How To

We've made mention that one way to prepare for Windows Phone 7 is to establish a Windows Live ID. If you times slipped by and you haven't created a Windows Live ID, don't worry. During the initial set-up of your Windows Phone 7 device, you're given the option to sign in with an existing Live ID, skip the step all together or create a Windows Live ID from your phone.

While some may opt to choose "not now" and skip the Windows Live ID all together, to make the most of Windows Phone 7 you really need the ID. As the screen shot mentions,

"To get apps, play games, use a Zune Pass, automatically sync Windows Live information to the web, and more, you need a Windows Live ID."

In establishing a Windows Live ID doesn't mean you can't use Google, Yahoo, or another Exchange Server for your email, contacts and calendar.  It simply opens more doors for your Windows Phone to access.

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We don't know if this is just restricted to Telstra in Australia or all GSM WP7 devices, but evidently on at least some Windows Phone 7 devices, call waiting is not enabled. Odd, eh?

Over at Chris Walsh's blog, he demonstrates how to enable this seemingly important feature and it's far from difficult:

Just type *43# into the dialer, then press "Call"

Of course there is nothing unique about that code per se, as they are just part of the GSM feature codes which are universal. Anyone else confirm whether or not this is disabled on their WP7 device?

Source: Chris Walsh (blog)

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Understanding Windows Live terminology

 

Windows Live will be a major component for Windows Phone 7 and if you're not familiar with Live, some of the terminology can be a little confusing. You have Windows Live, Windows Live Mail, Hotmail, Live mail, Hotmail calendar and contacts as well as Live calendar and contacts.  Here's a simple glossary that may help shed some light on Windows Live.

Windows Live: The online portal to Hotmail, Office Documents, Messenger, Photos, Skydrive, and other "cloud" services from Microsoft.

Hotmail: Microsoft's email, calendar and contacts component to Windows Live. You'll access windowslive.com with your hotmail address and password.

Windows Live mail: The same as Hotmail and includes email, calendar and contacts. On a side note, a hotmail address can end in @hotmail.com or @live.com.

Windows Live Mail: This is a component of Windows Live Essentials that runs from your computer. Just as Microsoft Outlook is a component of Microsoft Office.  Windows Live Mail, again just as Outlook, has a email, calendar and contacts component. Windows Live Mail can access your hotmail and other email services (Google, Yahoo, etc.) plus you can sign into Windows Live through Live Mail and access your online contacts and calendar.

It would have been nice if Microsoft could have come up with more distinctive terminology but as we all get used to the Windows Phone 7 and Windows Live environments, it will all become second nature.

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Preparing for Windows Phone 7: Windows Live

With Windows Phone 7 right around the corner, is there anything you can do to prepare for the new Windows Phones? Windows Phone 7 will offer a lot of new features and capabilities and while we all will have a learning curve with the new system, there are a few things you can do to get a leg up on things.

Three areas come to mind; Windows Live, Xbox Live, and Zune. Ease on past the break to see what you can do with Windows Live to prepare for Windows Phone 7.

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Just a follow up on that Hotmail with Exchange Activesync support--word is, it is now Active Live err...working.

The settings are pretty straight forward if you are familiar with setting up an Exchange account on your device. Simply enter this info and you should be good to go:

Server / URL: m.hotmail.com

Username: Enter full email address, for example: someone@example.com

Domain: Leave this blank

SSL: Enable this

Certificate: Accept the SSL certificate when prompted

Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Tasks: All can be enabled

[via LiveSide.net]

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Many of us these days have our contacts spread all over the place: Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Exchange, etc. It can be quite a pain.

Starting with Windows Phone 7, Windows Live will take a front and center role with the device, requiring you to use a Live ID to "sign in" on the phone to access your Xbox account, Zune profile, Hotmail/Live Mail, MSN Messenger, Phone Live, etc. This is quite similar to how an Android device requires a Google mail account, which also accesses all of Google's services.

One neat feature that will help simplify things is using Windows Live Contacts (http://contacts.live.com/), which will allow you to import your contacts from

  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Outlook Express
  • Windows Contacts
  • Windows Live Hotmail
  • Yahoo! Mail (CSV)
  • Gmail (CSV)

Those last two options are quite important for many of us and using the CSV export/import system is really quite easy (Gmail --> Contacts --> Export --> Outlook CSV). Likewise, the 'Add People' feature is quite nice, allowing digital import and constant syncing between the following services:

  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • AOL Mail
  • Google
  • Outlook
  • etc.


Finally, you can use the Manage --> 'Clean up contacts' option in Windows Live Contacts to find and delete duplicate information, saving a lot of time. Likewise you can use the 'Merge' feature if you have many lists to import.

Seeing as we'll all need to be on this system in the near future, might as well take the 15 minutes to get the ball rolling, eh?

[via On 10]

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Confession: we here at WMExperts, unfortunately, know jack about Linux, their distros (sounds like a fun party) nor how to really do anything in the OS.

