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30 Windows 8 Features You Should Know Before You Upgrade Your PC

30 Windows 8 Features You Should Know Before You Upgrade Your PC

Windows 8 was released last week and the latest version of Windows contains more than 300 new features as compared to the previous Windows 7. I know many of you are still thinking about whether you should upgrade your Windows system or not. Therefore, we have tracked down 30 new Windows 8 features that can help you to make that decision.

1. The new Start Screen

The new Windows 8 start screen has all of the information you care about in one place, such as weather, your contacts, and the next appointment on your calendar. The tiles on your start screen are brimming with content that will change and update in real-time so you can see what’s going on and stay on top of things.

    2. The new Charm bar

    Instead of traditional “Start Menu,” Windows 8 introduces a new implementation named “Charms.” The Charm sidebar offers five sets of options, which supports system settings such as volume and brightness or app-specific settings. Five options include Start, Search, Share, Devices, and Settings. The “Start” option takes you back to Windows 8 home screen. Devices option shows you a list of devices you have connected. “Share” option offers you direct sharing to Social Networks.

      3. More life to the lock screen

      In Windows 8, you can select up to seven apps that run in the background and send notifications to the lock screen. Some of the apps can show updated information at all times such as Weather app or Calendar app.

        4. Pin everything you love

        The New Start Screen is for not only live tiles and information updates; it is an important bulletin board on which you can pin whatever you like. For example, you can pin specific websites or particular sections of an app. You can pin one specific place from your travel app so that you can keep track of that location at the Start screen.

        5. Seamless integration of touch, keyboard, and mouse

        You can now switch between apps, organize your Start screen, and pan and zoom. With the touch keyboard, you can navigate, type, and interact on the go. Because you work in different ways depending on which app you’re using, Windows 8 make it easy to use whichever method works for you.

        6. New Windows store

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        The new Windows store is designed to make it easy to discover apps without getting lost. You will see apps featured on the front page and it is easy to find apps because they’re well-organized in categories like New Releases, Top paid and Top free. After you decide, you can buy with peace of mind because before an app makes it to the Windows Store, it is screened and checked if there are any virus.

          7. Protecting children from the Windows store

          Using Family Safety, you can change the settings to determine what your children can download and see in the Windows store. Setting up a rating level filters the apps and games that children can access the Windows store in a safer environment on you preferred requirements.

          8. Windows 8 keyboard switch to your language automatically

          The new touch-enabled PCs with Windows 8 installed, the keyboard layout automatically adjusts to the language you have chosen based on your preference. So, language settings apply to the whole PC rather than just some of your apps in your PC.

            9. The new Navigation of Touch screen

            Some common Windows 8 gestures:

            • Swipe from the right edge for system commands
            • Swipe in from the left to switch app
            • Swipe in and out on the left brings up previously used apps
            • Swipe from the bottom or top edge for app commands
            • Drag an app to close an app
            • Press and hold to see more options

              10. Everything on Windows 8 is cloud-connected

              If you sign in your windows 8 device with Microsoft account, your personalization, desktop background, and settings are all there, which is similar to the synchronization feature of Google Chrome. You can now start a project on one PC, and finish it on another. When you use the cloud to store your information, the boundaries between devices dissolve.

              11. Windows To Go

              Windows To Go allows users to make a complete copy of their Windows 8 OS with their settings, wallpapers, apps, and even files into a USB thumb drive. Plugged it into another computer with Windows 8 already installed, and users can boot up the Computer with the look exactly alike the Windows 8 that you normally use.

                12. Connected to your files on cloud

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                One of the new Windows 8 features is that you can switch from one Windows 8 device to another and be ready to pick up where you left off just by signing in. When your files are put in the cloud, you can access photos and other files on Microsoft SkyDrive when you have an internet connection.

                  13. Family safety in the cloud

                  You can now set up accounts for your children so that you don’t have to worry about their online activity. Family Safety will monitor your children’s activities and let you know what they are doing in real-time. If you connect the account, you can get a weekly report about their online activity. You can also set up web-site filtering and time limits as well as app restrictions for your children.

                  14. Applications work well with each other

                  In windows 8, apps work together very well so that you can share information between different applications and streamline your work. For instance, Mail and Photos apps are well-connected; you can select an image in the photos app and email it to one of your friends in your email contact list.

