Random Tips and How-Tos

Synchronizing an e-mail with an Outlook item as an attachment

On the PC version of Outlook, you can attach a Contact item or Calendar appointment to an e-mail and send it to an associate. When he or she receives it (on a PC) they can save it directly to the Contact or Calendar application. You cannot do either of these on a Windows Mobile device.
If someone sends you one of these attachments, you must open it first on your PC and save it to Outlook. Then, when you synchronize your Windows Mobile device with your PC, the information will be synced with your device.

Battery life expectancy

The normal life expectancy of a lithium-ion battery in a Windows Mobile device is between two to three years, or 300 to 500 discharge/charge cycles. After that, the battery will start to degrade (regardless of usage intensity) and will hold less power after a charge. Here are a few tips about using lithium-ion batteries:

Smartphones to avoid

Jamie Lendino at SmartDeviceCentral.com provides advice on five smartphones to avoid while device hunting. Click here for the article.

Keep storage card with backup safe!

Most Windows Mobile devices come with a built-in utility that allows you to back up your personal data and any software you’ve installed on your device to a storage card. You should back up your device regularly so you have a copy of your data. You should also take some precautions to keep this backup card safe!

Finding and reading eBooks

There are a lot of novels and short stories available in various eBook formats. A list of some of the best eBook sites can be found on our Best Sites Web page (pocketpcmag.com/bestsites.asp). The Microsoft Reader Web site (microsoft.com/reader/us/shop/default.asp) has a list of commercial sites that offer eBooks in MS Reader (.LIT) format.

File Store/ Built-in Storage deletion upon WM 5 install

If you upgrade your Pocket PC to Windows Mobile 5.0, you will lose your File Store/ Built-in storage during the install. This is because WM 5 takes up more flash ROM.

How to defragment your built-in File Store

If you happen to have a pre-Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PC with built-in storage, or File Store (FS) (it's called iPAQ File Store, LOOXstore, Built-in Storage, or something similar depending on your particular Pocket PC brand), you may want to regularly defragment it, particularly if you often write to it. To do this, copy the contents of your File Store into a temporary storage folder, and delete the original File Store. Then copy your temporary File Store back to the original location.

How to customize application launch buttons

You can customize the application launch buttons to quickly access frequently used programs; go to Start >Settings >Buttons.

Pre-WM 5 Pocket PCs: Customize the New menu

You can open a new (empty) document in Word Mobile by tapping on the New button in the lower left corner of the screen. The New button is also found on Excel Mobile, Notes, Contacts, and other applications. The key here is that you have to be in the desired application to open a new document associated with that application.
In addition to the New button, pre-Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PCs have a New menu which is activated by tapping on the small up-arrow icon next to the New button.

Microsoft Reader is no longer built-in: it's now a free download

Microsoft no longer offers Microsoft Reader as part of the built-in software on the Pocket PC. However, it's available as a free download. You can get it at Microsoft's Web site (microsoft.com/reader/downloads/ppc.asp).

Don’t write small characters when using Transcriber

When using Transcriber, don’t write your characters too small. The larger your text is, the more likely it is that Transcriber will translate it correctly. Don’t go overboard with this advice and fill the screen with a single letter. Just try writing a little bigger if you notice that you are getting a lot of translation mistakes.
Remember that you can write anywhere on the screen.

How to use ActiveSync to reinstall software

Once you have installed software on your device, you can use ActiveSync’s Tools >Add/Remove Programs screen to reinstall it at any time. Click on the check box next to the desired program(s) and click OK.

Avoid skyrocketing cell phone bills

John Frederick Moore at CNET.com gives advice on how to keep cell phone bills at a manageable level. Click here for the article.

Updates to your device's operating system

Periodically, Microsoft will release a minor update to their Windows Mobile OS and software suite, which may include bug fixes and minor enhancements; these are called “ROM updates.” These are made available to the device user through the manufacturer of the d

Speed up Web browsing and save money by disabling image downloads

If you are using a phone-enabled device and find that Web sites are taking a long time to load, you can make your browsing experience faster by disabling picture downloads.

How to select sounds and create custom ones

Clicks, beeps, and other sounds remind you when an “event” has occurred on your device (incoming messages, Start menu activated, etc.). You can associate different sounds with the events. Go to Start >Settings >Sounds & Notifications (non-touch screen smartphones: Start >Settings >Sounds) to customize your sounds. You can also download and use sounds from the Internet or create custom sounds using Voice Recorder.

Find a contact in your Exchange Server global address book

The Online Global Address Book Lookup (GAL) feature lets the user search for contacts in their enterprise Exchange Server 2007 online address book.

  1. Open a New e-mail message and place the cursor in the To: field.
  2. Select Menu >Add Recipient.
  3. Select Company Directory >Search.
  4. Enter the name of the contact and select Search again. Your device connects with and searches the corporate GAL and returns the contact info to your device.

Set an e-mail follow-up flag

Messaging now supports the ability to set a follow-up flag to e-mail messages. The mobile user’s e-mail account must be hosted by an Exchange Server 2007.

  1. Open the desired e-mail.
  2. Select Menu >Follow up >Set Flag. (You can also set Complete Flag and Clear Flag.)

The Messaging application on WM 6 devices now allows you to attach follow-up flags to important e-mails.