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Eight things you didn't know your Windows Phone could do

Liane Cassavoy | July 1, 2013
No matter how hard it tries, and how much it improves, Windows Phone just can't get respect. If iOS is like Jay-Z--polished and effortlessly cool--then Windows Phone is like Kanye West --overeager and trying too hard.

Windows Phone lets you create Groups, which allow you to focus your attention on a smaller subset of people. You can add your close friends to a Group that you create, and in that Group, you'll see the social and email updates from those friends, and have the option to text, email, or instant message the entire group at once.

If you'd like things to be a little exclusive, consider creating a Room. A Room is similar to a group, but is an invitation-only space where you can share calendars, group chats, photos, videos, and notes. has more information on how to create and use Groups and Rooms.

Give your fingers a break

Let's face it: Typing on a touchscreen will never be ideal. But Windows Phone has a few tricksup its sleeve that will make the hard work of composing your messages a little easier. One of the biggest problems with mobile keyboardsis just how small they are--even on the biggest phone screens. You have to toggle between keyboards with letters, keyboards with numbers, and keyboards with punctuation. But Windows Phone can make all of this toggling a thing of the past, as it offers a few built-in shortcuts for accessing the various numbers and symbols you need to make your message complete.

For example, if you want to quickly access commonly used punctuation marks, simply press and hold down the "." key on the keyboard. Want to type in all caps? Double tap the Shift key. Want to insert a number? Press and hold the "&123" key and then, while holding it, you'll see options for numbers or symbols to insert. Just drag your finger to the number or symbol you want to insert, and it will be entered--and you'll return to the letter keyboard, no toggling required.

These are eight of my favorite Windows Phone tips, tricks, and shortcuts. What are yours? Sound off in the comments below!


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