Top 10 Windows Phone Tips and Tricks
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.