settings

Control Center is a Windows Phone 8 app that pulls together a large collection of settings and shortcuts on to one page. It gives you quick and easy access to your Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Network settings and more.

While Control Center is a single page app, it packs access to many features under one roof. Live Tile support makes access to Control Center easy and if you are looking for a one-stop source for key Windows Phone settings, Control Center might be worth a look.

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Back in December, a really poor (but accurate) photo of the Windows Phone 8.1 notification settings screen was revealed on Twitter by a Salman M. At the time, we confirmed internally that it was real, though possible older.

Now, a clearer mockup of that photo has been posted by the site WinSource. We say ‘mockup’ because it is technically not a real photo of the OS in action. Rather, it’s a re-creation of that photo and what it conveys. Having said that, what is shown in truly based off of Windows Phone 8.1.

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Since Windows Phone 7 launched, there have been numerous attempts by developers to create the perfect settings and connectivity shortcut solution, but many have either fallen short and/or ceased development. So which app should you look at if you're wanting such a download? Cue Status Tiles.

The app itself has been available since November, but we've somehow missed it and the developer has just pushed out a small update.

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On Android and iOS devices, there are shortcuts to settings from any app or screen. Swipe down on Android or swipe up on iOS. Windows Phone doesn’t have those options yet, but an app that has just been released provides a clever workaround.

The Kirik Settings application brings quick access to your settings like Wi-Fi, cellular data, location, rotation lock, Bluetooth and more from anywhere via your volume controls. Head past the break to watch our hands-on video.

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With Windows Phone 8 devices, we have two heavy weights with respect to cameras; the Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC 8X. While the Nokia Lumia 920's camera seems to have taken center stage these days, the HTC 8X's camera is not a slouch. The 8X's camera is a very capable camera within it's own right but the settings can be a little confusing. Just as we did with the Lumia 920 Photo Guide, we wanted to walk you through the 8X's settings.

The general principles are the same but HTC's camera menu is slightly different that what we see with the Nokia Windows Phones. Hopefully in clarifying some of these settings, you can tweak things accordingly to get the most out of your HTC Windows Phone photography.

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Backing up personal data, including SMS conversations, has always been absent from Windows Phone. We’ve previously looked at how the Windows Phone Connector for Mac enables such functionality to a degree as well as a Homebrew Windows backup manager, but it’s always best to have such a feature built into Windows Phone.

In Windows Phone 8 Microsoft has implemented a backup facility that automatically stores SMS conversations and app list (including settings) information, as well as options to control how Windows Phone deals with uploading photos and videos captured using the handset. Using Microsoft’s cloud services, conversations and app settings are all automatically stored.

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Nokia's Camera Extras for the Lumia Windows Phones has been available in the US for a while now. While the initial release was in the U.S., Indian and Chines markets, we knew it was only a matter of time before other markets would get the camera app.  Such is the case now with Australia, the United Kingdom and Italy (and probably other markets) where Windows Phone shutterbugs in these Countries can enjoy the extra camera settings.

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Though we were a bit critical of the Samsung Focus S's screen, specifically its auto-brightness setting, we'll admit that since version 1.5 of 'Extra Settings' (see our closer look), things have improved dramatically.

Now the app has hit version 1.6 and of course, there is no changelog to report on. But we can assume that things like screen brightness, how white backgrounds are handled and perhaps even haptic feedback have all been improved and tweaked a tad.

We don't have a direct link here since it is hidden, so just watch your Marketplace app for the update.

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Extra Settings setting updated

The Extra Settings setting is a new feature on the Samsung Focus S and Flash. As we mentioned earlier it covers Auto Display Intensity, Key Vibration Feedback and Echo Cancellation. It is also apparently being treated as an application instead of a firmware feature in that it was updated this morning via the Marketplace.

Along with the Extra Settings, the High Fidelity Positioning settings were updated as well. So far the updates have only come through on the Samsung Focus S and not the Focus Flash. As to what the update covered, no clue. With the settings not changing it was likely a bug fix or a test to see if it could be done.

We have heard one report that the Focus S's screen seems brighter when set to automatic and I have to admit mine does look a little better after updating. More than likely it's coincidence in that our eyes are getting used to the screen.

