Windows Phone Help & How-to

The keyboard on Windows Phone works really well. We can type really fast on it, but maybe it’s because we’ve been using Windows Phone devices for a while now. Whether you’re already a pro at typing away several emails or just getting familiar with a new Windows Phone device, there are definitely some tips and tricks that will make you type faster. We’ve gathered 7 keyboard tips that will help new users or those who may have not had the time to experiment.

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17 tips to extend battery life on Windows Phone 8

We love our smartphones, but one issue that might come up is battery life. If you’re a heavy user, you want to find ways to be able to use the phone as long as you can before needing to recharge. We have included 17 tips to extend your Windows Phone 8 battery life, but many of these tips involve turning off services and features. You decide which services you’re willing to let go to save juice. You don’t need to follow all of them, but following some will help extend the battery life on your Windows Phone 8 device.

Head past the break to read our tips with screenshots and video.

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Here's a neat little trick to get your on your way to customising your Start screen with Nokia's App Folders solution. The app was recently published to the Windows Phone Store and just like you could with contacts, you're able to copy and paste emoticons from the SMS text box to App Folder titles to add some personality. Putting together a games folder, why not add a controller? 

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If you ever have the need to know your Windows Phone IP address, you can track it down through a simple Bing Search.  It is a trick that some of our seasoned readers may already be aware of but those new to Windows Phone may not be.

Just as you can do on your Windows 8 computer, if you launch Bing Search on your Windows Phone 8 device and type, “my IP address” the result will be your phone’s IP address.  It is easy as pie.

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When the first Final Fantasy arrived on Windows Phone, all of its Achievements were secret and thus couldn’t be viewed by players. We quickly posted a Mini-Achievement Guide to help get players on-track.

Now Final Fantasy III has appeared on Windows Phone, once again with Xbox Achievements. This time, the Achievements aren’t secret. But they do require plenty of time and effort to unlock. You just might need a guide! And wouldn’t you know it? Windows Phone Central is proud to present our latest Achievement Guide, filled with tips and resources for dedicated RPG players and Achievement hunters.

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If you're anything like most of us here at Windows Phone Central, your phone is probably loaded with pictures from all over the place. Wouldn't it be nice to organize them better, so you don't have to scroll through all of them to find what you are looking for?

Reddit user, DashThePunk, posted a way to do just that by using your computer.  It turns out to be shockingly easy. Take a gander after the jump for step-by-step instructions.

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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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[Update 1/21/14 - Unfortunately, the method detailed below does not work. At least not directly. However, users are urged to head to our forums where there are more detailed instructions.]

The Lumia 1520 is arguably one of the more intriguing devices released in 2013 for Windows Phone. While the size isn’t for everyone, the specs are certainly eye catching. There is just one problem though: AT&T.

In their infinite wisdom, AT&T requested that Nokia gimp their Lumia 1520 with only 16 GB of storage and that they remove Qi wireless charging. True, you can add a backcover to get that function back, but even there, people are left high and dry. That’s because the only case that’s available that supports wireless charging is the PMA variant, the competitor to Qi. So throw out all of those Qi chargers because they are now worthless.

AT&T will be adding a 32 GB SKU for the Lumia 1520 in the future, but Qi wireless is not coming back. That is, unless you want to take matters into your own hands…

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If you’re one of brave who have committed to a life of BAP with the Nokia Lumia 1520, congratulations. You have an awesome 20 MP camera loaded with a 6-inch 1080P display that will catch everyone’s attention in public. It also means you have the latest firmware from Nokia, dubbed Lumia Black. That release allows notifications to be displayed on the Glance screen so that you can easily see what’s important in your busy life.

Here’s a quick an easy tip to get the current temperature always on that Glance screen, which is especially useful in the winter months. And if you don’t have a Lumia 1520, but instead another Lumia with Glance, bookmark this for when you get your update early next year!

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Microsoft has published a new post on the official Outlook blog, detailing some upcoming changes to the service that make it even easier to switch from Gmail. It's no secret that many consumers have switched from Google's email service to Outlook.com and Microsoft is looking to further push tools and services available to make the switch as seamless as possible.

These are said to be rolling out in the coming weeks, so sync on past the break to read up what's new.

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The Microsoft Store’s 12 Days of Christmas Deals kicked off yesterday with some serious discounts on the Dell Venue 8 Pro Windows 8 tablet. During Monday’s deal, the first 20 people at the Microsoft Store could purchase the Venue 8 Pro for only $99. Everyone after that had the option to buy it for $199 until stock ran out.

We already posted a photograph of one Microsoft Store’s Venue Pro line yesterday in our article about the leaked 12 Days of Deals schedule. But it also happens that I was on-hand at the Houston Microsoft Store to check out the promotion. Head past the break to learn just what Houston-area Microsoft fans experienced at the sale, shopping tips for the rest of the 12 Days of Deals, and whether I ended up with a cheap Venue 8 Pro or not!

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It's already set in stone that Microsoft's next-generation console, the Xbox One will require a day one patch - just like the PlayStation 4. Unfortunately, with the next Xbox, you'll not be able to play any games (or really do anything at all) until you've installed the update.

Luckily, should you be afraid that something may go wrong on the day to prevent you from getting on with some gaming, Microsoft has made an offline version of the day one patch available for manual installation via a USB drive.

