Microsoft Smartphone Tips and Tricks

by Wei-Meng Lee

There is so much an excellently designed smartphone can do. But without the software to power it, it's virtually useless. Since the launch of the first Orange SPV Microsoft smartphone in October 2002, there have been a host of new applications designed to run on this platform. In this article, I will show you some of the cool things you can do with your Microsoft smartphone.

Installing Applications

One point about installing an application for the smartphone: you can either use ActiveSync to install the application from your PC to your smartphone, or you can install it directly from the vendor's web site. Figure 1 shows how you can install an application using Pocket Internet Explorer. Simply go to the vendor's web site and click on the relevant link to download the file. Once you confirm the download, it will be installed on your smartphone automatically.

Figure 1. Installing an application through the Web

Easy, right? Now let's move to file transfer.

Transferring Files onto Your Smartphone

Sometimes you just need to transfer files (such as MP3 music files) onto your smartphone. There are a few easy ways to do that. You can either use the infrared port or use ActiveSync to do the job. I use ActiveSync most of time, as it is the most flexible method. Simply hook up your smartphone to your PC through ActiveSync and at the ActiveSync window, click on the Explore button (see Figure 2). You will then be able to explore the file system on your smartphone and drag and drop files as required.

Figure 2. Exploring the file system of your smartphone through ActiveSync

Photo Contacts

One application that is useful for your smartphone is the Photo Contacts application from PocketX Software. Using Photo Contacts, you can assign photos to your contacts in your address book (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Assigning photos to your contacts

If your service provider supports caller identification, the photo of the caller will be displayed when your smartphone rings (see Figure 4).

Figure 4. Displaying the photo of the caller

World Time

Another useful application is the World Time application by The MadBeetle. Using the World Time (see Figure 5), you can view the time of 400 cities worldwide. City data includes:

  • Sunrise\sunset
  • GMT offset
  • Daylight savings
  • Analogue clock
  • The moon phase
  • Airport code
  • Dial Code
  • Longitude and Latitude

The World Time application is useful if you do a lot of travelling and need to check out the different time zones.

Figure 5. Using World Time to check on different time zones

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