Windows Mobile 5 (Personal Tech)

Published Date
01 - Dec - 2007
| Last Updated
01 - Dec - 2007
Windows Mobile 5 (Personal Tech)

Prices for Windows Mobile phones have dropped well under the Rs 15,000 mark, and there could be no better time to get you one. Here we are, back with more tips for your Windows Mobile 5 handheld.


Multitasking in Windows on a Desktop is no problem, but with Windows Mobile, what do you do? Go to Start > Settings > System > Memory > Running Programs. This is a really long way to do this. Probably the easiest way to switch programs is download a third party application such as Vbar, from Uncompress the ZIP file and run it. On your mobile you’ll be asked where to install the program. Start vBar from Start > Programs. You’ll see a small icon at the right top of the screen. Click on it and you can quickly jump to any application—or easily close one or all the programs.

Getting A Bigger Onscreen Keyboard

For PocketPC users without a QWERTY keyboard, you’ll be stuck with the touchscreen keyboard which, although fairly easy to use, has really small keys. There is an option to enable a bigger version of that keyboard. Click on the drop-down menu at the centre bottom of the screen. Click on Options. From the dropdown menu for Input Method, select Keyboard. Click the Large keys radio button, then OK. You will now have the larger keyboard without the numerical keys. To access the other keys, click the 123 button.

Getting Transcriber To Work Better

The transcriber is easy and a very quick way to type in text, but most people don’t find it to be very accurate. There are few things you can do to improve this. First enable the Transcriber by clicking on the drop-down menu of the input icon at the centre bottom of the screen. Click on Options in the same menu. Click on Options for the Transcriber. The first thing you tell it is the direction you normally write on it. Choose from one of the four options. Then click on the Inking tab. Click Match Letter Shapes to your writing. Here, for every letter, you can select the style that you write in, and you can select whether you always use that style or sometimes or never. Do the same for all the letters and for upper and lower cases. When done, you can choose to save that profile by selecting File, entering a filename, and clicking Save.

Alternative Browsers

There’s Internet Explorer on your Windows Mobile phone, but you can have third-party browsers installed. Two of the most known ones are the Opera Mobile browser, which is commercial—but it supports tabs. The free alternative is Opera Mini, a Java application. The latest release is 4, and can be downloaded for free from

Disable SMS Sent Confirmation Messages

You can disable that message by making a few changes to the registry. Download a registry editor for Windows mobile such as PHM Registry Editor ( or Mobile Registry Editor ( Once you have one installed, go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\Inbox\Settings. Here, double-click SMSNoSentMsg Dword and enter its value as 1. To enable it again, set the value to 0.

Getting Rid Of Entries In The Start Menu

Sometimes, you might uninstall a program without shutting it down completely, or something might go wrong during the uninstall process—and you end up with an item in the Start menu that doesn’t work. You could reinstall the program and then uninstall it again. The other way is to use the File Explorer and delete the entry from the \Windows\Start Menu folder. You may have to remove the entry from the registry as well.

Converting Your Phone Into A GPS Unit

Standalone GPS units are costly—normally well over Rs 10,000, but Bluetooth GPS receivers are much cheaper. Some of the cheapest GPS units can be around Rs 1,400, although availability in India can be a problem. Be sure your phone has Bluetooth.

Turn on the GPS receiver and the Bluetooth on your phone as well by going to Start > Settings > Connections > Comm Manager, and then clicking on the Bluetooth icon. Next, in the Connection Settings window, click on Bluetooth and then on the Devices tab. Click Add new device… The phone will look for any Bluetooth devices in the area. Click on your GPS receiver and click Next. Enter a name for the device and the service—Serial Port, and click Next. Now click on COM Ports and then on New Outgoing Port. Select the device and click Next. Choose the port and click Finish.

Your GPS receiver setup is complete. Install free GPS software like Google Maps to show your location on the map. You will, obviously, need a GPRS connection to download the maps. In Google Maps, select Menu > Track Location, and a little glowing circle will appear at the location. Select Menu > Track Location Settings to set the port and the baud rate manually if Google Maps doesn’t detect it automatically.

Symbian s60

Symbian leads the mobile phone OS market—much more than Microsoft with its Windows Mobile platform—mostly thanks to the complete domination of Nokia and Sony Ericsson in the Indian mobile phone space. Almost every mid-ranged phone has the Symbian S60 OS running on it, which is why we’ve compiled yet another list of simple as well as advanced tips for it. We tried these out on a Nokia N73, but they should work just fine with almost all Symbian S60 based phones.

Select Apps By Pressing A Number

Launching applications is a pain, and scrolling through the list using the joystick makes it even more painful. When you switch to the main menu, the easiest way to go around applications and run them is to directly press the number of the application. For example, the left topmost application is 1, the right topmost one is 3, and so on. If you don’t like the grid-styled view, you can move to the list view: go to Options > Change View > List. The shortcuts can be used here as well, with the topmost item being 1 and the ones below 2, 3, 4, etc.

Quick-launching The Media Player

On most Nokia phones, you’ll find a dedicated Media button which, when pressed, gives you the list of multimedia applications. To launch your default media player, simply hold down the key and it will open directly. You can go about adding music tracks and playing them.

