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- Modifications & Goodies
- XDA Classics: ROMs / Tools / Mods
- Running Android on Your Windows Phone
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10-04-14. To make the Windows Mobile guide more usable and easier to overlook, the Essential Software and XDA Classics sections have been moved to separate posts. You can still use the navigation menu at the top of the page, and it will take you to the correct section regardless of which part you’re currently viewing.
2010-03-16. Added the popular IM Nimbuzz to the Internet & GPS software category.
2010-03-01. Added a tutorial for syncing your Windows Phone with your Google account.
2010-02-07. Added Shopping Cart – a tool for managing shopping lists, to the XDA Classics section.
100119. Added XTask to the XDA Classics section. It’s a WM 6.5 compatible task manager by soma900 @ xda-developers.
100118. One of the most frequently asked questions of this guide is how you change the language of a Windows phone, so I added a tutorial on changing the firmware language.
090920. Added SportyPal to the list of essential Internet & GPS software – it’s a free fitness app.
090909. Added the applications Run.GPS Trainer UV and MASPWare GPSMeter to the Internet & GPS software category. You can read more about these tools here.
090607. One of the features I enjoyed most in the Rhodium ROMs I’ve tried is actually a
purely aesthetical one: HTC Rhodium Menu Enhancement. It makes the pop-up menus look less like Win 3.1 from 1992 and more like a modern cell-phone. There’s a CAB available at XDA – it doesn’t work on a stock firmware Xperia yet, but you might get it running on your device.
090528. Version 1.0 of the Skyfire browser was released yesterday, and it brings a lot of improvements. Here’s a video of Skyfire in action on the X1.
090515. Mozilla’s mobile version of their web browser Firefox; Fennec, is now available in alpha form. Follow the link for a direct download.
090512. Twikini is a nice Twitter client for Windows Mobile, and it’s added to the list of essential Internet Applications.
090511. Added Google’s YouTube app to the Internet Software category.
090510. Added three new tweaks: turning off security warnings, how to get an improved battery meter and how to always show the clock & the battery.
090508. Microsoft’s own Facebook application has been officially released, and it’s added to the Internet Software category.
090506. The best customization tool for Spb Mobile Shell, ChangeSkin, is now working with version 3 of the UI. If you use Mobile Shell and want to modify the look of it, this utility is a must!
090505. Added ‘Xperia X1 Panels Library’ to the XDA Classics section.
090503. The Pro version of the UI Home 2 has finally been released.
090503. Itje released the final build of his Touch-IT 7 Rhodium ROM today.
090430. Uploaded my WVGA Wallpaper Collection.
090429. Added three new Xperia WM 6.5 ROMs to the ROMs section.
090428. Described a way to set Opera Mini as the Default Browser.
090422. Added a new excellent ROM, Touch X Topaz by smaberg, to the Xperia ROMs section.
090421. Spb Mobile Shell 3 released – go grab the trial version!
090419. Added a CAB for increasing the speaker volume.
090418. I have been playing around with master chef itje’s Touch-IT v7 today, easily my favorite ROM so far.
090417. Windows Mobile 6.5 will officially launch on May 11 and
Spb Mobile Shell 3 is (hopefully) only days away! The launch could mean that we are going to see more stable WM 6.5 builds over at xda-developers before too long, and the beta trial version of Mobile Shell 3 I’ve tested is powerful indeed. With these two combined, you’ll have one heck of a setup.
090415. Included a tweak for enabling/disabling the backlight during calls, and a couple of more general tips.
090414. Added PhoneWeaver to the Profiles tip. I now prefer this tool to both Spb Phone Suite and Wisbar Advance when it comes to profiles!
Parts of this guide might be old news if you are experienced with Windows Mobile and have an interest in your cell-phone. But as a WinMo newb in early October 09 when I bought my first WM powered device (the versatile Xperia), some compiled solid information would have been really useful. I will update this page whenever I come up with more helpful things to put here, so check back.
