Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Microsoft rolls out cumulative updates to Windows 10 PCs

8/23/2016 06:05:00 PM
Microsoft is rolling out two updates to Windows 10 on the PC for non-Insider users, while also rolling out one for Insiders in the Release Preview ring. One of the two updates is the same 14393.82 cumulative download that was rolled out last week to Insider members in the Release Preview update ring, which fixed a number of bugs following the release of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
Windows 10

The other new update, for both Release Preview and production versions of Windows 10, has the support number KB3176936, and according to Microsoft's change log, "this update makes stability improvements for the Windows 10 Version 1607 servicing stack." There's no word yet on when the 14393.82 update will be released for all non-Insider Windows 10 Mobile users as well.
culmuative update
Windows Insiders will have to wait a little longer to get their next update, according to Insider head Dona Sarkar on Twitter:
: no new builds today. Our team has a presentation to the other directors and VPs about our plan for the next few months!


Monday, August 22, 2016

Windows 10 Redstone 2017: OneClip integration and a rebrand?

8/22/2016 09:59:00 AM
Microsoft is ready to take on Apple's own online clipping service with OneClip integration in Windows 10 and Office.
Windows 10 Redstone in 2017 is going to be interesting for businesses and consumers alike, as Microsoft is focusing much more on the productivity side of Windows. Microsoft is already looking into bringing an "Office Hub" to the taskbar with Windows 10 in 2017, alongside a new feature called Working Sets that would make Office contextual and organized.
Productivity plans do not end there, however. We mentioned last week that OneClip is still in the works, and there's a high chance we'll see it show up in 2017 as an integrated feature in Windows and Office alongside being available on a wide variety of platforms. Microsoft has reshuffled and refocused plans for OneClip many times internally, and now it looks like they finally have an area in which it fits nicely.

What was OneClip?

For those who were living under a rock in May of 2015, you likely missed out on the original hype for OneClip. In short, it was a Microsoft Garage project that leaked to the public, available on a plethora of platforms including Windows, Android, and iOS. Shortly after it had leaked, Microsoft pulled the service from the public, denying access to anyone outside of Microsoft.

What was OneClip?

For those who were living under a rock in May of 2015, you likely missed out on the original hype for OneClip. In short, it was a Microsoft Garage project that leaked to the public, available on a plethora of platforms including Windows, Android, and iOS. Shortly after it had leaked, Microsoft pulled the service from the public, denying access to anyone outside of Microsoft.

Windows 10 Redstone 2: Everything We Know (So Far)

8/22/2016 09:54:00 AM
Coming next Spring: Redstone 2, the next major update to Windows 10.
Microsoft is now hard at work developing the next major update for Windows 10. Codenamed 'Redstone 2', this next update is rumored to launch in the Spring of 2017 and will focus on productivity improvements for the desktop, and will bring much-needed features and enhancements to Windows 10 Mobile users.
Microsoft began development of Redstone 2 a couple of months before Redstone 1 (Anniversary Update) was signed-off internally. This is standard procedure for Microsoft engineers, as it allows them to start planning features and working on them ahead of time. The company says the first several Redstone 2 builds will not include new features, as they are currently working on refactoring OneCore, the subsystem of Windows 10 that helps make it scale universally across many devices.
Redstone 2 will focus on productivity improvements for the desktop and much-needed features and enhancements for mobile.
Redstone 2 was originally scheduled to launch later this year, and be a much smaller update when compared to the Anniversary Update. However, due to some internal delays and the company wanting to wait for new Surface hardware to release, Microsoft decided to pull back on plans to launch Redstone 2 this year and reschedule it for an early 2017 launch. Because of this, the Anniversary Update was the first (and only, hopefully) update to launch on its own within a single year.
Because Redstone 2 has been delayed, Microsoft can make it a much bigger update than originally planned, which is great news for Insiders and consumers who like to use new features. 2017 should see Microsoft launch two major updates for Windows 10: Redstone 2 in early 2017 and then a Redstone 3 in the summer/fall of 2017.
Microsoft has just started rolling out Redstone 2 builds for Insiders to test, via the rs_prerelease development branch. This is where Insiders will be getting their Redstone 2 Insider Preview builds when Microsoft releases them. PCs are the first to get new Redstone 2 preview builds, with Mobile builds following in a few weeks.
The Redstone 2 Insider Preview is just getting started, meaning we have several months of development left before this next update is ready for the public. Insiders are encouraged to begin submitted feedback and ideas now for Microsoft to start implementing them.

