HTC Windows Phone 8X: 30 tips and tricks

Features Marin Perez 12:30, Jan 14 2013

Have an HTC Windows Phone 8X? Check out these 30 tips and tricks to get the most out of it

Do you have an HTC Windows Phone 8X? We love this Windows Phone 8 handset and think it's a great phone to pick up and use easily but to help you get the most out of it, we lay out 30 tips and tricks for you. 


1. Take a screenshot: Whether it's your high score in Angry Birds or a funny error message, sometimes you just want to share what's on your screen. Luckily, this is simple to do with the HTC Windows Phone 8X. To take a screenshot, simply hold down the lock/power button and the Windows (home) button. You'll hear a camera snap sound. Your screenshots can be accessed through your photos app. 

2. Customize tile size: The living tiles interface is one of the best things about Windows Phone 8, so make sure that you make the most out of them. You can reorder the tiles by long pressing on them and moving them around. Clicking on the upper right corner icon will remove the tile and the lower right icon will toggle it between small, medium and large. 

3. Pin new tile to home screen: If you want to add a new tile to your homescreen, go to your apps list, long press on the app you want and then click "pin to start." 

4. Pin a specific Web page, app page to home screen: It's not just your apps, as you can pin specific Web pages or deep links in apps to your home screen. From the Web browser, hit the settings button and then tap "pin to start." The process is similar when you're trying to pin a page from an app. 

5. Quickly switch between apps: Instead of going to the home screen and launching another program, Windows Phone 8 makes it simple to quickly switch between running apps. Simply hold the back button for about two seconds and you'll be pushed into the quick app-switching interface. Scroll through to the app you want and then tap on it to launch the app. 



6. Quickly launch camera: If you need to capture a magic moment, life isn't going to wait for you to unlock your phone; click on the camera app and let it load up. Luckily, the Windows Phone 8X makes it fast and easy to launch your camera. From any screen, including the lock screen, hold down the camera button for about a second and a half and your camera will launch. If it's from your lock screen and you have a passcode, the only thing accessible is the ability to take a picture. 

7. Edit photos: If that picture didn't quite come out how you like, you can make a few adjustments on the fly. After taking a picture, tap the settings button and then hit "edit." From here, you can crop, flip or have an auto-fix feature. It's not as robust as some third-party apps but it's nice for quick fixes. 

8. Use new Lenses: The Windows Phone 8X will let you use Lenses on top of your camera and this includes things like the augmented reality search app Bing Vision, the photo filter CamWow and even a translator service from Microsoft. To enable this, tap on the icon with two arrows pointing in opposite directions (it's to the left of the flash icon). From there, tap on the Lens you would like to apply. 

9. Automatically upload photos to SkyDrive: One of the great things about the HTC Windows Phone 8X is the ability to have all your photos automatically be saved to an online storage system. You have to sign up for Microsoft's SkyDrive but it's free and you get 7GB of storage for signing up. To turn on auto upload, go into "Settings," tap on "backup" and then turn it on for photos. 

10. Use the 8-megapixel camera: For some reason, the HTC Windows Phone 8X has its camera at 6 megapixels as the default even though the handset packs an 8-megapixel shooter. Unless you want to save on file sizes, you can switch the camera to its full potential by opening the camera app, hit "photo settings" and then turn the resolution to 8 megapixels. 

Save on battery life


11. Get the most power out of your phone: The HTC Windows Phone 8X is pretty darn good when it comes to battery life but there are always a few things you can do to get some more juice out of it. If you're not planning on using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or GPS, just turn them off until you need them. Constantly searching for Wi-Fi or location will have an impact on your battery life. 

12. Get the most power out of your phone, part 2: The HTC Windows Phone 8X has a built-in battery-saving feature appropriately called "battery saver." To turn this on, go into Settings, tap on "battery saver" and turn it on. You'll still be able to make and receive calls and apps when your power is low but the phone will automatically stop apps unless you open them and it will make you manually sync emails.  

13. Charge without cables (Verizon version only): One of the really cool things about the Verizon version of the HTC Windows Phone 8X is that it is compatible with wireless charging docks, cables and mats. It comes turned on already, so literally all you have to do is plop it down on top of a compatible charging accessory and you don't have to worry about it. 


Keyboard/Web browser


14. Adjust text size: If you need to make the text larger or smaller, simply go into Settings, tap on "east of access" and then you'll find a text slider with five different sizes. Choose which size you want and it will resize it throughout the operating system.

