Hyper app – YouTube for Windows 8

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Since beginning my Windows 8 journey just a month or so ago, I have run into a few app that I just can’t live without in the Windows 8 world. One of those apps is “Hyper“. It’s a 3rd party youtube app that is made for the Windows 8 metro experience.

One of it’s key features is that you can pin your favorite subscriptions to it’s home screen. This lets me see the latest episodes of a few of the podcasts/vlogs that I follow daily, right when the app starts up. When subscribed to 180+ youtube channels like me, this is a huge help in finding the channels I want to see the most. Another key feature is uninterrupted background playback. This means if you switch to check your email or whatever, it still plays the audio in the background. This also works great for listening to music on youtube in the background when doing something else. The app has a really clean design and is built from the ground up for touch.

This app is free with minimal ads and available in the windows app store.
Just search for “hyper” or find more info here.

 

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

How this Windows 7 fan feels right at home on Windows 8

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Windows 8 since it’s release has freaked me out. I can see what Microsoft was thinking. I mean iOS and Android’s touchscreen platforms are very successful. Why not try to compete? But for Microsoft to completely force everyone to forget about how Windows worked in the past and embrace the whole metro interface is craziness! (I think Microsoft finally got the memo as Windows 10 has just been announced and doesn’t force you into the metro world anymore.) For me Windows 7 is great! It’s fast, lean and mean. So when I got my HP Pavilion x360 a month ago that came with Windows 8.1 I was a little resistant. I have always loved my classic start menu, but with Windows 8 it is nowhere to be found… until I found Classic Shell.

What is Classic Shell you may ask? As their website states “Classic Shell™ is free software that improves your productivity, enhances the usability of Windows and empowers you to use the computer the way you like it.” Keywords are FREE and THE WAY YOU LIKE IT. This sweet little application brings back the classic start menu and all it’s glory. The coolest part is that you don’t have to say goodbye to the metro tiles and apps. They can still be reached from the charms bar by swiping in from the right of the screen. I enjoy the metro Netflix and Youtube apps– I’m glad there is still a way to use them as well. So really you’re getting the best of both worlds!

I would suggest trying Classic Shell on your Windows 8 machine. It’s easy and quick to install, it’s freeware and even easy to uninstall if you don’t end up liking it for some reason.

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Why I love the Taco Bell App

Back in October my favorite fast food establishment released an epic app for ordering from your smart phone. I have been using this app since it’s release. In simple terms the app lets you customize your order and skip the in-store order line. It’s really a great time-saver during the lunch rush hour and also very helpful when ordering for big groups…you can input and submit everyone’s order before you even get in car to head to the border.

Taco Bell was already my favorite place to eat at but this app takes it to a-whole-nother-level! Other features include easy reordering of your favorites, quickly paying with your credit/debt card or gift card along with being able to view your local Taco Bell’s hours of operation. As a bonus currently (for a limited time) you can get a free Doritos Locos Taco with any order and you can get Freezes for $1.00– only on the app. It truly makes me feel like I’m part of some special Taco Bell VIP club.

I recommend everyone try this app out. I think you will find that it makes the whole process of ordering and getting your food a lot easier, all while saving you some time (and even some money) in the process.

This wonderful app is available for iOS & Android devices for free…just click here!

For more stories on this app check out the official #onlyintheapp hashtag on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Toggle Windows 8 touch screen on/off with one easy click

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As I mentioned in my last post I recently got a HP Pavilion x360 laptop/tablet. It’s ability to rotate the screen 360 degrees (hence the name) makes it easy to use in tons of different situations. One situation is laying it on the ground with just the screen up and the keyboard tucked back. This works great for watching my favorite youtube channel or netflix with my daughter Olivia as she is crawling around. As she watches with me, sometimes she likes to touch the screen– she’s a baby, who could blame her– which most of the time causes the video to jump back and lose our spot. After researching a few websites on a easy way to temporarily disable the touch screen– I got bummed out! Most people were saying you had to launch device manager and then find the touch driver and go into it’s properties and click disable…toooo many &&&&s!! Ain’t nobody got time for that!!!!

Then a few days later, I vowed to not give up and did some more research. This time I found an amazing (free) solution…
Windows 8: Create a toggle touch screen button” by Joseph McCullough
He step-by-step guides you on how to install Windows Device Console (free), find your touch screens Device ID, create a batch file & then create the quick click shortcut to disable/enable your touch screen on your “quick launch” bar  or desktop.

It took me no more than 5 mins to setup and was pretty straight forward. Now Olivia can touch the screen all she wants without messing up what we are watching and it’s super easy to re-enable the touchscreen once we are all done.

 

//photo credit: Joseph McCullough

 

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Automatically Put Instagram Photos As Your Desktop Wallpaper

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I recently got a HP Pavilion x360 laptop/tablet. It’s my first full-time-hands-on experience with Windows 8. I have used Windows 8 in the past but not as my “daily driver” at home. I have been very reluctant to jump on board the bandwagon because I love Windows 7 so very much. But since they don’t really sell laptops with Windows 7 installed by default anymore– I am on a voyage to make Windows 8 work more like my beloved Windows 7. Because of this fresh new tabtop (is that a word?) I have been tinkering around and was looking for a way to have my Instagram photos automatically be synced as my desktop wallpaper. After searching around a little I found “John’s Background Switcher” by John Conners – it’s a sweet little app that can pull pictures from your online social media sources (Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Dropbox & many more) and display them on as your desktop wallpaper. It has many settings that you can mess with and is really customizable. Best part is that it is FREE! Check it and other software John has come up with by clicking here.

// P.S. He has a Mac version as well, so if you aren’t in a Windows world, it will still work for you too.

 

Friday, January 16th, 2015