Still, we imagine there are a handful of you who want (but can't) sync your trusty WM6.5 device with your favorite Linux OS. TrueFalse? We dunno.

Luckily Linux pro 'Feedsbrain' (ahem) has written a nice tutorial on how to just that.

Now to us, his directions are written in an alien language, but for your linux-experts out there, we're pretty sure this will make sense.

Now go read and let us know if this was remotely helpful!

"Synchronize Windows Mobile 6.5 and Linux Box"

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If you already skinned your Windows desktop to look like Metro using Rainmeter, might as well complete the look and skin Firefox now too.

Although 'Metro 1.0' adds a little WP7 flare to your browser, don't expect anything drastic as skinning is sort of minimal. Still, it adds that little extra touch to the whole Metro themed PC and it's free, so why not?

We suppose copying is the highest form of flattery, so seeing as many in the design world want to emulate Metro's look is a good thing (remember all the iPhone skins years ago?).

Now if we can just get a skin for Chrome...

[via Download Squad]

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While the Sprint Touch Pro 2 ROM update, featuring Windows Mobile 6.5 and Sense 2.5, has turned out to be a pretty big hit amongst users, there is one little nagging issue that has changed with the new configuration: no more LED alerts.

Before under 'Sounds and Notifications', the user was able to enable/disable whether LED alerts would be used for email, text, voicemail, missed calls, etc. In addition, you could specify how long the duration for said blinking shall occur. This feature was a recent change found on many HTC devices and was something that we all greatly appreciated.

So why did Sprint/HTC decide to disable the feature with the latest update? Improve battery life? Make everything more "simple"?  They simply made a mistake? No one knows but it is quite annoying.

Luckily, MightyMike and Mr.X have found a solution, all packed up in a simple .cab file. Just download, install and soft reset and those LED alerts will now be available to enable and configure. You can get the download and read more about it here or scan the MS Tag below.

[MightyROM.com]

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Back in the day, we had an app on Windows Mobile called CityID (Flashback: 2006!). It recently reared its dormant head on the Verizon Imagio (see full review). The app was basically an area code database that compared that was compared to an incoming phone call, resulting in a City, State caller ID.

Very useful stuff.

Turns out that many HTC devices, likewise, have a database that stores states, but not necessarily anything else. Saumaun, who is quite well known in various Windows Mobile communities, managed to whip up a detailed registry change to give us back that function. He basically included all the major metropolitan areas and referenced them via area codes, giving a pretty decent shot at city accuracy.

The best part of his "hack" is that there is no running programs or increased resources--it simply uses the device's registry to enhance caller ID. ROM chefs are encouraged to incorporate it into their builds and end-users can just download and install the simple and tiny .cab file, found in this thread.

Brilliant!

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For those of you who like reading them there book things on yer phones, but don't like installing the latest Manila/Sense from HTC, you can now just install the standalone reader.

Thanks to Mr.X, with a simple .cab file you can be up and reading various books on your WVGA device with a standalone version of HTC's eReader. (Scan the MS Tag below for direct download).

Going further, Patcat007 over at XDA has compiled 300 free books from ePub. Just download the five .zip archives with all the books, extract to your device and use the free indexer to sort and browse your files.

Not too shabby folks, not bad at all!

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Hidden programs on LG eXpo

  

For the few of those with the hard-to-find LG eXpo (more on that later), there are three interesting applications hidden within \Windows that may be of interest:

  • GPSViewer
  • wifiEngMenu
  • TascalRegEdit

GPSViewer/GPS Utility is a simple app that shows you the number of satellites found and their strength, all in a nice graph form. (Of note is excellent GPS reception and accuracy on the eXpo).  It also gives your current speed, albeit in km/h.  Still, not a bad diagnostic tool.

"WifiEngMenu" is an advanced WiFi diagnostic tool that gives a ton of information related to your current network, including transmission rate test, WWM PS test, signal strength, etc.

Finally there is Tascal Registry Editor, a common (and ancient) freeware registry application. While nothing special, it's nice to have it readily available.

To access these apps, the first two (GPS Viewer, WifiEngMenu) require you to find them under \Windows and create a shortcut to the Start Menu. To make that easier for folks, we'll include the shortcuts for you to download directly: just unzip to \Windows\Start Menu and you should be all set.  For the Registry editor, find "TascalRegEdit.cab" under \Windows and simply run and install. A shortcut will be created for you to use directly.

Download to your device here.

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Although the LG eXpo is a very capable device (see full review), in fact it's one of my favorites right now, it does have some ... quirks.

One of those, and we're not joking, is no email notifications. That is, there is no listing under Settings --> Sounds & Notifications for email or even SMS, for that matter.

We're not sure why that is the case, or how that passed AT&T's testing, but it is what it is and needless to say...it's annoying. (We even had a question on during the last podcast),

To address this, I threw together the registry entries to bring back SMS and Email notifications as I know this bothers quite a few folks out there, myself included. This will enable sound, vibrate, pop-up and even LED support on the eXpo for SMS and Email.

