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    When the Windows Phone 8.1 SDK leaked back in February, double-tap to wake was seen in the documentation, suggesting that Nokia's tech was being opened to all OEMs. Fast-forward to August and HTC's new One for Windows is the first non-Lumia Windows Phone to feature this useful technology.

    Double-tap to wake came to Nokia Lumias in mid-2013. The optional tool lets users tap their display twice when it is off, letting people turn on their phones without using the power-button. Double-tap has always been a useful feature, especially if you only have one-hand available and you would like to use your phone.

    For HTC, the feature goes by the name Motion Launch, and it is located under Settings. Users can enable or disable the feature, as technically this does consume minimal amounts of battery and some people may just not like it.

    Motion Launch is not only beneficial for Lumia users considering switching, but it is also necessary for the interactive Dot View case (demo of it and its Cortana integration coming up shortly). Overall though, Motion Launch behaves just like the Nokia's version, making Lumia users feel right at home.

    Will other Windows Phone manufacturers follow? We hope so. Watch our video demo above to see it all in action!

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    Cortana with the Dot View case

    Cases are always an optional accessory on phones, but the Dot View case for the HTC One M8 for Windows is much more than just protection. The case is interactive, showing owners useful information like the time, current temperature and the current conditions. The case is 'dot view' because of the mesh screen gives users a dot-matrix picture of that info.

    On the new Windows Phone version, Microsoft and HTC added something unique to the equation: Cortana integration. Although all Windows Phone 8.1 devices in the US get Cortana, the HTC One (M8) for Windows goes a step further by adding a feature to the Dot View case. Users simply swipe down on the case when the phone is in standby, and Cortana comes to life.

    The Cortana integration comes with unique animation, including a larger Cortana 'orb' that looks better through the Dot View case. Cortana answers any question thrown at her, and she remains on screen until you open the cover to reveal the detailed results (alternatively, you can just hit the power button to turn Cortana back off).

    Overall, it is a neat twist for the HTC One for Windows, and it is certainly a distinctive selling point. Although cases are not for everyone, when you tie in the functionality of the Dot View case, it is very hard to resist. You can also see why double-tap to wake is important to the Dot View case.

    Did our above demo of the Dot View case change your mind about getting the Dot View accessory? Let us know below.

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    Nav bar

    The HTC One M8 for Windows brings many 'firsts' to the table, including support for the 801 chipset, duo camera and more. One of those originals is the ability to hide the Nav bar aka where the Start, Search and Back key reside. On previous Windows Phones these keys were part of the device, so that when the display is off they were still visible. Now with Windows Phone 8.1, manufacturers get the ability to use on-screen keys instead, cutting down costs and letting companies like HTC port over their Android phones with no change in the hardware.

    Although phones like the Nokia Lumia 630 have on-screen keys, the HTC One for Windows adds a few options to the mix, including an auto-hide option. Here's how it all works.

    Why hide the Nav bar?

    By default, the HTC One M8 for Windows features a small down arrow to the left of the Nav bar. Users can tap this to hide the Nav bar, giving the ability to get a "full screen" experience. Of course, it is not so much as gaining more but rather matching previous 1080P displays. In other words, by default a Lumia Icon at 1080P shows more information than the HTC One for Windows with the Nav bar displayed. Both are 1080P, but the HTC One uses some of the screen real-estate to show the on-screen keys. By selectively hiding them, users get the same visual experience as the Lumia Icon.

    Options are useful

    The HTC One gives users a few options for the Nav bar that are not available on devices like the Lumia 630. Those configuration choices are:

    • Auto hide/show the Nav bar– Allows apps to automatically show or hide the Navigation bar
    • Swipe to hide the Nav bar– To hide the navigation bar, swipe up from the bottom of the screen

    The first option lets programs take over the Nav bar, e.g. in the Photos Hub, where a full-screen experience would be preferred, likewise for games. To get the Nav bar back users just swipe up from the bottom of the display. If this option is not chosen, the Nav bar is always displayed, and it is left to the user to hide it when preferred by hitting the down arrow.

    The second option is for gestures. Instead of the down arrow, you can swipe up from the bottom of the display to both show and hide the Nav bar. Enabling this gets rid of the arrow altogether, and instead you use the same gesture to hide or bring back the Nav bar, which is better since you do not have to tap a particular location, as you can swipe up anywhere along the bottom of the display.

    Isn't it annoying?

    You may be wondering if this Nav bar stuff is frustrating. Overall, so far I cannot say it is. It does take some getting used to, but I like the auto-hide feature and the swipe up option. Just like any other gesture system, eventually it becomes automatic, and you do it without thought. It can be strange at first, as you have to take a moment to realize that the Nav bar is 'gone', but it is more of an adjustment than anything.

    Some apps, like today's CoPilot Premium, do not auto-hide the Nav bar. As a result, you get a weird situation where elements of the app are blocked by those controls. Of course, you can just swipe up to hide them, and you are good to go, but this is something app developers have to think about going forward as they design and test their apps. Overall, though, most apps run just fine, and this is the exception.

    Make sure you watch the video above to see it all in action.

    What do you think of the hide Nav bar feature? Does the loss of some screen space for those keys bother you and is this variation something that changes your mind about the HTC One? Sound off below!

