QUICK TIP: Changing the bar system color (the base hue) under WM5+

I’ve just been asked in the Smartphone & PPC Mag VIP section (where I’m the lead helper) of how you can easily change your upper / lower / scrollbar colors on WM5+ (WM5, WM6, WM6.1 etc.) Windows Mobile devices with touchscreens (NOT models without them!), also often referred to as the “base hue”.


WM 6.1 upgrade & SDHC-compliance report: x51v, hx4700, Universal, Wizard

As promised in my previous article, I’ve taken a deep look at the latest Windows Mobile 6.1 upgrades for the Dell Axim x51v, HP iPAQ hx4700, HTC Universal and HTC Wizard. All the reviewed ROM versions are based on Windows Mobile 5.2.19209 (Build 19209.1.0.2). I run some VERY thorough SDHC conformance tests because, unfortunately, most (as far as the reviewed models are concerned, all – note that, in this regard, I haven’t tested the Universal) plain WM5 / WM6 devices can NOT be easily made SDHC-compliant. This means you MUST upgrade these devices to some of the newer ROMs (including the ones I’ve reviewed) in order to gain SDHC support. Note that I’ve devoted a separate section (at the end) to my test results showing the results of my trying to “hack†the non-WM6.1 ROM-based devices to accept SDHC cards with the latest hacks available.


A subtle difference between WM6 and previous OS versions: no “Extra dial-string modem commands” and no Port Settings tab any mo

Anyone having read my previous articles on the Connectivity Framework of Windows Mobile knows (for example this or this) knows it might be pretty important to be able to

  1. pass (for example APN) parameters to the (either cellular or landline) modem you use from your Windows Mobile device (this is what the “Extra dial-string modem commands†is for)
  2. issue pre and/or post-dial commands

This isn’t really an issue on Windows Mobile Pocket PC phones because, most of the time, you’ll want to use their internal GPRS / EDGE etc. modem to connect to the Net and not an external one. However, there may be cases, even with Phone Edition models, when you MUST use external modems to connect to the Net:

  1. you need to use a 56k landline modem (for example, at a hotel) as opposed to cellular ones (via either infrared or Bluetooth). You might end up having to pass additional initialization parameters to the modem in order to make it work.
  2. the built-in modem is just too slow for you. For example, you only have a GPRS-capable Windows Mobile phone. The external modem (any other, recent, non-low-end (smart)phone) you’d like to use, on the other hand, is capable of both much higher speeds (EDGE, UMTS or even HS(D)PA) and either Bluetooth or IrDA connectivity. In this case, you’ll also want to prefer using the external modem instead of the internal one because of the much higher speed (at least over Bluetooth – as opposed to standard infrared - , particularly the fast(er) version, Bluetooth 2.0 EDR, which is no slower than current HSDPA downlink speeds).
  3. And, of course, I haven’t even mentioned non-Phone Edition Windows Mobile Pocket PC’s, which, now that HP has announced their new Windows Mobile series, particularly the HP 200, a pretty nice WM6 upgrade to the HP iPAQ hx4700, seems to be all the rage again with some power users not necessarily needing a built-in phone. (And I don’t even mention the, otherwise, illegal WM6 upgrades for some previous-generation VGA Pocket PC’s, which also revives some older non-phone devices and makes them a decent alternative to even the latest ones.)

In all these cases, you might end up having to using external modem commands, in addition to supplying the plain (pseudo) dial-in number. So far, you could both enter the extra string:


One of the BEST hacks of the year: Dial-up Networking Through Bluetooth Under WM5 AKU3 / WM6: at last, it’s WORKING, thanks to X

UPDATE (11/02/2007): There's a version specifically meant for the T-Mo Dash is at http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=340762 . Also, if you have a MS Smartphone (as opposed to a Pocket PC), it MUST be application unlocked for the hack to work. See for example See for example http://www.smartphonemag.com/blogs/index.php?blog=3&p=2004&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1 for more links on application unlocking. Note that app unlocking is absolutely legal.

UPDATE (10/02/2007): there is an even better, easier-to-install and, what is more, even MS Smartphone (Windows Mobile Standard)-compatible hack. Just download the CAB file linked from THIS post (I’ve also mirrored it HERE, just to be on the safe side, should you not want to register at XDA-Dev to access the download), install it (by simply clicking it on your handheld), power down your device (if it’s a Pocket PC – in order to make sure the Registry changes are all flushed) and restart it.