Many of the tweaks and tutorials require a registry editor. I recommend the one that accompanies Resco Explorer or SKTools. Freeware choices are PHM Registry Editor and Total Commander. Alternatively, you can also change most settings without manually altering the registry by using the tweaking tools, which might be preferable, though I still want to provide instructions for both methods. All the tweaks and software are tested and working on WM 6.1 Professional (SE Xperia X1), but they should work on most Windows Mobile 6.1 and 6.5 devices as well. So… Ladies and gentlemen, here’s my attempt at A Little Guide to Windows Mobile and Windows Phones:
- The Best Utilities For Tweaking
- Increasing Input Space in Threaded Messages
- Disabling Sent Message Confirmation
- Increasing Your Touchscreen’s Responsiveness
- How to Speed Up Your Memory Card
- Installing .NET 3.5 For Better Performance
- Making the Pop-Up Menus More Finger-Friendly
- Getting Rid of the Busy Tone Going Through Speakers
- Tweaks For Optimized Performance
- Personalize Your Phone: Change the Boot Screen
- How to Add an ALT+TAB Feature (Improved Task Management)
- Making the OK-Button Actually Shut Down Programs
- Turning off SMS Pop-ups/Connection Bubbles
- Making Call Vibrations Rhythmic
- Enable/Disable Threaded Text Messages
- Changing the Font Size of Java Applications (JBed)
- How to Get Support For Phone Profiles
- How to Hard-Reset Your Phone
- Signing Opera Mini 4.2 to Get Rid off Confirmations
- How to Set Opera Mini as the Default Browser
- WVGA Fix (solution for VGA software problems on WVGA devices)
- Changing the Hardware Keyboard Layout
- How to Enable/Disable the Backlight During Calls
- Boosting the Xperia Speaker Volume
- How to Change the Language of Your Phone
- How to Turn Off Security Warnings
- Getting an Improved Battery Meter
- How to Always Show Both the Clock & the Battery
- How to Sync Your Windows Phone With Your Google Account
- A Safe & Foolproof Guide to Flashing ROMs
- Various Tips & Recommended Settings
- Advanced Configuration Tool. Has tons of advanced settings for you to play with. Highly recommended for tweaking, and like the best things in life – it’s free. Requires .NET Framework 3.5 to run.
- SKTools. A superb maintenance toolkit, very extensive. Besides options for tweaking, SKTools also has features for system maintenance.
- XperiaTweak. A free, simple but effective tweaking tool for Xperia owners.
- HD Tweak. This is mainly intended to use with the HTC Touch HD, but many of its settings work just as well for other Windows Mobile devices, like the Xperia (which essentially has the same hardware, besides the Xperia having a QWERTY keyboard and a smaller screen).
- Pocket Mechanic. I haven’t actually used this much, but it seems like a good tool for maintenance, such as scanning memory cards for errors and repairing them.
Increasing Input Space in Threaded Messages
Threaded messaging is all good and a welcome addition to mobile messenging – but on most Windows Mobile 6.1 devices you get a tiny (and hence rather impractical) typing space when you reply to a message. This is how you enlarge it:
- Launch Total Commander. If you don’t have this file manager installed, you can get it here: http://www.ghisler.com/pocketpc.htm. It’s free.
- Browse to the Windows folder
- Find and select the file: thread_sms.htm
- Tap on the little Notebook icon in the bottom toolbar of Total Commander to open it
- Locate this line of code: < Inbox:content id="COMPOSESUBJECT" width="98%" height=35 spell focus count links noclearonbackpresshold limit=0 autocap inserttab scroll />
- Replace the original height parameter “35” with “85”, for example.
- Press save and do a softreset (restart your phone). Voilà!
Alternatively, you could connect your phone to a PC with ActiveSync, copy the file to your computer and edit it there with Notepad. Just make sure you have Explorer showing hidden/system files. You might have to overwrite the original file with Total Commander (or Resco Explorer, my favorite) since it is part of the ROM and therefore protected by the system. You can also download my already modified version of thread_sms.htm here.
Disabling Sent Message Confirmation
Windows Mobile has a tendancy to display a “Message Sent” notification each time you send a text message. If you agree that this peculiarity isn’t one of the more well thought-out elements of the OS, follow these steps to disable the confirmation:
- First of all, you will need a registry editor. A great editor is the one that comes with Resco Explorer, other choices are the free PHM Registry Editor and Total Commander
- Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Inbox using the registry editor
- Make sure Inbox is selected and create a new key called Settings (if it’s not already present)
- Tap on Settings to highlight it and create a New String Value. The name of the value should be
SMSNoSentMsg and the Value Data 1
- Restart your phone, and hallelujah – no more SMS Sent confirmation bubbles!
- Via Advanced Config: Messaging/SMS sent notification/Disabled/Done
Increasing Your Touchscreen’s Responsiveness
Of course you want your touchscreen to be as responsive as possible, the less resolutely you have to touch it to get a reaction from your phone the better! If you used “firm” taps when calibrating the screen the very first time you started your device, this trick will probably work for you. That’s because the less firmly you tap at the screen calibration, the more responsive your screen gets. You have three options:
- Option 1) Copy X1 SoftTouch.cab to your phone, install it, softreset and you’re done! Compliments to ring-bearer at XDA who made the CAB and discovered the tweak.
- Option 2) With your registry editor of choice, navigate to HKLM/Drivers/TouchPanel and change the PressureThreshold entry to a ridiculously high value (at least seven figures) and softreset. Do not enter a low value since it can make your screen very ill-mannered!
- Option 3) From Advanced Config, select HTC TouchFLO/Pressure threshold. Tap on the drop-down list at the bottom of the screen, and select either “Extremely High” or a seven figure custom value. Tap “Done” and let the program do a softreset – voilà!
