HOW TO: Access Hidden Features in Windows Phone

Now that the Windows Phone is out with its buttery smooth UI, some of you might find the following TIP-SHEET useful.

Most of these you can also find 

List of “hidden” but “Easy to Get to” features in Windows Phone

  1. Tap and Hold
    Almost in a majority of cases you can “TAP and HOLD” hereinafter abbreviated as TaH (not TAP and DANCE  Winking smile) to get a context sensitive menu. E.g.,
  • TaH an Outlook Mail to see “Delete, mark as Unread, …, clear flag”
  • TAH a conversation to see “delete, forward”.
  • TAH an entry in Call History to “Delete”.
  • TAH a calendar entry to see relevant Actions for the appointment.
  • Try TaH in most other places to reveal hidden gems.
  • Search 
    Hardware Search button is context sensitive. At any place in the operation of the Windows Phone if you press the hardware search button it will take you to a context sensitive search.
  • Example if you are in Mail (Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail) pressing on search will provide you the ability to search for in the Inbox or the specific folder you were in at that point.
  • If you are in your call history, pressing on HW Search will allow you type and search for entries in the Call list.
  • But not in calendar appointments.
  • Voice Search: Hold the Windows button for voice search
  • Text Editing
    • Hold on a text box to invoke a cursor for editing
    • When you type words in the text editor using the keypad, suggestive words appear above your keypad and you can scroll in that list to find the word that matches what you want and select it.
    • In-place cursor positioning while text entry:
      In the text box if you made a mistake or want to move to some random place, just hold your finger on the text box and a solid I (like upper cased i) will appear which you can move to the place you want.
    • In case you wondered how to type certain characters like European accented characters etc.,. press and hold the character key in the keypad. Say you wanted to type the letter ‘e’ with an accent mark above it. Then press and hold the letter ‘e’ and you will see the choices.
    • Another interesting fact is if you wanted to have an underscore in the e-mail address of a text message, you have you press the . (ie the period or dot) character. Then you will see the underscore which you can then choose and get it inserted into the e-mail of the text message.

4. Calculator App has three modes.
          Rotate phone Left to Right or Right to Left to get them.

    • Normal (portrait)
    • Scientific (top to the left)
    • Programmer’s (top to the right)

5. Hold camera button while device is locked to bring up camera without unlocking.
     For the above the phone doesn’t even have to be turned on Smile (At least on the Focus)

6. Tap and Hold in Picture’s hub to change background and Tile pictures

7. Tap and Hold in Facebook (Contact feed app) to bring up Refresh option

8. Multi finger panning in a list is allowed

9. In maps app, you can pan immediately after pinch/stretch gesture

10. You can hold on a song, artist, album or playlist in Zune app to pin it to Start menu

11. In the PEOPLE hub, hold-tap onto the “people” caption on the very top of the screen. This reveals a SETTINGS dialog from where you can import SIM contacts or change the sorting of your contact list. (I haven’t really found any other dialog where the caption has a context menu…). This is also accessible by doing the following:

From Home screen, swipe left to go into app list

· Tap on settings

· Swipe left to go into “applications” pivot

· Scroll down to “People” and tap on it.

12. You can also voice-dial from the lock screen if you turn on that option (it’s in Speech). Just hold the start button on the lock screen and say “call bob smith” and it does it. Very handy especially when you have the headphones (w/ mic) plugged in since it also works with the button the mic part of the OEM headphones.

13.  In the PEOPLE hub where all contacts are listed, you can jump directly to any given letter by tapping onto any caption letters, which brings up the whole alphabet, and then tapping on any other given letter.

14. In the Facebook App – shake the phone to refresh, and get new feeds.

15. In maps, if you tap and hold on a point on the map, it will place a flag on the map that shows the physical street address. You can then select the flag for more options.

16. I flagged my house in maps, then pinned that to the home screen. Now regardless of where I am, I can click on directions from here and get directions home

17. While listening to the radio, in the radio screen, tap and hold to open a context menu that allows you to change the output between earphone and speaker. Also you can tap and hold on the Radio Frequency like 95.5 FM And then Pin it to your start screen.

18. If you have a Zune Pass, if you want to download a song or album on the Marketplace instead of buying it; tap and hold on the song or album to see the menu that includes “download”.

19. Pinning to Home Screen.
You can pin almost anything to the home screen or Start screen.e.g..

    • Pin an app
    • Pin a contact
    • Pin a Web Page
    • Pin a MAP location such as your “HOME” location to the start screen and then get one touch driving directions to your home.
    • If you want to pin a specific website to the home screen, the icon that shows up will depend on what the page looks like at the time you pin it.  So if you want to zoom in on a specific graphic or text to set the icon look you can.