Recent Articles

Headlines

5 years ago

Smartphone Round Robin: Interview Edition

6
5 years ago

Motorola to Farm Out Some Windows Mobile Development

0

Arne Hess over at the::unwired is reporting that Motorola is turning to a bunch of Taiwanese OEMs to do much of their future Windows Mobile R&D and manufacturing. This initially sent a chill though WMExperts HQ - as Motorola's Windows Mobile work on the Q9 series has been pretty much the only bright spot the company's had of late. However, it looks like the team that brought the Q from our least favorite to among our two to three most favorite WM phones will thankfully be staying in place.

Nope, instead it looks as though Motorola is just planning on adding more WM phones to its stable. That's alright, we suppose, though we do worry about Moto's inability to focus on any one thing, ever. Let's see what major smartphone platforms Moto is trying to support right now, shall we? ...Android, Symbian's UIQ (their stake was just approved), Windows Mobile, JUIX, ...did we miss any? Probably. We guess you could argue they're not putting all their eggs in one basket, but how long before you have more baskets than eggs? All we're saying is keep that Q division around -- they're doing good work. Kay?

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
5 years ago

Live Pics of Samsung i325 “Ace”

1
1

Live Pics of Samsung i325 “Ace”

We'd like to say that this Samsung i325 (Codename: “Ace”) is more exciting than the last time it popped up. Sadly, we cannot. What we can say is that it's exactly what we expected, a BlackJack-alike for Sprint's network - right on down to the original scroll wheel on the side instead of the BlackJack II's newer, trendier, and better 5-way/scroll wheel combo.

The info on Samsung i325 camera, QWERTY keyboard and OS was spot-on. And Samsung SPH-i325 also has microSD memory card slot, non-touchscreen display, thumb-wheel navigation, Bluetooth and EvDO data support

Read: Sprint Samsung Ace i325 phone. Live pics and more details - Unwired View

Phone Scoop reported that it's already passed the FCC, too, so get prepared by, um... taking a nap or something. We're guessing (read: hoping) that it will debut at a low price point, though we won't hazard a guess at when.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
5 years ago

Make an HTC Ad, Win an HTC Smarpthone

0

We're posting the above video because it's informative. It lets you know that you can make up a video ad and send it to zooppa for a chance to win a TYTN II or an HTC Touch. Well, ok, we're also posting it because it is so mind-bendingly corny it borders on the surreal. Seriously, we were smiling and tearing up just a little by the end, nevermind that the smile was a rictus and the tears were blood.

You can check out what's been submitted so far here.

Via ppcmag

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
5 years ago

How To: Increase Battery Life on your Windows Mobile Smarpthone

6

No matter how big the battery on your phone, you'll always want to get a little more life out of it. Lately many phones - especially Windows Mobile phones - have been shaving their batteries down to achieve better form factors. So this guide, Part IV in the series (the rest are here), will tell you the tips and tricks you need to know to max out the battery life on your Windows Mobile smartphone.

The following may sound like a obvious statement, but it is important to have this line of thought when optimizing your phone to save battery power: In order to increase your battery life you need to decrease the power used. There are many things you can do to decrease the power used. Some of the steps may be changing the default settings, including possibly tweaking the registry of your phone, while others may included adapting some of your habits while using your phone.

The first step in increasing your battery life is to identify the most common sources of battery drain and take steps to minimize their impact on the life of your battery per charge. When I am talking about battery drain or conservation issues, there are a lot of little things you can do that make a HUGE difference. My goal is to provide the most comprehensive list of battery saving tips you have seen in one place before. Now lets start looking at these power hungry culprits that will suck the life right out of your battery and the steps we all need to take to limit the drain on our battery as much as possible. I have divided this up into 4 sections including Connections, Usage Habits, Tools, and Advanced.

Connections

Data Communication: This includes WiFi, EVDO, Edge, 1x, etc... whatever line communication you have established and is active to transfer data. Please note that WiFi is the king of battery drain among all the data communication connection options.