- Further reading: X1 SoftTouch
- To speed up your precious memory card, just copy this CAB-file (tnyynt SD TuneUP.cab) to your phone and install it. Apparently, Windows Mobile isn’t configured properly by default to take full advantage of memory cards, and the CAB is the remedy for that. It is made by tnyynt, a moderator over at xda-developers. The most accurate thread I could find for it is located here.
Installing .NET 3.5 For Better Performance
The .NET Compact Framework is required in order to run most programs on Windows Mobile. However, even though version 3.5 has been available since early 2008, version 2 of the .NET Compact Framework is the one most commonly (and solely) installed on new devices (as of late 2008). Why manufacturers do not pre-install version 3.5 remains somewhat of a puzzle, because the new release offers a number of improvements and has full backwards compatibility. Furthermore, some WM 6.1 software even require v3.5 of the compact framework to run. So grab your copy below if you don’t have it already!
- Download .NET Compact Framework, unRAR the archive and copy the CAB-file to your phone and install.
- While you’re at it, get the Compact Framework 3.5 powertoy (.Net Configuration) as well! It gives you full control over .NET CF on your device: it allows you to see installed versions, lets you select which programs uses which version of CF, and you can also change the entire device policy for .NET.
Making the Pop-Up Menus More Finger-Friendly
One of the objections I have against Windows Mobile 6.1 is that for a touchscreen OS, it’s surprisingly hard to touch things! Sure, Microsoft has listened to reason and are moving towards a more finger-friendly approach with WM 6.5 that has no need for a silly stylus. Until then, however, you can improve the current situation by enlarging the pop-up menus. You could do this manually via the registry, but I recommend you use one of the tweaking tools:
- From Advanced Config: Tap on User Interface/Popup menu font size and select ‘Large’ or a custom value. I use 1250 on my WVGA 3″ Xperia.
- For tips on how to make your device even more finger-friendly, head over to the User-Interfaces & Modifications section.
Getting Rid of Busy Tone Going Through Speakers
On many WM 6.1 devices, the busy tone is blasted out through the speakers. That’s one in a series of slightly bizarre Windows Mobile details. Why, oh mighty giant Microsoft, would you want a phone to behave so mischievously? It could hurt your ear since it’s right next to the speakers, it’s annoying, it’s illogical, it’s meaningless. I’d say the verdict is that the quirk needs to be removed, for the good of all mankind! This is how to do it.
- Enter HKEY_CURRENT_USER/ControlPanel/Sounds/BusyTone with your favorite registry editor
- To kill the busy tone altogether, remove the text (default is “apr”) from the Script entry, but do not delete the entire entry.
- You can also change the Sound value to a less loud and intrusive wav-file. It must be located in the Windows-folder.
- Change the Script value to ap for the tone to only play once.
- There are a number of things you could do to increase the overall performance of your phone. But the quickest and easiest way would probably be to take advantage of the utilities: import this .provxml-file in Advanced Config – it contains a set of tweaks. Copy it to your device, then launch Advanced Config, select Menu in the lower right-corner and finally “Import provisioning XML”. Locate the file and tap Select. The performance tweaks are compiled by a Norwegian WinMo haxor roxor, itje, who is a prominent figure at xda-developers and “chews memory cards for breakfast”.
- Anonther convenient way to improve the speed of your handset is to run SKTools (there’s a free, “lite” version available), select Optimize!, tap Action in the lower-left corner, make sure “Performance” is selected then tap Optimize! in the top of the menu. Let the program softreset your phone and you’re done!
- For further reading on the topic, check out this thread at XDA.
Personalize Your Phone: Change the Boot Screen
This have nothing to do with the functionality of your handset, but hey: why not change the standard WM boot screen to a personal image that puts a smile on your face? I always like to make my phone unique and my very own, in as many ways possible. So, this is how you replace the boot screen:
- The image file in question is called welcomehead.192.png and it is located in the Windows-folder. It’s in the PNG format. One could think that the size of the boot screen image would be the same as the resolution of the device. But on the WVGA (480×800) Xperia, the dimensions are 800×800 pixels.
- If you have a WVGA device, you have the option to download my boot screen template and customize it in an image editor on your PC. Please note that you can only use the first 480 horizontal pixels, but all 800 vertical. Cut and paste, or draw something new. Make sure you save the image in the original PNG format. You can also locate welcomehead.192.png in the Windows-folder, copy it to your computer and edit the image to your liking (remember to remove the read-only attribute).
- Now it’s time to overwrite the original boot screen with your modified version. You will have to use a third-party file manager like Total Commander or Resco Explorer, since the image is part of the Windows ROM and protected by the system. Just transfer the changed image to your phone, locate it with the file manager and then copy it
to the Windows-folder. Select Yes if asked to overwrite.
- The next time you start your phone, you’ll see your new boot screen.
