One of the subtle additions in Mango, but one that I suspect is going to be very well received, is the ability to use your own custom ringtones. Until this update, you were left with the installed options and the hope that one of those supplied would be good enough for day to day use. Given the customisation options offered by Live Tiles it's great to see that you can now add your own tone. Here's how to take your MP3's and audio files, and get them into your handset's ringtone library.
Microsoft are rightly proud of the work they have done in the People Hub to make it relevant to the users of Windows Phone, but that doesn't mean you can rely on Mango to talk to your social networks. There are more networks than the ones you can talk to out of the box, and in some cases you need more functionality than Seattle has provided. So where should Social Network junkies turn to? Here's our five picks.
More of an observation than a rant (though see below), but the rise and rise of the REAL camera phone puts quite a bit of pressure on us geeks, whatever mobile OS we currently favour. You see, the theory is that "the best camera is the one you have with you" but in practice all smartphones aren't created equal in the camera department and that has unforeseen social repercussions....
Have you seen the number of applications that are little more than a list of website articles? Or launch a bookmark? Or are yet another eBook reader of the Project Gutenberg text of A Princess of Mars? Why are they all still flooding every mobile app store on the planet? Because I think, secretly, the stores love the spam.
One of the interesting facets of Windows Phone 7 is how much it is tied to accounts you have on other services. Naturally, if you want to make best use of the People hub you'll need to add in some social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked In, but before that there's another layer of accounts that are more fundamental to your Windows Phone experience.
An interesting post from Mobot this morning on the five UK networks carrying the Nokia 700 handset (the first running Symbian Belle) has got me thinking. Let's be clear, there's no second source on this yet, but the central principle, that if the networks swing behind Nokia then the manufacturer has a solid future, is sound. Part of Nokia's offensive both for Belle, S40 and the upcoming Windows Phone handsets has been, and will continue to be, to charm the mobile phone networks.
It's a fact of life that much as we want out smartphones to have their own games, to stand out on their own, and to be unique, we also want comfort, familiarity, and games that we recognise. Windows Phone, and specifically the XBox Live games provide both. While we're looking out for the exclusive Windows Phone games that will become classics and make people want to be part of the Xbox Live experience, what are the games that we know from other platforms that have made it into your phone?
By popular request, here are my tips on shooting better videos on your smartphone. If you've been to an event, whipped out your phone and been disappointed later by blurry, jerky, muffled, badly lit footage, then these tips are for you! From light to movement to mundane practicalities, it's all covered below.
Taking a photo of that family member, friend or scene is the obvious function of your smartphone camera. But a little lateral thinking sees quite a few extra uses for this equipment - your phone camera isn't just for Christmas (and holidays), you know. See if any of these examples ring true in your experience... Can anyone remember life before we all had cameras with us 24/7? Me neither!
Unless you've (literally) had your head under a rock for the last 3 years, you'll have noticed that 'thin' is 'in' in the phone world. The thinner the better and the lighter the better - the aim seems to be to create a phone that's nearly all screen and never mind its other attributes. Playing devil's advocate, I present five reasons why thinner is not necessarily better.