Office Hub

One of the features that Microsoft is working on is the "Office Hub". It will more tightly integrate Office 365 and Windows 10, providing easy and quick access to documents, email, and calendar. While there are a few options for where the Office Hub could live, the most promising is in the task bar alongside the Start Menu and Cortana.

Working Sets

Oftentimes a project consists of more than just a single Word document or PowerPoint. It's emails and images and contacts and documents and spreadsheets and a dozen other files and appointments and people. Working Sets will let you organize everything related to a project into a set, even if it lives in different apps, and even pin it to the Start Menu as a live tile.


Microsoft's universal cross-device clipboard isn't dead, it's only been hibernating. Originally a Microsoft Garage project, the software is now getting integrated into Windows 10 and Office 365, allowing you to copy and paste between your phone and PC with ease.

But wait, there's more!

Stay tuned at Windows Central over the coming weeks for more exclusive Redstone coverage, including what Microsoft is planning for the next major set of updates in 2017.

Microsoft acquires AI-driven scheduling service Genee

8/22/2016 09:49:00 AM
Microsoft has announced the acquisition of Genee. The startup, which launched in 2014, will join Microsoft's Office team and will add its AI-driven scheduling service to Microsoft's productivity services.
Genee works with an iOS app and old-fashioned email, along with messaging chatbots for Facebook, Twitter, Skype and even with SMS. All of these methods allow the user to send Genee an email address to set up a requested meeting time, location and more, which is then automatically added to their calendar.
According to a blog post from Genee, its service will shut down on September 1 as a result of its acquisition by Microsoft:
While Genee will no longer send you useful reminders and agendas from your calendar, all existing calendar entries created by Genee will remain. We thank all of you who participated in Genee's private and public betas. The Genee team will take the valuable experiences and lessons that you taught us to Microsoft, where we'll continue to build amazing next generation intelligent experiences.
Microsoft, as usual with these kinds of smaller acquisitions, did not reveal the financial details of this deal. Buying Genee is certainly keeping in Microsoft's current theme of developing more advanced artificial intelligent assistants for a variety of uses.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Mobile Nations Weekly: So Noted

8/21/2016 05:32:00 PM
The Note 7 arrives, Honor 8 makes a splash, and a treat for Windows Phone users.
Behold, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is now here — and Android Central has everything you need to know about the S Pen-toting flagship Android phone. Also arriving, a flagship from Huawei that's solidly-specced but about half the price: the dual-camera-toting Honor 8.
Just two weeks after landing for Windows PC users, Windows 10 Mobile has received its anniversary update. The update brings a bunch of behind-the-scenes improvements for Windows phone users as well as few new and long-awaited features. But there's no rest for the weary: the first beta builds for the next major iteration of Windows — Redstone 2 are already in the hands of testers.
While Android fans are busy with new devices and Window users have swanky new software, Apple land is busy with new devices to come, including plenty of rumors about the Apple Watch 2 andiPhone 7.



The Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Update has finally made it out Microsoft's clutches. The OS refresh made its appearance on August 16, just two weeks after the one for PC. We have an extensive walk-through for those who want to see what is new. For those on the Release Preview of the Windows Insider Ring Microsoft pushed out build 14393.82 with many fixes and improvements. For those who live life in the Fast Ring, build 14905 for Redstone 2 went out to PCs and phones on Wednesday making it the second update for the new-new OS.
Speaking of Redstone 2 we detailed some new upcoming features for Office and productivity in Windows 10 that are expected for early 2017. The exclusive details new features like Working Sets, Office Hub, and the return of OneClip.
Gamescom let us see some new exciting hardware including the mass-adoption of the new GTX 10-series graphics cards for laptops. MSI was the first out the gate with its new series of gamer laptops that will push the FPS boundary. HP also wowed us with its OMEN X monster of a PC.



This is the first weekend of proper Note 7 availability in the U.S. and Canada, so if you've picked one up you should get started with all of our Note coverage. We have some great how-to's and information to help you get the most out of your Note 7, from the first day to the following months.
Further downmarket, we saw the U.S. unveiling of the new Honor 8 this week. Starting at $399 unlocked it has some great potential, with high-end specs, solid features and improved software from what we've seen out of Honor previously. You can check out our first hands-on with the Honor 8 to get an early feel for what you can expect.
We're also gearing up for the IFA show at the end of August, and we have a nice preview to get you ready for everything that'll come from Berlin.


