clip_image003This week, a couple of smart tips concerning Windows Phone 7. Both revolve around finding something – in one case, how to find your phone if you’re not sure where you left it, and the other, how to remind yourself where you’re going.

Dude, where’s my phone...?
This tip uses the location services built in to Windows Phone 7 – services which you may want to switch off if you’re having battery life issues, but which can help you out by geotagging photos (so the GPS location of the photo you take is recorded in the photo, and it’s supported in Windows Live Photo Gallery too) or by finding where you are on the map.

· clip_image005If you do want to switch off Location Services, go into settings | system and under location, switch off

          • To turn off geotagging by default, go into settings | applications (by swiping to the left), then under pictures and camera, switch off Include location (GPS)
          • To use location services in maps, just go into the Maps app and press the crosshairs button (bottom, middle) to have the phone show where you currently are on the map. When in the map view, try using use the search button on the bottom right of the phone – enter a term like restaurants, pubs, vets, petrol etc… and the map will show you what’s nearby.

If you habitually leave your phone and don’t know where, there is a facility to find out where the phone was last seen, but you need to switch it on (it’s off by default), in settings | system and under find my phone.

To check where you left your phone, you’ll need to have already set up a Windows Live address on the phone (giving access to SkyDrive etc), and then visit http://windowsphone.live.com/ on your PC - under the “FIND MY PHONE” link, you can see your phone’s approximate location on a map, erase its contents if it’s hopelessly lost, lock the device so it can’t be used (and include a “please return to… “message on the home screen) or even make the phone ring, regardless of whether it’s on mute or not… so if it’s in a hidden pocket, you’ve got a chance of giving it a poke to make some noise.

If and when you find the phone, to stop the special ring-tone, just press the power button once (the same trick that you can use to silence any ringing phone, even when locked).

Where do you want to go today?

clip_image007One reader started using a great trick for remembering where he’s going – by pinning the map location to the home screen. Start by searching for a location, address, facility etc in the Maps app, then press and hold on the flag to see a detailed view of that location offering “about” (including address details, phone numbers), possibly some restaurant reviews etc, and “nearby (other places in the vicinity).

If you look to the bottom left of the screen, you’ll see a pin shape that lets you pin a tile to the home screen; tap on the tile to return to the “about” page, and tap on the map image in the about page to go straight to the map in the Bing Maps app.

Tap and hold on the map tile on the home screen to remove it when you’re done.

Nice. Really nice. For more map tips, check here.