1. Download Windows Phone app for desktop, enable Sync with your desktop
If you want to sync your Windows Phone 8 with your PC, the only way of doing it is to download the app from Windows Phone 8 site. Currently, the app only supports Windows 7 or Windows 8 (not including Windows RT). It is a bare-bone app that does only one thing, which is to copy music, photos, videos and podcasts to your phone. It used to be Zune desktop that does this job but not anymore, since it’s been discontinued by Microsoft. You can still use it to sync your Windows Phones that run any previous versions. But as of Windows Phone 8, it’s no longer supported.
The interface is very straightforward and very easy to use. It does make things a lot easier if you already had a iTunes library handy. You can pick to choose between using an iTunes library and Windows Media library.
2. Setup SkyDrive and other Microsoft Accounts
SkyDrive is more powerful than Dropbox! Use it wisely, you can get more out of it. Windows Phone 8 is tightly integrated with SkyDrive through many of its native apps. With the lack of Dropbox support on Windows Phone, SkyDrive does need to step up to cover the gap, and it does live to the expectation. If you have owned a Windows Phone, there is no other reasons why you shouldn’t use SkyDrive.
3. Get Nokia Drive+ Beta (If you don’t have a Nokia Device)
Nokia is kind enough to open up their exclusive Apps for all Windows Phone 8 user. With the lack of a good native map for navigation, Nokia Drive+ makes up the loss of using Windows Phone. Yes, it still can’t compete with Google Map, but it also does offer some neat features like voice navigation. Plus, it also lets you download a set of map prior to your field trip to make it truly a road-app that doesn’t require any data connection to be functional.
4. Customizing Your Home Screen
You can’t do much about this, but what you can do is to keep those “icon” but positioning them the way you wanted. Also, don’t forget to change the lock screen. You can pick to use Bing’s lock screen option to get new fresh looks everyday. I just wish sometimes in the future Microsoft can provide more customizing in terms of the background color, and many other options.
5. Windows Phone App Management
Windows Phone 8 does run background tasks but it also allows you to manage which third party apps to run as well. Just go to Settings > Background tasks. From there, you will see a list of apps that are allowed to run in the background, you can go into each of the app and disable those that you don’t need them to run. For example, GasBuddy appears to be running in the background. But since I only go to the gas station twice a month, I don’t necessarily need it constantly running in the background that drains all the battery life from my phone.
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