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    No one likes ads, even if they are what powers our web economy. The debate over ad blockers is always a tough one, even more so since it even affects our site too. Without the revenue, we do not get money, which means we cannot pay our writers, which means we do not have employees. Still, there are selective uses of ad blocking that is useful, and we will show you how to do that in IE11 for Windows 8.1.

    Internet Explorer 11 cannot do traditional plugins like Chrome or Firefox, which is a big gripe for many who would like to use it as their main browser. As a tradeoff, though, IE11 has fewer security issues, and it is gentler on your battery, which is important for tablets, laptops, and the Surface. However, there is a way to block ads within IE11 even without plugins, and it does not involve any hacks or modifications. Yes, Microsoft has given you the tools directly.

    Disable ads in Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 8.1

    • Open IE11 in Modern or Desktop mode
    • Bring up the Charms bar (swipe from the right)
    • Tap 'Settings'
    • Select 'Privacy'
    • Tap 'Add Tracking Protection Lists'

    Following the above steps launches Microsoft's IE gallery, an online repository for their browser add-ons. 'Tracking Protection Lists' is their fun euphemism for ad blocking.

    As of August 2014, you can add seven different lists to IE11. You can add one or all; the choice is up to you. One of the more interesting ones is 'Stop Google Tracking,' which gets around Google's circumventing of IE's privacy preferences. Huzzah. EasyList Standard is the same list that powers the familiar Adblock Plus plugin, giving the same ability to IE11 users as Chrome and Firefox.

    If you feel bad about blocking a site's only source of revenue, in the address bar you can see a 'buster' symbol letting you know that some content is blocked (see image below). Tapping this symbol brings up a window explaining what is happening, and it gives you the ability to unblock that content, making the world right again. Either way, the choice is yours. Once you have selected your lists, the browser automatically blocks that content going forward. That is all there is to it.

    We will leave the choice up to you for which content on which sites to block. Watch the above tutorial video to see how to do this yourself.

    Did you know about the built-in ad blocking in IE11 and is it something that you use? Let us know in comments and feel free to share any other browsing tips you have too!

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    Did you know that the HTC One M8 for Windows can control your TV? The One – both on Android and Windows Phone – comes with an infrared (IR) blaster built into the top of the device. Combined with their HTC Sense TV app and your One goes from a smartphone to a smart-remote.

    See how it works in our hands on video.

    As already mentioned, there are two parts in getting this to work out of the box: the IR blaster and the accompanying software called HTC Sense TV. Users simply launch the app and it walks them through two setup steps, including pulling down their local TV and cable stations from their provider, and setting up the TV remote.

    Although the HTC One M8 is only sold in the US on Verizon right now, it is expected to go global in the coming months. As a result, the HTC Sense TV app can also handle every cable provider in just about every country around, so this is not just a US feature.

    Once you entered in your cable or satellite provider, you can set up the remote to control your TV or cable box, letting you change channels at will.

    The HTC Sense TV app displays what is currently on TV with three categories, including shows, movies and sports. From there, it is like browsing Netflix as shows and movies are represented visually with a poster of the program. Below each image is a little status bar informing you how much of the show has already aired. Tapping into a show gives you details, including which episode and description. When you are ready to watch, you can hit the 'watch now' button to change your TV to that station.

    Smart-remote apps are certainly an exciting expansion of the smartphone. Afterall, you almost always have it with you and it sure beats channel surfing to find what is new (and it is usually much faster than cable TV 'smart guides').

    HTC Sense TV and the IR blaster are neat additions to a category of devices where this feature is not the norm. Although you may not need it, it is an excellent bonus feature to consider when making your next purchase.

    As a side note, the Verizon Samsung ATIV SE also has an IR blaster and a very well done app called WatchON, meaning Verizon customers have some great choices these days!

    Would you use your smartphone as a TV remote or is a gimmick? Let us know in comments why or why not.

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    When it comes to mobile operating systems, Windows Phone has a solid reputation for stability. As a result, the need to reset the OS to rid the phone of bugs or start anew is rare. Still, there may be occasions where you want to return the device to the state you bought it in from the Store.

    Here are two ways to do that for the HTC One for Windows.

    Soft reset (hardware)

    If you just need to reboot the phone, but it is frozen or unresponsive, a soft reset using the hardware keys is your answer. This method simply reboots the phone and it keeps all your data and settings. The only difference here is you are using the hardware keys to initialize it, instead of holding down the power button and swiping down on the lock screen.

    1. Hold Power + Volume down for 10 seconds
    2. Release
    3. Phone should re-start

    Hard reset (software)

    On all Windows Phone, the system reset is universal and found under Settings. This method wipes the device of any saved personal data, so make sure you have backed up your photos, music, and settings before executing.

    1. Settings
    2. About
    3. Reset your phone
    4. If micro SD card is present, you can choose to leave or wipe the extra storage

    This method is the most simple, and it assumes your phone is in working order, meaning you can boot it up and get to the Settings menu to initiate. All Windows Phones have this function.

    Factory reset (hardware)

    There are rare instances where the phone cannot even boot into the OS. These situations are very uncommon; in fact, I have yet to see a situation where this is needed, though others have needed it.