With the DTEK50 now announced and shipping to customers, BlackBerry has taken additional steps to show customers they're serious about security on their Android offerings by releasing updates to Priv and DTEK50 to full patch against QuadRooter. In other news, BlackBerry has recently gone on the offensive when it comes to their patents and have now targeted BLU Products Inc. in a patent infringement lawsuit in addition to the previous suit against Avaya.


We're just a few weeks out from Apple's purported Fall event, and the rumors engine has been running hot, hot, hot: We've heard more about the Apple Watch 2 and iPhone 7, and though we don't expect new iPad hardware next month, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has a few thoughts about the next iPad Pro.
Amidst these rumors, we've also been pondering what this year's new hardware means for Apple fans. Rene wonders what's on your Apple Watch 2 wish list, while Michael Gartenberg thinks his current iPhone may be "good enough" to skip the upgrade this year, and Steven Aquino questionswhat losing the headphone jack might mean for accessibility.
We're also continuing our iOS 10 how-to coverage as the developer and public betas inch ever-closer to public release.


The most incredible thing about VR right now is the way things are improving on a daily basis. Developers are trying new things, consumers are offering active feedback, and the cycle grows with each new user. It's easy to get lost in that "which is best" conversation when trying to make a purchase, but really the ecosystem as a whole is in a fascinating state of constant growth. The HTC Vive is a huge part of that growth, so we took a deeper look at how it has held up since launch.


How to add new Cortana search file locations on Windows 10

8/21/2016 12:08:00 PM
If some files are not showing up on search results, it's probably because Cortana doesn't know where to look. Here's how to add alternative search locations on Windows 10.
Cortana is your personal digital assistant in Windows 10. It's a feature designed to help you accomplish many tasks, including reminding you of important appointments, track packages and flights, and sync notifications between devices.
In addition, Cortana shares a deep integration with Windows Search and search on the web using Bing. If there is anything you need (e.g., image, document, or another type of file), you simply enter the query in the search box in the taskbar, and Cortana will return the best results based on local and online searches. However, if you store files on an external hard drive or in different folders other than the defaults (Downloads, Documents, Music, Pictures, etc.), you'll notice that the digital assistant will never bring up those files in the results.
The reason is that Cortana relies on Windows Search for local files, and Windows Search uses a set of default configurations that specify which folders are indexed for search. And these default settings don't include additional storage locations you may have added to your computer or alternative folder paths.
In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to enable Cortana to search all your drives connected to your computer, and how to remove those locations you want to prevent from indexing.

How to add new storage locations for indexing on Windows 10

Use the following steps to modify the default local search configurations, which Cortana can use respond accordingly to your search queries.
  1. Use the Windows key + X to open the Power User menu and select Control Panel.
  2. Change the view to Large Icons.
  3. Click on Indexing Options.
  4. Click Modify.
  5. Click Show all locations .
  6. On Indexed Locations, select the folders and drives you want to give Cortana permission to search.
    • Quick Tip: If you have sensitive files (or videos), in this step, you can also exclude the locations you don't want Cortana to use to show search results.
    • Getting Granular: If you want to index a folder, but you don't want a subfolder to be indexed, expand the folder and remove the checkmark for those files and folders inside it you don't want Cortana to consider during a search.
  7. Click the OK button to complete the task.
Once you completed the task, Windows 10 will automatically begin indexing the new files, but it may take some time. If you don't want to wait, or it's been too long and search isn't working correctly, while in the Indexing Options settings page do the following.
  1. Click Advanced.
  2. Click Rebuild.
  3. Click OK to confirm.
If you have encrypted files stored on your computer, you always want to check the Index encrypted files option under Advanced Options.
You can even go to the File Types tab and configure which files extensions you want to see in search results.
Once you completed your new customization, click the OK button to commit the changes.

Wrapping things up

As you can see, Cortana may know many nifty tricks, but when it comes to search certain options have to be customized manually before getting the best results. If you have been wondering why certain files didn't show in search -- well, this is why.
Do you think that Cortana should be able to search your entire computer by default, or this is the right approach? Tell us what you think in the comments below.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

5 Windows 10 apps you should try: Vinci dazzles and Amazon returns

8/20/2016 06:47:00 PM
With the ever-growing number of apps and games in the Windows Store, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with what's out there.
For that reason, every Friday we showcase some apps that have piqued our interest. They may have been in the news recently, they may be new to the Windows Store, or they could simply be old apps that we just stumbled upon.
Pixel Art Studio
Pixel Art is a drawing app for Windows 10 computers, tablets, and phones. However, unlike your average painting program, Pixel Art turns all of your pencil lines and brushstrokes into blocky pixelated edges.
Draw whatever you have in mind using your stylus, finger, or mouse and the result is an 8-bit rendering of your mental image.
The app contains many of the tools that are commonplace in similar programs. There is the pencil for drawing, an eraser, and various types of brushes, some of which respond to the amount of pressure you use on the screen.
You can change the opacity and use layers and effects, like color overlay and shadowing. Pixel Art even has an animation tool that lets you go frame by frame and play at different frame rates.
Pixel Art is a fun app to doodle with, whether you are home-brewing your own mini games, creating custom icons, or just goofing off.
Available for Windows 10 PC and Mobile.
QR: Pixel Art Studio


