are coming in Windows 10) but it does mean that once you buy the app at $2.99, you get the app on all your Windows powered devices.  If you are looking for a good RSS/News reader for your devices, take a look at this one.  I don’t think you will be disappointed.

NextGen Reader for Windows Phone – $2.99 (Universal App) – Download Now

NextGen Reader for Windows – $2.99 (Universal App) – Download Now

Cortana Now Reads Instant Answers Out Loud in Latest update

The personal assistant Cortana that is built into Windows Phones running Lumia Denim and is now in the Windows 10 technical preview continues to get mini, behind-the-scenes updates.  The latest update now brings the ability to read out loud instant answers to your questions.  To this point, when you asked a question like “What time is it?” Cortana would simply display the current time.  Now when you ask the same question, it reads out the time based on your location.

Review of NPR One for Windows and Windows Phone 8.1

One of the new apps in the Windows and Windows Phone Stores that is a real bright spot is the NPR One app.  National Public Radio, or NPR, released the app last week for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 to bring you news and information from your local NPR station as well as news and information from the wide range of NPR shows to your devices, completely free.  With smooth navigation and powerful search functionality, the NPR One app is a must have for those who listen avidly to National Public Radio.

The release of NPR One last week covered both Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 to the closest thing that the platforms today have to Universal Apps.  Functionally they are identical with only modifications for the UIs coming into play.

NPR One for Windows Phone 8.1 – Free – Download Now

NPR One for Windows 8.1 – Free – Download Now

Microsoft Updates Several MSN Apps for Windows

Microsoft has released updates to four of the MSN apps for Windows 8.1 today but as has become the norm for these updates, there is scantly any information on what has been changed or updated in these apps.  The updates impact MSN Weather, MSN Money, MSN Health & Fitness and MSN Sports.  The updates, which only appear to be on the Windows 8.1 side and not on the Windows Phone side (not yet at least), have no release notes or change logs, leaving it to our collective imagination as to what has changed.

MSN Weather for Windows 8.1 – Free – Download Now

MSN Money for Windows 8.1 – Free – Download Now

MSN Health & Fitness for Windows 8.1 – Free – Download Now

MSN Sports for Windows 8.1 – Free – Download Now

How To Label Groups on Windows 8.1 Start Screen

The Windows 8.1 Start Screen has a lot of customization that you can do to arrange your icons into logical groups to find things quicker on your PC or tablet.  Did you know however that you can name these groups as well?  While it isn’t required, it is another way that you can personalize your Start Screen a little bit more to your liking.  In this How To I will show you just how to do this and it is literally a single click.

Let’s start first with the basics to make sure everyone is up to speed.  To add an app to your Start Screen, go to your Apps list and the right click it (or tap and pull down) to highlight it.  You will then see the menu at the bottom of the page where one option is to Pin it to your Start screen.  Once on your Start screen you can drag and drop the apps into logical groups to your liking.

Toshiba Encore 2 Write Tablet Now At The Microsoft Store

Earlier this month at CES, Toshiba announced the new Toshiba Encore 2 Write Windows 8.1 tablet.  The new tablet is designed on the popular Encore 2 tablet but now has touch pen for easier navigation, inking and other activities.  The Microsoft store now has both the 8″ and 10″ models in stock and available for $349 and $399 respectively and both include the TruePen Stylus.  You can read my review of the Encore 2 here on the site.

Toshiba Encore 2 Write 8″ – $349 – Microsoft Store

Toshiba Encore 2 Write 10″ – $399 – Microsoft Store

%d bloggers like this: