As a tech junkie, I love staying up to date on the latest and greatest technology. That's why when the Surface 3 was released last month, I couldn't wait to get my shipment. It felt like Christmas morning - nothing says exciting like unwrapping a brand new gadget and adjusting the settings to fit my needs.
And I gotta say, it's a really great tablet. Light, fast and operating on the latest version of Windows 10, I was excited to start playing around with it. The tablet itself didn't disappoint. But sadly, Windows 10 did. Still a pioneering and great OS, Windows felt a bit outdated and boring. It was all business and much less fun that the other OSs out there. So I tinkered with that as well, and here are some of the best solutions I've found to enhance my Microsoft 10 experience.
Get Your Game On
The Windows Store is an obvious inclusion in the Windows 10 software. User friendly and easily searchable, I have no complaints about the store itself. In fact, Windows even listened to the feedback their users provided and made updates accordingly.
Something that I feel is missing is the variety of apps that I get on my Android phone. The Windows Store is lacking a serious number of apps, as many apps are not developed for Windows, instead with the focus being on Android and iOS.
As an Android phone user, I've gotten accustomed to having my apps and games available at the tap of my screen. But unfortunately many of these apps aren't available on Windows, thus rendering my games unusable on my tablet. So to make up for this I use Andy OS, my Android emulator of choice as it allows me to access my Google Play account and the Google Play Store on my tablet. I kind of feel like I'm cheating on my tablet but until all my apps are on the windows app store, I don't really have a choice.
Privacy and Security
It's no shock that privacy and security are hot button issues - after all, your personal devices store and have the ability to offer insights to your personal information. This is why when, in August of last year, there were many concerns raised about the security of Windows 10 many people decided to jump ship and move to other operating systems.
Logic might dictate that I have nothing to hide, so there's no reason for me to worry in this sense. And Google accesses personal information, is that going to stop me from using Gmail and chrome, nope. So why would Microsoft avoid doing the same? Regardless of the reasoning and even though I am on Microsoft's bandwagon here, others aren't that understanding.
But when it comes to the controversy over WiFi Sense, the biggest issue is that there is potential for a fellow Windows user to access your network. This means that they are hiding behind your IP address, thus rendering you unable to prevent an attack on your devices. This is problematic to say the least, especially in regards to my concern for my work email and accounts. Thankfully, I know that my personal inbox is being checked and scanned frequently by the LogDog Inbox Detective to ensure that none of my sensitive information (credit card statements, passwords, contact list, etc) is visible and therefore at risk. And for work, we use Nuro Secure Messaging to keep our messages (which range from everyday conversations to info regarding banking, clients, etc) safe and protected. Plus, I can access it both on mobile and desktop.
The sad truth is that no system is perfect and vulnerabilities are a part of the tech industry. Unfortunate but true, this only leads to me believe that it's my responsibility to ensure that I have my info secured, protected and as safe as can be. Considering the fact that Windows is a Microsoft product, there is a never ending supply of hackers waiting to infiltrate. Just last week a good friend of mine got hit with CryptoWall Ransomware on his PC. He was stressed about it but I simply explained that he can combat without paying them off.
Another specific concern that Windows 10 users experienced was that Cortana was tracking their location. Definitely a concern to have - technology always begs the question "where is the line between advancement and personal boundaries?" Well, thankfully for this specific issue, the settings are pretty easy to correct the defaults that concern many Windows 10 users.
Create Your own Media Center
We all know that tablets are a main viewing platform for TV and video watching. In fact, when it comes to watching TV in the bedroom, more people watch TV on their tablets than on their TVs, including me. So the fact that Windows discontinued their Media Center on Windows 10 is a huge bummer.
Of course, there's always streaming services and the option to download online. But having the organized and easily accessible Media Center on my home screen is a big loss. Not only did it store my movies and TV shows, it also did the same for personal videos, music and photos.
Considering the fact that my wife is giving birth to our first child in a matter of weeks, it would have been great to have this Media Center to help me organize photos and videos of what's sure to be the cutest baby ever born. But alas, I'll have to make due without. And thanks to Plex, I can have the benefits that the Media Center offered.
So while the tablet couldn't be better, I am forced to conclude that the Windows 10 app store is in it's infancy . And while there are some great options to make up for what's lacking with the OS, the extra effort we expend on finding and installing replacements for native options is a strike against the operating system itself. Even if it isn't Microsoft's fault.