COLLEYVILLE, TEXAS – There are a lot of changes to Windows and new applications, including some you might not know about. Here are some updates we’ve discovered.

Microsoft operating system head Terry Myerson says the Start menu is back at Windows.  The Windows 8.1 Start menu is full of Live Tiles, along with the ability to find and install Microsoft’s universal Windows applications. The universal Windows apps scale across PCs, tablets, and phones, and the apps are able to run inside Windows on the traditional Windows desktop.

With Update 1 desktop users are able to skip the Start screen and head straight to the desktop taskbar. You can also pin apps to the desktop taskbar and view a preview of a app by hovering the cursor over the icon.

Windows 8.1 does not display newly installed apps to the Start screen. But it does display a notification in the lower-left corner of the Start screen to remind users of downloaded apps.

One of Windows 8.1’s most helpful updates involves the new Food and Drink app. The app is packed with recipes of all kinds, and adds the ability to enter hands-free mode. In hands-free mode you can wave your hand in front of your device’s webcam to flip through the steps of the recipe. No more sauce-stained keyboard for these users!

Windows 8.1 now offers the ability to dynamically readjust the “Snap” ratio of multiple apps opened side by side.  Windows 8 allowed you to have only one app open in a single window at a time. Now, all you have to do is press and hold or right-click on a link in Internet Explorer 11, then select Open in a new window.

Microsoft also tweaked Windows 8.1’s Mail app.  Opening hyperlinks in Mail automatically opens the page in a Snapped form of Internet Explorer 11, which allows you to look at the site without closing out of your inbox. Further, you can now drag and drop mail to other folders.

Internet Explorer 11 offers Reading View, which clears ads and clutter from articles and presents the info in a horizontally scrolling format. To enable Reading View, click the open-book icon on the right side of Internet Explorer 11’s address bar.

Libraries in Windows 8.1 now lets you include locations on removable storage devices. Windows 8.1 dispatches on numerous laptops, hybrids, and tablets with limited flash storage space or solid-state drives. If you plan on watching videos on your tablet, then a removable drive is practically a must-have. Now, you can have the files stored on your thumb drive appear in your Videos library when it’s connected. Just right-click a library and select Properties > Add… and continue from there to integrate additional folders.

All in all, Update 1 to Windows 8.1 tries to make the Modern UI more agreeable to mouse-and-keyboard users by combining idea of a Windows desktop and the tile-oriented Start screen of tablets and mobile users. These are just a few of the updates we’ve observed recently.

If you have any questions or problems, schedule an appointment with one of our computer pros. We provide PC and Mac repair, network administration, upgrade installations, maintenance, and computer service in the Keller, Colleyville, Southlake and Grapevine areas. To set up your appointment, call 817-915-0111.

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