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PDAs & Smartphones Tips

Read these 9 PDAs & Smartphones Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Cellphone tips and hundreds of other topics.

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What Are the Differences Between The Blackberry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile Operating Systems?

What Are the Differences Between The Blackberry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile Operating Systems?

You wouldn't buy a computer without knowing what operating systems it used, and it is just as important when you select a smartphone or mobile PDA. The operating system of your smartphone will determine its functionality, and what kind of software applications will be available. Blackberry (RIM), Symbian and Windows, are three of the most common systems on the market.

Blackberry PDAs are often the choice of the business user. The reason for this is the push email technology which delivers email directly to the mobile PDA, it also allows appointment changes, price updates, and other business events to be updated in real time.

If your work environment uses Microsoft software, you might want to consider Windows based smartphones. While Windows based smartphones do not have full push-email capabilities, they perform well and have the ability to interface with Microsoft Outlook on many models.

Symbian based PDAs have long dominated the mobile PDA market as one of the first operating systems on the scene. The constant development of the Symbian operating system, user interfaces, and built in applications has produced a very stable and satisfying mobile platform for mobile PDA users. There is also a greater consistency of available functions from model to model in Symbian smartphones. If you are looking for a reliable smartphone, high overall performance, and few surprises, a Symbian-based smartphone could be a good choice.

   
Is there a way to estimate how many meagabytes I need in my mobile data plan?

Is There a Way to Estimate How Many Meagabytes I Need in My Mobile Data Plan?

Looking at mobile data plans for your handheld PDA, and don't know where to start? First you need to estimate your usage, which occurs in kilobytes, and then translate that to megabytes, which is how mobile data plans are packaged.

There are 1,024 kilobytes in a megabyte. Checking email uses four kilobytes, looking up a sports score uses six kilobytes, checking the weather uses eight kilobytes, and accessing a news story uses around 10 kilobytes. If you check your email three times a day on your pocket PC, look at the news once, and check the weather once, you will use 1,200 kilobytes. A mobile data plan with two megabytes will be adequate. But if you are constantly looking up data and sending business communications with your mobile PDA, consider one of the unlimited mobile data plans instead.

   
What information will I need if I order a PC card off the Internet, or over the phone?

What Information Will I Need to Order a PC Card?

PC mobile broadband cards turn every café into an Internet café. You can get very good deals on PC cards by ordering direct from your carrier's web site, after some preparation:

1. Write down your computer's operating system, the manufacturer, and the model number.

2. Check your ports. Not all laptops are able to take full-size wireless PC cards.Check the size of your mobile wireless PC card slot and be sure it is large enough to physically accommodate the card you want.

3. Install the latest version of your computer's operating system or download any upgrades and security patches.

4. Make sure you let the customer service rep know that you are running a Mac or Windows operating system, and the version you are currently using. Vista and XP systems may have different software installation needs to handle your new mobile pc wireless card.

5. Google your computer make and model, plus the name of the PC card you wish to buy. You may find some advance tips on the combination of your specific system and that mobile PC wireless card. How does that Verizon PC card work with Vista? Does it work better with XP? Do some digging first.

   
Is there a way to record my own ring tone without using an MP3 file?

Homemade Verizon Smartphone Ringtones

Verizon PN-820 Smartphones allow you to make a homemade custom ringtone by recording straight to your Verizon smartphone without downloading an MP3 file.

Go to "Start”, then find the “Voice Notes”(voice recorder), application and open it. You may see an empty screen, which simply indicates you haven't recorded anything yet. Push “Record” and capture the audio you want. Limit the recording to 10-60 seconds to save storage space on your Verizon Smartphone. When you are in the recording screen of your Verizon Smartphone, highlight the recording you created, open the menu, select “rename”, then type a new name for the tune or sound effect.

Set the recording as your ringtone by highlighting it while you are in the voice recorder. Open the menu, and select “Set As Ringtone”. You may have to do this manually by opening your File Manager. Move the recording from “folder/storage/my documents/notes” to “folder/storage/application data/sounds." From the Start menu, select “Settings,” “Sounds,” and “Ring Tones” and choose the recording.

   
Can I move my Internet Explorer favorites list from my computer directly to my smartphone or pda?

Can I move My Internet Explorer Favorites from My Computer to My Smartphone or PDA?

If you just bought a new Smartphone, you can easily move your favorites list from your computer to your Smartphone using Internet Explorer. You will need ActiveSync software to make the transfer.

