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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

                            Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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                            Last Updated on October 16, 2019

                            11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

                            11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

                            Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

                            Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

                            Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

                            In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

                            1. ScheduleOnce

                              ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

                              ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

                              ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

                              Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

                              Available on Web

                              2. Calendly

                                Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

                                You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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                                Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

                                3. Assistant.to

                                  For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

                                  From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

                                  While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

                                  Available on Web

                                  4. Acuityscheduling

                                    Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

                                    It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

                                    Available on Web | iOS | Android

                                    5. Pick

                                      Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

                                      At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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                                      Available on Web

                                      6. X.ai

                                        For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

                                        This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

                                        Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

                                        Available on Web

                                        7. YouCanBook.me

                                          is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                                          They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                                          Available on Web

                                          8. Doodle

                                            Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                                            It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                                            You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                                            While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                                            Available on Web | iOS | Android

                                            9. WhenAvailable

                                              WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                                              Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                                              Available on Web

                                              10. Rally

                                                Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                                                Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                                                Available on Web

                                                11. NeedtoMeet

                                                  Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                                                  NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                                                  While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                                                  Available on Web

                                                  Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                                                  In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                                                  To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                                                  Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                                                  A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                                                  Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                                                  If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                                                  Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                                                  With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                                                  The Bottom Line

                                                  Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                                                  Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                                                  Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                                                  Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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