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When you email photos from your Windows Phone device, it is downsized for faster transfer. What if you want to share full resolution photos taken with the 41-megapixel sensor on the Nokia Lumia 1020? What if you want to send the high-resolution photos to your computer without using the USB cable? Read on to find out how to do it by using the Phriz.be application. We also have video to show you how it’s done.

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One fantastic accessory for the Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone is the camera grip. It gives the Lumia 1020 a little more girth for the gripping and with the built-in battery the grip extends your camera time significantly.

While it would have been great if Nokia had threaded the camera lens opening on the grip to accommodate screw-on accessories, we've seen a few reader's tips for making due without. We've seen close-up filters taped to the camera to boost the Lumia 1020's macro abilities and now we've got a lens hood to reduce any lens flare bright lights may cause.

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The Sims FreePlay was a very big game when it arrived on Windows Phone 8 in September. So big that we published a two installment Achievement guide and an In-App Purchase guide on top of our usual review. But even then, our version lacked some content from the iOS version, including all social features. The iOS and Android games received a new update on October 11, pushing even farther ahead of our version.

Only one month after its initial release, The Sims FreePlay has just received a massive update. Windows Phone players now have access to the Mysterious Island area, teenage Sims, a whole new quest system, tons of new items, and much more. However, the update also makes a few Achievements much more difficult and time consuming. Head past the break for detailed descriptions and screenshots of the many changes!

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Windows, Windows, Windows. It sure has been a busy day for Microsoft. If you've upgraded to Windows 8.1 from Windows 8, you're good to go almost immediately. It's really easy to get the latest release. But what about those of us who had the Windows 8.1 Preview? There has been talk about not being able to upgrade as Windows 8 keys won't work, etc. but there's light at the end of the tunnel.

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If you’re like us, you’ve spent a good chunk of the day updating your PCs, tablets and Ultrabooks to the brand spanking new (and spectacular) Windows 8.1 OS. If you did, pat yourself on the back because we have a small, but cool, bonus for you troopers: The Windows Phone Central Live Tile.

Sure, it’s not our official RT app, which is still in the works (you can bug Jay about it), but as runner up you can use the new Internet Explorer 11 “pin to start” feature, which will give you four Tile sizes: small, medium, large or wide. The tile is also Live, pulling directly from our site—think of it as another cool way to keep up to date on your favorite Windows Phone and Microsoft news.

The Tile will update every 30 minutes, giving you a peek at what’s new on the site!

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We've already looked at the spinning cogs issue with Nokia Windows Phones. You reset (or update) your handset and the when booting the handset, you simply cannot get past the spinning cogs. Luckily, while Nokia has been busy replacing damaged hardware, the manufacturer has also released an update to its Nokia Software Updater that looks to address the problem.

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Welcome to the second half of Windows Phone Central’s Sims FreePlay Achievement guide! In this installment, you’ll learn how to bust ghosts and feel good, make babies, and get your kids’ grades up on high. We’ll put you on the long, long road to completing 1,000 goals as well.

In case you missed it, please note that The Sims FreePlay MUST be connected to Xbox Live in order for an Achievement to unlock. Sometimes it drops the connection during gameplay – without warning the player. If that happens, any Achievements you unlock won’t count.

To avoid unlocking Achievements while offline, always save and exit the game by pressing the Save and Exit button at the bottom right corner of the main menu. You can also do this right before you expect to earn an Achievement. That way, whenever you restart the game you’re sure to be connected.

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Question. How do you go about deleting the high resolution image files from you Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone without deleting the 5MP, lower resolution copies?

That's a question Windows Phone Central reader Binson#WP has tossed out over in the WPCentral Forums. There's no way to sync just the low resolution images and you can't see the high res image file from your phone. So what's the solution?

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Last week Windows Phone Central brought you a guide to the In-App Purchases of The Sims FreePlay for Windows Phone 8. Today we’re back with part one of our exclusive and thorough Achievement Guide! It will take many, many hours to get The Sims FreePlay’s 200 GamerScore, but we’ll help you do it.

Before we get to the strategies, note that Sims FreePlay does have some Achievement glitchiness. The game MUST be connected to Xbox Live in order for an Achievement to unlock. Sometimes it drops the connection during gameplay – without warning the player. If that happens, any Achievements you unlock won’t count.

To avoid unlocking Achievements while offline, always save and exit the game by pressing the Save and Exit button at the bottom right corner of the main menu. You can also do this right before you expect to earn an Achievement. That way, whenever you restart the game you’re sure to be connected.

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While the flow of new Xbox games for Windows Phone has slowed this year, the number of free to play games in the Xbox lineup continues to grow. These titles rely on In-App Purchases (IAPs) for revenue. Users who enjoy a game and feel motivated to purchase content can do so, while other players can simply play without spending.

We’ll be profiling the In-App Purchases of each new free to play or IAP-heavy mobile Xbox title that comes along. We’ve already looked at the IAPs of Six-Guns from Gameloft; this week we explore the purchases in Electronic Arts’ The Sims FreePlay for Windows Phone 8. Read on to learn exactly what IAPs the game has in store and which offer the best values.

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Gameloft’s latest Xbox Windows Phone release Six-Guns is a free to play game. Of course it must be monetized somehow – in this case via In-App Purchases (IAPs). Six-Guns actually offers a wider variety of things to buy than many free games, which can be confusing (or off-putting) to new players.

We’ve spent ample time with the game as we prepare for our upcoming review. And we’ve also spent a little cash in order to put those IAPs through their paces. Read on to learn how to which premium purchases might be worth your coin, plus some encouraging news about cloud saves.

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