How do you reduce the amount of data transfers your phone does? To start to answer this, it is important to realize that there are programs that will attempt to update themselves all on their own. Every time a program tries to update itself, it establishes a data connection. You will want to look at the settings of all of the 3rd party programs you have installed to verify if there are any options asking if you want the program to automatically check for the latest version updates, to get updated information to use, etc. These will certainly include programs that need daily or hourly updated information like weather, news headlines, movie schedules, stock quotes, etc. Unless you are actually a stock broker and need the latest info from 4 minutes ago then limit it to updating itself only once a day if possible, setting these programs to download the latest info every hour is a total waste of the precious minutes your battery has left during that day. Here are a couple screenshots as examples:

Wireless LAN: First of all, if the life of your battery is a concern, then do not use WiFi unless absolutely needed, or if you need to use WiFi, then plug in your phone if at all possible. WiFi will suck your battery dry faster than anything else I have experienced, as soon as 25 minutes on some phones. But when you do use WiFi, there is a step you can take to help reduce the power consumption needed. In WM06 you can click on Menu / Settings / Connections / Wireless LAN. Then click on the "Power Mode" tab. Then slide the handle on the bar all the way to the right labeled "Best Battery".


IR Beam: The Infrared beam is usually on by default, always searching for something to connect with. Sometimes, depending on your phone, taking this one step of disabling this will add an extra hour or more of battery life to your day. This is simple to do. Click on Menu / Setting / Connections / Beam. Then uncheck the box "Receive all incoming beams".

Email & SMS: Every time an email or SMS is sent or received a data connection is established and used. Unless your work demands that you receive your emails immediately, set your email program to only download your emails every 30 to 60 minutes. If you set up your email to be connected to an Exchange Server at work and have your emails pushed to your phone immediately, you will be using up more battery power and might have to plan to top off your phone in the car or during a lunch break to give a little extra charge to you battery. A detailed tutorial on setting up and configuring your email will be a later edition of the WM Guide.

Bad Reception Areas: Try to stay out of bad or borderline reception areas if battery power is a concern. Whenever your phone is constantly looking for a stronger signal, or a signal at all, it is zapping your battery like crazy. If you are in an area that you know does not get good reception, constantly switches in and out of roaming, in and out a solid EVDO connection, then plan on your battery life being half as long as normal, or worse. Unless you set your phone to No Roaming, which may restrict you from being able to make or receive any calls, the only fix is to top off your battery every chance you get or get to a good reception area. If you want to restrict the phone from automatically switching back and forth in Roaming, open the phone app by pushing the hardware phone button. In WM6 click on Menu / Options. At the bottom click on the tap called "Services". Select "Roaming" and click "Get Settings"... then select your "(Carrier) Only", i.e. "Sprint Only". Click "Ok".

Usage Habits

Even though several of the points below should officially be in the connections section above, I included them below if there was really nothing to do to improve your battery life besides altering how you use them.

Voice Calls: On most phones, you can only talk for 2-4 hours at a time per charge. The obvious solution here is to limit the gift of gab. If you know you are going to have to talk an extra long time, i.e. a 1 hour conference call for work, then you are simply going to have to plan to limit other use of your phone (i.e. no games, internet browsing, etc.) or top off the battery whenever possible in the car, or plug it in while eating lunch, or carry a spare battery, or use a battery with extended capacity.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
5 years ago

HTC: Rollin!

2
2

HTC: Rollin!

Brighthand (among others) is reporting that HTC is rocking lately, they're pulling in all sorts of money:

HTC's revenue in October was NT$13.1 million (US$404.8 million), up 22.3% over the same month in the previous year.

Although that was the most the company had ever taken in during a month, this was surpassed in November. HTC's revenue then was NT$14.5 million (US$449.3 million),  a year-over-year growth of 32.7%.

Year-over-year of 20-30%... in a market where the pressure to create inexpensive, low-margin smartphone is growing... all while increasing their focus on both R&D and Brand-awareness... well, my hat is off to you, HTC.

It's a relief to see a manufacturer getting it right, especially after Motorola's recent drama and especially after Friday's gigantic downer-of-a-financial-report from Palm. Seriously, avert your eyes from Palm's stock right now. Eyes averted? Good, now you need someplace to put 'em. May we suggest looking over at HTC again, that shining beacon of Windows Mobile goodness? Engadget scored an interview with CEO Peter Chou that's pretty interesting, if a little heavy on the Android.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
5 years ago

Video Walkthrough of Windows Mobile 6.1

2
2

Video Walkthrough of Windows Mobile 6.1

You've seen the pictures of Windows Mobile 6.1, now here's the video. Boy, Boy Genius, we know you like the music, but could you turn it down so we can hear you talking? Or maybe it's necessary to hide this leaked phone's location. I guess I'd check all the closets at Redmond, if I were a Microsoft employee.

