Windows Phone 7 Tips & Tricks: Phone Settings

August 19, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Getting to grips with any operating system means understanding how to make changes to the way in which the device works, and this means accessing the phone’s settings.

One Windows Phone 7 you will find a full list of options in the Settings screen, which can be accessed via the Apps menu. For instance, the Settings screen features configuration options for localization and mobile Internet connectivity, as well as creating and deleting accounts, changing ringtones and even checking for updates.

Understanding what options are available and how they can be adjusted to suit your situation is a vital part of using any operating system, so let’s take a look at the full set of options in the Windows Phone Settings screen.

Windows Phone 7 Tips & Tricks: Settings

Ringtones & sounds – enables you to enable and disable the ringer, activate and deactivate the vibrate alert and assign ringtones for incoming calls as well as audible alerts for text messages, email, voicemail, appointments, key presses and other notifications.

Theme – here you can change the background color of your phone (choose between light and dark!) and select an accent color for tiles and links.

Flight mode – this master control feature toggles your phone’s mobile, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios simultaneously with a simple On/Off slider.

WiFi – this switches Wi-Fi on and off, and a checkbox can be used to instruct the phone to inform you when new networks are found. By tapping and holding existing connections you can view and configure advanced options.

Bluetooth – by default this is set to Off, and again is toggled using a slider. Once activated, it should scan for nearby devices.

Email & accounts – this is a massive part of the phone, allowing you to add accounts for Windows Live, Facebook and Google as well as your carrier’s email service and any other email account you might have (such as a personal account or an Exchange email account). Via the Add an account button you will be able configure accounts using the presets or manually using the Advanced setup option.

Lock & wallpaper – here you can change your lock screen wallpaper, selecting from images saved on your phone, as well as alter the screen time-out settings and enable and disable the password.

Location – like flight mode, this is a master switch enabling and disabling all location services. Individual apps that rely on location (established via cell tower triangulation, GPS and Wi-Fi signal) will have their own controls but this overrides all.

Mobile network – this screen allows you to enable and disable data, select roaming options for overseas use, activate and deactivate your 3G connection and whether to have an automatic or manual network selection. You can also use this screen to add a new APN (Access Point Name).

Date & time – as you might expect, this view allows you to establish the correct date and time for your current location. This can be set automatically, in which case your phone will check with a home server when it is next online. A 24 hour clock can also be selected.

Brightness – this has an automatic option, or you can choose between low, medium and high.

Keyboard – here you will find many options, such as the ability to add languages, as well as a variety of settings that can be enabled and disabled depending on your preference. For instance you can have the phone suggest text and highlight misspelled words, auto-correct misspelled words and even insert a space after selecting one of these options. It can also be used to insert a full-stop after double-clicking SPACE, and you can toggle whether the first letter of a sentence should be capitalized or not. Finally the Reset text suggestions button clears out any words that you have added to the list in the course of typing.

Region & language – various options in this screen will require a restart. Here you can set your format for short and long dates, specify your preferred first day of the week for your calendar and choose which languages to use.

Ease of access – toggles TTY/TDD mode, allowing people who are deaf, speech impaired, or hard of hearing to use the phone via keyboard/text entry.

Speech – Windows Phone 7 has various speech options which are controlled here, enabling you to activate or deactivate audio confirmations and toggle whether to use the speech function via the Start menu when your phone is locked.

Find my phone – this vital security system is enabled by default, but these settings enable you to get fast results by periodically saving your location. Results can be delivered faster, but this may impact on your battery use.

Phone update – if any new updates for Windows Phone 7 are available then they will be displayed if the options in this screen are enabled.

About – here you will find more information about your phone; you will also be able to perform a hard reset to restore the factory settings.

Feedback – finally, you can enable this option to share your user experience with Microsoft and help them to improve Windows Phone. Sending feedback will require you to be connected to the web, but you can instruct the tool to always use your mobile connection for this.

With full understanding and recognition of what all of these options do, you will be quickly on the way to becoming a master of your Windows Phone device!

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