11-02-2015 05:17 PM
- Hey everyone!
This thread is where the WPC community collects tips & tricks for Windows Phone 8.1. Everyone's contributions are periodically summarized here, in this first post. So far, this includes everything up to post #205 (page #9, assuming the default of 25 posts per page).
Please post your tips and tricks here, but be sure to check that they aren't already listed below! Also, please keep this thread laser focused and on-topic! If you find errors for existing tips then posting that is fine, but for anything other then that, except of course more tips & tricks, please consider creating a separate thread. Thank you!
If in doubt, sharing your knowledge is better than keeping it to yourself!
The WPC Windows Phone 8.1 review
The WPC Windows Phone 8.1 feature list
Cortana has its own dedicated Tips & Tricks thread, which is why you won't find Cortana related information here.
The keyboard supports both typing and swiping.
Here's a quick demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNyteXr3KxQ
The keyboard supports a number of features to make typing faster and less error prone.
Here's another quick albeit non-comprehensive demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qM7IdBWtQ6I
If the auto-correct feature doesn't recognize a word, it will underline it with a red squiggly line, and the suggestion bar will contain that word with a '+' prefixed to it. Tapping this word in the suggestion bar adds it to the dictionary, thereby also removing the red squiggly line as it then becomes a known word. When typing or swiping, WP8.1 will automatically recommend emojis. For example, after entering 'I love', the suggestion bar will show a heart icon. If you tap it your message will read 'I love '. Replacing the word 'love' with the emoji requires that you either select the word, or tap backspace, before tapping the emoji. After switching to the emoji keyboard, tapping an emoji will switch back to letters. If you're a serial emoji user, you might want to change this behaviour. Go to Settings | System | Keyboard > Advanced | 'Switch back to letters after I type an emoticon' = Off. Tapping and holding a key will often provide access to additional symbols. The period-key, all vowels, and the m-key are some examples. To write a single number or punctuation mark, tap and hold the '&123' key, slide your finger to the desired symbol, and let go. The symbol is written and you are automatically returned to letters. To change the case of a word you can select/highlight it and then repeatedly tap the shift key. This will cycle between upper-case, lower-case and first-letter-upper-case. You can also change the case for entire sentences in this way. No need to add a period to the end of one sentence before starting the next. Just quickly tap the space-key twice. By default, the keyboard lacks a dedicated comma-key (tap and hold the period-key to access it), but it can be added. To do so, go to Settings | System | Keyboard > Advanced | 'Show a comma key when available'. Changed in WP8.1: Manipulating the cursor position is different from WP8.0.
Here's a quick demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iov-kubaUEI
Addendum: Positioning your finger on the circle isn't strictly necessary. Placing your finger anywhere in the area close to the cursor works fine.
Audio Control / Ringer / Vibrate
UI, navigation and screenshots
To take a screenshot, simultaneously press the power and volume-up buttons. The screenshots are saved to the phone and can be accessed using the Photos app. Go to Photos | Albums > Screenshots. In any app with an app-bar and a more-menu ('...'), you can tap on either the left or right sides of the app-bar to open the menu.
Action Centre (a.k.a. Notification Centre)
The Action Centre is accessed by sliding your finger down from the top edge of the display.
This video provides a quick overview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaiydBwPvqg
The Action Centre can be opened either partially or fully. With the former only the quick access buttons are revealed, while the later also reveals your notifications. At the top of the action centre you'll find the quick access buttons. By default these four buttons are configured to control Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Flight Mode and Rotation Lock. Tapping on any of these toggles the corresponding function off or on. Better yet, you can swap out any or all of those functions for things that is more important to you. This explains how. If you have multiple notifications from the same app, tapping the app name in the header brings you to the main page of the app, whereas tapping the notification takes you to that specific message. To clear notifications for a single app, swipe to the right with a single finger. To dismiss all notifications in the Action Centre at once, swipe to the right using two-fingers. From a Facebook notification, you can tap the persons picture/name, which will take you directly to that person's profile page in the Facebook app.
Live Tiles & Backgrounds
On devices with lower resolution displays, you can switch between two and three column tile layouts. To turn on three tile layout go to Settings > Start+Theme | 'Show more Tiles' = On. Devices with higher resolution displays always use the three column tile layout, and since there is no way to "show fewer tiles", the setting isn't shown at all. If you pin the WPCentral website to your start screen, you automatically get a live tile that flips with headlines every 5 seconds. This also works with the CNN website. Pinning the Battery Saver app to the start screen gives you a transparent tile and shows battery life. Pinning the Data Sense app to the start screen gives you a transparent tile where the back side of the tile shows how close you are to reaching your data limit. Want more live tile color options? There are two approaches, both of which change the color of the transparent live tiles on your start screen, but not the accent colors:
- The first approach requires a computer with W8.1 (or newer) that is set to use the same MS account you're using on your phone. On your phone set Settings > Sync my Settings > Theme = On. Then on your computer go to the "Personalization" settings and choose a background color, then watch your phone's live tiles sync to that color.
- The second approach works by using a background image that is just a single solid color. Create the single color background image using MS paint or any other image editing tool, copy it to your phone, and then select it as your start screen's background image.
Want to change your own profile picture? Go to People > tap your profile picture > tap your profile picture again > find another. Changed in WP8.1: There is no equivalent to the WP8.0 Me-tile. However, you can get some of that functionality back by pinning yourself (your own contact information) to the start screen and installing the facebook app (see this for an explanation why). To do so, go to People > your profile pic > the pin icon in the app-bar.
Setting up your device, app installations and updates
If your device has an SD card installed, you can choose whether apps should be installed to the device's internal storage or to the SD card (if in doubt, internal storage is recommended). Apps can be moved between the two at any time. For example, to move an app/game to the SD card go to Storage Sense > Phone > apps+games > select the app you wish to move > 'move to SD'. After you get everything setup, don't forget to enable automatic backup! Should your device ever be lost or stolen, you'll be glad you did, as it will automatically restore your installed apps, app settings, text messages and more to a new device. To configure automatic backup go to Settings | System > Backup. You can configure WP to update your apps automatically, or to wait for your approval. You can even force the Store app to check if any updates are available. These features/settings are found in Setting | Applications > Store. You can view a list of all the apps that were associated with your MS account (through installation). To do so, go to Store | More-Menu ('...') > My Apps. From here it is also possible to reinstall apps individually. Although primarily of interest to developers, it is also possible to install apps from an SD card. This is also supported by the Store app. To do so go to Store > More-Menu ('...') > Install Local Apps.
IE11 (Internet Explorer 11)
- You can navigate forwards and backwards between pages by swiping in from the left and right screen edges.
- While playing a video in the browser, double tapping on the video will switch to full screen. Double tap again to exit full screen.
- Using Data Sense, IE11 can be configured to automatically reduce the amount of data used while browsing, whenever you get close to your data limit (this reduces image resolution, downloads less advertising, etc). See this for additional explanations.
- Call history tells you when and how long you spoke with someone. To access call history go to Phone | history | tap and hold on a contact name > details.
- When calling, to quickly go back to call history, swipe down from the top (this gesture traditionally opens the Action Centre).
- To quickly make a call from history just tap on the contact name.
- Can't see all your contacts (those from Skype of Facebook are missing)? Or do you see too many of your facebook friends for which you lack a phone number? To configure which contacts are shown in the people hub, go to: People > More-Menu ('...') > Settings > 'filter contact list'
- From the calendar's month view, tapping on a day will cause it to expand, showing you all the appointments you have on that day.
- If you open the calendar in week view and a Facebook friend's birthday is showing, you can tap the name to expand the day and then tap on the name again to open their FB page in IE. The same is possible from the month view with a single tap.
- On www.outlook.com, create a new mail folder and then use rules to direct specific mails into that folder (organizing mails based on who sent them is quite common, say, WCentral forum email notifications for example). Then when the folder syncs down to your phone, pin that folder to the start screen to give a dedicated view/count of just your new emails from that sender. A wide tile can also show you a preview of the latest new email in that folder. Great for job alerts, eBay, all sorts of stuff.
- Tapping the very left edge of the display puts the mail app into multi-select mode (same as pressing the select button at the bottom of the screen). This is very useful for deleting multiple messages at once.
- If you have a contact with more than one mobile number, you can specify the number to receive the message by tapping the Ellipsis Menu (...) > Switch Number > More Numbers.
- You can now send your songs via e-mail. In the now-playing section of XBM open the menu, and then tap share. XBM will send song info and a full *.wma of the song you're listening to.
- You can now add, remove and sort your songs within an existing track list.
You can configure locations where your phone automatically turns Wi-Fi ON, freeing you from having to remember yourself. If you are perfect about remembering to activate Wi-Fi whenever a signal is available, this won't do much for you. Otherwise it's quite practical though. Not having Wi-Fi turned on where a signal is available unnecessarily uses up your data limit and it also unnecessarily strains battery power, because sending signals to a cell tower requires a lot more power than sending a signal to a router that is comparatively closer.