How to Add an ALT+TAB Feature
Something I really missed from my Symbian S60 device when I got the Xperia, was a quick and simple way to switch between running applications. Of course, WinMo has a task manager – but I prefer the Symbian way where you can get a list of active programs (and switch between them) with the simple press of a hardware button. To me, that’s faster and more convenient. Unfortunately, Microsoft in their infinite wisdom didn’t provide a way to do the same thing on Windows Mobile. Third-party software to the rescue! A requirement for this to work is naturally that your device has a hardware button free to assign. In my opinion, two of the best tools for improving task management on Windows Mobile is SPB Pocket Plus and Wisbar Advance.
There’s also a free version of Wisbar (Lite), but SPB Pocket Plus costs a few bucks. Among other things, Wisbar allows you to see all running applications in the taskbar (like on XP),
switch between them with a quick tap and skin many elements of the UI. Getting the most out of Wisbar Advance is somewhat of a science (I guess it would fall under the category bloatware), though the massive amount of settings provide great possibilities. I suggest you learn by playing around with it. This tool is mainly for power users and not suited for everyone, I guess. I have also encountered quite a few bugs when using it, and there’s some compability conflicts between Wisbar and the HTC system applications. So if unsure, I recommend that you use SPB Pocket Plus which is described here:
- Download Pocket Plus and install the tool with all the options checked.
- Enter Settings/Personal/Buttons and tap < Add buttons... >
- Press the button you want to assign to the task switcher. You may also long hold a button, so that two separate actions can be assigned to a single button – depending on if you press and hold down the button or just press it. For the ALT+TAB feature, I use a long press on the OK-button.
- The button you pressed will now appear in the list of buttons. For the OK-button, it will look like this: OK Button < Default >, OK Button (Hold) < Default >. From the list, select the button you want to use and choose ALT-TAB in the “Assign a program” drop-down list at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap ok and you’re done!
- You may also experiment with AE Button Plus
- I will try to make this brief for a change: If you don’t have SPB Pocket Plus in your software arsenal, download and install the tool with all the options checked. Trust me, it’s worth the dough.
- Enter Settings/Personal/Buttons, tap < Add buttons... > and press the OK button – then press and hold it. Tap Done (Left Softkey).
- It will now look something like this. Under “Assign a program”, select the command [Close]. All finished! Now the OK-button will shut down the active program and not keep it running in the background.
- If you don’t want to get notified of new text messages with the little pop-up box in the bottom of the screen, you can disable it from Settings/Sounds & Notifications/Notifications. Select “Messaging: New text message” from the Event drop-down list and uncheck “Display message on screen”
- To turn off the Connection Bubble (which appears each time you connect to the Internet), select “Connection established” in the list mentioned above and uncheck “Display message on screen”
Making Call Vibrations Rhythmic
The first time someone called me on my SE Xperia, it made me laugh and wonder what that little fiery plastic bastard was up to. Because it never stopped vibrating! While all my other cell-phones have had a rhythmic vibration pattern, this one just desperately kept going like its life depended on it. Luckily, I’m not the only one who found this a bit unusual and I found a solution:
- Download VAlert (by ochakov at xda-developers) and install the CAB. Here is the thread for the utility and further instructions.
- Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Inbox/Settings/OEM and edit the value SMSInboxThreadingDisabled to 1 (disabled) or 0 (enabled)
- Via Advanced Config: Messaging/Threaded SMS (select Enable or Disable)
Changing the Font Size of Java Applications (JBed)
The registry entries that control the font size for applications running in JBed are located at: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Apps\Esmertec Java\Device Info\Java Font. There you should find the following entries:
Increase or decrease the values of these entries to change the font size in Java applications.
How to Get Support For Phone Profiles
This is not an actual tweak but more of a tip. One of the main surprises when I got my first WinMo device, was the lack of a basic functionality like Phone Profiles. I couldn’t do without them, so I found a couple of third-party applications that add this feature. If you have HTC’s Touchflo 3D running on your device, you probably already have something called Profiles (Settings/Sound). But there’s only four, rather ascetic options available: Normal, Vibrate, Silent and lastly Automatic, which automatically sets the phone to vibrate during appointments. But since I’m used from Symbian to have complete control over the phone profiles, I need more (greedy bastard). These are the best options I have come across for WM:
- PhoneWeaver is an excellent choice for phone profiles, and in my opinion the top of the three. If you assign a hardware button to the PhWeaver Menu command (from Settings/Personal/Buttons), you’ll have a very convenient way of accessing the utility. Profiles may be activated automatically based on time, appointments or phone state, and they can control your handset’s radio, Wi-Fi, push mail, Bluetooth,
sounds and vibrator.