Simply use Microsoft Tag to scan and download the .cab to your device, run it, soft reset and you're good to go. Or you can just click and download directly hereEnjoy!

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It's pretty well known that the HTC HD2 (Leo) had a wee camera problem with some odd colors showing up in the center.

That has been addressed via a patch, which is available now.

Of course, what would be the fun of having a patch for one device and not trying it out on another?  Not very much.

Turns out if you apply the .cab'd version to the Verizon Imagio (see review) it greatly speeds up the auto-focus -- as in cuts the time in half as well as just general quickness of the camera app. Image quality is said to be the same and no one is reporting any negatives, so if you've done a fresh backup give it a go.

And for the record, we did try this on our Sprint Touch Pro 2 and saw no difference ;-)

Download the .cab here.

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XDA Developers has done it again. You’re probably familiar with Google Voice and what it does for you. One of the features that Google Voice offers is free SMS messaging. The problem is that it is a pain to create a message from within Windows Mobile. This is where those fine folks at XDA come along.

In his first post ever, msullivan offers “Google Voice Easy SMS”; which despite the unimpressive moniker, gives Google Voice users access to functionality that was previously inaccessible while mobile. This software uses your data connection and Google Voice account to send SMS messages without counting against your monthly allotment.

Easy SMS does require .NET Compact Framework 2.0 (3.5 is also available), a data plan, and obviously a Google Voice account. The software interfaces with your contacts and allows you to send to multiple recipients at once. For those of you who routinely see black helicopters (and we’re not saying that they’re not there) Easy SMS connects directly to Google’s servers using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer).

Google Voice Easy SMS is free, and msullivan states that his software will be released as open source once he gets a chance to comment his code and get it cleaned up so that the rest of us can make sense out of it.

[via TiltMobility]

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So awhile ago I picked up a nifty car mount for my Touch Pro 2 (on eBay) and lo and behold it has a cut out for the camera. It also swivels, so it is actually easy to get an almost completely clear visual path with the lens.

In short, this is how a Touch Pro 2 works as a in-dash video camera. On top of filming yourself driving through a blizzard, we suppose it's also good if you are in an accident or want to record some yahoo driving erratically.

And if you think I drive fast, I'm from New England and live New York ... that's how I roll.

Either way, it's kind of fun.

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One e-mail standard that Windows Mobile has been missing since day one is IMAP idle--an advanced form of the IMAP standard.  The idle version is essentially push e-mail and it's very popular (Gmail officially supports it) as it is quick and is pretty good with battery life.

Fixup over at XDA has taken the open-source IMAP Pusher Service and made a handy WinMo client--one that also supports multiple IMAP Idle accounts.  He points out some interesting drawbacks in using Exchange Gmail too:

  1. Almost all mail servers now support IMAP idle, including Gmail, while AS only works with MS's proprietary Exchange server.
  2. Gmail's AS push is still not reliable enough to be practically usable. It does not let you use your own domain as reply email address. When you delete a gmail message in AS, it goes into Achieve instead of Trash.
  3. AS does not support multiple accounts. You can use both AS and xImapPusher at the same time on the same phone.

To setup, have your IMAP account setup already in Outlook; set it to check once daily.  Install the xImapPusher .cab to your device (soft-reset for good measure), run the 'Accounts Config' followed by running 'xImap Pusher' application.  You should then see your data-arrows activate and begin pushing your email.  You also need to have .NET CF 3.5 installed.

Downside is there is no scheduler, so you'll have to remember to turn it off (run 'xImap Pusher' again) if you don't want it checking.  Still, we've been using it for a few hours now it seems pretty solid and simple to us, so give it a shot.

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For those of you running WM6.5.x, you will have noticed that the volume on-screen slider is not the the standard HTC one.  Turns out, Microsoft has been playing with the volume hooks and HTC's skin is no longer compatible. 

Instead, we're left with the functional but ugggggly old-school windows volume rockers.

One solution is from XDA member Ponchofiesta (love it) who has a new app that improves the graphics tremendously.  The app is still in early beta, so expect some bugs and you need to have .NET CF 3.5 installed. Make sure you lend a  hand with feedback.

Still, once stable enough, this is something ROM chefs can cook right in and make it all bettah.

Alternate solution?  SetVolume 0.7.

[via Technology Paradise]

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A few days ago we reported that a new version of Microsoft's My Phone was available.  Unfortunately, for some,  it also introduced a new bug: the inability to sync your SMS messages (something Tiger Woods would be happy about).

Luckily, a registry fix has been found:

  • Go o HKLM\Software\Microsoft\My Phone
  • Change the registry value “DisableSMSDataType” from “1″ to “0″

Seems easy enough and we're sure someone can .cab this up if you don't feel like touching your registry (though see our guide on the how-to for a quick primer).

By the way, sound off in comments if you experienced this bug. On our custom ROM, we never saw this and this "fix" wasn't pre-installed.

[MobileTechWorld via TamsWMS]

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