How To

As if you needed another reason why the Windows Phone Central forums are the best around. You can head there to find all sorts of information and perks. Sometimes developers will recruit users to test drive an upcoming app for them. You can also find the latest and greatest apps that nobody knows about or just kick it with like-minded smartphone users. Then there are times like today where you get awesome tutorials like this one to completely switch from Gmail to Outlook.

More →
13
loading...
0
loading...
176
loading...
0
loading...

Push notifications (also called toast notifications) are those pop-up messages you get from certain apps – the ones that say you’ve got a game invite, a weather alert, a new tweet, etc. Even if you don’t have an app that supports them, you’ve probably seen them appear whenever you get a text message or voice mail.

Windows Phone 7 always had issues with push notifications though. Not the hardwired SMS alerts and such, but pushes from games and apps. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn’t, and everyone’s experience seemed to differ.

When Windows Phone 8 rolled around, we hoped that would change. Unfortunately, at first glance it did not (for games, at least). While the pushes from recent Xbox WP release AlphaJax have driven some WP7 users crazy, some Lumia 920 owners like me simply haven’t seen those notifications (and yet others have). Thankfully, pushes aren’t completely broken on WP8. They’re just bugged, and there is a way around it.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
28
loading...
0
loading...

While some Windows Phone photography apps have a sharing feature native to the application some, such as Cinemagraph (here's our review), don't. In these cases you rely on your Windows Phone Pictures Hub options to share these images.

You've just created a fantastic animated GIF through Cinemagraph and are eager to share it with friends or family. Once the image is saved to your Windows Phone, head over to your Pictures Hub and go into the Camera Roll gallery. Find the Cinemagraph image you want to share, pull it up to full view and tap the three dot menu.

More →
2
loading...
0
loading...
28
loading...
0
loading...

On Windows Phone it’s really easy to toggle between Ringer and Vibrate—simply press the volume key (up or down) and then tap the bell in the upper right hand corner to switch. But what about getting it to silent mode?

It’s a little tricky but easy once you understand how it works: Simply head to Settings –> Ringtones + Sounds and toggle the Vibrate function off. Now, when you tap the bell in the upper right hand corner, it will switch between Ringer + Silent. Sure, we wish there was an easier way to toggle between all three (ringer, vibrate and silent) but this is Microsoft’s current paradigm so that’s what we have to use.

Should Microsoft offer a third tap to toggle vibrate on or off? Let us know in the poll after the break. And make sure you check out our other tips and tricks.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
31
loading...
0
loading...

So you’re currently looking forward to receiving / purchasing your Windows Phone 8 handset, or have just unboxed the device, but what’s to take in before getting started? While Microsoft services are recommended over competitors to further enhance the experience and overall functionality available, they're not a requirement.

You don’t have to go all out Windows should you choose not to. In fact, Microsoft has made it so you can continue residing in an competitor dominated home while being able to make the most of what Windows Phone has to offer. So what are the Microsoft equivalents of what you may already be using on a daily basis?

More →
2
loading...
0
loading...
68
loading...
0
loading...

If you want to add a little something something to your contacts, we ran across a way to add emoticons to your contact's name over in the Windows Phone Central Forums. All you need to do is start a text message and add the emoticon of your choice.

From there, highlight and copy that emoticon. Leave the text message and go to your Peoples Hub, find the contact and choose to edit the name. Add a space at the end of the last name and paste the emoticon.  It's a neat way to add a little customization to your contacts.

Edit: As noted in comments by hopmedic, to prevent it from breaking voice dialling, put the emoticons in the last name field, but put a hyphen after the last name, and then the emoticons.

Thanks, danclyons, for the tip!

More →
1
loading...
0
loading...
32
loading...
0
loading...

Speech has always been a part of Windows Phone and it has offered some nice ways of interacting with your handset by using your voice alone.

We have put together a guide that should suit those that are new to Windows Phone and also to those that have upgraded to Windows Phone 8. Interacting with voice recognition and commands can be a powerful and time saving way to use your phone efficiently and even safely.

More →
9
loading...
0
loading...
37
loading...
0
loading...
147

Tip: How to fix a bricked Nokia Lumia 920

Some of you in the forums and comments have been noting that you are getting a "bricked" Lumia 920's after doing a reset. The term is technically not correct here as you can revive the phone with a neat little trick. The fix reported so far was just returning the device to the store, which is far from ideal especially if you bought it online. Thankfully, the Windows Phone Central Forums came through with a trick that should get your bricked 920 back up and running.

The instructions are detailed and concise and include a video to help get you back in the game. Read on to fix it. 

More →
12
loading...
0
loading...
133
loading...
0
loading...

We heard and experienced for ourselves some rather crummy battery life with the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone. It's a mixed bag of results with some report fantastic battery performance while others are struggling to make it through half a day.

While Nokia is looking into things, they've reminded us that managing the apps that are running in the background could help with battery life.  And this power saving technique isn't exclusive to the Lumia Windows Phones.  If you want to conserve power on your HTC 8X or Samsung Focus 2, shut down some of the apps you don't need that are still running in the background.

