20 must-know keyboard shortcuts for Windows 10

With Windows 10, Microsoft has added a ton of new keyboard shortcuts to give you easier access to the new Action Center, Cortana, Task View, and virtual desktops. So much so, in fact, that Microsoft recently released a handy-dandy Word document with Windows 10’s Windows key shortcuts to aid in your study.

If you’re new to keyboard shortcuts, however, one glance at that list can be overwhelming—and there are plenty of keyboard shortcuts that don’t involve the Windows key whatsoever. To help you streamline it a bit, here’s a list of 20 must-know shortcuts for Windows 10.

This isn’t just a list for Windows 10, however. Many of these shortcuts work with older versions of Windows, and you’ll find a few standard browser shortcuts as well. If you’re on Windows 7 or 8.1 but new to shortcuts this list will also help you take control of your Windows machine and make you more efficient by lessening your dependence on the mouse.

Windows 10’s newest features

Windows key + A: Open the Action Center
Windows key + C: Launch Cortana in listening mode (for voice commands)
Windows key + I: Open the Settings app
Windows key + S: Launch Cortana
Windows key + Tab: Open Task View
Windows key + Ctrl + D: Create a new virtual desktop
Windows key + Ctrl + F4: Close the current desktop
Windows key + Ctrl + left or right arrow: switch between virtual desktops

Standard Windows shortcuts

Windows key (Windows 7 and up): Open/close the Start menu
Windows key + X (Windows 8.1 and 10): Open/close the Start button’s right-click context menu
Windows key + left or right arrow (Windows 7 and up): snap current window to right or left of screen
Windows key + (Windows 7 and up): Launch File Explorer
Windows key + (Windows 7 and up): Lock the desktop
Alt + PrtScn (Windows 7 and up): Take a screenshot of current window and copy it to your clipboard
Windows key + PrtScn (Windows 8.1 and 10): Take a screenshot of entire display and save to Computer > Pictures > Screenshots

Browser shortcuts (works in Edge and most other browsers)

Ctrl + T: Open new tab
Ctrl + D: Bookmark page
Ctrl + L: Highlight current URL (good for typing a new address or copying the current one)
Ctrl + Tab: Cycle through your open tabs
Ctrl + Enter: add “.com” to the end of a web address (e.g. type ‘google’ then Ctrl + Enter to get google.com)

Google searches for apps now appear in a splashy new layout

killer android features android secret
Next time you search for apps on your Android device get ready for a lot of color. Google’s rolling out a new results page that uses bright shades of color and user reviews to entice you to download more apps.

When you search for a genre or specific app name you’ll see either a box with the details about that particular app or a grid of several different choices.

google app search
If nothing else, searching for apps is a much prettier experience.

When you touch one of the suggestions, you’ll then jump over to the Play Store where you can download it to your device. If it wasn’t an app you were after, then just scroll down past the “more apps” button to see the other search results.

Why this matters: Google is constantly looking for ways to increase engagement with Play Store apps. In the last few months it’s rolled out search ads and dropped the requirement to use Google+ for beta testing. With overhauled app permissions coming in Android Marshmallow, the Android app experience will keep getting better.

Citi Mobile Challenge Seeks Mobile Banking and Payments Solutions

Financial products and services company Citi on Thursday announced Citi Mobile Challenge aimed at creating a platform for innovation to flourish in India with focus on mobile innovation in banking, payments and e-commerce ecosystem

The challenge, organised in collaboration with leading companies and institutions as sponsors, is seeking solutions across the ecosystem from startups, developers, tech companies and students, the initiative also supports the government thrust to digitize the economy and bolster entrepreneurship, Citi said in a statement.

“The Citi Mobile Challenge is aimed at harnessing the talent and agility of the developer and startup community in India to create affordable, accessible and transparent solutions for consumers,” said Citi India country business manager Kartik Kaushik in the statement.

Open ended solutions with the flexibility to use a variety of Application Program Interfaces (API) from Citibank and other leading financial and technology companies also with the capability to run on Citi’s digital platform globally are being sought, the statement added.

The challenge also extends to the entire Asia Pacific region offering $100,000 (roughly Rs. 66,17,836) in cash awards with the opportunity to take the winning technologies into production with Citi’s support and benefits like accelerator programs, mentoring, office space and investment.

