Random Tips and How-Tos

Backing up Windows Mobile 5 devices

Read Werner Ruotsalainen’s complete overview and test of WM 5 backup solutions here.

You can install third-party software on your device

There are thousands of third-party software programs available to add functionality and fun to your device. Please see the Learning and Mastering sections for more details on available third-party software and how to install them.

Smartphones: View menu options in full screen

When you are selecting options in certain programs on non-touch screen smartphones, there is often a text field that displays one option at a time, and you must scroll through the list by pressing left or right on the navigation pad. One example of this is the Reminder field in a New Appointment screen (below left).

Palm Treo 700w/wx and 750 tips & tricks

  • Minimize the currently open application and return to the Today screen by holding down the green Call button.
  • Open the Task Manager to close any open application by holding down the OK button (or pressing the Option + OK).
  • Open the Search window by pressing Option + Left Shift button.
  • Open Calendar by pressing Option + Start menu button.
  • To open a program-specific menu in any program, press and ho

Use the Internet Explorer Home Page

Microsoft made a customized Home Page for Internet Explorer on Windows Mobile devices that featured a search bar and a drop-down list for Favorites and History. Some of the newer devices come set up with a default carrier version of the Home Page which may not be as useful as Microsoft’s. If you want to set up your device to use Microsoft’s Home Page, do the following (for touch screen devices):

Are there “consumer” and “corporate” PDA series?

Read Werner Ruotsalainen’s discussion on the perceived differences of different Pocket PC brands here.

Encrypt your sensitive files

Sentry 2020 (softwinter.com) is an excellent “on-the-fly” encryption program that encrypts touch screen device files as they are produced or saved. You can also use Resco File Explorer (resco.net) to select and encrypt individual or groups of files.

Download free “Cool Stuff” from Microsoft

Microsoft has created a new site that offers free Windows Mobile downloads (windowsmobile.com/coolstuff). The site includes Ringtones, Wallpapers, Themes, Games, and Maps, Directions, Traffic.

Recycling your old cell phone

Recycling your old cell phones, accessories, batteries, and other mobile device objects can help reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Before recycling your device, make sure that you have terminated your service contract and that you have removed all personal data from the device. Here are some recycling options:

How to open programs and place calls with Speed Dial

You can use Speed Dial on most phone-enabled devices to place a call quickly. On non-touch screen smartphones, you can also use it to open programs.

Mixing wireless types on a network can cause slow downs

When devices that run different wireless types are running on the same network, slow downs can occur due to the network's attempt to maintain a consitant speed.
For example, a network running on 802.11g (54 Mbps) is designed so that it can be used in a mixed mode environment and is therefore backward compatible with 802.11b (11 Mbps) wireless products. However, this comes at the cost of wireless speed optimization.

Use the multi-select function in Messaging

In Messaging on WM Standard devices, there is a convenient new option that allows you to select multiple e-mails so that you can take further actions with them, such as replying, forwarding, or moving them to a different folder. In Messaging, go to Menu >Select Messages and choose All, All Below, or Several (select messages by scrolling up or down from current selection).

Press Ctrl-Z to cancel last action

You can enter keyboard shortcuts using the built-in soft keyboard. One of the most useful shortcuts is Ctrl-Z, which cancels the last change made to a document (first tap Ctrl, then tap Z).

Select and dial phone numbers quickly with the D-pad

The Contacts manager built into all Windows Mobile devices lets you store more than one phone number for each contact (Work, Mobile, Home, Fax, etc.). When you tap on an item in the Contacts list, the various numbers are displayed on the screen with icons next to them. If your Windows Mobile device has phone capability, you can tap on the displayed number to place the call. Fortunately, there’s a quicker way to do this:

You don't need to buy storage cards from device manufacturers

If you want to buy a storage card and you call up any Windows Mobile device manufacturer, they will most likely tell you that you need to buy your storage card from them to "insure compatibility" or because they only support the cards they sell. The reality is that storage cards don't need very much support, and one purchased from another source should work fine.

Restore individual files from ActiveSync's backup

ActiveSync has an "all-or-nothing" function that lets you back up all the databases and other files into a single backup file on your desktop PC.

Don’t copy EXE installer files to your device

Most of the Windows Mobile third-party software programs you download from the Web come in the form of an executable installer file. You download this file to your desktop PC, connect your Windows Mobile device to the PC via the sync cable, use the PC’s File Explorer to find the file, and double-click on the file with your mouse to start the installation process.
Warning: Do not download or copy the installer file to your Windows Mobile device. The installation (EXE) program will only work when you run it from your PC.

Answer incoming calls automatically

You can set a phone-enabled touch screen device to answer calls automatically without pressing the Talk key.

  1. Go to Start >Settings >Phone >More tab.
  2. Check the box labeled “Answer incoming calls without pressing Talk after [x] rings” (under Automatic Pickup).
  3. Once you have checked this box, you can select the number of rings you want the phone to wait (1-10) before answering in the drop-down menu.
  4. Tap OK to save the changes.

Turn off the screen during calls

A tip from WMExperts.com describes how to use a freeware program to turn off the LCD screen on your smartphone during calls to save battery power. Click here for the article.

If your device is running slowly, do a soft reset

If your device is running slowly or becomes inoperable, the first thing you should do to remedy the situation is do a soft reset. This clears your devices memory. It is non-destructive—you do not lose data or programs you’ve installed on your device.