Computers

Tech Q&A: Figuring out Windows 10, getting great electronics deals

A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture.

A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture.  (REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files)

Getting started with Windows 10

Q: Kim help! I upgraded to Windows 10 and now I'm lost. Where do I begin?

A: Start by customizing your Start menu. Windows 10 uses live tiles that provide easy access to the programs you use most. These live tiles can show you updates at a glance for things such as the weather, new messages and Facebook posts. Customizing your live tiles is simple. To remove an existing tile, right-click on it and select "Unpin from Start." To add an app or program, click and drag its icon from the left column or right-click on an app icon and choose "Pin to Start." Once the program has been added to your live tiles, you can drag it around to organize your tiles however you'd like. Click here for more quick tips to get the most out of Windows 10.

Shopping smarter, not harder

Q: I saw an ad in my local newspaper for a 55-inch Samsung 4K smart TV for $1199. Is that a good price, or should I look for a better deal somewhere else?

A: Although that's not a bad price, there's an alternative you should consider. Brick-and-mortar stores often struggle to compete with online retailers. When it comes to electronics, you can almost always find a better price online. A good place to start your search is at Google Shopping (google.com/shopping). Just type the name of the product you're looking for and click Search. The results will show online offers for that specific item, which makes it easy to compare prices. Click here for more items you're almost guaranteed a better price online.

Better 'low battery' warnings

Q: My iPhone always runs out of battery at the worst times. It seems like it jumps from 50 percent to zero in a flash. What can I do?

A: Add the Battery Percentage Indicator to your home screen. This way, your iPhone will display an accurate numerical representation of its battery level. You'll find this feature in your Settings menu under Battery. Slide the toggle button to turn Battery Percentage to “on.” When you return to your home screen, you'll find percentage listed next to your battery icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. Click here for additional tweaks you can make to get more from your iPhone.

Truly spectacular photos

Q: My daughter loves taking photos for her Instagram page. What was that new photography app you mentioned on your national radio show?

A: Prisma is a fun new app that transforms ordinary photos into works of art. It doesn't use boring filters like Kelvin or Reyes, which come with other image editing apps. Instead, Prisma's filters apply the styles of famous artists to your photos. Just upload a photo and apply a filter to create your own Picasso, Monet or Van Gogh. Prisma is a free download for both Apple and Android users and has 35 different filters to choose from. Click here to see two more apps that really make photos pop.

Take control of your Facebook feed

Q: Help! I "liked" an article on Facebook, and now my feed is flooded with ads from that site. What can I do to stop it?

A: This is simple. Click on the “lock” icon in the upper right corner of your Facebook page, just to the left of the “down arrow.” A “Privacy Shortcuts” box will pop up. Click on “See more settings” at the bottom of this box to go to your “Privacy Settings and Tools” page. On the left side of the page, click on “Ads” to go to the “Facebook Ads” page. To the right of "Ads based on my preferences," click Edit to expand the selection and then click “Visit Ad Preferences.” You'll see an arrow on the left side of each category. Click each to reveal your preferences. Hover your mouse over any entry you want to remove and click the X to the right. There's also a trick that lets you see more posts from the sites you love in your News Feed. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to make sure you don't miss important posts on Facebook.

Bonus: Let your next road trip pay for itself

Q: It's been a while since my husband and I took a vacation, but money is tight. Are there any budget-friendly options?

A. Before you choose a destination, download an app called Roadie. With Roadie your trip can practically pay for itself. The app connects you with others who need to ship items, big and small. For example, if you're in Phoenix and see a shipment that needs to go from Phoenix to San Diego, you can get paid to deliver it. Users create a "Gig" that includes a description of the item and photos. The app then matches the Gig with drivers who are headed in that direction. Roadie pays drivers based on mileage and the size of the item that is being delivered. Most Gigs pay somewhere between $8 and $50. Long distance deliveries can pay up to $650. Roadie is a free download for both Apple and Android users. Click here to learn more about how it works.

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On the Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show, Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com