    The Factory reset uses hardware keys to initiate, and it is a bit more powerful than a standard Hard reset described previously. This method wipes the device of any saved personal data, so make sure you have backed up your photos, music, and settings before executing. Factory resets can vary from device to device, as there are different hardware keys present and key combinations required, depending on what the manufacturer has chosen. Here is how the One for Windows does it:

    1. Turn the power off.
    2. Press and hold the VOLUME DOWN button, and then briefly press the POWER button. Release the VOLUME DOWN button when you see an icon on the screen.
    3. Then press the following hardware buttons in sequence: VOLUME UP > VOLUME DOWN > POWER > VOLUME DOWN

    As you can see, the HTC One for Windows has a somewhat tricky way to Factory reset it. It is not hard, but do not be surprised if it takes a couple of attempts to get it started.

    Differences between Hard and Factory resets

    A Factory reset is the most powerful of the two reset options. The whole phone is reformatted, with the OS reinstalled. A hard reset restores the OS and most settings to the initial state, whereas a Factory reset wipes all the data and reinstalls the OS to day-one status. You can think of the Hard reset being a subset of a Factory reset, although, in most instances, the result looks the same to end user.

    For practical reasons, a Hard reset is adequate for most instances. However, knowing how to Factory reset your phone is also valuable, especially if you find yourself in the rare situation where you cannot even boot into the OS (or you are stuck in a reboot loop).

    Either method is appropriate if you want to re-sell your phone, although a Factory reset may be more thorough if you are concerned over security.

    I hope that you never need to do either, but just in case you do, you now know how. Also, if you need the user guide for the Verizon HTC One M8 for Windows, you can find that right here.

    Finally, remember that you can always go into our HTC One M8 for Windows help forums in case you need assistance, or want to chat with others who own your phone!

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    Xbox One quit game

    One of our favorite features on the Xbox One is the ability to resume games even after turning off the system. It's really handy at finishing single player games after being interrupted by errands. But once in a blue moon, we notice games getting stuck at the splash screen when attempting to resume after startup. Want to know a quick fix? Force close the game! We'll show you how simple it is on the Xbox One.

    Follow the steps below and/or watch the video.

    1. While in the game or app, press the Xbox button on your controller.
    2. Make sure that the biggest application tile is highlighted, and then press the Menu button.
    3. Select Quit.

    That's it! You can re-open the game. It won't resume to where you left off, but it helps you reset a frozen game.

    Closing a game also makes sure your timed trials don't run out. For example, the Madden NFL 15 trial is limited to 6 hours of gameplay. Don't be surprised to find out the trial has run out because you didn't close the game.

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    Uber Cortana

    You have probably heard of Uber by now. It's a transportation network company that connects passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire in over 70 cities. We were very excited when the official app returned to Windows Phone and we have been using it frequently. Windows Phone users also get treated to a very cool integration with Cortana. You can ask her to grab you an Uber car!

    Follow the steps and/or watch the video:

    Here's how you do it:

    1. Bring up Cortana. You can do this by pressing and holding the search button, or tapping the Cortana live tile on your home screen.
    2. Say, "Uber, get me an UberX" or "Uber, get me a taxi."
    3. That's it! Uber for Windows Phone opens up. The pinned pickup location is usually accurate, but double check before tapping the request button.

    If you haven't tried Uber yet on your Windows Phone device, you should! The first ride is free (up to $30 off). Use the code, uberapp30.

    • Download Uber from the Windows Phone Store

    Have you tried Uber yet? How are your experiences so far? Good? Bad? Let us know in the comments!

    Thanks for the tip, Adam Z.!

    512 support

    QR: Uber

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    It looks like Cortana is learning new songs. She has been able to sing for a while now, but asking her recently has resulted in new songs. There's a little problem, though. She doesn't actually sing them out. Instead, many of the songs are read aloud. Perhaps she's in the middle of rehearsing them? Go ahead and try asking her with your Windows Phone device. We've tried it ourselves on the Nokia Lumia 930. Watch the video!

    Here's how you do it:

    1. Bring up Cortana. You can do this by holding the search button, or tapping the Cortana live tile if you have it on the home screen.
    2. Go say, "Sing me a song."
    3. That's it!

    Here are some of the responses:

    Cortana songs

    Go try it on your Windows Phone device and let us know if you notice any more songs from Cortana!

    via Reddit

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    As Microsoft continually improves their new Cortana voice-assistant, users are discovering more novice features every day. Recently, we covered all the new songs Cortana can either sing (or semi-sing), and today we are learning that she can now tell you the time or convert currencies.

    Just by asking Cortana "What time is it?" and the assistant fetches you the present time. Although she does not yet read it out loud, making this new find slightly less useful. Actually, asking Cortana the current time itself is redundant since it likely your phone already has an up-to-date clock (especially since with Update 1, the OS can synchronize over Wi-Fi for the current time).

    However, a more beneficial feature than asking Cortana the current time is asking Cortana the time elsewhere in the world. For instance, if I am here in the US and want to know what time it is in India or Berlin, Cortana grabs that information. We can think of a situation or two where this is useful (and even faster than maybe launching a world clock app).

    Another handy feature you may not have known about is asking Cortana to convert your currency from one standard to another. For instance, if I ask Cortana "Convert $32 to UK pounds," she responds with the correct 19.25 Pounds Sterling, along with and up to date currency graph.

    It is hard to tell when these things went live, and for some, it may be old news. Little things like these in and of themselves do not make or break Cortana, but over time, these features do add up to make a smart, intuitive assistant.