Bengaluru will host the challenge’s Indian finale on November 3.

Kolkata’s Yellow Taxis Can Now Be Booked via Ola

Cab aggregator Ola on Friday brought yellow taxis in Kolkata under its network.

“Ola is launching the yellow taxi booking feature with over 1,000 taxis registered across Kolkata to begin with. Over the next three months we will have over 5,000 taxis with us,” Nitesh Prakash, Ola’s director (operations), told reporters in Kolkata.

He said passengers booking the yellow taxi through the app, would pay the regular meter fare of taxis. “Besides the metered fare, a small amount of Rs. 10 would be charged extra as convenience fee. You can pay either by cash or by Ola Money, Ola’s mobile wallet service,” Prakash said, adding they have converted the traditional cab hailing service into an electronic one.

The registered taxi drivers are equipped with a smartphone that helps them accept booking requests and navigate to the passenger’s doorstep.

“All our drivers have gone through basic training in behaviour, etiquette and use of technology,” he said, adding that they expect a driver’s earning to go up by 40 percent as a result of their tie-up withOla.

The Ola official said the firm is incentivising drivers who have higher ratings from customers which will also drive a behavioural change in them.

With this, the total count of vehicles registered on the Ola app goes beyond 5,000 in the city. Nationally, Ola has over 250,000 vehicles on its platform across more than 100 cities. “Our business is increasing at the rate of 40 percent month on month in Kolkata as well as nationally,” Prakash said.

Google Revamps How Apps Appear in Android Search Results

Google is making it easier than ever to find Android apps through searches. A new update changes the way apps entries appear in the search results when you look for a particular kind of app – say rpg games, or music apps – on Google Now or Chrome (for now) on your Android device. Instead of catering a number of Web links to you, the company is now offering users results in a grid of six apps under the Apps section.

Clicking on the section opens a wider list of apps. Clicking on any entry takes you to its corresponding Google Play link, as you would expect. The search result also follows Material Design guidelines, which the company has been aggressively bringing across all of its apps and services.

The update, which seems to be gradually rolling out to Android users, lists down entries that are placed next horizontally and vertically to each other, replacing the earlier list view of a few relevant apps in search results. Interestingly, if users click on the Apps tab (on top in Chrome, and the bottom in Google Now) to filter search results, they are shown app results in the earlier list form.

The move could significantly improve user experience as it genuinely improves apps discovery. And for those who don’t like this feature, the regular search results and other sections follow right after (and in some cases before as well) the Apps section in results. The change is only on Android, and is aimed at easier search to app install conversions.

The move could be Google’s way to tone down how it shows ads, or allegedly favours its own apps over rivals’. The company has been criticised for prominently showcasing its own apps in the search results on Google, and also make it mandatory for all AOSP, GSM partners to install a number of apps on Android devices they ship. These practices have landed the company to the receiving end of a long time investigation by the European commission antitrust. A verdict of which is expected by the end of this year.

Facebook for Web Now Lets You Add Filters, Stickers, Text to Photos

Now you can add filters, stickers, and texts to your Facebook photos right from the Web interface, features already available in the mobile apps. The social juggernaut has silently rolled out the functionality to the Web version.

When Facebook introduced the feature to its mobile apps in February, it allowed users to add stickers over photos before sharing it to their friends. By June, it began rolling out an updated version of the feature, complete with photo filters and text.


The feature is now available via Facebook for Web as well. The website now offers users with a quick option to edit the image. Clicking on the paintbrush will open an edit overlay which consists of four features, namely, filters, crop, text, and stickers.

The filters option offers six different shades, namely, original, vintage, spring, summer, fall, winter, and snow. The crop pane, as its name suggests, lets you clip the corners of the image file you’re uploading. It also gives you a quick option to rotate the images. The text allows you to add captions on the image in a handful of font choice. The stickers pane, being the most exciting of four, offers full-fledged list of stickers. You can add more from the sticker store.

All stickers from your mobile automatically sync across to the desktop. The feature, however, doesn’t yet work on the mobile version of the website.

Instagram Finally Adds Support for Landscape and Portrait Photos

Instagram has added new layout options in addition to its signature square for pictures and videos in a bid to attract more advertisers and to stop users defecting to more flexible services such as Snapchat.