Anyhow, we'd like to say that the video is chock full of crazy new features, but it looks like Windows Mobile 6.1 will really be a “.1” update. At least nobody's claiming it will save the planet, but the up/down, left/right paradigm does nicely confirm the earlier rumors, no?

Read: Windows Mobile 6.1 video walkthrough! | The Boy Genius Report

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
5 years ago

News from the WMExperts Store

0
0

News from the WMExperts Store

Hey ho - we have some exciting bits of news from the folks over at the WMExperts Store. First bit - we're told that Gift Certificates are now live and ready to go, just in time for Holiday shopping. They start at $25 and go on up, and the nice bit is you can either print it out yourself and wrap it up or you can just email the sucker directly to your giftee.

The Gift Certificates use PayPal's system... which means the store as a whole now does as well! So when you check out now you have the option to enter all your information or just log into PayPal where you likely have it all conveniently saved anyway. Noyce.

Lastly, the kind folks there at the store have created a coupon for all us little campers. We know a bunch of ya are hunkered down from the crazy amount of snow that's been flying around lately, so you won't be leaving your cozy little homes this weekend anyway. So this weekend only (i.e though midnight on Sunday), you can use the coupon code SNOWEDIN to get 10% off your order.

(...no, it won't work when you try to buy a gift certificate, you sneaky git. But it will work when your loved one redeems it.)

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
5 years ago

iPhone-up your WM Device

5
5

iPhone-up your WM Device

So we obviously heart Windows Mobile, but some folks on our platform-of-choice have a little space carved out for the iPhone. Can't blame 'em, it does bring the shiny UI better than anybody else. Well, VITO Technology is apparently one of those latter folks. They've been around developing Windows Mobile software for a long time (here's a roundup of their offerings back in March), and with the ability to crank out great apps like the following they should be around for a long time to come.

They've started up a new site, iwindowsmobile, which features some of their software that does a good job emulating (or bettering) the iPhone's interface. My personal favorite (at least until SMS-Chat is available) is probably ZoomBoard, which gives you a soft keyboard with a big old magifying-glass type zoom on the top so you can see just which button you're hitting with a quickness.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
5 years ago

Bluetooth Keyboard Video Smackdown

9
5 years ago

Review: Extreme Text Threaded SMS

4
5 years ago

Smartphone Round Robin: Triumphant Return to Windows Mobile!

34
5 years ago

ATT to Verizon: You Want to be Open? You Can't Handle The Open!

2

This is exactly the kind of fight we like to see.

So last week Verizon announced their “Any App, Any Device” program - basically promising that they'd be open and let any handset (after it's been tested) be used on their network. Of course, that 'testing' part sounds a little sketchy, and let's face it - how many non-Verizon CDMA phones do you have lying around (or want to make in your basement) that are unlocked and ready to rock on Verizon? So - nice thought, good to see you moving away from evil, Verizon, but the earth has not shook.

Well, AT&T has responded and their response basically boils down to this: “We use SIM cards, ever heard of 'em?” Yes, folks, AT&T cares not which GSM phone you use and it's always pretty much been like that - so the 'Openness' that Verizon has just started has always been around on GSM networks.

“You can use any handset on our network you want,” says Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T's wireless business. “We don't prohibit it, or even police it.”

Read: USA Today via Engadget Mobile

Allowing 'other unlocked' handsets on your network is very nice, Verizon and AT&T, thank you. Now: quit locking down features like GPS and Bluetooth and trying to turn every blasted thing under the sun into a for-pay 'service' when all we're really doing is using bandwidth from your pipe. If Verizon and AT&T are serious about this 'open' thing, maybe they'll stop being jerks to folks like Skype. Because Skype (and others) want to use that bandwidth pipe and are being blocked.

