WINDOWS PHONE 8 HELPFUL TIPS AND TRICKS
Windows Phone 8 launched in late 2012. It was another roll of the dice for Microsoft in the mobile space and it was fairly well received by the tech press. It’s a slick platform that’s packed with features and customization options. We’ve already discussed how to take a screenshot on a Windows Phone and we recently looked at five ways to customize your Windows Phone 8 start screen, but there’s always more to uncover.
In this roundup we’ll explore some Windows Phone 8 tips and tricks. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments at the end.
How to Customize your Start Screen
You can change the size of tiles by holding your finger on them to activate edit mode. You can drag it around and tap the arrow at the bottom right to change the size. You can change the background color in Settings > Theme. Be sure to check out our recommended ways to customize your Start Screen, as well.
How to use your Unified inbox
With WP8 you have the ability to merge your email accounts into one manageable inbox. Go to your Mail app and tap the ellipses in the lower right hand corner and choose link inboxes. You can choose to link as many as you like, so it’s possible to merge a bunch and still keep some separate. You can always unlink them again.
How to use built-in Shazam-clone ‘Name that tune’
You don’t need the Shazam app to recognize a tune you like. Windows Phone 8 has music recognition built-in. All you have to do is tap Search and then choose the music icon (it’s a musical note) and it will listen for a few seconds and then tell you what song is playing and provide you with a link to buy it in the Windows Phone Store.
How to enable Kids Corner
There’s no need to install a parental control app because WP8 has Kid’s Corner. You’ll find the option in the Settings menu and it allows you to dictate exactly what content is available when Kid’s Corner is activated. It allows you to give your little angel your smartphone without fear that they’ll send a text or email, phone someone, or do something else crazy.
How to conserve battery life
If your battery is getting dangerously low, you can head into Settings and select battery saver. It closes background apps and puts a stop to automatic syncing so that you can squeeze a little extra time out of that battery. If you tap the Advanced option in battery saver then you can set it to come on automatically when your battery dips below a certain percentage.
How to share your location
When you write a text, you can actually add your current location to the message. Simply tap the paperclip icon and choose your location. If your friend has a WP8 device it will open in their Maps app, otherwise it will open in their browser.
How to use keyboard shortcuts
When you are typing, you can hold your finger down on a key to get more options to pop up instead of jumping into the symbols keyboard. You can also double tap the space bar to create a period and a space for the next sentence. You’ll find word suggestions pop up as you type. If you type a word that isn’t recognized you can always add it to your dictionary by holding down your finger on it and choosing the plus symbol when it pops up.
How to stop accidental photos
Having a hardware button for quick camera launch can be handy, but you might also end up with some pocket interior shots. If you want to disable the button you can do it in the Photos app settings where you’ll find an option to prevent accidental camera launch when the phone is locked.
How to scan QR codes, Microsoft tags, or translate text
If you press the Search button on your phone you can also use it to scan QR codes or Microsoft tags. All you have to do is tap the Vision icon (it’s an eye) and then point your phone’s camera at the code in question. You can also use this function to scan text and then translate it into a new language, so it’s potentially handy for trips abroad.
How to quickly send out apologies if you’re running late
If you’ve entered appointments into your calendar along with attendees then you can quickly send messages when you are running late. Just go to the relevant appointment in your calendar and tap the rushing person icon. A draft message will pop up and you can edit it and set the recipients, or just hit send.
How to hide your caller ID
You can decide who should see your caller ID when you make calls – everyone, your contacts, or no one at all. To change this just go into your caller history, tap the ellipses at the bottom right, and hit Settings. Then choose who gets to see your caller ID by default.
How to change the text size
If you find yourself squinting at the screen of your Window Phone then you should really consider resizing the text. Go into Settings > Ease of access and you’ll find five different size settings for the text.