The move is the first major alteration to the photo-sharing, social media service since Facebook bought it for $1 billion (roughly Rs. 6,610 crores) in 2012, and addresses the wishes of many of its 300 million users, who have been constrained by the square format.

“It boils down to giving advertisers and users more options,” said Debra Aho Williamson, a social media marketing and advertising analyst. “You want people to be able to see more of your ad. It’s something advertisers are definitely going to be interested in.”

One in five photos and videos posted on the service do not fit the square format, Instagram said in ablog post.

“Friends get cut out of group shots, the subject of your video feels cramped and you can’t capture the Golden Gate Bridge from end to end,” it said.

From Thursday, Instagram’s web-based service and its mobile apps running on Google Inc’s Androidsystem and Apple Inc’s iOS will allow portrait and landscape formats, giving both users and paying advertisers more options.

The move should help Instagram in its battle with newer rivals such as Snapchat for users in the fast-moving messaging and media-sharing market.

At the same time, it should attract more advertising revenue for Instagram, which said in June it would open its platform to all advertisers by the end of the year, rather than just to select brands.

Instagram is expected to generate nearly $600 million (roughly Rs. 3,966 crores) in advertising revenue by the end of this year and $2.8 billion (roughly Rs. 18,508 crores) in 2017, according to projections from research firm eMarketer.

By comparison Facebook, the world’s most popular online social network, generated more than $12 billion (roughly Rs. 79,321 crores) in revenue in 2014. The growing service hit one billion users in a single day for the first time on Monday.

To promote the new formats on Thursday, Walt Disney Co released exclusive footage of its upcoming film, “Star Wars, The Force Awakens,” using the new landscape option.

Google Chrome’s notifications won’t support Windows 10’s Action Center

Now that Windows 10’s slick Action Center provides a home for system notifications, it seems like a no-brainer for Google to slip notifications pushed out by the Chrome browser in there, right? Wrong.

The Chrome team has no plans to support Windows 10’s Action Center functionality, as first reported by Neowin. A Chrome support moderator named “Ho” updated a feature request for Action Center support to “WontFix,” saying the following:

“Thanks for the input and ideas! We’ve discussed this quite a bit and decided not to integrate with the system level notification at this time. It would create a weird state where Chrome behaves differently on Win 10 than on Win 7/8 and developers of extensions/websites wouldn’t know what they design for. Maybe we can revisit it in a few years when most users are on Win 10 :)”

The story behind the story: While the explanation seems reasonable enough on the surface, Microsoft and Google have been locked in a war regarding feature support for their respective services—with users all-too-often caught in the crossfire.

Microsoft’s native Calendar app removed Google Calendar support in Windows 8.1—though it returned in Windows 10—and in 2013 Google removed support for Sync, which threatened service for Exchange ActiveSync users with Windows Phones. (Google and Microsoft eventually hammered out an agreement to delay the shutdown until Windows Phone 8.1 added CalDAV and CardDAV support.) Google has also refused to release apps for its services on Windows Phone or in the Windows Store. Things got so nasty that Microsoft released its own version of YouTube for Windows, which led to a brief, but bitter slapfight with Google.

windows 10 action center
Windows 10’s Action Center.

Push me, pull me

The Chrome team’s refusal to embrace Action Center reeks of more of the same, especially since Google’s been stealthily sneaking Chrome OS in through Windows’ back door for a while now, but Ho provided some additional context in a follow-up commentafter receiving some push-back:

“To be clear, this is not a matter of just piping notifications to the OS for free. All notification (systems) are not the same. Chrome notifications allow to take actions right from the notifications, they come directly from an extension/website, they can require active dismissal, and so on.

On Win 10, using the native notification system would mean that all notifications could show briefly before disappearing but they could also not show, depending on a user setting. All notifications would show as coming from Chrome. They would not be actionable, and so on. As a developer, it makes quite a difference if I design something that allows users to take an action or something that merely informs them and whether it will be a pop up or a silent addition to the notification center.”

Well, when you put it that way, delaying support for Action Center sort of makes sense—though it’ll no doubt sit poorly with users already grumpy about the Microsoft/Google pissing match. Refusing to support a central system notification system that every other app uses seems pretty anti-user as well, sure to sow some confusion.