We're happy these companies are talking about being open, but they don't get the benefit of the doubt from us anymore that they are open because of their history. Actions > Words, guys.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
5 years ago

Samsung 'Ace' Coming to Sprint

1
1

Samsung 'Ace' Coming to Sprint

Here's a BlackJack-look-alike that Mobiledia (among others) is reporting should come to Sprint early next year. It looks like a pretty straightforward YAQKWMS. They're calling it the i325, which might make is a sort of spiritual successor to the GSM-only i320 of yesteryear (the::unwired) - certainly there are some shared design cues.

In any case, Sprint is a little short on the Smartphone-side of Windows Mobile. That Motorola Q9C is awesome, but it needs a more inexpensive little buddy - this 'Ace' should fill that slot nicely.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
5 years ago

How To: Use your WM Smartphone One-Handed

11

Now that we have covered how to install programs on your phone, copy files to your phone, and what is the best software that all WM phone owners need to have, in Part I and Part II of the Windows Mobile Guide, let's move on to part III... Increasing One Handed Usability with your WM phone. We'll focus primarily on Windows Mobile Professional, since it's the Touchscreen/stylus that often seems to be the barrier for one-handed use.

In (upcoming) parts IV & V, I will cover increasing your battery life, organizing your menus, and how to edit your registry. These 4 topics probably encompass a large percentage of the questions that are continually asked on the forums by new users, so I hope this will help many start out with confidence. I am also aiming to add a lot of value to the veteran WM user as well, so that they will be able to learn a few new tricks while still walking step by step with those who are new to the world of WM.

Read on for a guide on how to keep your off-hand in your pocket!

I see it all the time... those who are new to WM or who are coming from the Palm OS say within the first day (or less than an hour) of using a totally new OS, "I can't move around in it like I could with my Palm OS"... Well, no surprise because it is not Palm, or BlackBerry, or an iPhone, but a totally different OS. I know that is so obvious that it shouldn't need to be said, but sometimes going back to the basics can really help a lot people as they transition into the WM world.

Some of the biggest complaints sound like this:

  • It takes 5 times more clicks in WM to do the same thing in POS (Palm Operating System).
  • Everything is hidden in menus and I can't find anything, or takes too long to get to it.
  • I can dial 3 people on my BlackBerry in the same time it takes me to dial one number in WM.

This is always a hard topic to discuss, because one handed usability is often times subject to the standards and expectations of the individual user. Some will compare one handed usability between different WM phones, i.e. Treo WX with the Sprint Mogul... while others are going to compare WM OS, no matter the specific phone, to another mobile OS, like Palm, the iPhone, or a Blackberry. Then there are many that are willing to give up some of the extra one handed usability they may see in another OS for the extra power that WM often times offers over any other mobile phone OS, so they are very easy to please.

With all of this in mind, I am going to say that anyone who falls into any of these categories above is correct. I say that because the standard of the acceptable level of one handed use is solely determined by the individual user. My goal is not to prove that WM is the best one handheld OS, as it is arguably not... or at least not yet. My goal is show you many tools and techniques to move in the right direction to make any WM phone as one handed friendly as possible. Heck I will even show you how you can operate your phone with no hands!

Just to set the record straight at the start and to give you some insight to how I can claim a WM phone can be nearly as one handed as any other mobile phone OS, I want to share an unfortunate event of having my screen crack in the bottom left corner on my PPC-6600, which had WM03. During the process to have it exchanged through warranty, rather than insurance, I had a great opportunity to really test the navigation of the WM on the road WITHOUT being able to use the stylus for over a week... which is a major con claimed by many WM detractors, that you absolutely have to use the stylus for everything on a WM device. I accomplished this with many of the tools I list below.

Most all of these complaints listed above can be addressed with simple knowledge of the tools and options already included with WM right out of the box, or some 3rd party apps mostly ranging from free to around $15. So let's take a look at some cool things you can do now and what is is coming in the near future as well.

Hardware Buttons

The actual hardware can play a HUGE part in making your phone one handed friendly. For example the Sprint Mogul has five programmable hardware buttons, while my previous PPC-6600 had nine. This includes Start Menu and OK (Close) buttons. I have had my buttons set to launch:

  • Calendar
  • Email
  • PIE (Pocket Internet Explorer)
  • eMail
  • Start Menu
  • Task Manager
  • Camera
  • Voice Command for easy voice dialing while driving
  • OK (close)
  • Rotate screen between Landscape and Portrait

The number of programmable hardware buttons will vary greatly from phone to phone, ranging from usually 4 to 9 buttons. This is why the number of hardware buttons available on the phone is certainly a part of my decision process when looking at buying a new phone. The short of it is that more programmable buttons a phone has, the more programs or events you can assign to them to add one button access to anything you want to.