    Thanks, tej, and others for the tips!

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    One of the great features in Windows Phone 8.1 is the ability to restore from a backup when setting up a new device. Everything from your Start screen layout to the apps themselves and even some settings can all be 'restored' if you ever change devices, or wish to hard-reset and start anew.

    However, a few people have noticed that under Settings > Backup, there is an error message noting that the last backup attempt has failed. Even more worrisome, you may not even know it. Yikes! The good news is there is a fast and simple way to get this fixed, and you may want to double check that your OS is backed up. Here's how.

    The problem

    Take a quick moment to make sure your automatic backups are enabled and sticking. To do so, just go into settings:

    • Settings
    • Backup
    • Apps + Settings (tap)

    Under this section, you should notice that Settings backup is toggled 'on' as well as App backup. Next, you should see the name of your device along with a 'last backed up' message telling you how many hours or days ago the last backup took place.

    If there is a problem with your backups, the section under the name of your device (often just 'Windows Phone') displays an error message. See the above image for reference.

    From experience, it appears that those using the Preview for Developers program at a higher risk for this taking place, possibly to do with all of the OS updates. I noticed it on my Lumia 1520 a few weeks ago, although since I fixed it the issue has not returned.

    The fix

    If you do have an error message under your Apps + Settings backup, you can easily fix it and get another backup started. Here's how:

    1. Under Apps + Settings tap 'Manage backups' near the bottom
    2. The OS checks for the backups on your OneDrive account
    3. Tap 'Delete' near the bottom to wipe the previous, error-prone backup

    Congratulations, you should have just nixed the bad data file causing the problem. Still, you are now left vulnerable as you do not have a current backup to resort to, in case something goes wrong. Let's fix that:

    • On the Apps + Settings screen, tap 'back up now' near the bottom

    The process should take a few minutes, depending on how many apps and games you have installed. There is a progress bar displayed to let you know far along you are in the process. Once completed, you the new 'last backup' information should reflect today's date.

    So take the extra moment to see if your backups are sticking, especially if you are in the Preview for Developers program and have been updating your device numerous times. If you do not have an error message, at least you now know what to look for in case one does pop up!

    Did this not fix your problem? Then you may have something else going on, which is more severe. You may want to jump into our help forums for more information.

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    Microsoft, like most companies who run an app store, on occasion has problems with fake or malicious apps. You know, the ones that purport to be official, but charge you money upfront without a trial, something even more egregious for already free services.

    I have seen a lot of teeth gnashing over this and lots of "look at THIS example!" posts. Even Microsoft has recently chimed in to say they are going to be doing more. But you play a role too.

    The problem is not trivial with automated app store submissions these days as a human rarely looks for compliance. If you want humans involved, say goodbye to your two-hour store publishing times, which developers – and users – love. Using Boolean searches and automation for flagging certain apps may seem easy in principle, but the sheer number of variations make it difficult to implement, especially without causing false-positives to pop up for review, angering legitimate developers.

    Still, all of my conjecture is beside the point. The best defense against fake store apps is you, and I do not mean just ignoring them. All too often, people just gripe about these apps but they do not talk about how easy it is to grab Microsoft's attention. If you are not occasionally flagging an app for review, you are like a person not clapping at a concert – you assume others are doing the work.

    Well, I am going to show you just how easy it is to report an app.

    How to report a dangerous or mischievous app on the PC

    1. On the app page for a Windows Phone app that is clearly fake, scroll down until you see 'Report Concern to Microsoft' on the left-hand side and click
    2. Choose from a pre-sorted list of complaints, including Offensive content, Child exploitation, Malware or Virus, Privacy concerns, Misleading app, Poor performance, Inappropriate developer response to my review
    3. For so-called fraud apps, which pretend to be official, 'Misleading app' should be appropriate
    4. Submit

    How to report a dangerous or mischievous app on Windows Phone

    1. In Windows Phone 8.1, swipe left to get to Details page
    2. Scroll down and choose 'Report concern to Microsoft'
    3. Choose from a pre-sorted list of complaints, including Offensive content, Child exploitation, Malware or Virus, Privacy concerns, Misleading app, Poor performance, Inappropriate developer response to my review
    4. For so-called fraud apps, which pretend to be official, 'Misleading app' should be appropriate
    5. Submit

    As you can see, Microsoft makes the process simple for reporting fraudulent and misleading apps.

    Ideally, users do not have to do anything, as everything in the world that is bad is prevented from publishing to the store, while everything good gets through. However, while Microsoft is indeed working to make things better in that regard, it is not enough for users to just ignore their community duty in reporting apps when they find them. It takes just seconds of your time and who knows you may prevent someone from losing money.

    Do you report bad or illegal apps to the Windows Phone Store? If so, how often and if not, why not?

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    Spider-Man Unlimited on Lumia 1520

    Spider-Man Unlimited is the latest endless runner from mobile gaming giant Gameloft. The game's premise involves Spider-Men and villains from various universes converging into a single universe. With slick production values and dozens of different Spider-Men to collect, Unlimited is a real treat for fans of the web-slinger.

    Want to get ahead on the Spider-Man Unlimited leaderboards and fill out your roster with Spidey's coolest costumes? Our latest tips and tricks guide will teach you the best ways to spend your time and energy while thwarting the plans of the Sinister Six.

