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Mobile OS Smackdown: Windows Phone 7 vs. iOS vs. Android | PCWorld

If you own a Mac you can still take advantage of media synchronization using the easy-to-use Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac. While there is no access to the Windows Phone Marketplace you can use this to sync media from your iTunes library to your Windows Phone, share images from your phone to your Mac and install updates for your phone. Alongside all of the fun stuff are opportunities to get some real work done, courtesy of the Office hub. Have you seen the Microsoft Windows TV advertisement where a father goes shopping, using OneNote as his shopping list only to see the items updated with endless sweets and candy by two mischievous kids on the home PC?

The application features the ability to make lists, tap out thoughts on the Windows Phone keyboard and even record memos that can be saved and synced with your SkyDrive account. Capable of opening DOC, DOCX and RTF files, this app also features spell check, formatting tools and the ability to add comments, as well as options to share via email or SkyDrive and save to your phone or your cloud storage. Word processing on Windows Phone is as easy as typing an email, with spellcheck functionality indicated via the traditional wavy red line beneath the queries words.

Tapping the word in question will display the keyboard and some suggestions; you can select from one these to amend or simply overtype the problematic term. An Excel document on Windows Phone features an auto-sum tool, cell formatting and sorting as well as the ability to leave comments and share using email, SkyDrive, Office or SharePoint. Things are a little different with PowerPoint; while presentations can be opened from email or any of the other storage option they cannot be created from scratch. This is mainly due to the storage space required to provide templates for PowerPoint projects.

This useful feature enables you to alter the text, hide unnecessary slides and generally tweak the file as you see fit, with all of the same sharing and storage options as Word and Excel. Note that Google Mail and Windows Live users also have the benefit of contact and calendar sync.


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You can add Cc and Bcc fields via the ellipses menu. You might also send an email directly from the People hub by opening a contact and selecting Send email. Accessing to the calendar is delivered via the Start screen by default; here it is one of just two tiles that span both columns of the display, such is its importance.

Appoint- ments can be created or edited via the calendar. As long as your phone is connected to the web this will sync with your Exchange account. The first is to save the document locally or send via email. Alternatively, if you have access to a SharePoint server typically you would be a business user for this option to be available , documents can be instantly uploaded to this service and shared with your collaborators.

Since the release of Windows Phone 7. Despite being one of the first mobile platforms to support the installation and running of third party software, the old Windows Mobile completely missed the boat in creating a centralised location where apps could be downloaded and installed. Requiring a Windows Live account for access with an attached credit card for purchases the Marketplace is an ever-growing selection of games and apps you can browse on your phone, a PC or a web browser.

The first place you should start looking for apps on your Windows Phone is in the Marketplace hub, where you will initially find a summary of the top apps, games and music, as well as a menu to help you to select which category you want to browse some handset manufacturers provide device-specific apps; these are also available via this menu.

If you would rather view apps and their details, reviews and prices via your PC, the best option is to open Zune and select the Marketplace. From here, select the Apps option to view the latest games and apps that are available for your phone. The top paid and top free apps are listed, and a search tool is provided for you to search beyond the most popular choices.

Finally, you can open your web browser and visit the Marketplace via phone. The rating is based on user reviews; you should give this serious consideration, as well as look out for any mention of device-specific issues that might affect you. Remember that you can also leave reviews of apps, either via your preferred interface with the Marketplace or by uninstalling the app and selecting Rate and review.

Should everything appear alright, disable your network connection and re-enable it; following this head back to the Marketplace and find the downloading app, which you should tap and hold, selecting Retry to restart the download. If this fails, cancel completely and try again. Should you have an app that will no longer launch, find the item in the Apps list or the Games hub and tap and hold, selecting Uninstall to remove it from your phone. You can then reinstall from the Marketplace.

Windows Mobile

Note that when installing games it is recommended that you do so over a Wi-Fi connection, due to the size of most downloads and the bandwidth involved. From time to time you will notice that the Marketplace hub displays a number. This is the total of apps that you have installed that require updates, a process that can be carried out automatically. From here, you can either tap each to update individually or tap Update all to let your phone manage the update process.