Launching The Browser Using A Single Key

Many phones have a dedicated Internet button. The (i) button on some phones might not do much other than entering the number. Hold down the same button for a longer period and you’ll find that the default browser loads up.

Multitasking In Symbian

We love to Alt-Tab between applications because it makes life easier—it’s lucky Symbian-based phones have this feature as well. The Menu key, which normally launches the menu of applications, if held down for a longer period, shows a list of open applications currently being run (on the left). You can scroll and use the application, and shut them down if you want to.

Entering A New Line

While we type messages or notes, we often want to start a new paragraph or new line. Pressing 0 only enters a space, and if you press it again, the number 0. To start a new line, press the 0 key thrice!

Voice-mail Setup

The default key for voice mail is 1. Hold down the 1 key and you will be able to access your voice mail. It’s very likely it won’t be set up by default, so the first time you do this, you’ll be required to enter the voice mail number.

Speed-dial Setup

Speed-dial numbers are a single-button-press shortcut to call up those you call most often without accessing the phonebook. It can be done by holding down the number you want. If you haven’t set up speed dial, hold down the number you want to use. It will ask you to assign a number. Choose Yes. Next, select the number from the list and choose Select. The number 1 is usually dedicated to voice mail, and the number 0 for services.

Flickr On Nokia Phones    

Nokia has joined hands with Flickr with their N series phones. This collaboration allows Nokia users to quickly click, upload, and access photos from Flickr through their phone without using a computer. To log into Flickr, go to the Gallery and then to Images & Video. Choose Options and then Open Online service. If you don’t see an option to create a new Flickr account, then you need to download the configuration file from /atom/config/nokia/nseries/flickr_configuration_file.cfg?dl=1. Copy the file to your phone and run it through the File manager—or you can also send it through Bluetooth, for example.

You’ll see the entry for creating the Flickr account. Open it and you will be prompted to enter the authentication information for the account.

BitTorrent on the phone

Torrent downloading is no longer limited to your PC. Yes, it’s available for mobile phones, and more importantly, it’s available for Symbian phones. This means you can now use GPRS and WiFi to download torrents. One such client is called Symtorrent; you can download it from
Download the installer for your version of S60 and copy it to the phone through a cable connection or over Bluetooth. Go to Menu > Applications and you will find SymTorrent installed. Start it and choose Options > Add Torrent to add new torrents. You can use the left and right direction with the joystick to look at statistics such as download speed, number of connections, etc.

Zooming In And Out

Using the image viewer on Symbian phones is fine, but being able to navigate and perform basic operations without any guidance is a different thing. Use the 5 key to zoom into the image and 0 to zoom out. To move the image in different directions, use the 2, 4, 6, and 8 keys.

Quick-delete Messages

Deleting of files on a Symbian phone normally means you need to go to Options and choose Delete. A quicker way is to use the C button. This will delete the file. All you need to do is confirm the delete command.

Installing New Symbian Themes

It’s always nice to have a change in look. There are plenty of free sites with theme downloads for Symbian phones. First find the download for your Symbian version and phone. Copy it to the phone via cable or Bluetooth. Once you’re done, run the installer and the theme will be installed. To enable the theme, go to Menu > Tools > Themes. Move to the theme you want to install. Choose Options > Preview to get an idea of what the theme looks like. If you like what you see, choose Apply and the theme will be set.

Quick Silent Mode

Generally, to switch profiles from normal to silent and so on, one would press the power button and then select a profile from the list, but many S60 phones have a feature that allow the user to switch to Silent mode with just a single button press. Hold down the # key and the Silent mode is turned on; hold it down again and you’ll be back to the General profile. The power button also works as a toggle—pressing it multiple times allows switching to different profiles.
Automatically Locking Your Phone

For some reason, some phones don’t lock or turn themselves off when not in use. This results in the battery being drained. To fix this, download software such as Autolock— Copy the file to your phone and run it to install it. You’ll soon notice your phone keeps locking itself up every few seconds. To change the timeout value, go to the Menu > Applications > Autolock. Here you can choose to enable or disable it and set the inactivity time. You’ll find yourself looking for the unlock sequence as the screen would be off. Press the power button to light up the screen.

Another well-known software is called Active Lock, and can be downloaded from the Symbian Developer Network—
Better Alarm App

Many users complain of having to enable a single alarm every single day. Using a third-party alarm software seems to be the only way around this problem. There’s software like Y Alarms from Copy and install the program, then go to Menu > > Y-Alarms.

To create a new alarm, choose Options > New alarm. Here you can set the frequency, time, and type of alarm along with a message that you want to appear when the alarm goes off. You can set many such alarms in the same manner for different reminders.

Quick Numerical Input

You don’t always have to go to the number mode to enter a number while entering text. Holding down a key in alphabet mode will enter the number directly.

Quick Voice Dial

Many a time, there’s not enough light to scan through your phonebook and make calls. Instead of trying to look through your phone, you can use the voice dialler. While your phone is in standby mode, hold down the right soft key and you’ll be prompted to speak out the name of the contact from the phonebook.

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