                  15. Web navigation by fingertip

                  The notorious Internet Explorer has been re-built in Windows 8. It is now designed to offer faster browsing via better hardware acceleration, along with high-speed gesture-based zoom, pan and web site navigation.

                    16. Support USB 3.0

                    USB 3.0 performs ten times faster than the original USB 2.0. Microsoft offers better support for native USB 3.0 devices. Now Windows 8 users can enjoy a super speed USB without using third-party driver.

                      17. Improved total search experience

                      If you want to search something, all you need to do is to type anything, and a search box will appear from the right and give you he results. The search capability is much stronger than previous windows version, which displays all the matching apps and files instantly.

                        18. Search within apps

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                        You can now search within apps within Windows 8 search function. The “Charm” pane that pops out on the right column will show you the list of apps that you can conduct the search in. If you’re looking for emails sent by a particular person in your contacts, type the name and click the email app you wish to search in.

                        19. Share between devices without any cables

                        Tap and Do works on mobile devices equipped with Near Field Communications (NFC), so you can tap two devices together and share information easily. Tap and Setup is another new Windows 8 feature that lets you connect wireless devices such as keyboards, mics, or headphones by simply tapping them against your PC.

                        20. High speed boot time

                        The Loading and boot up speed has greatly improved over Window’s predecessors because there is better resource allocations to applications and the system. Compared to Windows 7 desktop, Windows 8 has higher speed boot time.

                        21. Better support for multiple monitors

                        Windows 8 now brings increased support for multiple monitors. You can now extend the taskbar across two Computers without using any third-party apps. You can also extend your wallpapers across two monitors. You can also switch quickly between primary and secondary monitor by clicking the switch button.

                          22. Keep Windows Update out of your way

                          If you turn on Windows Update during the setup section and your PC needs to update, Windows 8 can now install it when you are not using your PC, or at a time you’ve specified.

                          23. Build-in mobile broadband features

                          In Windows 8, it adds support for 3G and 4G telecommunication, which enable business users on the go to connect to the internet immediately. Windows 8 mobile broadband support can help keep data usage costs low with built-in mobile broadband metering.

                          24. SmartScreen protects you from malware on the internet

                          If SmartScreen is turned on at startup, the technologies check the reputation of any new app or website, helping to keep users safe no matter what browser they are using. This can help to prevent malware and viruses from infiltrating your computer.

                          25. Protect computer without third-party software

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                          If you don’t have any malware scanners installed, Windows Defender monitors and helps protect your PC against viruses and other malware in real-time. If your PC becomes infected, it will automatically detect and removes malware. Windows 8 can also manage anti-malware software to help keep your PC safe.

                          26. Re-designed task manager

                          The new task manager is a handy dashboard that you can use to monitor and control your PC. The New Color-coded tiles present information in a way that’s easy to understand. You can keep track of resources efficiently and in real-time with graphs and details about process, apps and history as well.

                            27. Redesigned keyboard shortcut key

                            If you are not using touch-based devices, you can still enjoy new windows 8 features with keyboard shortcuts to access the best Windows 8 features. The following list includes some of the most useful commands:

                            • Windows key + F: To open the search on Charm
                            • Windows key + H: To open the share on Charm
                            • Windows key + C: To open Charm
                            • Windows key + K: To open the devices Charm
                            • Windows key + O: To lock the screen orientation on tablet
                            • Windows key + Z: To open commands for app

                            28. Easy restore

                            New Windows 8 has streamlined the options of system recovery, with options limited to “Refresh” or “Reset.” Refresh preserves your settings, files, and apps bought via Windows Store. “Reset” is a full system purge and restores the system without reinstallation, which is similar to restoring your iPhone via iTunes.

                            29. New login methods

                            Through a touch screen or mouse, you can now set your password to comprise a set of geometric gestures. This feature can only recognize simple gestures like lines or curves, but the result should be unique enough to make this a reasonable security alternative.

                            30. Better copy experience

                            Windows 8 introduced new copy operations, where all the file copying goes into a single dialog box. The new dialog box for file copying allows you pause, resume, or stop each operation. Now each copy job shows the speed of data transfer and how much data is left to transfer. In many cases, it can provide a quick and easy way to assess what is going on for a particular copy job.

                             

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                            Brian Lee

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                            Last Updated on May 28, 2020

                            18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

                            18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

                            No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. Undoubtedly, it has allowed us to connect, perform, improve, and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

                            If you’re not taking advantage of some of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

                            But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use?