Mobile gaming has really taken off in the past few years, so it makes sense that Microsoft provides a means for enjoying games on their new mobile phone platform. There are two ways in which you can play games on Windows Phone:. On the other hand, games on the Xbox Live network will usually cost a bit more but come with unlockable features, achievements and the ability to add to your Gamerscore. All games can be purchased and installed via the Windows Phone Marketplace and launched via the Games hub. There are also several platform-specific titles, such as the remarkable ilomilo, and new Xbox Live games are released on a monthly basis.

The Xbox Live network allows you to use the same login as your Xbox console, meaning your Gamerscore and Avatar can be checked, updated and managed on both devices. If the two accounts are one, however, you will have no problem. Via the Games hub you will find that you can check your achievements, monitor your Gamerscore and, with the help of the free Xbox Live Extras app, you can tweak your Xbox Live avatar. Great games that can be found on other platforms are available, some of which feature turn-based and real-time online multiplayer gaming. A selection of ringtones is provided out of the box for Windows Phone, and these can be selected on a universal or per-contact basis.

This is done by first preparing a suitable WMA or MP3 file no longer than 40 seconds and no larger than 1MB, which can be synced to your device. Next, with your phone connected to your computer, open Windows Explorer and drag the MP3 file to the phone icon in the bottom-left corner of the Zune sync software. By default your Windows Phone will typically have a white background, perhaps with blue tiles or whatever colour arrangement has been programmed by your mobile phone network or vendor.

There are sadly only two background colours available for Windows Phone — white and black — although a number of different accent colours the colour used for tiles and links are available. Some of these depend on your phone model or where you bought the device. Although there is no way to change the wallpaper on your Windows Phone, it is possible for you to alter the lock screen on your phone, as well as the background displayed in the Pictures hub.

Note that a number of images are provided, but you can also select from those saved from the web, synced to your phone or snapped using your camera. You can also launch the camera from the Choose picture screen to capture a scene there and then. Altering the image displayed on the Pictures hub Start screen tile and hub background is a case of tapping the tile to open the hub and then dragging the ellipses […] to either Choose background or Shuffle background.

One of the great advantages of the tile-based Metro UI is its flexibility for providing you with a customized Start screen. While Windows Phone 7. To adjust the position of a tile all you need to do is tap and hold; the rest of the screen will fall into the background and you can then drag the tile to your favoured position. Removing a tile is a matter of following the same procedure, but instead of moving the tile around tap the remove pin symbol in the top-right corner.

Conversely, you can add a tile from the Apps list by tapping, holding and selecting Pin to Start. Contacts and web pages can be pinned to the Start screen as well. To add a contact open the People hub, find the contact in question and tap and hold, selecting Pin to Start from the menu. Pinning a web page will allow you to quickly open it, rather than first opening Internet Explorer, and can be done by browsing to the page, opening the ellipses menu and selecting Pin to Start. With emails, Internet, games, apps and music — even phone calls!

There are various ways you can deal with these. This has two options: the first is to enable the feature whenever the battery is low; the second is to enable it on an ad hoc basis. An estimated battery life remaining is displayed at the foot of the page and alters automatically based on your choice. Note that, if you use a Nokia Lumia Windows Phone, most battery issues that you have encountered can be dealt with by installing the latest update see below.

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The ultimate tweaks for Windows Phone come are only possible if you unlock your device. Two methods are currently available on all devices. Endorsed by Microsoft, this method is intended for homebrew amateur developers and their fans, and is limited to installing 10 apps. Another method is available; however, it is a lot more expensive and requires you to register your Windows Phone as a developer device. Microsoft releases updates for Windows Phone from time to time. Since the release of this OS there have been several updates, both large and small, and these are installed on your phone using your computer.