- SPB Phone Suite, a tool that among other things in fact handles profiles very well. You can customize each profile with many different settings and create all new ones. The only problem is, it seems as if the single way to change between the various profiles is to have Phone Suite active as a Today Plug-in. Which is a bit restricting at times, especially if you like Touchflo 3D. On the plus side, this utility of course integrates really well with SPB Mobile Shell.
- And then there’s the (dreaded) Wisbar Advance. When you install this task management, system and WinMo customization tool, you will also get a set of commands in the form of shortcuts, which you can either assign a hardware button to (Settings/Personal/Buttons), or just launch as a regular shortcut. One of the commands are [Profiles] and that’s what we’re after in this case. Wisbar’s Profiles feature isn’t as fancy as the one in Phone Suite, but it has the advantage of being available as a command which can be easily launched.
How to Hard-Reset the Xperia X1
Please note: a hard-reset will restore your phone to its original state, and all information you have added to the internal memory (including files and software) will be erased. I highly suggest you make a backup of your phone’s content with one of the backup tools before performing a hard-reset. The procedure to hard-reset the Xperia X1 is easy:
- Turn off your Xperia
- Hold down the left and right hardware buttons at the same time (located under the screen)
- Press the power button, while still holding down the other two
- Once the phone makes a slight vibration, indicating that it’s starting, let go off the power button
- Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the hard-reset
- For other phones, please visit Hard-reset.eu
Signing Opera Mini 4.2
You enjoy the speed and smoothness of Opera Mini, and applaud the way it reduces your data fees by compressing websites before sending them to your phone? But you get annoyed by the confirmation pop-ups that are displayed since Opera Mini is a Java MIDlet? Here’s how to get rid of them by signing the software as a trusted application. Tested and working with Opera Mini 4.2 on the Xperia!
- Copy the file Windows\appdb\selector.utf from your phone to your PC. If you want to feel extra safe, make a backup just in case.
- Remove the read-only attribute of the file to render the alteration possible
- Place sign_operamini.exe (by shiranmotha at XDA) in the same folder as selector.utf and run the utility. It will patch the .utf-file and create a backup
- Now replace the original Windows\appdb\selector.utf with the newly modified version
- That’s it! No more Internet access confirmation pop-ups
- Further reading at xda-developers
If Opera Mini is your favorite way to access the web, you probably want to set it as the default browser. That way when you click on a bookmark for example, Opera Mini will be launched. You could probably achieve this by manually changing various registry settings, but I prefer the automated method described below. I will try to add other methods later on.
- The way to set Opera Mini as your system’s main browser is with a little utility called
JZ SmartMort, by a developer at XDA. It takes use of the ever so popular MortScript, a versatile batch language for WinMo. Download the CAB and install it on your device – if you don’t have MortScript already it will be installed as well.
- Now locate the icon JZ Settings in your Programs folder and run it
- Select JZ Browser Options and tap OK in the bottom left corner of the screen
- Double-tap Choose a Default Browser. If you don’t see Opera Mini in the list of available browsers, double-tap Scan/Detect Installed Browsers at the top, otherwise select Opera Mini and tap OK
- Now it’s time to alter the Change Default Browser Timeout setting. This is the time you have to select another browser than the default when a bookmark is launched. To bypass the selection dialog, set this option to 0
- JZ SmartMort also offers other options for Opera Mini, such as creating a Start Menu shortcut to the application and making the pasting of text possible
WVGA Fix 3
Some software designed for VGA devices act strangely on WVGA resolution screens. This nifty little tool (WVGAFix3) by Cotulla emulates VGA and takes care of VGA –> WVGA compability problems. Just download and install and you’re all set. Here’s the original thread for more information on the subject.
Changing the Hardware Keyboard Layout
If you have flashed a ROM that’s in a different language than the original Windows Mobile on your phone, it might mess up the hardware QWERTY keyboard layout. Luckily, the layout can be changed in the registry. Make sure you edit the value in hex.
- In the registry, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HARDWARE\DEVICEMAP\KEYBD
- Change the CurLan g value to match your language:
Here is the complete set of locale IDs in case your language isn’t listed above.
How to Enable/Disable the Backlight During Calls
Some people prefer the backlight to be turned on during calls, so they can easily activate the speakerphone and access the keypad for example, and some like the display to be turned off to save power. Here’s how you switch between the two:
- Enter HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Drivers\BuiltIn\RIL with your favorite registry editor. Edit the
EnableFastDormantDisplayDuringCall value: 0 will keep the backlight on during calls and 1 will turn it off after a couple of seconds. Softreset your device to activate the tweak.
- This setting can also be changed with HD Tweak:
At the very top of the screen, there’s an option called Fast Sleep – select Enable or Disable at the bottom, press OK, do a softreset and that’s it!
Boosting the Xperia Speaker Volume
The speakers on the Xperia X1 is relatively weak, but the volume may be increased by installing this CAB by Davide Gialli. Please note that if the volume is set too high, the sound may appear a bit cracked and distorted. Will likely work on other WinMo devices as well. Montecristoff, the guy behind HD Tweak, also has a couple of CABs that he says will increase your device’s overall sound volume. They can be downloaded from his website.