    1. Prioritize combos during Event and Unlimited runs

    Top 10 Spider-Man Unlimited Tips and Tricks

    When you're playing Issues – the story mode – you don't have to worry about combos or score. Just focus on staying alive and completing the level goal.

    But during Events and Unlimited Mode, scoring is the number one priority. You'll want to achieve as many combos as possible in order to get a high score. The best way to start or continue a combo is by punching or kicking an enemy. Each one adds to your combo and keeps the combo going for a little longer.

    Going through rings also adds to your combo. These mostly show up during web-slinging, climbing, and free-falling sequences. Combos are more important than vials, so aim for rings first during those sequences.

    2. Only use ISO-8 to continue on high-scoring Event and Unlimited runs

    Top 10 Spider-Man Unlimited Tips and Tricks

    The temptation to spend ISO-8 (premium currency) to continue when you die is great. But you really need that ISO-8 for other things. Still, there are times when it makes sense to burn a few chunks of the element on a continue. The first continue costs one ISO-8, the second costs two, and the third and final continue costs four.

    Events and Unlimited Mode both offer rewards for top leaderboard slots. Continuing in order to achieve a higher leaderboard bracket makes sense, as the rewards can sometimes be greater than the cost of the continues. Try to get a feel for your average maximum score, and only continue if you have reached or exceeded that maximum. Even then, you might not want to continue if you're likely to die right away after continuing.

    3. Make lots of friends to boost your energy supply

    Top 10 Spider-Man Unlimited Tips and Tricks

    Spider-Man Unlimited's energy system is a drag. It costs one unit of energy to play any mode, and it takes ten minutes to regenerate that one energy. Players can store a maximum of five energy units. Energy refills cost three ISO-8s.

    Luckily, you can bolster your energy supply by making friends. Every day, players can send and receive one free unit of energy to each individual friend. The more friends you have, the more energy you'll receive as a result. You don't need to know the people you're friending. Just look at the leaderboard spaces above you and send requests to your fellow active players.

    Remember that five is your maximum quantity of energy. If your energy is full and someone sends you an energy gift, just leave that gift in your inbox until you've spend your current supply.

    4. Buy the right Power-up upgrades from the shop

    Top 10 Spider-Man Unlimited Tips and Tricks

    It's tempting to spend vials on new Spider-Men, but don't do that very often. You're likely to get doubles, which offer very little benefit for the cost.

    Instead, head to the Shop and invest in Power-up upgrades. The higher you level up a power-up, the longer that item will last when you pick one up during a run. The first upgrade costs 5,000 vials, with subsequent upgrades rising in price.

    Focus on the power-ups that increase Spider-man's lifespan, not his scoring potential. That means Web Hammer and Web Shield upgrades come first. Web Hammer is more effective because it knocks out enemies automatically, works on obstacles, and won't go away until its timer expires. Web Shield will only protect you from a single hit, but its timer lasts much longer.

    5. Purchase extra character slots when you can

    Top 10 Spider-Man Unlimited Tips and Tricks

    Players start out with six character slots, which seems like a lot early on. But over time you'll acquire far more than six characters. If you don't have a lot to hold a new character, that Spider-Man will go to waste. So make sure to buy more slots in-between power-up upgrades.

    The initial batch of slots cost vials, with each additional one going up in price. Eventually they will start costing ISO-8. The do get costly, but they're important.

    6. Spend time with the Events and Unlimited mode to get more characters and currency

    Top 10 Spider-Man Unlimited Tips and Tricks

    As mentioned earlier, Events and Unlimited Mode provide rewards based on leaderboard position. Unlimited Mode doles out either ISO-8 or premium characters every day, in fact.

    Events pay out not only for leaderboards, but also reaching specific milestones like distance travelled or vials collected. Focus on reaching these milestones after you've achieved a good Unlimited score for the day.

    7. Use Spidey Ops to boost your team's experience

    Top 10 Spider-Man Unlimited Tips and Tricks

    Initially you can only play with one Spider-man at a time, which means the rest of your team will go to waste as you play. But you can still make use of your remaining crew by sending them out on Spidey Ops missions from the My Team menu.

    Up to six teammates can go on a Spidey Ops mission at one time. The more you send, the likelier the mission is to succeed. Each member will receive experience and vials after the mission ends.

    Beat Issue 1 to unlock the second tier of Spidey Ops missions. These pay better than the first tier, but they often take longer as well.

    8. Save your ISO-8 for ranking up your top Spider-Men

    Top 10 Spider-Man Unlimited Tips and Tricks

    ISO-8 serves many important purposes. Naturally you'll want to use it to buy a premium character or two. But you should probably save the rest for rank-ups after that.

    Each Spider-Man has a level cap based on his current number of stars (rank). The higher the Spidey's level, the higher his score multiplier. Even a premium Spider-man won't do you much good on the leaderboards if he only has one star.

    Hence, you'll want to choose one or two Spideys and increase their ranks as much as possible. Standard Spider-Man can be ranked up to three stars somewhat affordably, but it costs a whole lot of ISO-8 to take a rare or super-rare Spider-Man up through the ranks. Save up your ISO-8 and get those ranks up if you want your Spider-men to be able to reap high scores and play level-locked story levels.

    9. Only use Spider-Men to level up other Spider-Men when your team gets full

    Top 10 Spider-Man Unlimited Tips and Tricks

    What do you do when you need room for another character and you can't afford more slots? Get rid of doubles and dead weight by using them to level up other Spider-Men.

    Leveling up a character through the My Team menu requires at least one character to sacrifice, as well as a small sum of vials. Sacrificing multiple characters won't increase the vial cost, so it's best to burn multiple characters at once if you have them to spare.

    Leveling up characters in this way is not a better source of experience than simply playing with them. Just use it to get rid of excess characters.

    10. Keep at least one of every Spider-Man when possible

    Even one you have a really strong rare Spider-Man, it's still a good idea to hold on to low-tier characters. Some story missions require a specific character to play. You don't have to play these missions in order to complete an issue, but they offer good rewards.

    More importantly, Events will often pay a score bonus for using specific characters. Even if they don't, you might reach milestones more easily with certain characters' abilities. So keep one of everybody on-hand if you have room.

    Bonus tip: Complete Issues to boost your scoring potential

    Top 10 Spider-Man Unlimited Tips and Tricks

    Issues are Spider-Man Unlimited's story maps. Completing levels in an issue will get you experience and ISO-8. But playing issues uses energy that you could be spending towards reaching Event milestones, making it tough to choose Story over the promise of those time-limited rewards.

    Still, you'll want to clear the first issue as soon as you can. Not only does beating an issue unlock new Spidey Ops missions, it also unlocks the ability to take an extra Spidey along on missions. Equipping two Spideys will combine their score multipliers and abilities. You'll have a much easier time climbing the leaderboards with those bonuses.

    Your top tips for Spider-Man Unlimited?

    We hope you've enjoyed our Spider-Man Unlimited tips and tricks! Be sure to leave us a comment with your own strategies and impressions.

    • Spider-Man Unlimited – Windows Phone 8 – 91+ MB – Free – Store Link

    512MB RAM devices not supported

    QR: Spider-Man Unlimited

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    Xbox One SmartGlass

    Xbox One SmartGlass is probably the best app to have on your Windows Phone if you have an Xbox One. The app is incredibly useful and gains new functionality with nearly regular monthly updates. Recently, Microsoft introduced the ability to buy and purchase games and game add-ons using SmartGlass. A few of you still aren't too sure how to do that, so here's a quick guide on how to install stuff to your Xbox One without being anywhere near your Xbox One.

    Install Xbox One SmartGlass

    Xbox One

    Step one is probably the most obvious, but you're going to need to grab the Xbox One SmartGlass app. It's available on Windows Phone, Windows 8.1, Android and iOS. On Windows Phone and Windows 8.1 you also have access to the beta version of Xbox One SmartGlass.

    Both the beta and non-beta version of the app on Windows now can download 'stuff,' so grab whichever you want. Though we'd recommended living life on the edge and using the beta version of SmartGlass. You'll new features are added first to the beta version, and it's a fun way to get the latest first.

    Configure your Xbox One

    Power Start up

    Installed Xbox One SmartGlass? Great! You're almost ready to download games to your console without being near it, but you do need to be around it to make sure you've configured the Xbox One properly.

    In order for your Xbox One to install games and apps through SmartGlass, you'll need to make sure the system is set to take updates automatically.

    • Go to system settings
    • Go to Power & startup
    • Make sure your Power Options have the Power Mode set to 'Instant-on.'
    • Make sure 'Automatically download updates' is enabled

    Get to system settings by clicking the Start button on your controller while on the Xbox One dashboard. You'll see a menu pop up, and you'll then want to click settings. Then just follow the steps above to makes sure your Power Mode is set to 'Instant-on' and that you've enabled updates to be automatically downloaded.

    Download all the stuff!

    Xbox One SmartGlass

    Your Xbox One is set to download games and apps without you there and you now have the SmartGlass app on your phone. You're good to go now!

    • Sign into Xbox One SmartGlass with your Xbox Live Gamertag / Microsoft account
    • Open the menu and go to the Store section
    • Browse for a game, game add-on or app
    • Alternatively, you can just search for the game or app
    • Click the 'Buy' or 'Get it free' button
    • Confirm the transaction

    Xbox One SmartGlass

    And just like that, your game, game add-on or app will begin the download to your Xbox One. So when you get home the game or app will be ready to play with no download or install times keeping you at bay.

    Xbox One SmartGlass

    The Forza Horizon 2 demo is out today on the Xbox One. Try using the steps above to download the demo to your Xbox One automatically. Just search for 'Forza Horizon 2' in the SmartGlass app and then click the 'Get it free' button to have it automatically on your Xbox One. Enjoy and let us know what you think!

    Sound off below if you have any questions!

    Do you use Xbox One SmartGlass to download games and apps automatically to your Xbox One?

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    NFL Calendar

    Back in June we showed you boys and girls how to add the 2014 World Cup schedule to your Windows Phone. This allowed you to see easily when matches were taking place so you could catch them in your local time zone. Here's how to do that for the 2014 NFL schedule.