If you've received the updates and have noticed a difference, feel free to chime in over in this Forums discussion or in the comments below.

Thanks goes out to pinbak and Dave for the tip!

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We noticed the other day on the HTC Radar and Titan that HTC moved their Attentive Phone from an app to within Settings--something that Samsung recently did with their GPS enhancer.

Now that same Attentive Phone is available for current HTC users as well (Mango only) by simply heading to the Marketplace. Interestingly, HTC now has two versions of Attentive Phone--the app and the settings version. The settings are the exact same as the app--so in that sense all this buys you is one less thing to clutter up your programs. We like the idea, so why not? Pick it up here in the Marketplace--but only for Mango HTC devices.

Thanks, @ogracia, for the tip!

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While we're still banging away on this gaming news filled day, lets take a brief look at the upcoming Xbox 360 dashboard update. Taking the Metro UI design cue, the new Xbox dashboard is reportedly coming this September or October and will feature YouTube, Bing and even supposedly Skype integration, making this quite a massive addition.

In a "video" shown on YouTube by iTzLuPo (since pulled by Microsoft), a series of images showing the new dashboard design and features were demonstrated. Evidently the Skype integration will work with Xbox LIVE friends and Xbox parties, which should be a lot of fun. In addition, a new "discoverable mode" was shown though its exact function is still a bit of a mystery. Certainly Bluetooth comes to mind (see the new headset) though WinRumors mentions Windows 8 support as a companion device and we can't help but wonder if Windows Phone won't be added to that feature set as well--makes sense, after all how else are you suppose to use your phone as a controller?

As noted above, the original video has been pulled due a copyright request by Microsoft, meaning it's authentic of course. Combined with the new Kinect features (you can control all of the Xbox now via voice and gesture), YouTube, Bing, Skype and the promise of Windows Phone gaming (see our Kinectimals post), we're pretty friggin' excited for this.

Source: VanquishCity (YouTue); via WinRumors

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For the most part, the camera hardware on the new Windows Phone 7 devices perform really good (save the HD7's pink color cast). The biggest headache the Windows Phone 7 camera presents is on the software side. Tweak the settings and when you exit the camera, the phone reverts to the default settings.

MobileTechWorld recently put the latest unlocked emulator through the ropes (which reflects the pending WP7 update) and discovered that the update doesn't address this feature. Camera settings continue to revert to the default settings when you exit the app.

No official word from Microsoft if this "fix" ever made the drawing board for the update or, like the screen capture feature, wasn't brought up enough in research groups. There is a long shot that adding the ability to retain camera settings made it to the update after the emulator was updated but we're not holding our breaths on that one. We can only hope it makes the next update.

Oh and if Microsoft is listening, this (along with screen captures) is a feature we'd like to see.

Source: MobileTechWorld

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This one will cause a lot of envy amongst those with non-developer/ChevronWP7 unlocked phones. Developer CodeJoker has gone ahead and done the obvious: create a shortcut to the device WiFi settings. It's exactly what you think it would be--you tap the icon and you're at your configuration to turn WiFi on or off with a few less steps than the current setup. You simple install the XAP file and you're good to go, not really much to it and it works as advertised as you can see above.

Could this be technically submitted to the Marketplace and approved? We don't really see why not, it's not so much a hack and just creating a shortcut. But until then, you'll have to go the unlocked route. We're also pretty sure Microsoft has to be working on something similar from their end, hopefully some type of tile --> folder --> icons system, making such ritual changes much more easy.

Source: CodeJoker; via wmpoweruser

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Windows Phone 7 tip: Caller ID Settings

*67 has been widely used to block your Caller ID from being seen. But did you know that you can turn off your Caller ID with Windows Phone 7? That you can also limit who can see your Caller ID?

Simply go into the Settings Menu, swipe over to Applications and choose the Phone. The Caller ID settings are down below your Voice Mail number, maybe half way down this page.

You will see the setting, "Show my caller ID to:" with the options to:

  • Let everyone see your number
  • Let nobody see your number
  • Only allow your caller ID to be seen by your contacts.

It's a nice feature of Windows Phone 7 to help keep things private when need be.

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