Monday, August 29, 2016

How to use Windows Maps to measure distance

Many a times you want to find distance between locations on the Maps as per route of your liking. Suppose you wanted to plan a run, a marathon or want take a bike ride or something like that. You can plan this using Windows Maps before you actually head out.

Measure Distance tool:

Windows Maps now provides ‘Measure Distance’ tool. Using it one can measure distance.

  • Open Maps app
  • Click on the Windows Ink Toolbar on top right corner of the Map


  • Click on the ‘Measure Distance’ option.


  • If you are not using the Pen and want to use your Mouse then click on the ‘Touch Writing’ option


  • Once done, just draw the line following the path you want starting from the point from where you want to measure and ending at the destination point.


  • And the measuring tool will show the distance between these two points.

One can also search for a location you want to route and trace the path using the Measure distance tool. One can use Eraser to erase or make changes to path drawn. One can also change the units of distance from Settings.


This feature is very useful and can be used in various events.

( Using Windows 10 Build 14905, Windows Maps 5.1608.2311.0 )

Friday, July 01, 2016

Windows Insider MVP Program announced

For over two decades, Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVP) have been playing important role in advancement and adoption of various Microsoft technologies. The MVP Program was started in 1993. MVPs provide early feedback, inspire new ideas and features which are based on their real-time experience. Moving forward, Microsoft after listening to various feedback on MVP Program itself, started restructuring it and some details on restructuring was announced in October 2015.


Focus on Developers and IT Professionals:

MVP Program restructuring was mainly based to focus on Developers and IT Pros. Microsoft is now moving from 36 areas of technical expertise to a set of 10 broader categories that encompass a combined set of 90 technology areas—including open source technologies. Due to this restructuring, the Consumer MVP award categories were moved out of the earlier MVP program and are now put under a new program announced today, Windows Insider MVP Program. These are the MVPs focused on Windows and Devices for consumers. MVPs under these award, now would be supported directly by the product teams.


Microsoft was revamping the MVP program since few months and has figured out to put these Consumer MVPs into Windows Insider Program, where future of Windows is being shaped directly by the people who use Windows most. The new program will allow Microsoft to work more closely with MVPs as there will be direct interactions with Windows and Devices product teams.

Announcing the new Windows Insider MVP program, Dona Sarkar said

“This is just the beginning of the journey, and I look forward to our ongoing collaboration with the MVPs. While we are working directly with existing MVPs as they transition into the new program, for our most engaged Insiders, the opportunity to become a Windows Insider MVP will come early in 2017 and will be unveiled this fall.”

So one can look forward to more details in future announcements.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Active Hours: Prevent Windows restart for installing updates when you are using the device

There are lots of feedback from Windows10 users that Windows restarted automatically after updates were downloaded and they were cut off from what they were doing as Windows restarted. Or it restarted and installed a new version of Windows.

Active Hours:

But now Windows has provided a feature Active Hours that will prevent this. This will make Windows restart less annoying and the user will have his say when to restart. Although now also Windows provides an option when to restart or Restart Now option but with Active Hours, more control for users is provided.

By default updates are downloaded and installed automatically and Active Hours actually do not change that behavior but they add an additional option which ensures the user is not disturbed by reboot while using the system.

This option is provided in the latest Windows Insider Preview Build 14316 and will be part of Windows Anniversary updates for general user which will be available later this year.

To access Active Hours,

Settings  >  Update and Security > Windows Update > Change Active Hours


Clicking on it provides option to set the timings when you are working on the system and do not want Windows to reboot.

“Active Hours lets us know when you usually use this device. When a restart is necessary to finish installing an update, we won’t automatically restart your device during active hours.”


So set the timings and Save.

Apart from that, in case you finished your work and now wants to Restart to finish the update process, there’s another option ‘Restart options’ just below Change Active Hours.


This option allows you to temporarily override active hours and schedule a custom time to finish installing this update. Make sure your device is plugged in at the scheduled time.

So with Active Hours, a user will have better control over Restarts for finishing the update process.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Microsoft Press free ebook : Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms

The third and final version of the Microsoft Press ebook -

Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms: Cross-platform C# programming for iOS, Android, and Windows by the legendary author Charles Petzold is now available for download.


Download PDF  (~56 MB PDF)

EPUB and MOBI versions will be made available in the future.

This is the third version of the ebook about writing applications with Xamarin.Forms, the mobile development platform for iOS, Android, and Windows unveiled by Xamarin in May 2014. (The first two versions of this book were Preview Editions.) The two previous versions of this book were called Preview Editions because they were not complete. At 1200 pages, this is the first edition that can claim to be complete, even though several topics are not included and Xamarin.Forms continues to be progressively enhanced with no sign of slowing down.