Connect your PDA phone to the computer via USB cable, and choose the “Explore” option from the ActiveSync menu. Double click on “My Smartphone”, and “Storage”, “Windows”, and “Favorites”. This will show you the current items already saved in the Internet Explorer favorites list on your Smartphone.

Open the Windows file explorer on your PC and go to your favorites folder. Hold down the Ctrl key, and select the entries that you want to move to your Smartphone. Drag these items into the ActiveSync favorites folder. Now when you launch Internet Explorer on your Windows Mobile Smartphone, your favorites will be waiting.

   
How do you download an MP3 to use as a ring tone on the Palm Treo 750?

How Do You Download an MP3 to Use as a Ring Tone on the Palm Treo 750?

Sick of the choices usually available for ring tones? Your Palm Treo 750 can use MP3 files as ring tones. To install an MP3 ringtone, you will need to download the Microsoft program called ActiveSync. This program provides an interface between your PC and your Palm Treo or other Smartphone, and enables the exchange of information, settings and files.

Once ActiveSync is installed, connect your Palm Treo to your computer with a USB cable. Open Active Sync, click “explore,” double-click “My Windows mobile base device,” then “application data,” and open the folder labeled “Sounds”. Find the MP3 that you want to use, drag it from your computer's music folder into Active Sync's “Sounds” folder, and then disconnect your Palm Treo from the computer.

In your Palm Treo, press “Start,” go to “Settings,” “Personal”, and “Sounds and Notifications”. In the “Notifications” option select “Known Caller”, or any other event option you want the ring tone to indicate, then go to the drop down menu under “Ringtones”, and select the song that you have just downloaded onto your Palm Treo. Make sure you don't use an MP3 file that is too large as your ringtone. Check the size requirements before you load the sound file as your ringtone!

   
How can I get the best deal on a smartphone or pda cell phone, and stay current with new technology?

Staying Up To Date with New Technology

Do you hate the idea of using a Smartphone, or PDA cell phone, for two years, knowing the technology is going to be improved on within a year? Consider going with a one year contract, instead of the standard two year version.

Ask the dealer about the difference in price, the answer may surprise you. When it's time to shop for a replacement Samsung Smartphone or other model, do some research on the Internet, then try your local store, which may agree to match an offer found online.

Ask the salesperson about any extras they are promoting, and then ask for a discount on the price of your Smartphone or PDA cell phone if you agree to add the extra services and accessories. If you decide you don't like the extra features, you can always cancel them, and don't forget that accessories have a 30 day money-back guarantee.

   
What questions should I ask when choosing a mobile data plan for my smartphone or pda?

What Questions Should I Ask When Choosing a Mobile Data Plan for My Smartphone or PDA?

When you're choosing a Smartphone, ask some important questions and you'll get the right carrier and mobile data plan. Does the carrier use CDMA or GSM to support their mobile data plans? EV-DO is a new CDMA development providing speeds of 300-400 kilobytes per second. GSM has EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution), with speeds of around 100-200 kilobytes per second.

When you are considering the value of the available mobile data plans, consider the speed provided as well as the cost of the plan. Mobile data plans offered to Smartphone or PDA users may be different than mobile data plans for other WAP (Wireless Access Protocol), capable phones, so ask specifically about mobile data plans for Smartphones.

Don't assume email access includes full Internet access, some mobile data plans bill these separately. Some mobile data usage plans offer unlimited access, other plans give you a certain amount of usage per month, and bill for overage. Most carriers provide a tool for customers to track their usage. If you think you'll exceed your monthly limit more than once or twice a year, consider the unlimited option instead.

   
Can you program the Audiovox Smartphone's speed dial for email addresses and websites?

Programming the Audiovox Smartphone's Speed Dial for Email Addresses and Websites

The Audiovox Smartphone has a flexible speed dial you can use to create shortcuts to web pages and e-mail addresses, as well as phone numbers.

First go into your Smartphone's contacts screen and set up an entry with the URL or e-mail instead of a phone number. Re-enter your contact screen from the home section, select the contact entry, and press the action button to access the contact card. Select the URL or e-mail address that you want to assign to speed dial on your Audiovox Smartphone. Press the right softkey to open the menu, then select “add speed dial” in the keypad assignment field. Choose the speed dial number you want to assign, then press the action button on your Audiovox Smartphone. This lets you see the full list of choices. Select the contact and hit “done” to save the new speed dial entry.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Ray Lokar