                            Well, this will depend on your needs. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 18 of the best time management apps that can help you with the most common challenges of managing time.

                            Let’s dive straight into the list.

                            1. Rescue Time – Use Your Time Wisely

                              If you have doubts if you are using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. Aside from its automatic time-tracking feature, this app also has distraction blocking and efficient report tools.

                              RescueTime helps you avoid being overwhelmed by too many tasks. This app also has a team software that’s dedicated to time management among team members. With this app, you may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

                              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                              2. Remember The Milk – Keep on Top of All Your Tasks

                                If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool that is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc., and it allows you to sync all your devices for easier time management.

                                This app will help you to manage your tasks easily and reminds you of them – wherever you are. You can share tasks and lists with others, making it a great tool for teams as well.

                                Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                3. Focus Keeper – Boost Motivation to Complete Tasks

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                                  This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and it is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It has a simple, efficient user interface that is easily customizable based on your needs.

                                  Focus Keeper is designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures. This is a great app to use if you want to prevent yourself and your team from being burned out.

                                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                  4. Toggl – Keep Track of Time Spent on Projects and Tasks

                                    Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks and through analysis – working out how you can manage them more effectively. Toggl allows you to do all this even with its simple design.

                                    Toggl includes great time-saving features integrated with its intuitive interface. This is a great alternative to time-sheets if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects.

                                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                    5. Dropbox – Store and Send Large Files Easily

                                      There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices, but Dropbox is free and it is easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go. It is an easy way to share your files and documents with others for improved productivity.

                                      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                      6. Evernote – Keep All Your Notes in One Place

                                        Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts, and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes, or images). You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches, and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to better optimize your time.

                                        Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                        7. MindNode — Focus on Tasks at Hand With Mind Mapping

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                                          Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mindnode is one of the best free mind mapping apps available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

                                          This app allows you to customize various visual tags and templates to suit your needs. You can also easily share your documents with others.

                                          Available on iOS and Desktop

                                          8. GoodSync – Back Up and Sync Your Files Effortlessly

                                            This software allows you to back up, restore, and synchronize your files easily. It supports folders from a variety of locations, and it has filtering options that let you exclude subfolders from synchronizing.

                                            This app also allows you to sync files to and from your phone. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this tool.

                                            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                            9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) – Manage Your To-Do Lists Effectively

                                              Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, work with your to-do lists, and organize your goals. This task management software helps you target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives.

                                              MyLifeOrganized is one of the best task management apps for focused work. It automatically generates to-do lists with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                                              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                              10. 1Password – Have All Your Passwords Remembered

                                                1Password allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database – protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. This also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                                                Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

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                                                11. Pocket – Keep Your Eye on the Ball

                                                  When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. That’s why you need effective time management apps like Pocket. You can use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time. This prevents you from getting distracted and negatively impacting your immediate work.

                                                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                  12. Focus@Will – Boost Your Attention Span

                                                    This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400% using Focus@Will, making this one of the best time management apps available.

                                                    Focus@will is ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working, or reading. It also helps you control your ADD.

                                                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                    13. Alfred – Interact With Your Computer in a Smart Way

                                                      This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want. The only downside is that it’s only available for macOS.

                                                      Available on desktop (macOS)

                                                      14. Forest – Boost Your Focus by Growing a Forest

                                                        Forest is a unique reinvention of time management apps. This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track by making you focus on another thing.

                                                        The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                                                        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop (Firefox Add-on)

                                                        15. Trello – Track Your projects in a highly visual way

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                                                          Trello is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board, which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed. This serves as your cue to start working on and completing the associated tasks.

                                                          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                          16. Quire – Unfold Your Ideas

                                                            Quire is an innovative time management app that helps boost your team’s productivity. The strength of this app lies in its features for collaboration and ease of sharing. You can streamline and adjust your workflow based on your team’s needs and preferences.

                                                            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                            17. TimeTree – Have a Shared Calendar With Your Family

                                                              This TimeTree app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments with each other. So, whether you’re planning a party or running a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                                              Available on iOS and Android

                                                              18. Todoist – Capture and Order All Your Tasks and Activities Easily

                                                                Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list and one of the best time management apps out there. It’s available via browser and app, and it lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as a given due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                                                Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                                Final Thoughts

                                                                The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools available. And the good news is that many of them are completely free of charge!

                                                                So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you, and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                                                More Productivity and Time Management Apps

                                                                Featured photo credit: freestocks via unsplash.com

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