Windows Mobile Tips and Tricks

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Dave's iPAQ, a site that calls itself your one stop source for iPAQ and mobility news, has a weekly podcast. The most recent podcast dated August 12, 2005 and titled "Dave's iPAQ Podcast Tips and Tricks" is a compilation of dozens of tips for Windows Mobile users. Educators may not be interested in all of the tips, but if you're an iPAQ, Axim, or any other Pocket PC user, you're bound to absorb several tips for using your Windows Mobile handheld. Here's just a few of the tips and tricks I learned:

  • Windows Mobile HandheldWhen using the onscreen keyboard, instead of tapping the shift button, simply tap a key and drag the stylus toward the top of the screen. For example, if you tap a lower case b, when you tap the b key and drag toward the top of the screen, it will input a capital B. In the same way, you can tap and drag the 1 key and it will input an exclamation point. This is a pretty cool shortcut!
  • Remote Display Control from Microsoft is a free solution for showing your handheld's screen to an audience. Simply install the software on your desktop or laptop and connect your handheld. Launch the software to show the unit's screen on the desktop's or laptop's screen. If the desktop or laptop is connected to a projector, you've got a pretty spiffy way of having a large group of students see the Windows Mobile screen.
  • HP Mobile Printing for Windows Mobile is a free printing solution. It supports printing from many Windows Mobile applications by infrared, Bluetooth, and WiFi.
  • Personalize your handheld with free themes from PocketPC Themes.
  • Tapping the close button on Windows Mobile applications doesn't actually close the program, it only minimizes it. The "closed" applications are still running in the background and using the handheld's resources. Magic Button is a Pocket PC Task Manager that actually quits applications when you tap the button in the title bar.
  • You can add any TrueType fonts from desktop version of Windows by copying them to the Windows > Fonts folder on your handheld. Unfortunately, fonts can take up a lot of precious RAM. Fortunately, you can copy these fonts to an expansion card using the free application called FontOnStorage. Read more about doing this at Brighthand's Discussion Forum.
  • Password protect Pocket Excel files by selecting Tools > Password in Pocket Excel if you're using Windows Mobile 2003 2nd Edition. Other versions use the Edit > Password in Pocket Excel. Note that when you sync to desktop, the password will be lost. Password protecting is important when you have student information or grades on your handheld.
  • You can choose to have larger onscreen keyboard keys by tapping the up arrow icon (next to the Text Input icon) and selecting Options. Tap the button next to "Large keys". Note that since the keys are larger, you'll need to tap the "123" button to access numbers and symbols.
There's certainly a lot more you can learn from listening to the 50 minute podcast! Click here to listen in your browser.

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