When the time comes all you will need to do is hook up your phone to you computer using the USB cable, ensure that the Zune software is running on your PC or the Windows Phone 7 Connector on your Mac and follow the steps displayed on screen. During the process you will be unable to make or receive calls or use your device in any way; do not disconnect it from the USB port until the process is complete. If you use a laptop computer, ensure that a mains connection is in use rather than relying on the battery.

The entire process can take up to an hour depending on the size of the update so it is often best to leave the task until late evening. The first thing you should do is speak to the retailer who supplied the phone and find out who they recommend for providing insurance in the event of loss or theft. Then, on your desktop computer, open www.

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Sign in with your Windows Live account and select the My Phone item on the menu. This will take you to the My Windows Phone page, which will display a summary of information: your device model, phone number, recently uploaded SkyDrive data, and a link to Find My Phone. These tools can all be used to great effect in tracking down and hopefully retrieving your Windows Phone in one piece; failing this, you can at least ensure that the thief is left with nothing more than a brick.

These security options are easy to use and implement, but remember that for maximum safety you should keep your phone close to you and out of sight at all times. One other security option is available. To protect your browsing privacy there are several options that you can use to prevent anyone from seeing what you have been looking at online. The first is the most obvious: Internet History. This will remove temporary files, history, cookies and saved passwords.

Note that third party browsers might require other steps. You can also delete your Bing search history. Simply tap the Search button, drag the menu into view and select Settings. From here, all you need to do is Delete history and agree to the confirmation message. This is enabled to make the results more relevant to you, but can be disabled if you would rather keep your location from being sent to websites. You will find a similar function in various apps — particularly those that use social networking — although there is way in which this can be disabled across the entire device — see the next chapter for more information.

Windows Phone

Smartphones bring with them excellent connectivity options which allow all manner of additional features. With the right apps installed, these options can be combined to extend the functionality of your device.


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You will also find that some handsets support the Digital Living Network Alliance system for sharing content from your phone wirelessly to a digital TV or computer. Check the user guide for your Windows Phone to find out whether your handset has this feature, as the app is usually provided by the manufacturer. Here you can switch the connection on and off and instruct your phone to notify you when new networks are discovered.

It should be noted, however, that none of the first or second generation Windows Phones are 4G devices. Using the Data connection switch you can enable and disable connectivity to the Internet, while the Highest connection speed option will allow you to switch between different mobile network types such as Edge, 3G, HSDPA, etc.

Additional access points can be setup via the Add APN button. Of course, over-use of your mobile data connection can lead to you being heavily charged, so keep your data use within the terms of your mobile phone contract. All you need to do is tap the browser tile on the Start screen to launch, tap into the address bar and use the keyboard to enter the URL and take advantage of the refresh button on the left when necessary. Other options in the browser are available via the ellipses; tapping or dragging will reveal the option to view additional Tabs up to 6 are allowed or a list of Recent sites.

You are also able to add sites that you like to your favourites list and share a page via SMS messaging, email or whichever social networks you have configured. Text on a web page can be copied while images can be saved to your Pictures hub by tapping and selecting Save picture you can also choose Share picture to send it to a friend. The browser is, however, HTML5 compliant, so sites with up-to-date design should work fine.

Here you would enter the email address and password, leaving Windows Phone to check with an index of email hosts to find the correct server details and allow you to sign in. If this fails you can use the Advanced setup option to setup your email account with advanced options such as SSL. There are some additional connection options for Windows Phone that you might not use as regularly as those listed above.

Also present — and switched on by default — is GPS, listed as part of the Location services on your phone. Combining information gathered via GPS, cellular triangulation and wireless networking allows you to experience some additional functionality such as updating your location on Twitter and Facebook, or using the Bing search tools to find places of interest nearby.

On devices equipped with satnav software such as Nokia Drive on the Lumia phones GPS and location services are used heavily. Since its launch in it has been wrongly compared to its Windows Mobile predecessor, criticised for missing functions that are present and, seemingly, for daring to offer an interface that is more than just rows of icons. Although initially released without the advantage of a few useful features, Microsoft soon issued several updates to amend this shortcoming. Windows Phone 7.