How to Change the Language of Your Phone
If you buy a Windows Mobile device abroad, chances are that the language of your phone won’t be in your native tongue. Fortunately, the language can be changed by flashing a different ROM. Most stock ROMs are available for download at the xda-developers. This process involves a couple of steps, but it’s not as difficult or risky as it may sound. Here’s how you do it:
- First of all you need to get a hold of the new firmware files. Visit the xda-developers forum, locate your phone in the list and click on the ROM development link for that device. Unless you have a really unusual handset, you should see a sticky post called “Original ROMs”, “Official ROMs” or something similar at the top of the page. Look at that post and download a ROM in the language you want. If you can’t find any official ROMs, download one of the custom alternatives instead or Google for it.
- Once you have the ROM, it’s time to flash it. A tutorial on how to flash ROMs can be found later in this guide. Follow the steps described there to flash your new firmware.
If you want to, you can even restore the Stock SPL later on (Hard SPL is needed to flash ROMs) in order to use the official Software Updater with your phone:
- You need both Hard SPL and Stock SPL in order to do this. They can probably be downloaded at xda-developers: locate your phone, enter the ROM development section and look for a sticky SPL post at the top. You should be able to download both SPL versions there.
- Run the Hard SPL package, but do not press the Next button yet and wait with the flash
- Take the Stock SPL file titled RUU_Signed.NBH and overwrite the other RUU_Signed.NBH file in the Hard SPL package
- Now click Next to proceed and follow the instructions to restore the stock SPL
- You should now be able to update your phone’s firmware with the official software!
How to Turn Off Security Warnings
By default, Windows Mobile displays a security warning before running an application that hasn’t been digitally signed. This can get a bit annoying after a while, especially if you install a lot of programs, but the warnings are easy to switch off:
- Launch Advanced Config.
- Enter the Miscellaneous category at the very end of the list
- Tap Security Warning and select Disabled from the list-box at the bottom
- Tap Done and no more warnings!
Getting an Improved Battery Meter
Windows Mobile’s standard battery meter isn’t that accurate, since it displays the remaining energy in 10 % steps. But thanks to Ethermind at XDA, you can now get a battery meter which has a one percent accuracy. For VGA and WVGA devices.
- Download Ethermind’s improved battery driver, UnRAR the archive and copy battery.dll to your phone.
- Now you must place battery.dll in the Windows-folder and overwrite the existing file. Since the original battery.dll is protected, you need a file manager like Resco Explorer to achieve this.
- In order to even see battery.dll, you need to make sure the following settings are enabled:
in Resco Explorer, tap Menu/Options/General/Browser, then uncheck all the “Hide”-options
- After you have copied the improved battery driver to the Windows-folder on your phone, you need a new set of battery icons that are able to show one percent steps. You now have two options: you may either keep the original look of the battery, by copying phcanOverbmp.dll to the Windows-folder. Or change the design of the meter by installing Ahen6a.cab by sunnyin86 at xda-developers. The battery will then look like this.
- Finally, the new driver is signed with SDK Certificate, so you need to install sdkcerts.cab for it to work.
- Softreset your device and you’re done!
- The original XDA-threads: Xperia 1% battery.dll and AHEN 6 TaskBar.
When I got the Xperia X1, it was probably my first device that didn’t display the time in the status bar at the top. However, there is a way to enable this, but not without losing the battery meter – unless you use Spb Pocket Plus.
- To display the time in the taskbar at all times, enter Settings/System/Clock and Alarm, tap the More tab and select the option at the top.
- Unfortunately, this will remove the battery icon (even though there’s plenty of room left for both). But if you install Spb Pocket Plus, you have the possibility to see both the clock and the battery meter: from Settings/System/Spb Pocket Plus, check the Taskbar Battery Indicator option. A downside is that you’ll get Spb’s own battery if use this option, even though you might have improved the battery meter.
- For complete control over the taskbar, experiment with Wisbar Advance.
One of the advantages with Android devices, is of course the tight Google integration. If you frequently use many of Google’s services, this is very convenient. Luckily, those rocking Windows Phones can have the same benefit by setting up Google synchronization (contacts, calendar and emails) via ActiveSync. This will work on both 6.1 and 6.5 handsets. Here’s how you do it:
- Launch the ActiveSync application on your device.
- Tap on set up your device to sync with it in the middle of the screen
- In the Email address field, enter your full Gmail address. Make sure to uncheck the Attempt to detect Exchange Server automatically option
- Tap Next, and enter m.google.com in the Server address box
- Make sure the SSL option is selected, then press the Next button
- Enter your full Gmail address in the User name field. If you don’t enter your entire address, you will be prompted to enter a domain as well and get an error. The Domain field should hence be left blank.