More →
3
loading...
0
loading...
43
loading...
0
loading...
150

Quick tip for Xbox Music on Windows Phone 8

This post started as a quick 30 second tutorial on how to make your music experience a bit better on your new device running Windows Phone 8. However, it kind of morphed into a bit of a rant about one aspect of Xbox Music. So sit back and read my thoughts and criticisms about the cloud collection or jump to the end for a quick tip that could save your sanity and help your wallet.

More →
3
loading...
0
loading...
41
loading...
0
loading...

If you are new to Windows Phones and are dreading having to find a way to transfer the contacts from your old phone to new, we may have a solution for you.

For those opting for the Nokia Lumia 920 or 820, Nokia has the Contacts Transfer app that will facilitate the transfer of contacts from Symbian, Android, iOS and Blackberry phones via Bluetooth.

More →
3
loading...
0
loading...
21
loading...
0
loading...

The Microsoft Surface comes pre-loaded with Internet Explorer 10 and the one thing that was odd (or at least for me) was the lack of an obvious way to save a website as a favorite.  I kept looking for a 'star" button to add sites to my favorites list.

The process of adding a website as a favorite ended up being rather simple. Just tap on the "pin" button and you'll find two options. First to pin the site to your Start Screen for easy access and second, to add the site as a favorite.

To access your favorites, just tap on the URL field to pull up a tile list listing of frequently visited sites as well as your favorites.

More →
2
loading...
0
loading...
24
loading...
0
loading...
37

Microsoft Surface RT Tip: Deleting Apps

So you have your brand new Microsoft Surface RT tablet and have a few games and apps loaded that you don't like. How do you go about deleting them?

From your Start Screen, just tap/hold the app tile and drag it towards the bottom of the screen. Move the tile just a bit and let go. When you release the tile, a menu bar pops up at the bottom of the screen with various options.

You'll see options to unpin the app, resize the tile, turn on/off Live Tile updates (app dependent) and to uninstall the app. Just tap that option, confirm the deletion and the Surface tablet takes care of the rest.

More →
3
loading...
0
loading...
25
loading...
0
loading...

The newest addition of Windows is here and its looking very smart indeed but its lacking one thing, Media Centre.

That’s right folks, Microsoft’s analytics said only 10% of the Windows user base uses this full featured DVR replacement so are set to charge for it. The good news is, you can get it for free. Read on to find out how..

More →
7
loading...
0
loading...
64
loading...
0
loading...

Extraction: Project Outbreak differs from what we’ve come to expect from Chillingo games on Windows Phone. Besides a complete lack of cuteness, it’s also pretty tough! At first players will have to come to grips with the game’s unique controls. Then they’ll encounter a steep rise in difficulty that seems designed to encourage spending money on PDLC and/or pad the length of the game more than anything else.

Thankfully your favorite Windows Phone Central game reviewer/ninja has unlocked all 20 of Extraction’s Achievements and will now help you do the same.

More →
2
loading...
0
loading...
21
loading...
0
loading...

Spam? SPAM!? No spam for me!

We've continuously explored the functionality of Microsoft's Outlook.com, the Hotmail email service successor, in our how to / tutorial series of articles. Today we'll be looking at setting up and managing blocked and safe senders that protect against spam and useless emails but ensure all wanted mail gets through filters and junk protection to your desktop and Windows Phone.

More →
2
loading...
0
loading...
28
loading...
0
loading...

It’s no secret that Windows Phone accessories aren’t exactly flooding the market at the moment. And while there are great places like the WPCentral store, here in South Africa our choices are more limited.

You see, many local stores don’t stock anything, and shipping items from the states just isn’t worth it most of the time. I even went to an official Nokia store here to get a cyan cover for my Lumia 800, and not only did they not have any colors besides black, their black ones were 3rd party products. Yep, the Nokia store did not sell Nokia covers.

Recently I have been wanting a dock or stand for my Lumia 900 to prop it up on my desk, but of course, I couldn’t find one. Rather than waiting to get one shipped, I thought I would make my own.

Enter: 3D Printers.

More →
3
loading...
0
loading...
26
loading...
0
loading...

Sorting through a number of emails can easily become a tricky business, especially if there is a large collection waiting for you to synchronise your email client - we're sure you've experienced the post-holiday email craze, right?

Microsoft has designed Outlook.com to be extraordinarily easy to use, and to get common tasks done quickly. We took a look yesterday at how to automate inbox clean-ups to either delete or move emails and keep the inbox clutter free.

Today we'll be looking at how we can utilise Instant Actions to make email management easier. So just what are 'Instant Actions' on Outlook.com? They're quick tools that enable users to quickly manage individual emails. On hovering over a message in a folder, you'll see three icons appear under the received date (see below).

More →
5
loading...
0
loading...
19
loading...
0
loading...

Outlook.com, the new face of webmail from Microsoft

Microsoft unveiled Outlook.com back in July, launching a new web-based email service that would be the successor to its popular Hotmail brand. The move was part of Microsoft's plan to bring products and services closer together, which leads to further integration into Windows, Windows Phone and other platforms.

More →
1
loading...
0
loading...
23
loading...
0
loading...

Pages