Category Archives: FAQs

Frequently asked questions that I see on forums

Filtering Appointments from the Calendar Hub on Windows Phone

When you create a new account on windows phone by going to settings > email + accounts, you can also choose to sync the calendar that is included with the account, along with any related email, contacts, and tasks.

emailaccounts2If you don’t want to sync the calendar at all (so appointments are NOT stored on the phone at all), you would remove the checkmark in the box next to “Calendar” under the “Content to sync” heading.

Calendars (and their related appointments and events) that are synced to a phone are stored on the phone, but they can be hidden from view in the Calendar hub via the phone’s calendar filter settings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article describes how you can toggle the calendar filters on and off.

Continue reading Filtering Appointments from the Calendar Hub on Windows Phone

Filtering Contacts in the People Hub

When you create a new account on windows phone by going to settings > email + accounts, you can also choose to sync the contacts that are included with the account, along with any related email, calendar, and tasks.

emailaccounts2If you don’t want to sync the contacts at all (so contacts are NOT stored on the phone at all), you would edit the account in the email + account settings to remove the checkmark in the box next to “Contacts” under the “Contact to sync” heading.

Contacts that are synced to a phone can be hidden from view in the People hub via the phone’s People hub filter settings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article describes how you can toggle the contact filter on and off.

Continue reading Filtering Contacts in the People Hub

Troubles texting pictures and other media on your phone?

Most modern cell phones provide a way to send and receive short text messages via SMS (Short Message Service) and to send and receive short text messages with attached photos, videos and music via MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service). 

  • SMS (Short Message Service) is used to send text only messages
  • MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) is used to send text messages that include attached files (music, pictures, videos).

If the phone’s MMS APN (access point network) settings are not correctly configured for your cellular provider, you might still be able to send and receive SMS messages (text only) on the phone, but you won’t be able to send or receive) MMS messages on the phone. 

Continue reading Troubles texting pictures and other media on your phone?

Do You Need to Install Anti-Virus Software on Your Windows Phone?

I’m not concerned about viruses, malware or spyware invading my Windows Phone, and I don’t think you need to be concerned about them either for several reasons:

    1. The Windows Phone population is quite small. The people that write viruses hope to get the biggest bang for the smallest buck, so most of these folks probably aren’t interested in dinking around with such a small Windows Phone population and would most likely apply their talents elsewhere. But even if someone decided to write a virus to run on Windows Phone, it would be really difficult to actually install it to a phone.
    2. The only apps you can install to a Windows Phone are the apps found in the Windows Phone Marketplace.  All apps in the Marketplace have been reviewed and approved by Microsoft, so the likelihood of a developer sneaking a virus, malware or spyware on an app is pretty small
    3. Any app-related or app-created data is stored within the app’s exclusive file system which is partitioned off into its own “sandbox” – which is distinctly separate from the phone’s other app and system files. A third party app can only play within its own “sandbox,” so there isn’t a way for a third party app’s activity to invade the phone’s other app or system files. Even if an app managed to sneak some kind of nefarious virus/malware/spyware code onto a phone, the bad code would only be able to wreak havoc in the app’s own sandbox….what fun would that be
    4. Windows Phones run a distinctly different operating system than a Windows computer so the viruses/malware/spyware that affect computers won’t affect Windows Phones. Even if you managed to download some infected file from the internet, it wouldn’t run in the windows phone environment.
    5. There have been no confirmed instances of a destructive virus infecting a Windows Phone.

Over the years, there have been some “proof of concept” attempts by hackers to breach Windows Phones app sandbox security or to “jail break” the phone (much in the same fashion as Android devices), but none of these attempts have gained much traction before Microsoft closed the hole that was used by the hack.

Every now and then I’ll read about some rumored Windows Phone viruses/malware/spyware, but so far none of these rumors have ever materialized into any kind of real threat.  To date, there has not been any confirmed report of a viable virus, malware or spyware attack against Windows Phone.

You won’t find any antivirus apps in the Windows Phone marketplace.  But even if such an app existed, I wouldn’t install it to my phone…..The nature of antivirus software is to run continuously in the background, so installing and running antivirus software on a Windows Phone would most likely degrade the phone’s performance.  The use of such an app for a perceived threat that has yet to materialize just seems like overkill.

Installing antivirus software on a computer or a mobile device often gives a false sense of security and these common sense guidelines prevail:

  • Selecting questionable links in email messages, on websites, etc. should be avoided
  • Accessing any sensitive sites from any kind of device via a free wifi hotspot should be avoided.
    • The practice of jail breaking or side loading applications should be avoided (this practice is not possible on windows phone at this time).
  • Back up your computers and devices regularly. Then if your devices ever start acting strange, you can recover them by perform a factory reset and restoring your backed up data to them, thereby minimizing the loss of data when doing so.

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Windows Phone can announce your incoming callers by name

Your phone can announce your incoming callers by name if you enable the “speech for phone accessibility” option that is found by going to Settings > ease of access > tap the ON/OFF toggle:

speechforphoneaccessibility

When the “speech for phone accessibility” toggle is turned to the ON position the phone will announce the name of the person who is calling you if the person’s phone number is found in the phone’s people hub, otherwise the phone will announce the phone number of the incoming call.

NOTE: If you don’t find the “speech for phone accessibility” option when you go to Settings > ease of access then your phone (make/model) does not support the feature and you won’t be able to use the feature. The “speech for phone accessibility” feature is regionalized, which means it is not available worldwide, and the feature must also be enabled by the OEM and/or carrier before it can be used. 

The feature is available on Windows Phone 7 and 8.

Share Videos or Pictures via Bluetooth Connection

Sharing videos and pictures with other Bluetooth enabled devices is easy from Windows Phone 8. Videos and pictures that you create on the phone are stored in the camera roll album in the Photos hub on the phone.

Within the camera roll album, tap any video or picture you want to share, then tap the three dots in the lower right hand corner of the screen > share…

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Continue reading Share Videos or Pictures via Bluetooth Connection