To map your buttons to launch those most used apps with one hit of a hardware button, go to Start Menu >> Setting >> Personal >> Buttons.

You can also use the latest version of WisBar Advance 3 or SPB Mobile Shell to change the soft keys to what ever you want to, which will add two additional buttons available for your customize.


The 5 way navigation button also is a hardware feature that can greatly increase the one handed use of a phone. WM OS and other 3rd party WM applications have been continually increasing their support of 5 way nav over the last 2 years. This is a challenging feature to stereotypically rate, because each WM phone model can range greatly in its 5 way nav's sensitivity, location in relation to its ease of reach with your thumb, and how accurately it responds. Again, this is more of a hardware factor and personal preference issue than one with the WM OS. But nonetheless, 5 way nav is huge in offering users a great one handed experience on WM phones.

Some WM phones are now starting to take a lesson or two from BB (Blackberry) phones and offer a Jog Wheel. My Sprint Mogul (aka, Verizon XV 6800) is a perfect example. By scrolling with the jog wheel, with a flip of my thumb, I can quickly navigate all my menus and breeze through my emails and contacts. This is, should be (and hopefully will become) a standard hardware feature for all future WM phones.

Bluetooth Options

There are several really cool options that offer you not only increased one handed use with your WM phone, but actually give you NO handed use of your phone!

Bluetooth Headsets

BT headsets now-a-days can do a LOT more than just answer a call and talk on the phone. For example the Jabra 8010 BT headset can hold up to 30 phone numbers in a phone book on the headset itself, and saves the last 10 people in your call history. Both making it very easy to use your phone without even touching it. You can actually see Dieter, THE main man at WMExperts, show you all about the Jabra 8010 in this video or read his detailed review. This is just one example of what BT headsets are now starting to be able to offer.

Ed Note: I prefer "the MAIN man," or better: "that guy who puts up the posts." ;-)

Bluetooth Speakerphones

There are several models of cars now that have BT built into them. This means that with a touch of a button on the steering wheel, you can answer a call, call the last person in your call history, reject a call, and sometimes even see the caller ID on a screen in the car. Some cars will even have an address book, that with the buttons on the steering wheel, you can select who you want to call and place the call without taking your hands off the wheel.

If you are like me, whose car does not have all that cool stuff, then you can get a speakerphone for your car that works great for around $100 or less. I recently reviewed The BlueAnt Supertooth II speakerphone for only $84.95 at the WMExperts store. It is easy to use and install by clipping it onto you sun visor, it offers high quality sound on both ends of the call while even driving with the top down going 65 mph on the freeway, and again, lets me answer, reject, and place calls without touching or looking at the phone. You can also take a look a the whole range of similar BT car kits here as well.

Software Solutions

Many people do not give enough credit to either the customizable Start Menu or the Today Page. What I cannot access directly with a single click of a hardware button, I can usually access with only one to three clicks of the 5 way nav in the Start Menu or a single tap of my finger on the Today Page.

Start Menu

For example, in the settings (Menu >> Setting >> Personal >> Menus) you can specify up to 7 programs to include at the very top of your Start Menu. Between this and mapping to your hardware buttons, that can be anywhere from 12 to 16 most used programs that are just a click or two away. Pretty impressive, if you ask me.

Just like with Palm OS, WM has several 3rd party Menu solutions to help organize the menu to be more effective. I personally have been using Wisbar Advance 3 for years and would not be without it. I have screen shot below of how I use this with organizing my menus.

And no matter if you use Wisbar or not, with any file manager, you can also easily organize your Start Menu in a very organized fashion... just like I used to do with Zlauncher for the Palm OS with the same amount of 5 way nav clicks to launch a program. I will be going into a detailed tutorial on how to create and organize your menus in a logical fashion, in volume V of the Windows Mobile guide, so keep any eye out for it as it will be coming soon.

