Tips & tricks for your new T-Mobile HD2; increase Opera tabs, Zune music, & more

One of the strengths of Windows Mobile is its customization capabily and control the end user has over the device. Here are a few tip & tricks that I think new HD2 owners will appreciate.

I picked up my T-Mobile HD2 the other day and believe there are thousands of others that did the same based on my in-store experience and reports that the device is sold out across the country. Since I had the chance to use the Euro model and now this one while also being very familiar with Windows Mobile devices I thought I would put together a post of some key tips and tricks to help out new HD2 owners. This should also lighten my inbox load as I continually get questions from readers about these new devices and ways to optimize them for their usage.

Enable more tabs in the Opera browser

I personally find the Opera browser on the HD2 to be superior even to the iPhone (just compare the way that text is reflowed to fit on the screen) so when you do this comparison you will find that Opera only allows you to have 3 tabs/windows of the browser open at once. Don't worry, you can customize how many tabs you like and I personally have mine set to 6. Follow these steps to increase the number of allowed tabs for a better browsing experience:
  1. Enter opera:config as the URL
  2. Scroll down to User Prefs and tap on it to open the submenus
  3. Scroll down to Maximum Allowed Tabs and change it to what you like. As I stated, I changed mine to 6 since I highly doubt I would ever need more than that. I can always go back and change it later too.
  4. Scroll down and tap on Save.
  5. Restart the browser to see the changes.

Use Swype for fast one-handed text entry

I mentioned and showed this off a bit in my 24-minutes video, but wanted to list the steps for you to enable the Swype input keyboard. Follow these steps to enable Swype:
  1. Enter an area where there is a text input field (browser URL, new appointment, new message).
  2. Tap the text input open space.
  3. Tap the small arrow to the right of the center icon on the bottom of your display.
  4. Select/tap on Swype from the list of text input options (you can see there are other options here too).
  5. Trace a path through the letters of a word and lift your finger.
  6. For more than one word, just start your next word and Swype will enter a space between them.
  7. You will see a pop-up box appear at times when Swype can't quite figure out what you are tracing and you can then tap one of the suggested options to enter it. The one at the top in green is most likely and if you do nothing or tap the space bar then that will be entered.
  8. If you see the small "i" above the bottom left Swype icon you can tap it for other word choices.
  9. When the "i" is not blinking, you can tap the bottom left Swype icon for other tips and help.

More email settings

Some of the more advanced settings I am used to entering in Windows Mobile are hidden pretty deep on the HD2 since the device is designed for standad setup and optimized for the user experience. However, I personally like a bit more control over my email so follow these steps to get access to these advanced settings:
  1. On the email tab, tap the left Inbox word at the bottom of the display.
  2. Tap Menu in the bottom right, then slide your finger up the display a bit to reveal Tools.
  3. Tap Tools, then slide your finger up the display a bit to reveal Options.
  4. You can now manage signatures, uncheck the "Warn when deleting" notice, have email attachments stored on your microSD card and more through the four tabs in this area.
  5. You can also tap the name of an individual account to setup how many days of email you will see on the device, how often emails are downloaded, size of downloads, and much more.

Exiting the volume screen

Volume on the HD2 is controlled by pressing and holding up or down on the volume rocker. When you do this the volume utility screen will appear so you can quickly jump to Vibrate or Silent mode. If you do not want to wait the few seconds for the display to disappear, simply tap outside the vertical volume bar to close the utility.

Find, download and listen to podcasts

I am sure you all listen to our weekly MobileTechRoundup podcast and you may be like me and spend a LOT of time listening to other great shows like TiPB, The Cell Phone Junkie, TWIT, PalmCast, GDGT, and more. Did you know that the RSS Hub application (branded version of Ilium Software's Newsbreak) is preloaded onto your new HD2 and can be used as both a RSS aggregator and a podcatcher? You can subscribe to all your favorite podcasts and even setup to have them downloaded automatically so they are ready for you to enjoy.

Using Zune Pass on your HD2

I am a big fan of the Slacker Radio client/service on my HD2, but am also a Zune Pass subscriber. As I mentioned a few months ago you can use your Zune Pass subscription music with your HD2 through Windows Media Player on your Windows PC.

Other tips & tricks

Performing a Google search will reveal other tips and tricks for the HD2, but be careful messing around with the registry. You do not want to brick your new device. The tips I have above are all safe and are not registry hacks.

Do you have any other things giving you problems or do you have more tips to share with HD2 owners?

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