You’ve got Emoji – Smilie Characters discovered in a font

Screenshot of all of the special characters
To get these simple but cool emoticons/emoji/smilies or whatever you want to call them you will need the Segoe UI Semibold font that comes with Windows 7 (possibly Vista too?).
In Microsoft Word, click the Insert tab on the ribbon. On the far-right click the Symbol button, followed by the More Symbols option

Continue reading You’ve got Emoji – Smilie Characters discovered in a font

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Windows 8 will be Great on a Slate but is it too Late?

Microsoft has revealed some juicy info about the next version of Windows, codenamed Windows 8, at the AllThingsD conference. What we know so far is that the user interface is going all touchy-feely with big “live Tiles” instead of icons in the revamped Start Menu. Windows-8-start-menu

Continue reading Windows 8 will be Great on a Slate but is it too Late?

Ever wondered what the 3G+ icon means on your Smartphone? Is that 4G?

4G pictureI I was reading a well worded explanation of what the catch-all term “4G” is over on blog.three.co.uk.

I was really pleased to hear their plans on 4G. I have heard the term used a lot on US blogs and it didn’t seem very straight-forward. I wasn’t even sure if the UK would be using the term.

3g-plusI have a Samsung Omnia 7 and that gets great data speeds. That could be partly down to the new IE browser on Windows Phone 7 though. In most areas I get a “3G+” icon in the top corner instead of just “3G”. This made me wonder am I getting the HSPA+ service already? That would mean I could potentially get speeds up to 128Mbps!

Continue reading Ever wondered what the 3G+ icon means on your Smartphone? Is that 4G?

Review: Samsung Omnia 7

I was a very lucky winner of a competition on the ubelly blog, receiving the amazing prize of a Samsung Omnia 7 smartphone featuring the new Windows Phone 7 (WP7) operating system.

Omnia7

I received it mid-December so I have had just over a month to get used to it. This review is mainly focussing on the Omnia 7 hardware, I have reviewed the Windows Phone 7 OS in a separate review. This is my first ever smartphone after using a Nokia 6233 for 3 years so bear in mind I won’t be comparing it to any androids or iPhones.

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Windows Phone 7 “pin to start” app limit

I find it a bit cumbersome to navigate through all the apps I have on my WP7 Samsung Omnia 7. Once you move from the start screen to the app list all you get is a long alphabetical list of apps. There is no way to group or rearrange them so sometimes the quickest way to open them is use a voice command.

I wondered if I could just use my Start screen for all of my apps. I presumed there would be a limit but this doesn’t seem to be the case. So far I have pinned over 75 apps to Start plus 10 games, as well as several maps, artists, albums and a radio station. All of this has made no difference to the speedy responsiveness of the phone but I can now achieve some amount of organization and grouping by moving the tiles to the relevant position. You also get the added benefit of seeing the icons in their full size glory and expose any “live tile” functionality.

I imagine Microsoft will do something about the never-ending app list in a future update but for now this seems like a workable alternative. It’s far from a perfect solution, I have a niggling feeling it may affect battery life.

If you know of a limit or have a better idea on sorting your apps then please leave a comment. Stay tuned for my full review of the device coming in 2011. Happy New Year everyone!

Posted from WordPress for Windows Phone

Zune – The iTunes alternative

Update: Zune is dead 😦

Well it’s actually regenerated into Xbox Music. A lot of the content on here is still valid but the links may not work. Go to music.xbox.com for full details

Don’t you just hate the fact that sometimes you need to install bloated, slow iTunes to download and organise your music collection? Well stress no more, coinciding with the release of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft have opened up Zune to international waters.

Zune goes where you go. Whether on your PC, Xbox 360, or Windows Phone 7 you can enjoy, discover, and share your entertainment anytime you want. zune.net

What’s a Zune?

The Zune software is a media player, originally designed to manage Microsoft’s own mp3 player (iPod competitor) the Zune. You would use the Zune app to sync your music to your device or download new music from the online marketplace. It is very similar in functionality to how iTunes works with iPods. However, it differs dramatically in it’s design. You can’t help but be impressed with how the software works. I installed it a couple of years ago, even though I didn’t have a Zune (as I’m in the UK) purely because it looks so good. I could also use it to download podcasts so I could sync them with my generic mp3 player.

Continue reading Zune – The iTunes alternative