Then you have to also take into account the Recently Launched Programs Section of the Start Menu that shows the last 5 or so programs that you most recently launched. Now you stop and realize just how much is easily accessible with just the hardware buttons, soft buttons, Start Menu and the recently launch programs section, and it becomes a lot faster and one handed friendly with easy access up to 21 most recently used or self defined most used programs. I don't know about you, but I am hard pressed to find more than 21 programs I use on a regular basis on my phone.

In the same Menu Settings above in WM03 (not in WM05 or WM06) you can also somewhat customize the New button that lets you easily start a new Appointment, Word Doc, Excel Spreadsheet, Contact, Task, Note, Message, etc... with only two taps with your finger.

Today Screen

The Today Screen is basically like the Desktop on a Windows PC. In fact I have heard some refer to it as their Home Page or Desktop. This feature, if time is taken to organize it just right for your needs and preferences, can give you the space needed to launch any program, document, phone call, email, or game with a single tap of your finger (without using a stylus), while letting you see your emails, missed calls and SMS messages at a glance. This will require a little organizing and a few 3rd party applications that will transform your phone into virtually a totally new device for you.

In order to stream-line your Today Screen and to clear away all the clutter, go to Menu >> Setting >> Personal >> Today and click on the tab at the bottom called Items, and you can check and uncheck any item to display on your Today Page. You can even organize them in the order you want them displayed on the Today Page. Since you have limited real estate available on the Today Page without having to scroll, you must be selective in what you really need on your today page. This can sometimes be a brutal process when you want to have it all there, but in this case, it really is true that less is more... as long as what you have does a great job for what you need. There are also several applications that will offer multiple features in one package, which can save you a great deal of valuable real estate on your Today Page. This is why I have laid out the best Today Page applications for you below.

SBP Mobile Shell

There are several free and pay for utilities that will let you add icons on your Today page for easy one handed access to all of your favorite or most used programs. I use a Today screen plugin called SBP Mobile Shell (Full Review Here). It offers quick photo speed dialing with one finger tap on a picture of the person you want to call. It gives you quick access to your favorite and most used programs. You will always have the latest Weather at the tip of your fingers with the weather program of your choice.

It is organized in tabs that help to make sure that you do not accidentally launch a program or call someone when the phone is in its case or in your pocket. It also offers one of the easiest ways to find a contact and call them, with the included Spb Contacts, a add on so powerful and easy to use one handed, I would not have blamed them if they sold SPB Contacts all by itself as a stand alone application. This is included on my Must Have list in Part II of the WM Guide (and for good reason!).


PocketBreeze / ContactBreeze

You can also add a couple utilities like PocketBreeze and ContactBreeze. I never have opened my Calendar, Email client, and Contacts to check or look up the latest info because they are now all visible from the Today Screen at a glance. This is included on my Must Have list in Part II of the WM Guide.


SPB Phone Suite

This handy little plugin allows you to view how many calls you have missed, plus how many Voicemails, Emails, SMS, and MMS you have not read at a glance without touching anything on the phone. SPB Phone Suite includes phone profiles, so by a tap of your finger you can silence everything on your phone when you enter a meeting at work, or make sure that everything is as loud as it can be if you are in the car. It also has a Communication Manager so you can control your BT, WiFi, and your phone with a touch of your finger. These profiles can be scheduled ahead of time to make sure you don't forget to set it. It also offers a photo speed dial. If you notice, this will also give you the power to call anyone by simply touching their picture with your finger.

Task Manager

If a phone's OS offers enough power to give you true multi-tasking (having several programs open and working at the same time) then you need the best one handed way to jump back and forth between them. There are many different Task Managers available to choose from, from free to pay for apps. I personally use the one included with SPB Pocket Plus (SPB P+). This is a great program to have anyway because it gives you so much extra power with WM that probably should have been included in the OS to begin with. I have assigned SPB P+ Task Manager to a hardware button. So with a single button press, I can switch between programs without touching the screen.

Touch Commander

Even if the iPhone cannot give the consumer the power that a WM based phone can, it has done wonders in kick starting a new wave of more friendly one handed non stylus interface with WM. Look at the new Touch for example.

But if you do not have a Touch phone, you can still get pretty darn close without having to resort to homemade ROMs and hacks. You can use the Touch Commander. With a slide of your finger you can access a majority of what the casual user would want to use most of the time. This type of interface is only going to continue to grow and offer more advanced options, features, and customizability.

