This is My Most Memerable Experience Using a Windows Phone

I have been using Windows Phone daily for about three years now. I had my ups and downs, but I have a confession to make. This is, by far, the most memorable experience I had in the past three years using a Windows Phone. You guys ready? Let me know if you can relate.

Opens App. Black Screen. Resuming… Resuming… Resuming… Loading… Loading… Black Screen. Resuming… Resuming… Loading… Start Screen appears.

And that’s it! Thanks, Microsoft, for the most pleasant experience in using a Windows Phone.

P.S. This was a piece of satire, for those who are sensitive about Windows Phone. But there is some truth to what I have written.


Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 Walkthrough on Lumia 830

Windows 10 for Phone Start Screen

I have just received an update to my Nokia Lumia 830, and it is Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2. This happened on the same day that Microsoft released Windows 10 for phones. As such, I made a video walkthrough of Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 before upgrading my phone to Windows 10, and I am eager to share with you the video. So let’s dive in!

The video demonstrates visually what’s new in Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2. The one thing I was unable to demonstrate, unfortunately, is the ability to use external Bluetooth keyboard with the Windows Phone because I do not have one. But Windows Central has a great video demoing this, so I’ll have a link for that below.  Continue reading

Place a Clock on your Start Screen with Asparion Clock

Asparion Clock (1)

Preview and Install

I am a big fan of Asparion software on the Windows Store. But this one is one I particularly like. I have been looking for a good clock tile for my Windows Start Screen, to compliment the weather and news tiles. As McAkins noted on a recent post, the Start Screen is a true dashboard with Windows 8.1. A clock is essential for any dashboards. Well, I am pleased to say that I have finally found a great tool for the job!

Asparion Clock is an app downloadable from the Windows Store that allows you to place one or more customizable clock tiles on your Windows Start Screen. You can add many clock tiles to your Start Screen, each with different time and appearance. You can have the tile display your System Tile (which you can set from the PC settings interface), or you can use a custom time. Each tiles can have a different look as well, with some being digital clocks and other being variants of analogue clocks.

Of course, Asparion Clock is useful as an app itself. You can have multiple clocks set up and view them from the app. The app is also customizable, allowing you to configure the app with any foreground and background color. You can even configure the snapped mode for the app! The app has timer and alarm features as well, if you are interested. However, I personally use it for the live tile feature because the alarms and timer are built in to Windows 8.1.

Here are some more screenshots:

Download it here: Clock (Live tile, alarm, timer)

My Tiles–Shell in a Shell app for Windows 8 in the Store


You know like they say, life is full of surprises, this app is another one of those examples. Microsoft built Windows 8 with the premise of ease of use, but then some people were complaining of lack of customization of the Start Screen wallpaper except the one that came with Windows 8 that some people were finding rather boring. So here came this app My Tiles that purports to fill the gap left in Start Screen. Its an Shell in a Shell. In this shell however, you are Lord and King. You can setup your tiles the way you want, and what’s more, you tiles can have picture backgrounds etc. I don’t think I am able to aptly describe this app until you see it for yourselves, and the worst thing is the vendor himself is lazy in describing the app, he tacitly described it as follows: “Custom Tiles Make allows you to create custom tiles for your Windows 8”. That’s it, just one line nothing further. But unfortunately, it didn’t describe the vendor’s effort because this seems to be a good app for those looking for more in the Start Screen. They say a picture is worth than a thousand words, maybe these screenshots will help:


If eye-candy is your thing, and you’re unsatisfied with current Start Screen implementation from Microsoft, then this is what you need. It’s a free App, for now at least, so you can least give it a spin and see if its for you. Download via the Source Link.

Source: Windows Source

Pokki Failed – Start Screen Rulez


With all the noise online and on Twitterverse about Pokki you would have thought it’s a one sword to rule them all App. But as always with these kinds of tools, reality is always different than fantasy. Pokki is aspiring to fill the gaping gap left by the absence of StartMenu in Windows 8. It was with much pump and fanfair they announced themselves online, predicting the early death of Windows 8 if users don’t have StartMenu back. So they offered Pokki, polished and shiny. Aah see Microsoft tremble in their shoes. Pokki is going to derail the Windows 8 bandwagon!

Common people, are you telling me the guys at Pokki knows the inside of Windows than Microsoft itself? Yes, I have seen this all before, all these external tools that promise heaven and earth, the “Shell Replacements” from DeviantArt people, what do they all have in common? They created bloated environments that eventually bog down the system and create bad UX for users. And who gets blamed, yes, it is Microsoft. When are people going to wise up?

That screenshot above was taken from NeoWin’s interview with a Pokki  spoke-person, from the comments section. That is the reaction of a user to Pokki after giving it a spin. Microsoft has warned that they are removing the infrastructure that made StartMenu possible in Win8 as it will be an extra undesired baggage. If Pokki can rebuild that infrastructure and duplicate the performance Microsoft’s StartMenu good luck to them. If I were you I would just set my teeth and learn to use the Start Screen, after 2 Weeks you’ll get used to it, after a month you’ll be smiling and after 3 months you CAN’T go back to the StartMenu. Believe me, we’ve all been there. I have been using StartScreen since MS went public with Win8, each time I have to work on Win7 now, it’s a pain. Period.

Source: NeoWin Interview with Pokki

McAkins Start Screen

My Start Screen

StartScreen fresh after RTM Install, Snapshot:2012-08-18. (Right-click and select Save to save it locally)

Some people were curious to see how I have arranged my Start Screen. Given the fact that I have just installed RTM, this is by no means complete, I will be updating this with time. Also this is my main x86 Tablet device, so it is completely different from my Desktop Start Screen that has Six Rows of Tiles. I tried as much as possible to only run Metro Apps on my Tablet since I get the most battery life with Metro Apps.

The Windows 8 Start Screen Thumbnail is Alive!!!


Did you realize the Start Screen Thumbnail is alive? The thumbnail elements are color representation of your Start Screen tiles. Just another little thing that brings a smile to your face as you realize Microsoft wasn’t lying when they said they touched every hook of the OS. The thumbnail changes dynamically to represent first visible page of your Start Screen. Normally you would have thought it’s just a static graphic image used, but no MS wants you to know they are serious about the Start Screen.

Learn Why the Start Menu is Gone in Windows 8

Learn why such an old and integral feature of Windows is removed with Windows 8. The Windows “Start” menu was introduced with Windows 95. At the time of this recording, 17 years after the debut of the “Start” button, Microsoft finally removes it with Windows 8. The question is, why. Watch this video to find out!

Continue reading