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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 12, 2020

                            10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020

                            10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020

                            The success of our day is largely dependent on the quality of our planning. Not to miss out anything in their to-dos, some people prefer to make a list of upcoming tasks in a notebook, while others have long started using digital technology solutions.

                            Calendar applications are some of the main tools that are worth using to organize our life and plan your time carefully.

                            Many people have switched to specific tools; however, there are still some who do not use calendars on a daily basis. They may find some applications uncomfortable to use, non-functional, or expensive.

                            In this article, we are going to check out the best calendars apps to help you stay organized.

                            Before You Download

                            As you are no doubt aware, there are all kinds of calendar apps available. Instead of you sifting through the hundreds of them, we’ve handpicked 10 of the best calendar apps you can get. On top of glowing reviews from each one, we’ve considered the following aspects when creating this list:

                            • User Interface – How you navigate the app should be smooth and simple. The buttons on the app should be clear, obvious and easy to move through.
                            • Synchronization – Whether it’s with other calendar apps or with other apps, syncing apps should be easy and enhance your overall experience with the app.
                            • Additional features – Since there are so many options for calendars, many of these apps offer additional features. These features make the apps stand out from the other apps and provide unique experiences to you.

                            1. Any.do Calendar

                              This calendar has direct integration with Any.Do To-Do List, which gives you a unique tandem of two applications.

                              Apart from its extended functionality, Cal Calendar is easy to use. The creation of events is very simple and fast.

                              What is more, depending on the name of the event, the application automatically adds contacts and geolocation data to the entry description. You can even import your lists and entries from Any.do.

                              Any.do Calendar is a great option for any type of user. It is very convenient and doesn’t overcomplicate the mode of display.

                              Another good thing is that this tool is available for free, so you can use it without spending a dime for the software.

                              Download Any.do Calendar here!

                              2. Google Calendar

                                Google Calendar is the official calendar for Android devices that has been tested out by many users around the globe. If you are right now trying to get away from it, consider changing your mind.

                                Since this application is installed on most Android devices by default, many users think that there is nothing special in this program. They are wrong.

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                                Google has been updating its calendar for quite a few years, and now it comes in Material Design with advanced event features, direct integration into other Google services (for example, supports reminders and Google Now), and comes with Exchange support.

                                The program is super easy and will not cost a dime for you. It is a good thing, right?

                                Download Google Calendar here.

                                3. Calendar

                                  Calendar is a relatively new app. It works as a web app and for both iOS and Android devices. It is an intelligent app that learns your contacts, schedule and tasks. It also helps you schedule and arrange meetings according to your available time slots.

                                  A good thing about Calendar is that it allows you to sync up with other calendars you use such as Apple Calendar and Google Calendar. And so you can manage all the calendars you have in one place.

                                  Calendar also gives you analytics of your meetings, giving you a clear picture on how you can improve your time management.

                                  Download Calendar: Meeting & Scheduling here.

                                  4. Business Calendar

                                    Business Calendar is geared towards people who use their calendar for work purposes and business task planning. It offers different modes with wide configuration capabilities.

                                    The application gives a default view mode by months, and events can be marked in different colors. Display modes/ sorting can be adjusted to your needs (by month, day, year, or events).

                                    You can also set a multi-day viewing mode to see how things look for the next few days. Scrolling up and down moves you by month, and if you check a few days, they will be shown in a more detailed form.

                                    The day display mode offers hourly scheduling, and the schedule mode provides a detailed schedule for a single event.

                                    Business Calendar is a great tool for planning/ scheduling cases, tasks, and events. There is a support for recurring events, which can be set up in just a few clicks.

                                    Having purchased software, you can use it to import and export other calendars, delete, copy, or move several events at the same time.

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                                    Android Business Calendar application may seem somewhat chaotic, but it works fine and is easy to work with if you play with it for a while.

                                    A full version of the application is available for $4.99, but you can also find a free version for the app test drive.

                                    Download Business Calendar here.

                                    5. aCalendar

                                      aCalendar opens our collection of top 10 calendar applications available on the market today. With its appealing design, easy navigation, and great functionality, it is one of the most popular calendar apps in our list.

                                      Some of extra functions include color schemes for each case type (48 colors to choose from), different types of demonstrations, different widgets, moon phases, and much more.

                                      Taking into account it functionality, aCalendar is a reliable calendar application that has an easy-to-navigate interface with three display options. Scrolling from side to side allows you to switch between the display modes of the month, week and day.

                                      When scrolling down and up, you are moving through the calendar at intervals in accordance with the selected display mode.

                                      Apart from its time planning feature, aCalendar synchronizes photos from contact lists or social networks to remind you about birthdays, anniversaries, or any other special dates.

                                      The program also supports data transfer through NFC and full-screen widgets, which eases your work with any data.

                                      The program is available for free, but you can also get even more features if you buy the extended version of software for $4.99.

                                      Download aCalendar here.

                                      6. DigiCal Calendar

                                        DigiCal Calendar is very similar to Cal Calendar in the fact that the application focuses on design more than on its functionality. However, this doesn’t mean that the application doesn’t serve the purpose.

                                        With this calendar application, you can synchronize all your calendars and view them in different ways.

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                                        Along with the basic functions, this program comes with support for Google Calendar, Outlook, and includes some unique and interesting features. You can match keywords to the image or set up a dark theme.

                                        The app can even show you the weather forecast for three days. There are many other features that deserve the attention of people who really like to use calendar applications.

                                        Download DigiCal Calendar here.

                                        7. SolCalendar

                                          SolCalendar can be called a universal application. It claims to be an all-in-one digital solution having a basic calendar functionality combined with some other advanced features, such as weather forecast for a specific day.

                                          The application supports Google Calendar, as well as tasks, widgets, lunar calendar and even Foursquare.

                                          Those searching for a calendar application to cover just everything in its functionality, SolCalendar is a program to consider. There are a lot of interesting things in this application; the program does an excellent job working in “all-in-one” mode.

                                          Test SolCalendar – the application is available for free. You can test it out without purchasing the service.

                                          Download SolCalendar here.

                                          8. IRL Event Social Network

                                            One of the most unique apps on this list is the IRL Event Social Network app. As you can guess from the name, the core focus of this app is social networking. Unlike other social media platforms, you can consider this platform to function similar to Meetup.com. It’s a site where you can connect with other people within your area that share a similar interest.

                                            IRL is that while also providing a convenient calendar for you to schedule events and plan out your day. Though due to it being a secondary focus, you’re lacking a lot of the syncing aspects that other apps have on this list. Regardless, because of this huge social feature, it’s worth considering for those who want to make more connections.

                                            Download IRL Event Social Network here.

                                            9. Today Calendar

                                              Today Calendar is one of the most hip and edgy calendars in our list. The solution was one of the first ones that really embraced Material Design and remains one of the few that adhere to the neat style.

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                                              The calendar application offers bold colors, simple controls, and great functionality. This is not as heavy an application as many others; it will not eat all the memory of your device.

                                              If you are not searching for something complicated and over-functional, Today Calendar is what you need. You can always test the application before paying for it – the program is available for free.

                                              Download Today Calendar here.

                                              10. Timepage

                                                Timepage is an intuitive calendar app that will manage your time in a way that other calendar apps can’t. It offers the same sort of functions that you’d expect from other calendar apps: opportunities to record events, notifications and reminders, weather, and driving duration to a particular event. However, the app goes beyond those functionalities in two ways.

                                                The first way is that while the app sends you notifications, it also has reminders for you for what is coming up next. That bit of extra time can allow you to prepare and make adjustments to your day if need be.

                                                The second function – which is more important – is the heat map when you go to see the full view of your calendar. This heat map indicates what days you are most busy and other days where you are freer. This heat map provides a quick glance to determine broadly what days are good to add more events and other tasks.

                                                Download Timepage here.

                                                Our Verdict

                                                Searching for the right application to manage your various calendars and plan your busy day can sometimes turn into a streak of obstacles.

                                                Most of us need flexible applications that can be easily used to manage our tough schedule. The application should have all necessary time planning functions and be intuitive.

                                                Stylish design and limitless compatibility also matter. It is not always easy to find such a program.

                                                The above digital calendar solutions fall under the category “worth” of being used. They are modern, multifunctional, easy, and easy. Pick the one you like!

                                                More Productivity Apps for Better Time Management

                                                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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