In fact, rumor has it that Microsoft will shortly be releasing an iPhone'ish interface for WM6. You gotta love what competition can do for us consumers!

Microsoft Voice Command

Whether Microsoft Voice Command should already be standard on the phone, could be debated... but there is no doubt that the $30 is more than worth it. There is no voice training. You do not have to assign a voice command for each contact or software program. The program reads the names and listens for you to say it. It is ready and accurate right out of the box.

Since I don't use Voice Memos, I assigned that button for the Voice Command. You just click the button and say "Call on mobile", and it calls their cell phone. It is even smart enough to confirm if it is not sure. You can even say "Launch ", and it will launch it for you... without you having to navigate through menus or folders to find it.

It will also read caller IDs when a call comes in, so you don't even have to look at the phone to know who is calling.

TapText

There are other great utilities that speed things up that don't deal with navigation, but makes WM easier to use. For example, a great little tool called TapText... TapText is a whole new way of inserting text you use all the time into your notes, e-mail or documents, etc. With only two taps, you can add pre-edited text into any application without leaving it or even changing your preferred input method. If you are tired of entering the same text over and over, then this is the best tool for you.

Customizing Contacts

If you ever have called a number where you have to enter in a PIN, account number, etc... after they pick up then customize your contacts to do all of the dialing for you. For example, I have to participate in conference calls all of the time for work. So I programmed contacts to call the number, enter in the conference call ID number, and my PIN all by itself, simply by calling it. Here is another great example from Kupe over at TreoCentral

New Tip: Automated Voicemail dialing. Not sure how this works on Sprint, but on Verizon, when you call in to your voicemail, the first thing the computer asks you for is your password (a 4-digit PIN) ". . . followed by the pound (#) sign." You can automate the voicemail login by inserting a pause (to account for voicemail answering delay) then sending the PIN all as a part of your dial in. For the Verizon phone (not sure if this works for Sprint): 1. Go to the phone application
2. Select Tools-->Options
3. In the setting dialog, select the voicemail entry and type in *86pp1111#
(*86 = *VM or voicemail, p = pause about 3 seconds, 1111 = 4 digit PIN - use your own, #= "the pound sign") Use as many "p"s as you need to get it to work (you may have to experiment).
4. Result: Voicemail answers, welcoming speech is interrupted and I go straight to the new voicemail listing.

Advanced Tips

There are several registry edits (aka hacks) that can add a lot of functionality towards the goal of increasing the one handed operation of a phone. Many of these are very phone specific, so you will want to search the forums for your phone for a Reg Hack thread to see how to do it for your phone, but here are some things you can look for:

  • Changing the soft buttons at the bottom of the screen to whatever you want them to be.
  • Organizing your menus just like Windows on your desktop. In the part IV of the Windows Mobile Guide, I am going to do a step by step tutorial with screenshots on how to do this.
  • Map programs you want, to buttons that are not listed in the normal place in WM settings.
  • Edit the registry so you can move Today page items, that are normally locked to the top, anywhere you want them on the page for easier reach with your fingers.

Registry hacks are beyond the scope of this part of the WM Guide, but Part IV will focus specifically on Registry hacks and how to do them safely.

Working It All Together

So to launch a program one handed without a stylus that is not mapped to a hardware button, I usually just tap the tab in SPB Mobile Shell and tap the the program I want... or I just hit the Start Menu, hardware button and use my jog wheel, or the 5 way nav button with phones that do not have them, two or three spaces and push Enter.

If I want to switch to another program already running... I just a hit the hardware button assigned to my task manager, and I am there.

If I want to call one of 15 most called people, I tap their picture with my finger on my Today Page, and their phone is ringing. If I need to look up a contact, I hit the soft button that I assigned SPB Contacts to, and tap the first 2-3 letters in their name, and they are there.

Of course, this does not even cover the benefits of Voice Command that can launch any program, look up any contact, or call anyone with a single spoken word. Or many of the BT options available now too.

I have to be honest and say that with a little understanding of the tools available with both OS and a good phone layout... the navigation differences in time and ease to launch a program between WM and any other OS starts to become very small.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
Show More Headlines

Pages