15. Magnify anything: To magnify anything on your phone, you'll have to turn on the feature. Go into Settings, tap on "ease of access" and then turn on "Screen magnifier." Once this is on, you can magnify anything by double tapping with two fingers. 

16. Add new keyboards: If you need to type in another language, the HTC Windows Phone 8X lets you do that quite easily. Go into your Settings, tap on "keyboard" and then hit "add keyboard." You can then download a variety of different keyboard languages.

17. Tweak keyboard shortcuts: The HTC Windows Phone 8X has a variety of cool little keyboard conveniences like adding a sentence after you hit the space bar twice, but some people may not like that. If you want to turn those off, go into Settings, tap on "keyboards," hit "English (United States)" and then you can hit the check boxes for the shortcuts you do and don't want on.

18. Copy and paste: Copy and pasting is something I use most days, so let's go over how to use it on the HTC Windows Phone 8. Long press on the text you want to copy and drag your finger along the body of it. An icon will appear above it, click on that and then when you want to paste, repeat the dragging process and the paste option will appear. The icons should be familiar to you if you've ever used Microsoft's Office. 

19. Access new tabs: The Internet Explorer browser is pretty nice on the Windows Phone 8X but the tabs can be a little hidden. To access your tabs or open a new one, tap on the settings (elipses) button in your browser, then hit the tabs button. 

20. Turn off location in browser: Having websites access your location in a browser can be useful but if you don't want that to happen, open the settings in your browser, clicked on "advanced settings" and you'll then be able to turn it off. The advanced setting menu will also let you adjust things like cookies, which version of the website gets delivered and more. 



21. Turn on, set up Kid's Corner: One great feature of the Windows Phone 8X is the ability to turn on Kid's Corner and then be able to hand it off to your child without having to worry about them mucking up your emails or apps. Go into Settings, tap on "Kid's Corner" and you can enable this feature. You can specify which apps and games are allowed here and what the password is to bypass this mode. 

To activate Kid's Corner, swipe to the left from the lock screen. You can get out of Kid's Corner by tapping the power/unlock button. 

22. Use NFC: The HTC Windows Phone 8X comes packed with NFC and this can be used in a variety of ways. If you have another Windows Phone 8 user, you can use the tap+send feature to quickly send photos, websites and more. You will also be able to use it to pay for things in stores through the built-in "wallet" app, but I haven't found this to be widespread yet. 

23. Rock out or tune out of Beats Audio: The HTC Windows Phone 8X comes with Beats Audio and it's a great way to rock out to your music. Some of you may find it too bass-heavy though, so if you want to turn it off, go into Settings, tap on "Beats Audio" and you'll be able to toggle it on or off. 

24. Quickly find apps: Your most used apps will likely be on your home screen but there may be something in your app list that you want to get at quickly. To do this, swipe to the left from the home screen to the app screen and then tap on the search icon on the top left. This will let you quickly find what you want.  

25. Link your email inboxes: If you want one universal inbox for all your emails, that can be done with just a few taps. To link your email accounts, open up your email account and hit the settings button. From there, you can hit the "link inboxes" button and then tap on the account you want to merge it with. Remember, you can rename this account and you can always unlink it later. 

26. Create a room: A cool new feature of Windows Phone 8 that can be used in the HTC 8X is the ability to create rooms for your family or groups of friends. Open your People hub app, swipe over to the "together" section and then click on the + icon. From there, you can create new rooms or groups and this will give you a single place to put together a small group of contacts. It's very handy for sending group texts to people you reach out to often. 

27. Use Windows Phone 8X to control your Xbox: The HTC Windows Phone 8X makes for a great remote control for your Xbox and you can even utilize games and programs that take advantage of the the phone as a second screen. To do this, simply download the SmartGlass app here and have your phone be on the same Wi-Fi network as your Xbox. 

28. Get Google Maps: I'm a big fan of the native Maps app on the HTC Windows Phone 8X but I still think that Google Maps is better for local search. If you prefer Google Maps, you can still get to it by going through the browser to From there, hit the settings button and pin that page to your home screen. 

29. Use your voice to make calls, search the Web: Who needs Siri? The HTC Windows Phone 8X lets you make calls, launch some apps and search the Web using your voice. In order to launch the voice controls, hold down the Windows key for about a second and a half and the voice screen will launch. You can just say a search term, tell it to "call XYZ" or even launch apps like the alarm.  

30. Find the latest news about the Windows Phone 8X: This one is super simple: Just keep reading We'll have the latest HTC, Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8 news for you. 

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