tricks | Windows Central

Spec showdown

Which is the best? Surface Laptop vs. Spectre x360 vs. XPS 13

What to expect when you're expecting

What to expect from Microsoft's hardware event in China this week

The grass is greener

This $500 laptop from Acer is a great alternative to the best Chromebook

Limited Fix

There's now a fix for 'WannaCry,' but it's fairly limited

long-term strategy

Microsoft WILL release a Surface 'phone' — but it could take a while

Keep it secure

Try NordVPN for as little as $3.29 a month

Free Surface is the best kind of Surface

Want to win a Surface Laptop? Here’s how to increase your chances.

Surface Pro Refresh

Microsoft's 'Surface Pro 5' leaks ahead of official announcement

More Goodies

All the changes found in Windows 10 builds 16199 and 16193

XboxLiveBook

4 things Microsoft needs to do to make Xbox Live more social

Big Brother will be watching

Dystopian abuse of Microsoft's powerful AI camera tech is inevitable

A home for Quick Actions

Microsoft is building a new Control Center for Quick Actions in Windows 10

Scaling Optimization

How to use DPI scaling in Windows 10 to fix blurry old apps

PC for normies

Windows 10 S can succeed because 'normal' people aren't Windows geeks

(Surface) pen meets laptop

What's the best way to use the Surface Pen on the Surface Laptop?

Windows 10 tip

Access Control Panel quickly from File Explorer with this nifty trick

More the Merrier

Microsoft purposefully aimed Surface Laptop at a very wide audience

Communication is key

Microsoft must manage expectations of Windows 10 S to avoid PR nightmare

A bright future ... or not?

What did Build tell you about the future of Windows 10 Mobile?

Wipe away the tears

What you need to know about the 'WannaCry' ransomware and Windows

< >

Pre-order: Surface Laptop

tricks

If you want to add a little something something to your contacts, we ran across a way to add emoticons to your contact's name over in the Windows Phone Central Forums. All you need to do is start a text message and add the emoticon of your choice.

From there, highlight and copy that emoticon. Leave the text message and go to your Peoples Hub, find the contact and choose to edit the name. Add a space at the end of the last name and paste the emoticon.  It's a neat way to add a little customization to your contacts.

Edit: As noted in comments by hopmedic, to prevent it from breaking voice dialling, put the emoticons in the last name field, but put a hyphen after the last name, and then the emoticons.

Thanks, danclyons, for the tip!

More →

In our latest how-to guide, we show you how to make the most of your Windows Phone and SkyDrive cloud storage

We've touched on the basics with Microsoft's SkyDrive services and the SkyDrive App for your Windows Phone. But how does all that translate into every day use?

The obvious every day use for SkyDrive and your Windows Phone is to free up storage space and make content easily available. Why bog down your Windows Phone with documents, pictures, and music files when you can store them in the Cloud and access them at your leisure? But did you know that several quality apps utilize SkyDrive? Of course you did... and we'll try to cover a few along the way as we look at every day uses for your SkyDrive account.

More →

When Windows Phone 7 hits the shelves, it'll take some time for everyone to learn the ins and outs of the new system. We've touched on getting set up with Windows Live and X-Box Live to help you prepare for Window Phone 7.  To add to the resources, U.K. based Pocket-Lint has compiled a list of seventy-two tips and tricks that might give everyone a leg up on the new OS.

As we learn our way around Windows Phone 7, we'll be adding additional tips for Windows Phone 7 to our Help section.  In the meantime, here are a few from the list of seventy-two.

3. Add people to the start page: No it's not just about adding apps to the start page, but people too. Find them in your contacts book, click on the "pin" icon, and they'll be added to your Start page so you can speed dial them whenever you need.

10. What are the dots?: Whenever you see three dots at the bottom of the screen, that's a menu for more options. In photo playback for example, it will give you the options to delete the image or perform a quick upload.

25. Turn off 3G connectivity: There is always someone that will want to turn off 3G network support, presumably to save battery, and if that's you you'll need to head to the Settings, Mobile Network page to do just that. While you'll save battery don't expect those web pages you are surfing to load anytime soon.

32. Auto save your images to SkyDrive: It's always a good to keep a backup of your pictures, and Windows Phone 7 comes with SkyDrive which lets you do just that. In steps the auto upload to SkyDrive option. If you got confused the first time it asked you when you went into the pictures area, don't panic, you can re-enable it via the Applications page hidden within Settings. Go to Settings, swipe to the left and then scroll down to Pictures & Camera. In there you'll find the option to set the Auto Upload feature on.

53. Get rid of the "Sent from my Windows Phone" signature: Annoyed by that "sent from my iPhone" message you always get from your mates, and don't feel you need to brand your messages with the Windows Phone 7 love - don't panic, you can turn it off. In Mail press the three dots, select Settings, and then either turn off email signature or change it to whatever you want - maybe "Sent from my iPhone".

61. Merging your contacts: If you've got your contacts book filled with Facebook, Gmail and Hotmail, maybe even your work email, then chances are some of your core friends are going to be in your contacts book a couple of times. Windows Phone 7 is clever enough to "link" these contacts so they are shown under a single page. If it misses some, go into People, select a contact and then press the "chain" icon at the bottom of the page. You can then link further contacts to this page if you wish.

 

 

 

More →