Google does have a point, though: Chrome’s notification system is more fully-featured than Windows 10’s. Though Microsoft’s OS does support actionable notifications, they would all appear as Chrome notifications in the Action Center, and Chrome developers would indeed need to put in extra work to support both Windows 10’s notifications and Chrome’s Windows 7 and 8 notifications. Here’s hoping Microsoft adds more granular notification options in the future so Chrome ditches its reluctance to Action Center—or reveals its hesitance as truly being pettiness.

Microsoft Snip lets you quickly annotate and add audio to screenshots

If taking screenshots is part of your job, Microsoft is aiming to make it easier with a new tool called Snip.Available as a free beta, Snip lets you cut out a portion of the screen, annotate it with a drawing tool or voice notes, and then save or share the results. It’s unclear if Microsoft is planning to charge for the app, which was first spotted by The Verge.

Microsoft is considering the Snap to be part of Office Mix, which before now has served as a set of additional tools for PowerPoint. This suggests that Mix could expand into a suite of utilities for Windows and Office users.

Why this matters: While Snip is hardly the only screen capture tool for Windows, its simplicity (and the fact that it’s free) makes it worth considering. If you don’t need the more extensive options of tools like Greenshot and PicPick, Snip could be a more efficient option.

Handy voice notes, bare-bones image editing

After installing Snap, a small drop-down menu docks to top of the screen. From here, you can take a screenshot, snap a photo from your computer’s camera, create a blank whiteboard, or open previous Snaps.

The screenshot tool is pretty basic. It shows the pixel dimensions of the image you’re highlighting, along with a magnified view of the cursor area. But once you’ve made a selection, there’s no way to crop or modify it without starting over.

After grabbing a screenshot, Snap jumps into editing mode. Again, the options for image editing are limited, with only four opaque marker sizes in five colors, along with an eraser. There’s no shortcut for undo or redo, but using the eraser removes entire brushstrokes at a time. You also can’t resize or crop the image from this menu. Images can be saved in JPG, PNG, GIF, and BMP, and you can also copy the edited image back to the clipboard.

Snip’s recording tool lets you play back voice notes in real time and share the video file on the web.

Snap’s voice annotations are a bit more impressive. Once you click record, you’re still free to draw while speaking, and anyone who plays back the file will see the annotations appear in real time. You can either generate a shareable link to this file, or save it as an MP4 video.

The app also includes a Share button, but right now all it does is let you email the file through Outlook 2013. No other email clients or sharing sources are supported. (In fact, it’s a bit odd that Snap uses the Share charm found in Windows Store applications, despite being a Win32 desktop program.)

Given that it’s just a beta, there’s plenty of potential for Microsoft to expand the program. For now, it’s a simple way to manage screenshots that goes beyond your keyboard’s basic PrtScn button.

Adobe Details ‘Project Spigel’ App That Will Replace Photoshop Touch

Adobe, following its previous announcement of Project Spigel in May this year, has given out some more details about the upcoming app. The app is set to replace the discontinued Photoshop Touch iOS app, and bring new image retouching tools alongside.

Manu Anand, Senior Product Manager for Digital Imaging, Adobe said in an interview to CNET that unlike Photoshop Touch, the upcoming app would be free for iOS users. Since the app is free, it would not require any Creative Cloud subscriptions. Previously, Photoshop Touch app users required the CC subscription.

The Project Spigel app would also be more user friendly than the previous app and would use terms like ‘Lighten’ and ‘Darken’ instead of Dodge and Burn, which some users might not be familiar with.

Also mentioned is that the new Project Spigel app is focused around “crop, adjust, liquify, heal, smooth, light, color, paint, defocus and vignette” functions and would feature some of the features that are not even offered by the desktop version of Photoshop yet – specifically, the new new face-recognition tool inside the ‘liquify’ menu of the app. When the tool recognises a face in an image, it “overlays control points atop eyes, nose, mouth, chin and cheeks.” The dots can be used to resize or move the facial features around.

With the new Adobe-branded app, users will have the ability to import images from other sources such as Dropbox, Facebook, iOS Photos app and more. The app would not only be editing photos like a flat image, but would be saving the edits in different layers, that users can sync with the desktop version. Adobe plans to launch the app in October on iOS devices followed by Android. The firm teased its new app in a video back in May. Adobe, while announcing the shutdown of its Photoshop Touch app in May also introduced “capture” apps namely Colour CC, Brush CC, and Shape CC.