Random Tips and How-Tos

Keyboard shortcuts using CTRL on the built-in soft keyboard

Many of the standard keyboard shortcuts found on the desktop PC work with the soft keyboard built into touch screen devices (Pocket PCs, Smartphone Professionals). To use them, display the built-in soft keyboard (or a similar third-party alternative), tap on the CTRL key, and tap again on the appropriate letter. The shortcut keys listed below can be used as an alternative to menu commands in most programs.

How to make, answer, and end a phone call

On a smartphone (Pocket PC Phone Edition, Smartphone Professional, or Smartphone Standard), press the external Call/Answer button, which usually has a green phone icon on it and is located to the left of the center navigational pad. Then, enter the desired number and press the Call/Answer button a second time to make the call.

Use Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine's online resources

Go to smartphonemag.com to discover the many resources that we offer. These include listings of the Best Software Awards, Product Reviews, a VIP section which includes an interactive version of this How-to Guide, discounts on software, contests, an Online store, the Best of Everything Software Package, and much more. Registration to the VIP site is free to subscribers or those who purchase the magazine from newsstands.

Playing tracked music on your Pocket PC

Many Pocket PC games contain “tracked” (a.k.a. “module”) music that is very easy to extract and listen to without actually running the game. In my post titled “Listen to the music of the great space shooter game Enslave without having to start the game” (4/8/06), I’ve already elaborated on the JT MOD Player 1.0. In this post, I elaborate on the latest developments in the Pocket PC world relating to playing back tracked music.

Using the Lock feature on non-touch screen smartphones

Using the Lock feature on your smartphone will disable the function of the keys. This can be especially useful if you have your device tucked into a pocket or bag where the keys can be accidentally pressed. Here is how it works:

Navigate through menus with the D-pad

With the D-pad, it is possible to navigate through any of the built-in menus in Windows Mobile devices (without the need for a stylus on touch screen devices).
For example, in the Settings menu on touch screen devices, you can use the D-pad to scroll through and highlight options, and to access the tabs at the bottom by pressing the down key when the last option at the bottom is highlighted.

How to get rid of auto-synchronization in Messaging

Werner Ruotsalainen explains how to use a registry editor to disable Messaging from being automatically synchronized when you sync your device to your desktop PC.

Click here for the article.

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

Conserve memory by deleting large files using Search

If you find that you are running low on memory on your Pocket PC, a good way to get some back is to search for and delete unneeded files, especially large ones. You can use the built-in Search (or Find) tool to do this quickly and easily.

Viewing, modifying, and synchronizing Pocket Access databases

When you transfer a Microsoft Access (.mdb) database from a desktop PC to a Pocket PC, the database is converted to a Pocket Access (.cdb) database. When you copy the Microsoft Access database from your desktop PC to your Pocket PC using the Explore feature of ActiveSync, a dialog box pops up. This dialog box has a text box where you can enter the location of the folder where you want to copy the database, by default, it is the My Documents folder.

How to sync directly to an Exchange Server

Set up your device to synchronize directly to an Exchange Server by going to Start >Programs >ActiveSync >Menu >Configure Server. Then input the information provided by your system administrator or service provider.

What do those status icons mean?

Status icons are small icons that appear at the top of the screen to indicate what’s going on with your device. For example, if you’re running low on power, the “low battery” icon will pop-up, and if your device has a phone built into it, a signal strength icon will be displayed.

How to start and close programs

To open a program on your device, activate the Start menu and select it from the listed programs. You can also press the appropriate application launch button. To close a program, tap on the X in the upper right corner of touch screen devices. On a non-touch screen smartphones, press the Call end button. To completely shut down a program on a touch screen device, so that it is not running in the background (and occupying RAM memory), go to Start >Settings >Systems >Memory >Running Programs. Some (but not all) non-touch screen smartphones have a Task Manager that lets you do the same. In addition, a soft reset on a touch screen device or turning a non-touch screen smartphone completely off and back on again will also completely shut down all programs.

How to uninstall and reinstall programs using ActiveSync

ActiveSync’s Tools >Add/Remove Programs screen lists all the programs that have been installed on your device. To uninstall a program, uncheck the box next to it and click on OK. To reinstall a program, click on the empty box next to it and click on OK. Do not click on the Remove button.

Stop the soft input panel from automatically popping up

Werner Ruotsalainen reviews three different "null-SIPs," third-party programs that automatically hide the built-in software input panel when they are activated. Click here for the article.

How to keep Internet Explorer secure

You can delete and disallow cookies and adjust your security settings in Internet Explorer Mobile from the Menu >Tools >Options >Security page (non-touch screen smartphones: Menu >Tools >Options).

Calendar appointment symbols in Month and Day views

The icons used in Calendar’s Month and Day views provide information about the appointment. Here’s what they mean and how to make them appear.

Calendar Month view symbols
These square and triangular symbols appear in Calendar’s Month view by default and give you information about the appointments on a specific day.

How to use File Explorer to create folders and move files

You can use File Explorer (or File Manager on some devices) to create and delete file folders and move them to new locations.

Syncing with a Mac OS computer

ActiveSync doesn’t work with Mac OS computers, but alternatives are available. Check out Missing Sync (markspace.com) and PocketMac Pro (pocketmac.net). They’ll help your Windows Mobile device talk with your Macintosh computer.

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.