This book is for C# programmers who want to write applications using a single code base that targets the three most popular mobile platforms: iOS, Android, and Windows, encompassing the Universal Windows Platform and Windows Phone.
Xamarin.Forms also has applicability for those programmers who eventually want to use C# and the Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android libraries to target the native application programming interfaces (APIs) of these platforms. Xamarin.Forms can be a big help in getting programmers started with these platforms or in constructing a prototype or proof-of-concept application.
This book assumes that you know C# and are familiar with the use of the .NET Framework.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Watch Microsoft Build 2016 Live Streaming here

Just a day to go for Build 2016 to start. Build 2016 is being held from Mar 30 – Apr 1 at the The Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA .


If you want to watch the MS Build 2016 Live Streaming, join here.

For more information on Build 2016, check here. You can also add a reminder to your calendar to make sure you don't miss the live stream.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

BLU Win Jr LTE may get Windows 10 mobile upgrade

There’s still some hope for BLU Win Jr LTE Windows Phone users to get Windows 10 Mobile upgrade!!

BLU Win Jr LTE was not listed in the supported phones list for Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview. After Microsoft rolled out the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade last week, this Phone from BLU was not listed in the list of supported Windows Phone that can be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile.


But why this particular phone is discussed about is because this phone is being made available from the Microsoft official stores and was being advertised as Upgradable to Windows 10 Mobile when available. Though the other Windows Phones from BLU; BLU Win HD w510u and BLU Win HD LTE x150q are listed which can be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile. (But it seems these too are on hold for the time being)

After the BLU Win Jr LTE users raised quite a noise being denied of the upgrade, though Microsoft has not officially announced it. But when ‘Upgradable to Windows 10’ was quietly removed from the BLU Win Jr description, it further annoyed the users as they felt cheated. But as said Microsoft has not said any thing officially of not supporting the upgrade. As expected, Windows 10 Mobile Upgrade Advisor app. when run on the BLU Win Jr LTE says “Your Phone is not supported for the upgrade to Windows 10”

There’s is still hope!

But the users of BLU Win Jr LTE, still there’s some hope. In one of the threads in the Answers Forum where I’m having the discussion with fellow Phone users, one of the user Kanishk Singh Raghav  in his correspondence with BLU has received reply that

“Unfortunately the release for this device has been delayed. Our Software Engineers are working with Microsoft to ensure that the new software update is stable for your device. We apologize for the long wait and appreciate your patience....”


When further queried about the date of availability of the update , BLU promptly replied:

At this point in time there is no estimate time of release for the new update as our engineers want to ensure that the update is stable for your device. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this matter may have caused.


(Mail correspondence screenshots courtesy: Kanishk Singh Raghav )

Which BLU Win Jr device will support the upgrade:

But point to note here is that the model of BLU Win Jr LTE sold in India is with 1 GB RAM and 8 GB internal memory (BLU Win Jr LTE X130e). So this version will support the Windows 10 upgrade.

While models made available in US , Canada were of 512 MB RAM and 4 GB internal memory. (BLU Win Jr LTE X130q) will not get the upgrade. While the BLU Win Jr made first available will also not get the upgrade.

BLU Win Jr LTE X130e : Update pending

BLU Win Jr LTE X130q : Update not available

BLU Win Jr : Update not available

So there’s some hope for the Indian buyers of the BLU Win Jr LTE phones as they come with 8GB of internal storage and 1 GB RAM. Also to note, there’s no official communication from Microsoft  . Let us wait and see how soon we can get this upgrade, if one is getting!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

[Workaround] Hyper-V loosing networking connectivity after upgrading to Build 14267

Microsoft has issued workarounds for those users facing issue when upgraded to Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14267.


Issue of Hyper-V networking connectivity lost on upgrade:

The issue is of those users using Hyper-V and upgrade to the Build 14267 with more than one switch or have multiple virtual networking adapters may lose networking connectivity.


Microsoft has provided two workarounds for this issue:

  • Remove all the virtual network adapters connected to the vswitch, delete the vswitch and recreate it, then reconnect their virtual NIC to the new vswitch.
  • At admin command prompt, do “netcfg -d” it will wipe-out all the vswitch settings so that you can start from scratch.

So those users upgrading to Windows 10 Insider Preview build 14267 and facing this issue can try these workarounds till the issue gets fixed in future.