I recently upgraded my main work machine, Dell Studio 1558, to Windows 8 Pro. Only had one issue, where my ATI display driver was making Windows 8 Pro to crash after few minutes into the start screen. Other than this no issues. Smooth sailing so far :)
There’s one thing that I realized after few hours of using Windows 8 start screen, the All Apps option is hidden under a right-click contextual menu. And I was accessing it a lot of times during the day.
I thought there might be a tile that I can place on the start screen, and can just place it on there and All Apps will be just a click away as compared to right-click then click All Apps button in lower-right corner. I’m a lefty, and the start menu we all are so used-to made me look for more apps button in the lower-left corner all the time :D
After some research, I found that there’s no built-in All Apps tile in Windows 8. So I made one myself. I don’t exactly remember where I found the snippet, but all credit goes to whoever found it. I just searched for it :D
All you have to do is make a New Shortcut on Desktop, and set its Target field to:
And Start in field to: %windir%. You can change the icon as per your liking of course. Click Ok to create the shortcut on your Desktop.
Now, right-click on this newly created shortcut, and select Pin to Start. Now you have a nice tile that you can just click to access all of your installed applications. Should be great for touch screens as well.
Please note that this is not a perfect hack, there’s a small visual hick-up, as if you click on tile, it will take you to the Desktop for a second, then back to All Apps list in modern UI. But it works :D
You can also download this shortcut file I created for myself, so you don’t have to go through all the hacking stuff ;)
Being a mobile app developer, I have to keep few devices around me all day for debugging and testing my apps. Nowadays, all smartphones come with Bluetooth, WiFi and now NFC technologies, but they all fail to talk to each other for even simple text data exchange.
I find myself in situations where I need to quickly get piece of text from one device to another. It could be a link, some text copied from browser, or SMS message I received on one device, and need to get on other device without messing around with apps or wires.
Yesterday this idea came to my mind when I was reading a lengthy article on my HTC Titan and received system notification that I need to recharge or else phone will power off. I wanted to quickly open the same article on my Nokia E7 which I was also carrying with me.
As I described earlier, that we currently don’t have any standard way to get these devices talk to each other directly without going through the “cloud”, so I was stuck there.
I quickly jumped back to my seat, and started some experiments. After an hour I did my first test and and it was a success!
Now you just need to point your other smartphone or tablet camera to it with a QR Code reader app of course (built-in in WP and other OS’s), and voila! The link will now open up.
It works in PC browsers as well, so if you need to quickly open a link on your tablet or smartphone from PC, you can save this in bookmarks toolbar in IE/Chrome/FF/Safari, and click it to instantly make a QR code for current link.
I tested it on all major PC browsers, and on my Nokia E7 and HTC Titan. Works great! It should run on all mobile browsers which support editing of bookmark URL, so you can insert the code there.
BTW, I used old Google Charts APIs to make the QR codes.
And finally here’s the code which you can copy and save as favorite in your mobile browser.
Step by step guide:
Open web browser on mobile or PC
Add / save this page as bookmark or favorite
Now select and edit the saved bookmark
In name field, type “! QRCoder”. The character in start makes sure the bookmark is always on top of the list in your bookmarks list. Easy to tap :)
Ok / Done to save. Now go to any website and from bookmarks / favorites, tap on “! QRCoder”
To quickly land on this page, scan this QR code from your smartphone or tablet:
Tested on following devices / OS:
PC / Mac / Linux – Check
iPhone, iPad – Check
Windows Phone 7.5 – Check
Symbian Anna / Belle – Check
Z10 / BB10 – Check
I know when this gets published, many non-techy users are going ask how to save this code in mobile browser as favorite. So, here’s a little video demonstration on a Windows Phone: