Top 10 Windows Phone Tips and Tricks

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The Windows Phone operating system is a relative newcomer into the smartphone world, but with the resources of both Microsoft and Nokia behind the system, many experts see great things on the horizon. While Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS are unlikely to loose their number one and two positions, many in the industry believe that Windows Phone will take third spot in coming years.

Recently the long awaited Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) update began shipping on new devices and an upgrade was offered to most existing Windows Phone devices. Now that the update has bedded down, we’re here to offer you the Top 10 Windows Phone Tips and Tricks to help you use your WP7 device more effectively.

We have split these into 5 essential tips and 5 lesser-know ones, as follows:

TOP FIVE ESSENTIAL WINDOWS PHONE TIPS

Pin People to your Start Menu
Go to your People lister. Find the person you want to add. Then Press and Hold on an item and select Pin to start

Maximise space when viewing websites
Rotate the phone to landscape mode. This will also hide the menu toolbar and address bar so you can see more of the website

How to get directions to a location
From the start screen, go to Apps – Maps. Then select Directions. Then enter an address or place of interest, like a shop or restaurant. Then press Go. Then choose either Walking or Driving. The phone will then calculate a route.

To show real-time traffic information select the More button and select Show Traffic.

Filter your Contacts list
By default your Contacts list will show all Contacts for the various accounts you have setup on your phone. This may include Facebook and so on. The list can become quite long however.

To change this go to Start, then flick left to the Applications list. Then press Settings – Applications – People. Then select Filter your contact list. Then choose the accounts you want displayed on your Contacts list.

Enter non .com domain suffixes
While entering a website address you can Press and Hold the .com key on the keyboard. This will give you the option of other domain suffixes (eg .org, .co.uk, .com.au etc)

TOP FIVE LESSER WELL-KNOWN TIPS

Find your phone / lock / erase your phone remotely
Windows Phone 7 comes with a handy service whereby you can remotely lock or erase your phone should it be stolen. You can also use it to call your phone if you have misplaced it around the house. You can also find your phone on a map. Go to windowsphone.live.com to set this service up

Enable Wide Dynamic Range for better photos
If you are taking photos where there is a high contrast between light and dark colours or shapes (for example taking a photo of someone with the sun in the background), then there is a function that will improve these photos.
Launch the Camera app and then choose the Gear icon in the bottom right of the screen. Scroll down and select Wide Dynamic Range and change this to On

Disable Mobile versions of website
If you get annoyed by website automatically serving you mobile versions of their site, you can tell the phone browser to act as a standard browser. Go to Settings – Applications – Internet Explorer and change it there

Record a phone conversation
If you’re on a call, you can record the conversation. While speaking, put the phone on Speakerphone. Then hold down the Camera button to record the call.

See photos and videos in filmstrip mode
When viewing your photos or videos, you can view them in filmstrip mode. Open a picture or video, then pinch it as if you shrink it. You can then view several in filmstrip mode.

This will work better when your phone is tilted into landscape mode.

We hope you like these tips. They all provided courtesy of Phone Tips And Tricks. Feel free to visit their website and look in the Windows Phone Tips and Tricks section.

Infographic – Comparision of Different versions of Android

If you didn’t know what’s the difference between the different Android Operating system versions like Froyo, Gingerbread and Honeycomb are, here’s a very cool infographic from Tecca. So now you don’t have to go your friendly neighborhood Android techie to get this information. This is a useful guide as well when you go shopping around for an Android phone, to see what features you can expect (or are missing out on) from a particular version of the Android OS comes shipped with the phone.

If you want a downloadable PDF version of this doc to keep with you, head over to Tecca’s post where you can get it.

Android OS Infographics via http://www.tecca.com/
via BestBuy Mobile Magazine

Key Tips to Protect Yourself from Phone Hackers

The latest news about the now-obsolete tabloid ‘News of the World‘ gave me a shock. The critically acclaimed Royal family, the terrific murderers, pathetic murder victims, and almost everyone became prey to the phone hackers (sorry, they are the so-called journalists). Now that the tabloid has been closed forever we shouldn’t be happy thinking that this is the ‘happily ever after’ ending for the phone-hacking business.

Somewhere in this same world there will be phones getting hacked when you are reading this article. We aren’t modern day Robin Hoods to stop the people from doing evil but what we could do from our side is, follow these simple steps to ward off the hackers from our valuable phone.

1. Is your Password Powerful or Pathetic?

I know many people who still use the default passwords for their phone even years after buying the phone. The default password will be same for the whole company for instance if your phone is of Nokia brand then the password of all phones produced by that brand is 12345. To crack this code no special intelligence is needed.

Change these default passwords first. As soon as you buy a phone and put your sim card change all the default passwords. However, most people end up changing the password from default ‘12345’ to obvious ‘22222’. Some people are so naïve that even a hacking amateur can easily hack their phones.

You must avoid the following while choosing your passwords –

  • Birthdays of any kind (yours, spouse’s, kid’s, etc)
  • Anniversaries
  • Your name’s number format. For instance, DEEP = 45516
  • Last few digits of your social security number

Keep your password totally random.

Tip – Don’t write down this password anywhere; one of my cousins has kept a really hard-to-guess password but she wrote it down and kept it in her clutch where she keeps her mobile too.

2. Lock your phone

What’s the use of keeping cryptic passwords without using them? It is as similar as not having a password at all. Keep your phone locked always especially when you are surrounded by quite a lot of people. I know it too obnoxious to lock and unlock each time you receive or send a message, but if you love your phone you don’t have any other option other than locking your phone (until someone finds phone locking system with biometrics).

Especially if you are a proud owner of a smartphone then definitely your phone should be under lock always. Unlike conventional mobile phones which needs a passcode to access voice mails, smartphones allow users to access the voice mailbox with a single touch (thanks to the voice mail Apps) irrespective of the user’s identity.

3. Hacking your phone, without using your phone

Your phone can be hacked without the help of it. Yeah, a hacker can simply call from an outside line to your service provider and access your voice mailbox. All he needs is your social security number or some other personal detail. The default passcode may me jus 0# or 0, etc.

To avoid these type of mishaps call your service provider and change the pass-code to access your voice mailbox and also discuss with them about increasing the security levels.

You may not be a big shot to get hacked, but once you get hacked then you will surely become a big shot (of course in the negative sense). Therefore, build up a Crypt (above said points) for your Phone right now!

[Video] Seven Tips for Better Swyping

If you are a fan of the Swype on screen keyboard, here are a few tips from CNet to make your Swype experience even better. Some of the tips shown here are stuff I never knew Swype had, even after using it for more than a year now.

Some of the tips included in the video shows you how to switch to the Edit Mode, Easy Punctuations and Domain Name Sufixes. Check out the tips in the video below and let us know how many of tips you know already. If your phone doesn’t ship with Swype, join their Beta program to get access to this keyboard. Swype is available for Android and Symbian^3 phones.

 

5 Android tips you need to know…and 5 lesser known ones

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We’re back and this time we’re talking Android Tips and Tricks. If you own an Android phone (and there are plenty), there are certain tips and tricks you really should know. We’ve listed these below and we hope they’re useful.

If you’re more of a power user or want to delve deeper into your phone’s functionality, we’ve listed some lesser-well-known tips that should make your phone live more interesting.

5 need-to-know tips:

Create a contact bookmark on your homescreen
If you call someone regularly it can be useful to have a shortcut on your homescreen. To do this, long press on the Background, select Shortcuts, then Direct dial

Delete multiple emails at once
Go into your emails
Press Menu and then Delete
Then select the message you want to delete by pressing the X next to the message
Then press Delete

Increase your security with a custom unlock pattern
Instead of the simple swipe gesture to unlock your phone, you can set a custom one which can be extremely difficult for a thief to guess
Go to Menu – Settings – Security
Then press Unlock pattern to set one up

Remove a whole text message conversation
If you have some text that you no longer need, or don’t want anyone to find, then you can remove an entire text message thread
Go into Messages and look for the thread
Then long press on it and select Delete thread

Put your phone in silent / vibrate mode with the volume buttons
You can use the volume buttons to put the phone in silent or vibrate mode
Keep pressing the Down volume until it reaches 0%
Then press it again to enter Silent mode
Then press it once more to enter Vibrate mode

5 lesser well-known tips:

Calibrate your keyboard for improved performance
Calibrating your keyboard will significantly improve the experience using your phone
To calibrate go to Settings – Language and Keyboard – Touch Input – Text Input – Calibration Tool

Don’t use the Task Killer app
Android handles background applications and memory allocation very well and you shouldn’t need to end any tasks. Task Killer can also drain battery life faster than normal, therefore it is recommended you don’t use this app

Manually close an application
Android manages you applications so if the phone is running low on memory, it will close the oldest running app
If you do need to manually close an application go to Settings – Applications – Manage Applications – Running
Choose the application you want to stop and select Force Stop

Install a new keyboard on your phone
If you want a different keyboard from the default one, go to the Android Marketplace and install one you would like to use
Then open the Applications Launcher. Press Settings – Language and keyboard – Input method
Then select the keyboard you would like to use

Remove large applications
If you are running low on phone memory, you can look for your largest applications to uninstall. Go to Settings – Applications – Manage Applications and press Menu. This will then filter your apps by memory use

We hope you like these tips. They all provided courtesy of PhoneTipsAndTricks.com. Feel free to visit their website and look in the Android Tips and Tricks section.

5 iPhone tips you need to know…and 5 lesser known ones

If you own an iPhone, there are certain tips and tricks you really should know. We’ve listed these below and hopefully they will make your life easier. If you’re more of a power user, we’ve listed some lesser-well-known tips that will improve the experience of using your iPhone.

5 need-to-know tips:

Add another language
If you speak more than one language you can add an additional keyboard language:
– Go to Settings – General
– Then scroll down and press Keyboard
– Then select International Keyboards and add the language you want
– Then when you use your keyboard, a small globe icon should appear
– If you press this, you can switch between your chosen languages

Clean up unwanted applications
If you have applications that you no longer use:
– Press and hold on the icon for that application
– The applications will then start shaking
– You can either move them around, or press the X that appears on each one to remove that application
– When finished, press the Home button

Auto focus the camera
– When taking photos or videos, tap the screen where you want to focus on
– The phone will automatically adjust the settings to improve the image or video

Using the scrubber bar to skip music / videos
You can use the scrubber bar to skip through music or videos:
– Simply press and drag the bar from left to right
– You can also move your finger up or down at the same time to control the scrub rate from fast to slow

Avoid syncing interruptions
While your iPhone is syncing with your computer you may receive a phone call which can interrupt the sync. To avoid this, put the phone in Airplane mode (in Settings)

5 lesser well-known tips:

Leave out the .com when entering website URLs
When entering a website address you don’t need to press the .com button if the site is a .com. Safari will add it for you automatically

Change the font in Notes
The default font for Notes is not very attractive. There isn’t a way to directly change this, but there is a work-around:
– Add a symbol-based keyboard language (like Japanese, Chinese etc)
– Then when you go into Notes press the little globe icon and change the language to the one you just added
– Type something, then press the globe icon again to select English
– This will then change the font to Helvetica, which is easier on the eye

Double tap for a full stop (period)
While typing emails or notes, you can simply tap the space key twice and the phone will insert a full stop / period

Move quickly between home screens
You can move between home screens by swiping left or right. To jump from one to another however, click on the little white dots beneath the icons. This will jump you straight to that homescreen page. You can also tap the bottom left or right blank areas to go to the left or right homescreens

Restrict explicit / adult content
If you have kids in the house that you don’t want to look at certain content, you can disable applications from showing explicit content (like Youtube videos or music):
– Go to Settings – General – Restrictions – Enable Restrictions.
– Then enter a 4 digit code to restrict the content

We hope you like these tips. They all provided courtesy of PhoneTipsAndTricks.com. Feel free to visit their website and look in the iPhone Tips and Tricks section

 

 

5 iPhone tips you need to know…and 5 lesser know ones

If you own an iPhone, there are certain tips and tricks you really should know. We’ve listed these below and hopefully they will make your life easier.

If you’re more of a power user, we’ve listed some lesser-well-known tips that will improve the experience of using your iPhone.


5 need-to-know tips

Add another language

If you speak more than one language you can add an additional keyboard language:

– Go to Settings – General

– Then scroll down and press Keyboard

– Then select International Keyboards and add the language you want

– Then when you use your keyboard, a small globe icon should appear

– If you press this, you can switch between your chosen languages

Clean up unwanted applications

If you have applications that you no longer use:

– Press and hold on the icon for that application

– The applications will then start shaking

– You can either move them around, or press the X that appears on each one to remove that application

– When finished, press the Home button

Auto focus the camera

– When taking photos or videos, tap the screen where you want to focus on

– The phone will automatically adjust the settings to improve the image or video

Using the scrubber bar to skip music / videos

You can use the scrubber bar to skip through music or videos:

– Simply press and drag the bar from left to right

– You can also move your finger up or down at the same time to control the scrub rate from fast to slow

Avoid syncing interruptions

While your iPhone is syncing with your computer you may receive a phone call which can interrupt the sync. To avoid this, put the phone in Airplane mode (in Settings)

5 lesser well-known

Leave out the .com when entering website URLs

When entering a website address you don’t need to press the .com button if the site is a .com. Safari will add it for you automatically

Change the font in Notes

The default font for Notes is not very attractive. There isn’t a way to directly change this, but there is a work-around:

– Add a symbol-based keyboard language (like Japanese, Chinese etc)

– Then when you go into Notes press the little globe icon and change the language to the one you just added

– Type something, then press the globe icon again to select English

– This will then change the font to Helvetica, which is easier on the eye

Double tap for a full stop (period)

While typing emails or notes, you can simply tap the space key twice and the phone will insert a full stop / period

Move quickly between home screens

You can move between home screens by swiping left or right. To jump from one to another however, click on the little white dots beneath the icons. This will jump you straight to that homescreen page. You can also tap the bottom left or right blank areas to go to the left or right homescreens

Restrict explicit / adult content

If you have kids in the house that you don’t want to look at certain content, you can disable applications from showing explicit content (like Youtube videos or music):

– Go to Settings – General – Restrictions – Enable Restrictions.

– Then enter a 4 digit code to restrict the content

We hope you like these tips. They all provided courtesy of www.PhoneTipsAndTricks.com. Feel free to visit their website and look in the iPhone Tips and Tricks section

Blackberry Secret Codes

Here are some key strokes which you can use on your Blackberry device for some cool functionality. Before proceeding with the secret keys disable the Blackberry Keyboard shortcut mode if you have already enabled it.

• Function: Decibel meter.
• Purpose: Displays your signal strength in decibels, instead of bars.
• Process: Hold “Alt” and Press “N”, “M”, “L”, “L” (repeat to reverse the effect).

• Function: Address Book file verification.
• Purpose: Checks the data in your Address Book for inconsistencies.
• Process: In the Address Book, hold “Alt” and Press “V”, “A”, “L”, “D”.

• Function: Address Book data structure rebuild.
• Purpose: Forces a data structure re-build in the Address Book…
• Process: In the Address Book, hold “Alt” and Press “R”, “B”, “L”, “D”.

• Function: View source code.
• Purpose: Displays the source code of a Webpage.
• Process: In the Browser, hold “Alt” and Press “R”, “B”, “V”, “S”.

• Function: Help Me! menu.
• Purpose: Provides crucial technical information about your device, for when seeking technical support or help in forums.
• Process: Hold “Alt” and (left) “shift”, then Press “H”.

• Function: IMEI display.
• Purpose: Displays your device’s international mobile equipment identity (IMEI – your serial number) on-screen… Also works from all other GSM handsets.
• Process: TyPe “*”, “#”, “0″, “6″, “#” on the Home screen.
• Function: “Soft” reset.
• Purpose: Performs a “soft” reset of your device; the equivalent of doing a “battery Pull” (ie. Removing the battery for a few seconds).
• Process: Press-and-hold “Alt”, then Press-and-hold (left) “shift”, then Press-and-hold “Del”.

• Function: Event Log.
• Purpose: DisPlays event logs of all the system-level events that occur on your device.
• Process: Hold “Alt” and Press “L”, “G”, “L”, “G”.

Note: All of these keys have been tested on the BlackBerry 8800. We would expect them to work on all keypad featured BlackBerry devices. Please note that these secret keys may not work in Blackberry Pearl. It is good to be on the home screen while you executing most of these secret keys.

Here’s the steps to disable the Keyboard shortcut mode:

  1. Press the Call button and click on Options
  2. Now you are in “Phone Options” menu.There click on “General Options”
  3. On the General Options menu select ” Dial From Home Screen” and change the option to “Yes”.  You set this option back to “No” to renable the Keyboard shortcut mode once you’re done playing around with the secret codes.

This post was originally published @ www.hackstacks.com

What do you do when your Nokia N8 Freezes!

I just had a panic session today when my N8 just froze up on me and refused to come out of the locked state, no matter what I tried to do.  I can’t even yank the battery out, like I’d have done on any other phone.

I tried the unlock switch on the side refused to work. When I did keep the menu button pressed for a few seconds, I did get the unlock option on screen, but clicking on that didn’t do anything to getting out of the lock mode.

I also long pressed the power button for around 5 seconds. The first time I tried it, I got the switch off menu, but that too stopped appearing the second time over. What do I do?

Solution!

After a few trial and errors of keeping various combinations of buttons, I found the solution to the problem. Press and hold the power button on top of your phone, and hold it till the phone vibrates thrice. I guess the wait time’s around 10 seconds, so have patience. When the  phone vibrates, it means that your N8′s finally shut down. So at this point just press the power button to start up the phone.

Do you have any Nokia N8 tips you’d like to share? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

What do you do when your Nokia N8 Freezes!

I just had a panic session today when my N8 just froze up on me and refused to come out of the locked state, no matter what I tried to do.  I can’t even yank the battery out, like I’d have done on any other phone.

I tried the unlock switch on the side refused to work. When I did keep the menu button pressed for a few seconds, I did get the unlock option on screen, but clicking on that didn’t do anything to getting out of the lock mode.

I also long pressed the power button for around 5 seconds. The first time I tried it, I got the switch off menu, but that too stopped appearing the second time over. What do I do?

Solution!

After a few trial and errors of keeping various combinations of buttons, I found the solution to the problem. Press and hold the power button on top of your phone, and hold it till the phone vibrates thrice. I guess the wait time’s around 10 seconds, so have patience. When the  phone vibrates, it means that your N8’s finally shut down. So at this point just press the power button to start up the phone.

Do you have any tips to share? Let us know by leaving a comment below. As always you can follow us on twitter @myportableworld and become a fan of our Facebook Page.

Back to School with the Nokia N8's Camera

Now that you’ve got your hands on a Nokia N8 and it’s monster of a 12 Megapixel camera, you’ve got to start learning how to take good photos. Well Nokia Conversations has got a good series from Ian and Haje showing you ways to make those photos look good. It’s not too hard take photos like a pro, you just need to follow a few tips. Here’s one of the videos from this series where Haje shows you how to take good snaps while you travel around:

See, it’s not that hard! You can get more tips and articles on better photography with your N8 by heading over to the Nokia N8 camera school