- Enter the password to your Google account and tap Next.
- Now select what you would like to sync. Currently, contacts, e-mail and calendar can be synced, but not tasks.
- Tap Finish and you’re done!
- If you don’t alter the default sync schedule, you should be notified of new items as they arrive – just like on Android phones.
- For further instructions, you can check out the full tutorial.
- Enable ClearType from Settings/System/Screen/ClearType. It smoothes the edges of screen fonts, making text clearer to view. The difference is especially noticable in Touchflo 3D (the touch interface on HTC’s phones). What was the wacky reasoning behind not having this on by default, I wonder?
- Disable Word Suggestions from Settings/Personal/Input/Word Completion. If you have a full QWERTY keyboard on your phone, and you’re fairly fast at typing, the word suggestions are of no use to you anyway. And I have noticed quite a lag when this setting is on, especially when writing text messages. One would think that a cell-phone with 256MB of RAM, 128MB graphics memory and a 528MHz processor could handle quick typing without delay, but apparently that was a hard nut to crack for Microsoft.
- Divide your Programs Folder into categories. If you have lots of software installed, that way you don’t have to browse through a huge list of programs and can find what you’re looking for quicker. For example, you could create the following subfolders (by starting File Explorer and entering the Windows/Start Menu/Programs folder): Internet & GPS, Multimedia, System Tools, Favorite Apps, Office, Games (the last two usually already exist). Cut & Paste the shortcuts with the File Explorer to move them to their new locations. If you have one of the latest (spring 2009) HTC WinMo devices, you luckily don’t have to be bothered with any of this, since HTC lately have made the wise decision to replace the Programs menu altogether (at least when Touchflo 3D is running).
- XP users, Disable ‘Advanced Network Functionality’ for ActiveSync (Settings/Connections/USB To PC). This setting is behind 95% of all connection problems on Windows XP with ActiveSync. It’s on by default.
- To view Today Screen wallpapers in their full color glory, set them from the Pictures & Videos application. Select the image of your choice, then tap Menu/Set as Today Background. Make sure the Transparency Level is set to zero.
- Take full use of key-mapping. Just do it.
- If you use your phone as an alarm clock, you might want to turn on the “Sound alarms even when the device is set to silent or vibrate” – in case you ever forget to turn off the vibration mode before you go to sleep, you’ll wake up right on time anyway.
- Turn off 3G for better sound quality from Settings/Personal/Phone/Band. This might seem a bit backwards: why cramp the speed, dude? But the difference in voice call sound quality is striking, at least on the SE Xperia on my network, where the the sound is much clearer and crisper on GSM than on 3G. And I have no use for the extra speed at the moment anyway (O Flat Rate, Where Art Thou?) because of the high data fees.
- Turn on Auto Volume Control from Settings/System/Microphone AGC for automatic adjusting of the input level when recording. It makes sound recordings less likely to distort or be too quiet.
- For optimal battery life, set the backlight to turn off after a maximum of 30 seconds of idle time (Settings/System/Power/Advanced), and two minutes for Sleep mode. To further preserve battery power, select the option “Disable data connections when device enters Sleep mode” from
Settings/Personal/Phone/Data. The last setting may or may not exist, depending on your phone and ROM.
- If you frequently use wireless LAN, you can also save power by entering Settings/Connections/Wireless LAN/Power Mode
- Charge your battery often. Unlike older batteries that benefited from being drained all the way down, cell-phone batteries of today prefer partial rather than full discharges. In order to make the battery last as long as possible, it’s also good to keep your phone in moderate temperatures, since both extreme heat and cold can be harmful. In fact, in some cases batteries have died completely after being exposed to just -3°C/26F (like a couple of Nokia devices – they come from frosty Finland, what were they thinking?).
- In case your screen turns on and stays that way while charging the battery, and you don’t want it to, enter Settings/System/Power/Advanced and manipulate the “On external power” settings. The backlight can also of course be manually turned off by pressing the power button during the charging.
- Blackstone Hints & Tips @ XDA
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I think I could have made an entire site just about the various user-interfaces of Windows Mobile (it’s a versatile cameleon!), but for now I will settle with supplying links and videos. Since the native interface of WM 6.1 is a mess (hey, you know it as well!), there are plenty of attempts to improve the UI and cover up the eyesores, with various degrees of success. So far, I have changed the way I interact with my phone at least five times – all very different from each other. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Spb Mobile Shell. Perhaps the most popular and widespread user-interface, alongside TouchFlo 3D. I used this for quite a while, and experimented with tweaking – this skin changer (based on MortScript) is a must and fully automates changing the look of Spm Mobile Shell. Version 3 of the interface was recently released and offer many improvements.
