Tag Archives: windows phone

You Can Assign Custom Ringtones to Text Messages

The Windows Phone 8.0 Update 3 brings the ability to assign custom ringtones to text messages, and you can assign a unique text message ringtone to individual contacts

After you install this update, you’ll know who’s texting you without even looking at your phone! You can also use custom ringtones for more things— instant messages, emails, voicemail, and reminders.

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greetings from my pocket

Hi! I’m glad you found me. My original blog, which was also called “from my pocket” went dark a few weeks ago and I’ve just now had some time to bring it back online. Here’s a short explanation of what happened.

GoDaddy, who hosts my blog, discontinued the software I used to create it. So I’ve had to learn WordPress and then transition my blog articles over to it. The truth is I should have moved over to WordPress a long time ago.

So now I republish blog articles….

Before my blog went dark, I made sure I had most of my still relevant articles backed up to my computer, so I’ve managed to republish the articles that I think I still relevant here (sorry if you’ve been seeing some old articles pop up in my RSS feed).

If you landed here by clicking a link you found in a forum thread, try searching the blog for it via the Search box found in the sidebar to the right.  If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, send me an email and I’ll check my backed up archive for any old articles that I can republish and share with you.

Windows Phone:  I’ve republished most of my Windows Phone articles, although the permalinks for those articles are lost and so none of the old links work any more. Here are some links to my most popular Windows Phone articles:

Windows Mobile: I’ve republished some of the Windows Mobile articles that were still getting a lot of traffic, but I’m not planning to republish many more articles since the Windows Mobile OS has been discontinued for eons (in mobile technology terms anyway) and I’m not sure how relevant those old articles are to anyone any more. You can find the Windows Mobile articles that are currently posted to the blog by clicking the Windows Mobile menu option at the top of the screen. You can also click any of these links to find the popular Windows Mobile articles that are posted here:


Using the Outlook Hotmail Connector

Windows Phone devices do not sync contacts and appointments to a local computer via ActiveSync or Windows Mobile Device Center.  Instead Windows Phone syncs contact and appointment data directly to web-based services, such as Outlook.com or to an Exchange Server account.

When I switched over from Windows Mobile devices to my first Windows Phone 7 device, I spent some time exploring the Outlook Hotmail Connector as a way to manage my contacts and appointments on my local computer while also providing a way to make the data available for my new Windows Phone 7. In this tutorial I use Outlook 2010 to demonstrate setting up the Outlook Hotmail Connector. The menu settings are similar for Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007, but you may have to hunt around for them a bit to find them.

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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.

Creating Playlists on Windows Phone

Creating playlists on windows phone isn’t particularly difficult, but it’s not particularly intuitive either.

Clear the “now playing” playlist

When you’re listening to music and select the pause button to stop the music from playing, the music stops playing but before you work with playlists you need to completely clear the “now playing” playlist on the phone.

You can clear the “now playing” playlist on the phone by powering down the phone and powering the phone back on or you can install an app form the marketplace like the one I use (“Stop the Music”).

Select music for your new playlist

Open up the music+videos hub, swipe over to the Zune screen (for Windows Phone 7) or the Collection screen (for Windows Phone 8), tap music.  Now select and add entire albums or individual songs to the phone’s now playing playlist: Continue reading