Initially omitted from the starting line-up of features, copy and paste was announced as being the core feature of an update released within the first six months of launch. Integrated with the keyboard and available across different apps, copy and paste is matter of tapping a word, adjusting the size of the highlighted area by dragging the arrows and then tapping the Copy button that floats above the selection. Pasting is a simple case of finding where you wish to copy the selection to perhaps the same app or an email or document and then tapping the Paste button, situated on the top-left of the keyboard.

Another feature initially missing from Windows Phone is tethering. All first generation Windows Phones can run this feature when updated to Windows Phone 7. The only exceptions are the devices from Nokia, but the feature should be enabled with a future update. Microsoft introduced this specification in an attempt to combat piracy, something that was rife on the Windows Mobile platform. As a result many users have felt limited by the storage options offered. However, it is possible to apply a registry hack to a Windows computer that will allow you to use the storage on your device to save files and folders as you would any other mass storage.

With your phone connected to your computer ensuring Zune is closed , simply visit ultimate-networx. Once done, you should find your phone listed as a storage device in Windows Explorer. Remember to keep Zune closed when using this. By now it should be clear that you can do almost anything with your Windows Phone. As a mobile entertainment centre it is unrivalled; as a mobile gaming device it delivers Xbox Live integration; as a mobile communications device it is streets ahead of any of the alternatives.

After a slow start, Windows Phone is beginning to make waves. Its presence as the operating system on a series of new Nokia phones certainly helps, but you only have to cast an eye over the quality of devices from HTC and Samsung to see that this is a mobile operating system that is well-regarded by handset manufacturers and app developers alike.

Beautifully presented, easy to use, yet powerful. Windows Phone is a glimpse into the future of mobile phones — one that is available now. On most platforms this is available natively. Although USB tethering is not supposed to be possible on Windows Phone devices according to the specifications imposed by Microsoft, some manufacturers have added this facility via the backdoor, namely Samsung, LG and Dell. HTC phones cannot be tethered natively in this way. Note also that any updates can disable this functionality. The term APN is used throughout the following appendices. This refers to the access point name used by your mobile phone carrier, and a list of them can be found at ModMyi.

Finally, you should be aware that tethering can result in high data use charges from your carrier, so ensure that this type of use is permitted in your contract. With the driver downloaded, install on your computer and reboot. You will then need to disconnect your phone from the USB cable and access the phone dialer, entering the following number:.

Windows Phone is officially Dead

Here, choose Modem, Tethered Call and connect your phone to the computer. Add the following into the text field:. Here, select QC Composite and then Validate, which will cause your phone to restart. At this stage you should connect it to your PC. Windows will detect the phone and install a driver. You will then be ready to make a connection, using your Windows Phone as a modem! Hardware manufacturer Dell has to date released only one Windows Phone, the Dell Venue Pro which is one of the few devices with a hardware keyboard.

You will need the USB drivers for this device, available from this link. Next, unzip the contents of the folder and find the HtcUsbMdmV Your phone should restart automatically — if not, hold the power switch until it shuts down or remove and replace the battery. When your phone restarts, tethering should be enabled. Next, you will need to install the modem on your computer. Connect it to the USB cable so that Windows detects the new device and use the edited.

INF files as the drivers. You will then be ready to enjoy USB tethering. Explore more about: Longform Guide , Windows Phone 7. Your email address will not be published. Top Deals. Windows Phone 7: Complete Guide. Email Facebook Whatsapp Pinterest Twitter. This guide is available to download as a free PDF. Download Windows Phone 7: Complete Guide now. Feel free to copy and share this with your friends and family. But organizations need more than communication A report by the security software vendor Okta found that many businesses subscribed to Office also use Slack and Zoom, Avaya will decide within 30 days whether to pursue a sale or other 'strategic transaction' to compensate shareholders.

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