This feature requires that the following criteria are met:
- Cortana must be enabled (if you are outside the U.S. please refer to this)
- Location services must be turned on: Go to Settings > location > 'Location services' = On
- You must have entered one or more favorite locations: Go to Maps (not HERE maps) > More-Menu ('...') > favorite places. For each location you want to add tap '+' in the app bar > and then search for the address (typically home, work, and wherever else you travel to or stay often).
- You must tell WP to automatically attempt to connect to Wi-Fi when in range of any one of your favorite locations: Go to Settings > Wi-Fi. There you must first turn Wi-Fi OFF. A dropdown list will appear in which you must select the 'near my favorite places' option.
Task management, background processing and battery management
Tap and hold the back button to open the task switcher. The task switcher displays a horizontal list of all open apps. From here you can switch to any of these apps (tap the app), or close them (either by swiping downwards on the app or tapping the ''X' button). Changed in WP8.1: Background tasks are no longer configured under Settings | Applications > Background Tasks. These settings are now folded into the Battery Saver app. The Battery Saver app is accessible from the app list, as well as from the settings list. For the later route, go to Settings | System > Battery Saver. To get an overview of which apps use how much battery power, and if that power is being drained primarily by the app itself (which only ever runs in the foreground) or by its background counterpart, go to Settings | System > Battery Saver | Usage. If an app uses a lot of power while doing background processing, you might consider disabling the app's ability to do so. On the other hand, some apps may be so important to you, that you want their background processes running even when the device is in battery saver mode. That too is possible.
This provides a brief overview of what battery saver mode is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INlq2HkPV3A
How do I pair my device to the PS3 and use it as a remote to quickly play music/videos on YouTube?
- Download the YouTube player for the PS3
- From YouTube on the PS3, select 'Pair Device'
- On the Phone (with IE), got to "www.youtube.com/pair" and enter the code (or QR scan) the code shown on the PS3.
- Select video on phone.
- Press the blue square icon on the top left in the browser window to connect.
- Press play and watch video on the PS3.
Much faster than searching with the PS3 app directly.
How can I (with 100% certainty) get my distracted kid's attention in case of emergency?
You require access to your child's MS account and password (email can be directed through another account to provide privacy). You can then use the find my phone feature to (a) force the phone to ring out loud, even if the phone is set to silent (b) lock the phone screen, and (c) send a message right to the lock screen.
This works best if login to your child's account, navigate to your child's find my phone page, and then pin that page to your home screen, so you won't have to login again. No third party apps are needed, just a pinned webpage.
Last edited by a5cent; 11-02-2015 at 05:11 PM. Reason: Extensive overhall04-14-2014 12:01 PMLike 28
- Some might wonder, where some contacts went (at least I wondered) - I don't know if it was like that in 8.0 but you have to change the view in the contacts app, disable the option to show only contacts with phone numbers (like Facebook contacts) and they're back in the list.04-14-2014 12:41 PM
- New emoji's
WP8.1 has brought alot of new emojis that were previously on IOS7 and not supported on WP8. I think Daniel Rubino mentioned it in his video but it's not on the main list of new features04-14-2014 01:09 PM
- There's so many non tips posts here.
Create a Room and you can now upload to OneDrive by sharing to that Room.
Cortana can toggle Wifi(not sure what else) by saying "Turn Wifi On/Off" (for those of you who want a quick toggle)04-14-2014 04:20 PM
- Has anybody else noticed that you can force the store to check for updates to your existing apps and not have to wait for them? That's in addition to the ability to configure automatic updating.
Last edited by elitejedimaster; 04-14-2014 at 05:42 PM. Reason: realigned image04-14-2014 05:40 PMLike 9
- 04-14-2014 05:51 PMLike 0
- Data sense is dope in ie11. I have Verizon and no internet, so data sense is crucial for a user as myself. It understands that you are close to your data limit and automatically reduces its data. This was a feature in 8.0, but it was manual. Small things. The message "we got your back..." Nice.04-14-2014 09:22 PM
- Here's a great tip for installing apps FROM your SD Card :)
If you have an SD Card in your device and you want to install that app, just go to:
Store --> Tap the "..." on the Lower Right of the Screen --> Install Local Apps --> Tadaan~
It's actually much better than the previous version because you don't have to refresh your phone over and over again in order to see the 'SD Card' option in the store :)04-14-2014 11:56 PMLike 10
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