    The steps for adding the NFL schedule to your calendar is exactly the same as for the World Cup schedule. Here's how you get the full 2014 NFL schedule in your Windows Phone Calendar:

    • Go to on your PC
    • Click on 'import' on the top left
    • Click 'Subscribe'
    • Add the following URL: webcals://
    • Name your calendar (NFL schedule makes the most sense)
    • Select a color and charm (select the trophy!)
    • Click subscribe

    And that's it! The games should be converted to your local time too, so you this saves numerous steps and will make sure you don't miss a game! Make sure you went to and signed in with the Microsoft Account you use on your Windows Phone and Windows 8 machines. Now you'll see all games appear on your phone in due time. Impatient? Force the calendar sync by going to settings > email + accounts > long press Microsoft account to sync.

    Only care about a single team or two and don't want the ENTIRE list of NFL games cluttering up your calendar in Windows Phone? Then grab the go to the official website of your favorite team and grab their calendars URLs. You can usually find them in the calendar section on their website. Here's the schedule for just the Seahawks to get you started.

    • Seattle Seahawks

    Who are you pulling for this season?

    Via: Geek On Gadget

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    NBC Sports Live Extra

    When the World Cup ended, I became highly interested in watching more football (soccer) games. Friends who follow football more than me said I have to check out the English Premier League ( I'm in luck because NBC here in the United States has acquired rights to broadcast all the games. Their app, NBC Sports Live Extra, is also available on Windows Phone so you can stream the games live or watch replays and highlights.

    When you open NBC Sports Live Extra, there are 4 screens that you can cycle through by swiping left or right: featured, live, highlights, and replay. NBC covers several sports, but you can filter the content to display only the Premier League. You can do this by tapping the hamburger button at the top left corner - by sport and select Premier League.

    NBC SPorts Live Extra

    Highlights and replays can be viewed whenever you want, however live streams require an extra step. There is no additional charge, but you need to log in using your provider's username and password. If you do not have or do not know your login information, contact your service provider to register. Several providers are included in the list such as XFINITY, DirecTV, DISH Network, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Verizon FiOS, and much more.

    NBC Sports Live Extra

    If there's a game you are really looking forward to, you can pin it to your home screen so you won't forget. You can also add items as favorites, so you can access them quicker in the favorites section.

    The 2014-2105 Premier League season runs from August to May. Most games are played in the afternoons of Saturdays and Sundays, the other games during weekday evenings.

    NBC Sports Live Extra is a free download from the Windows Phone Store. Since I've just started following Premier League, I haven't picked a favorite team yet. I'm currently leaning towards Liverpool. Who are you cheering for?

    512MB RAM devices supported

    QR: NBC Sports Live Extra

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    Today, Microsoft unveiled their Windows Technical Preview for the new Windows 10 operating system. There are obviously plenty of questions from users about upgrading to the Preview, and one of those has to deal with the Modern Start Screen.

    If like me, you installed the Technical Preview but you would like to get back the Modern Start Screen, here is a quick and easy way to make that happen.

    The current preview is mostly geared towards IT professionals and those on a desktop PC. Knowing this recommendation, I still installed it on my Surface Pro 3. As expected, the Windows Technical Preview sets the Start menu preference by default depending on the presence of a mouse or keyboard detected. As such, my Surface Pro 3 was in Desktop mode with the new Start Menu and Modern combo. However, I could not get back to the familiar Modern Start Screen, which is ideal for tablet mode.

    Microsoft made it relatively easy to switch between the two and to set the default. Here is how.

    Toggle default Start Menu or Start Screen

    • Search
    • Type in 'Navigation Properties'
    • Go to tab 'Start Menu'
    • Toggle 'Use the Start Menu instead of the Start Screen'

    The system then tells you to log out and back in again to make the change. Now, my Surface Pro 3 behaves just as it did before. Note, however that as far as I know, you cannot have both the Start Menu and Start Screen working in tandem. In other words, when on the Desktop and using the Start key, it uses whichever is the default.

    What about Continuum?

    If you watched the presentation yesterday, you might recall Microsoft's new Continuum system. Continuum lets the OS switch dynamically between the Start Menu and Start Screen automatically when a keyboard is added or removed. This coveted feature "solves" the problem described above, but Continuum is not quite here with us yet, which is why of course it does not work.

    Regardless, if you want to install Windows 10 Technical Preview on your x86 or x64 tablet, go right ahead.

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    ie on Windows 10

    While the desktop version of Internet Explorer is supposed to be the only one available on the Windows 10 Technical Preview, there is a way to access the Modern UI version of IE in this preview build as well, if you want a more touchscreen-based experience.

    A man who goes by the Twitter handle "AdamUCF" has created a script that can be accessed and downloaded on the Pastebin website. After downloading it, you will have to change the file extension name to to .ps1. After that, you just right click the file and open it with Powershell to access the Modern IE version.


    Our editor in chief Daniel Rubino has tried this script out and found that the Modern IE runs very well, and very fast, with his Surface Pro 3 tablet. However, he does say that if you close out the IE browser, you will need to run the .ps1 file every time to access the Modern version again.

    As we reported yesterday, the Windows 10 Technical Preview does not yet have the upcoming Internet Explorer 12 web browser, but it does have a few improvements over the current Windows 7 and 8.1 versions of IE11. If you have tried this script, what do you think of the Modern IE running in this early build of Windows 10?

    Source: AdamUCF on Twitter, PasteBin

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    It's been a week since Microsoft unveiled Windows 10, and released the Technical Preview to the public. Now that you have had some time to take in some of the cool new features, you may be considering giving it a try yourself.