Installation | Video | Tweaks
- Touchflo 3D. This is the fashionable 3D UI HTC use for their Windows Mobile phones. It is actually a customized build of PointUI, which you can have a look at below. Touchflo 3D in its different incarnations (as of March 09, a beta of Touchflo from the upcoming handset HTC Touch Pro2/Rhodium running on an early build of WM 6.5) has so far been my main choice in 2009. Since there are so many different ports available, I will link to a few of them and let you decide which one suits you best. Though the easiest way to get a fully functioning Touchflo 3D running with all the glitches ironed out, is probably to flash a ROM with the UI built-in. Installation links for WVGA devices: Valkyrie Firestorm (Xperia ROM) | HTC Blackstone/Rhodium Project| Full Manila HD Cab | Touch-IT Rhodium by itje (Xperia ROM) | Video | Tweaks
- PointUI Home 2. Very quick, smooth and sleek – impressive coding. Home 2 brings good solutions and has built-in support for customization and user-made applets. I looked forward to version 2, but its release was somewhat of an anti-climax. Mainly because the UI didn’t utilize the entire WVGA space on my Xperia, but that has luckily changed with the maintenance builds. Home 2 will probably be my preferred choice later on once the Pro version is released.
Installation | Video | My Home 2 XDA Thread
- Samsung TouchWiz.
TouchWiz is the drag & drop widget interface Samsung use on their Omnia devices, for example. Check out the page below for the files required to get this running on your handset. Installation can prove to be a bit tricky, but if you follow the instructions it should work. For WVGA devices, I have this fix which you should extract to the Windows-folder on your phone, overwriting the original files. Installation | Video
This is basically the TouchWiz interface, but developed by nicodega over at XDA. I think it actually works better than the port in some ways! Will require .NET 3.5 to run.
Installation | Older Thread | Video
- BellUI. This is a port of the BellUI, which is also a customized build of PointUI Home 2. In fact, I see no reason installing this, other than for the hell of it and to have tried everything.
Installation | Video
- Wisbar Advance Desktop.
I played around a lot with this when I first got my Xperia and was disappointed with the lame Panel interface. I even got an Android theme going that looked very similar to the real thing. So you can basically make Wisbar Advance Desktop (WAD) look anyway you like, and design your own user-interface. But WAD isn’t without shortcomings, so I haven’t used it much since then. However, I noticed that there’s a new release available as of 16 March 2009 that might make the application more enjoyable to work with. Installation | Video
- Manila 2D. This is Touchflo 3D’s predecessor. I haven’t tried it myself since the Manila 3D from the HTC Touch HD has been available since late October last year. But this list wouldn’t be complete without it, and feel free to give it a shot! Installation | Video
- More interface related material at 1800 PocketPC’s UI Section
This is a little list of some nice user-interface modifications and enhancements, along with links to their corresponding original threads when applicable.
- HTC Enlarge Start Menu – HTC’s larger version of the start menu
- Touch-HD cabs – Lots of nice extracts from the HTC Touch HD
- Extra CABs for the Touch-IT 5 ROM – Plenty of sweet add-ons, check it out
- HTC Footprints – Geotagging app
- TouchResponse – Vibration feedback
- FingerSuite – Replaces the standard menus
- FingerKeyboard 2.1 – A finger-friendly touchscreen keyboard
- FInixNOver VGA Battery/Network Icons – A better battery meter
- AnX1 Landscape mode for TF3D
- SE X1 Icons (SEX1cons) – New taskbar icons
- Wisbar Advance – Task management and interface customization tool
- In order to flash custom ROMs, you need Hard-SPL on your device. To get it for the Xperia, follow these instructions. For other phones: visit xda-developers, locate your device in the list, enter the “ROM development” section and look for a sticky Hard-SPL thread at the top.
- Download the ROM of your choice. It must be compatible with your device
- Make sure your phone’s memory card is formatted with FAT32 (which most likely is the case)
- Rename the image file (generally called “ruu_signed.nbh”) in the ROM package to kovsimg.nbh
- Copy kovsimg.nbh to the root of your handset’s memory card
- Check that you have at least 50% battery power left before flashing to avoid your phone running out of juice in the update process
- Turn off your phone
- Enter the boot-loader mode of your device. On the Xperia, this is achieved by pressing both the power button and the “volume down” button on the right at the same time. Keep holding down the buttons until you see a tri-color screen
- Follow the on-screen instructions
- Right after flashing your new ROM, perform a hardreset to avoid possible complications caused by files from the previous firmware
- If you want to revert to the original firmware later on, just use your phone manufacturer’s Update Service
- Video Tutorials for Backing up and Installing a ROM @ xda-developers
I know that this list is very modest so far, but please bear with me.
Probably the best site for Windows Mobile and HTC discussions, solutions, development, hacking and customization.
- HTCPedia.com. A forum for all HTC’s devices.
- Modaco. A huge WinMo forum.
- WMPowerUser.com. A fine Windows Mobile blog.