This hack will add full BT DUN to both platforms. I’ve thoroughly tested it on both my WM6 HTC Universal (a Pocket PC) and WM6 HTC s710 / Vox (a Smartphone) and found it excellent. Note that the traditional, BT PAN-based Internet Sharing will still work alongside with the added BT DUN (tested on both devices).

Note that it has a minor annoyance. After you terminate the connection, you will still be unable to access the Net on the Pocket PC or Smartphone that you used as a modem (also see THIS and THIS for similar bug reports). The solution to this is pretty simple: instead of (lengthy and/or awkward) soft resetting your handheld, just make sure you tap either the data connection icon in Comm Manager (this seem to be sufficient with Smartphones) or, as with, it seems, with Pocket PC’s (like the Universal), just dis- and, then, re-enable the phone connection itself (or, alternatively, en-, and, then, re-disable Flight mode). This all makes this small bug easy to live with.

Finally, Smartphone users: remember NOT to long-press the Red dial button to lock your device – it’ll also terminate the call. Instead, use the standard lock menu accessible via the Power button.

There is also a tutorial on making USB connection work with Modem Link HERE, should it be messed up. Also, the entire thread might be worth giving a read, should you still have problems.

Thanks for FX Belloir for pointing out this hack!

(end of update, the now-outdated original article follows. This means you’ll want to prefer the new hack explained above, NOT the old one I still keep for historical purposes only. It's only the first sections, which explain what this is all about, are worth reading for casual users.)

Anyone having read my article New dial-up networking model of the WM5 AKU3 – a must if you use your WM phones as modems knows WM5 AKU3 (and, of course, WM6) has dramatically changed the way dial-up networking is handled – not necessarily in the good direction. (Please DO read the article if you don’t have a clue what I’m referring to and you have ever wanted to use your Windows Mobile handheld as a cellular modem!)

Microsoft, so far, haven’t really done anything to the problem, except for publishing an article (also discussed for example HERE). Therefore, hackers needed to concentrate their forces on solving the problem. After the first failed attempts (for example mine, as is explained in the first-linked article), at last, some excellent XDA-Developers folks have managed to enable this feature with a comparatively easy-to-do hack. I’ve developed the hack further, making it compatible with several handheld models and ROM versions (the previous version available at XDA-Developers doesn’t support the Universal, Wizard and, probably, several other models because it doesn’t do any forced Registry import – it might only be compatible with the P3600.)

The hack makes it possible to use most WM5 AKU3 / WM6 devices in the traditional (pre-WM5 AKU3) DUN dial-up method, in addition to the new, in WM5 AKU3 introduced Internet Sharing.

This means you can use BOTH technologies and can have the advantages of BOTH approaches. With the “traditional†DUN dial-up, you still have the freedom of NOT having to manually start / reconnect Internet Sharing AND the ability to use clients not supporting the BT Personal Area Network (PAN) profile required by the new Internet Sharing. And, as Internet Sharing is still supported, you can still have a real internet sharing approach, making it possible to use the Internet on both the Windows Mobile device acting as a modem and the client that connects to it (and can still have the other goodies Internet Sharing also offers: for example, the accessibility of the phone even with an ongoing Internet session.)

Again, it’s almost impossible to emphasize how important, how revolutional this hack is! If you’ve EVER tried to use your WM5 AKU3 / WM6 Windows Mobile phone as a modem you know Internet Sharing can be a REAL pain in the back, particularly if the client you’d like to use it from doesn’t support BT PAN.


New naming scheme for Windows Mobile 6


Do you remember the Pocket PC -> Windows Mobile change? Do you see people (erroneously) referring to Pocket PC 2002 as Windows Mobile 2002 (or vice versa: as Pocket PC 5 when referring to WM5)? Do you want even more confusion? ;-)

Did you ever have a WM2003 device with either the Professional or the Standard version? Do you remember the difference?

If your answer is "yes" particularly to the second question, you may not really welcome the official name changes (which Microsoft has just given us the green light to publicly publish), which are as follows:

Windows Mobile 5.0 for Smartphone => Windows Mobile 6 Standard
Windows Mobile 5.0 for Pocket PC Phone Edition => Windows Mobile 6 Professional
Windows Mobile 5.0 for Pocket PC => Windows Mobile 6 Classic


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