Money Tracker Pro
Money Tracker Pro is a personal finance management app for Windows 10 computers and phones.
With an intuitive design, it's easy to plug in your income, bank accounts, stock information, etc. to get a big picture view of your net worth.
Add in your bills, monthly expenses, and one-off purchases to come up with a budget and get a handle on your spending and savings. Money Tracker Pro will keep tabs on your cash, credit, and stock transactions, so it will always be accurate.
Organization and analysis are the heart and soul of the app, letting you create tags and categories, schedule payments, and run reports for reviewing your financial past or forecasting its future. Plus you can export your data to popular formats, like QIF, CSV, and Excel to interact with any other applications that you may use.
And Money Tracker Pro is both safe and convenient. Your information syncs between devices, but is never left vulnerable. The only data stored online is encrypted backups on OneDrive.
If you're looking for an effective way to manage your finances without breaking the bank, then you should look to Money Tracker Pro. Try it for free before you commit.
Available for Windows 10 PC and Mobile.
QR: Money Tracker Pro


Amazon disappointed many a Windows phone user when they discontinued their mobile app earlier this week, but some hope was offered when it was reported that a Windows 10 app was in the works.
Lo and behold, Amazon for Windows 10 PC was just released, though it isn't what a lot of us were hoping for…yet.
Amazon's new app was created using Microsoft's Project Westminster, which essentially turns websites into apps. This means that it is essentially just a web wrapper, with few bells and whistles related to Windows-specific features, although it does feature Live Tile notifications.
The good news is that you can fully access everything on your Amazon account, including shopping, wish lists and so on.
The bad news is that not all of the website functionality works correctly. For instance, the Prime Music streaming prompts you to install Adobe Flash. It also lacks some of the things that users loved about the Windows Phone version, like QR/barcode scanning.
So, yes, there is a lot left to be desired with this new version of Amazon. However, it is at least a first step on the path to the retail giant supporting Windows 10. Hopefully, there are more steps to follow, ones that will bring us a mobile app and the features we are missing.
Available for Windows 10 PC and Mobile.
QR: Amazon


Vinci is an app developed by the Russian social network VK that first hit iOS and Android in late July and just recently landed on Windows 10 Mobile.
Vinci is a photo effects app, much like Prisma, which has blown up all over social media feeds everywhere. The app gives you various filters that you can use to transform your images into something completely new.
Turn your cat's portrait into a black and white sketch, or make that landscape into a beautiful retro-style poster. There are twenty different filters that range from impressionistic to abstract, from vivid to freaky. The developers are currently testing even more and will add them automatically in future updates.
Vinci is fast, too, so you don't have to wait long for each effect to give you a preview. Every time you switch filters, it only takes a second or two to show you what your photo will look like.
Vinci is a pretty incredible way to jazz up any photo, be it for your social media or your own enjoyment.
Available for Windows 10 Mobile.
QR: Vinci


Cube Cat
Cube Cat is an adorable little mix between a brick-breaking game and a pinball adventure.
You play as CubeCat, a box-headed feline who uses a plethora of feline friends to fight off the enemy cats.
Rotate to aim, then tap on the screen to launch your kitty in that direction. Your shot will ricochet based on its trajectory. The goal is to have it bounce into as many enemies as many times as it can in one shot. The more you hit, the better the score.
You will also fill up your fever meter, which when full, will unleash more damage and more points.
The goal is to eliminate all of your foes before the clock ticks to zero. Every few boards, you will also face a boss surrounded by more minions that will need to be defeated in order to make it to the next level.
Each victory will earn you Hypercubes that can be used to purchase upgrades and new cats with different abilities.
Cube Cat features cute cartoon graphics and sound effects that kids will like and gameplay that will keep adults engaged as well. Though you will find it for all devices, it seems best suited to play on a phone or tablet.
Available for Windows 10 PC and Mobile.
QR: Cube Cat
Be sure to check out our other selections from previous weeks. Have a great weekend!