    We've put together a quick how-to below to get you on your way to Windows 10.

    Before you begin

    What is a Technical Preview? It means a beta OS, along with an emphasis on testing and feedback to Microsoft. The preview expires on April 15, 2015, at which point Microsoft is likely to release an updated version. Most scenarios should have users directly updating from the Technical Preview to the final OS in mid-2015.

    Before you charge ahead, there are a few things you will want to consider. First and foremost, this is a just preview, and along with that comes all of its flaws and imperfections, as well as what will surely be tons of updates to follow. For that reason, it probably isn't a good idea to install Windows 10 on your primary computer.

    Computers running Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.0 and Windows 8.1 can all take the Technical Preview. RT devices like the Surface RT and Surface 2 cannot, though they will in early 2015.

    During the installation, you can choose to wipe clean your current OS and start new with Windows 10, or just update the OS, keeping all of your files and settings. Most of us have done the latter with no installation problems or hiccups.

    This preview is also not yet optimized for touchscreen computers, so keep in mind that you will be getting more of the desktop experience. Touch-related updates will certainly follow, so be patient. Yes, you can install it to a Surface pro device or any x86/x64 tablet, but the experience right now is better suited for a laptop or desktop PC environment. See below under Further Reading for our experience with Windows 10 on the Surface Pro 3.

    And as a final consideration before installing, you should definitely read Microsoft's Frequently Asked Questions page. It is also highly advised that you create a recovery drive, just in case you want to revert back to your previous operating system. In most cases, including on the Surface Pro 3, installing the Technical Preview will overwrite the recovery partition with the Windows 10 image, making a system refresh ineffectual should you choose to revert.

    Still here?

    Well then, it seems you've decided to take the plunge. In that case, here is what you need to do:

    1. First, you need to sign up for the Windows Insider Program. It's quick and easy. Just follow the link, sign in with your Microsoft Account and accept the terms and conditions.
    2. Once you're in, you will be directed to download the disk image, also known as an ISO file. This is just under 4GB, so make sure you download it well before you are ready to start the installation.
    3. Next, you need to either burn the ISO image to a DVD, extract the files from the image or mount the image as a virtual drive. In Windows 8, you can mount an ISO file simply by right-clicking and choose Mount. From our experience, it is best to keep the ISO on the C:\ drive for installation, instead of using a USB device.
    4. Once ready, just double-click setup.exe and you are on your way
    5. The installation wizard will walk you through the necessary steps

    The process of actual installation averages around 20 minutes, depending on the speed of the computer. The OS will install itself, rebooting a few times. Nearly at all times, a progress screen will be present, usually with a percentage indicator to keep you abreast of the process.

    Windows 8.1 is smart. Should the Technical Preview run into problems during installation, it should rollback the installation and leave you with your current OS untouched. At this point, you can then try to diagnose what caused the setback.

    Once you're up and running, be sure report your findings and share your thoughts in our new Windows 10 forums. Those forums are also a great spot to find help on this process should you have any problems.

    Do you have any tips or advice to share with others on installing the Technical Preview? Comment below and let us know!

    Related Reading:

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    Beginner's Tips Series!

    There are tons of reasons why you might want to capture an image on your Surface Pro 3, or other Windows 8 computer. Maybe you want to preserve a pic of your high score for posterity. Perhaps your IT guy won't accept "My Outlook isn't working" as a legitimate gripe and wants a screenshot of the error message. Or just maybe, you write for a technology website and often find yourself needing images when creating "How To's" for your readers.

    Whatever the reason, Windows 8 makes is super easy to getting a pic of your screen. If you are new to Windows 8.1 or have a Surface Pro 3, you may be wondering what your screenshot options are, so we break 'em down for you.

    Method 1: I want options

    The most versatile way of grabbing images off your device's screen is the Snipping Tool, which has been included in Windows since the Vista days. The Snipping Tool can be found in the full Apps List under the Windows Accessories section. You can also do a search for it in the Charms bar.

    Once you open it, just click on New, and then use the cursor to select the portion of your screen that you would like to save.

    The Snipping Tool gives you the option of capturing your entire screen, an individual window, or by drawing either a rectangle or free-form box around the area to be saved. From there, you can even use the Snipping Tool to mark up the image and save it to wherever you'd like.

    Method 2: I don't need options, just a quick snapshot

    1. Press and hold the Home button (aka, Windows button) on the front the Surface, then just press and release the Volume Down button, as if you were taking a picture.
    2. The screen will dim briefly and then go back to its original brightness.
    3. The screenshot will be placed in a subfolder of your Pictures folder called Screenshots. If the Screenshots folder does not already exist, it will be created automatically.

    Method 3: I have an external keyboard

    If you are using a desktop computer setup and have an external keyboard, you can press the Windows key + PrtScn to perform the same function as above. Again, the resulting image will be saved to your Screenshots folder.

    Method 4: Old style

    In the event you want to keep it oldschool, the PrtScn button alone still gets the job done in Windows 8. Pressing that will copy a picture of your Desktop to the Clipboard, so it can be pasted into an application like Paint or Word. Using Alt+PrtScn together captures only an individual window.

    Got any other tips for doing screen captures? Let us know in the comments below.

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