Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Buy a phone now and you are virtually getting a PC

You get the PC-like experience by connecting your phone to a Microsoft Display Dock and connect a monitor and keyboard to it. This is possible because of the Continuum feature in Windows 10. Of course your phone functionality is not compromised and you can still attend to your calls.
Microsoft Display Dock is offered free with Lumia 950XL  available at Microsoft Stores.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Setting up Kid's Corner on Windows 10 Phone

I do not have a Windows 10 Phone, but I do have a preview running on my Nokia Icon. The images and comments are specific to the developers preview.

Children are curious about phones and a child playing with a phone is an all too familiar scene. Yes, you should allow the child to use phone, but you should allow only things that you make sure kids can access.

Windows 10 Mobile (aka, Windows 10 phone) provides you with the feature called Kid's corner which allows your child to play with games, apps, music and videos that you add to the kid's corner.

Setting up is easy but it requires you to set up a password and /or pin. The unattended device needs the password/pin to get back. However, the child who encounters the login screen can swipe the screen from left to right to get to the Kid's corner (the child, he/she does not need passord), but can only see what you allowed them to see or play with.

I do not have Windows Phone 10 or Windows 10 Mobile, but only a preview allowed for developers.
Here are some screen shots for setting up the kid's corner.

You start at Settings | Accounts or search for Kid's Corner

 Kind's Corner is displayed
 Decide what your kids should see or play; or what app to use.

 At first you need to set a password and or pin. (I had no password)

 You set a pin as well, the 4-digit pin is very useful for quick access(do not use 1111 or 0000)

 Set up sign-in duration; you can also change pin.

Well this should bring up the following:

Click OK. The next time your child can get to the Kid's Corner by swiping the login screen from left to right. 

Well, my child could not get to the Child's corner by sweeping from left to right as this is a preview program on a device ill-suited to Windows 10. I am sure there should be no problem on a supported phone.
This screen was not useful in getting to the kid's corner. I am not sure what emergency number this is supposed to call (perhaps parents' number?).

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Windows 10 Mobile and Continuum

Continuum with regard to Windows mobile devices is a mode of working where you can use the Windows 10 phone to connect to a larger display; connect to a keyboard etc. Windows 10 PCs like the Surface Pro and Surface Book already have this- you can detach the keyboard and use it as a tablet.

For Windows 10 Desktop (Build 10240) you already have this feature by changing your settings to Tablet Mode.

For mobile devices Continuum features are supported if you buy a Continuum Display Dock.

 With this docking device you can extend the way you interact with phone using an external monitor; key board or mouse. You can also have scaled up office apps. This will not take away your phone capabilities. The Continuum Display Dock (rumored to cost $99) should be available soon (?).
Presently Microsoft's new phones Lumia 950 and 950XL are the only ones that can use this feature however since it is supposed to connect via Miracast as well, it is just possible that Nokia Icon may be able to use it as well.

However if you are a developer and using Windows 10 Developer Preview then the Windows 10 build should be 10586 as it is on my Nokia Icon. Personally I do not like 'dock' of any sort with wires hanging. In fact many others may feel the same way.

More here.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Are you building Web and Mobile apps? Check out Meteor

It appears Meteor can provide a radically simpler way to build real time mobile and web app using only JavaScript from one code base. I have not used Meteor and the content for the post came from here.

This post describes some of the highlights and a screen shot from a app built using Meteor.
Here are some Highlights:

Universal JavaScript
Same code from client to cloud; from packages to database apis; from browsers to mobile devices via Meteor's unified isobuild system

Mobile and Web apps
As Installable iOS and as Android app
As a web app that loads on demand

Reactive Rendering
While being thin,  gives a thick client feel and look using Meteor's Blaze Framework with AngularJS and ReactJS

Meteor's Cloud Platform Galaxy
Deployment, scaling and monitoring for connected clients
Provides actionable metrics to stateful connected client apps
One command to update all connected browsers and apps (Hot Deploy)
Coordinated version updates

How is it different from AngularJS and ReactJS?
Meteor has Blaze library and is full stack, while AnjularJS and ReactJS are JavaScript UI frameworks. These frame works can be used in conjunciton with Meteor.

More details and Q&A here. I will give it a try one of these days.

Here is a site built using Meteor. The 19 Degrees is a branded campaign app

Friday, November 6, 2015

Black Berry's Android Smart Phone PRIV

It has the QWERTY keyboard that you can slide out/in that you may not find in other smart phones. Camera appears very nice as well as the 4K video. No finger print reader but perhaps for the average user it is immaterial. Being an Android phone it can play all the zillion useful/useless apps on the market. Black Berry thinks, it seems, this version is 'Black Berry's do or die phone'. It is very pricey at $699.00. Verizon appears to be one of the carriers.

Do not miss some performance details on this video.

The videos are scaled versions of YouTube videos.

Here are highlights noted form the verge site:

  • Android customization is good
  • It still has some bugs -app freezing and tap recognition
  • Good hardware design
  • QWERTY keyboard is good- frees up display removing the virtual Keyboard
  • Software has good points-Especially the DTEK software, does a better Search job
  • 18 MP camera is really good- but really slow
  • Has very neat keyboard shortcuts -Utility oriented
  • Expensive for a Android phone -should we blame Android Software?
  • The name 'PRIV' stands for something smart and dumb- I do not agree if 'lollipop' is OK for an OS why not 'PRIV'

Read the full article on the verge site to get the full details.

More detail here:

The full specs from Android Central here:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Enabling developer mode for Windows 10

You have installed or upgraded to Windows 10 and now you want to develop apps for Windows 10. With Windows 10 you need to develop it once and you can deploy to various devices. However to do this you need to get ready with 'developer mode'. This post shows how.

Launch Visual Studio 2015 Community. Create a blank Universal Windows app using Javascript template in VS Community 2015.


You may get this message if it is not in developer mode. In which case follow intructions on the message.


This is the folder structure of my Universal Windows project using the blank JavaScript template which I named it as DojoApp (I was planning to bring in Dojo Toolkit here but there are some problems).


Here is the default.html code:




    Content goes here

Click F5 to start debugging, the developer mode window comes up again. Now click on   Settings for Developers link. The Update and Security window appears and in 'For Developers'


Choose the Developer mode button. The following window is displayed.


Click Yes.
Click F5 again the DojoApp gets displayed and you will see this after the splash screen display.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Microsoft Store in NYC is open for business now

Now you can buy all the latest Microsoft Lumias in New York and in over 100 stores.

Microsoft opened its 3-floor store for business in New York today. It's on 5th Avenue not far from Apple Store. This is the largest Microsoft Store. All the new stuff from Microsoft is being sold starting today.

 Image source:

New York is a great city with people from all over the world and Microsoft knows this and the shop associates speak and understand some 19 languages.

Here is a preview video:

Video Source: Windows Central
More here: