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Keeping Up with the Joneses: Windows Mobile 6.1's New Upgrades  : Page 2

With their Windows Mobile 6.1 release, Microsoft attempts to keep their position in an increasingly competitive market. Find out how these new improvements can benefit you.

Improved Home Screen
The first noticeable improvement in Windows Mobile 6.1 is the Home screen. Figure 1 shows the Home screens of Windows Mobile 6 (left) and Windows Mobile 6.1 (right).

Figure 1. The Home Screens: These images show the home screens of Windows Mobile 6 and 6.1.
Figure 2. View the Connection Details: After specifying the database properties, you should see the data connection details.

Windows Mobile 6.1 uses a sliding panel display and users can scroll through the panels vertically and horizontally by using the directional key pads. Scrolling vertically shows the various categories of tasks that you can perform: Calls/Messaging, Appointments, Getting Started, Settings, and so on. Once a task is highlighted in the panel, you can drill down to the various other related tasks by pressing the left/right directional keys to view the other options horizontally. With this new improved Home screen, users should be able to quickly navigate to the required page with a minimal number of key presses. The Home screen is updated dynamically, depending on the settings you have configured on your device. For example, if you have configured Windows Live on your device (more on this later), the Windows Live panel will be displayed on the Home screen.

Figure 3. Email Config: Configuring email is a snap in Windows Mobile 6.1.

One welcomed improvement is the Start button. In Windows Mobile 6, the list of recently-used programs is listed on the top of the Home screen and pressing the Start soft key will display the list of programs available on your device. In Windows Mobile 6, pressing the Start soft key displays the list of recent programs (see Figure 2). To see the list of programs available on your device, you need to press the left soft key again.

Easier Setup
With Windows Mobile 6.1, Microsoft has made it easier for users to setup email accounts, pair up Bluetooth devices, as well as connect to wireless networks.

For email configuration, in Windows Mobile 6, you need to navigate to the Messaging application to configure a new email account. In Windows Mobile 6.1, you can simply navigate to the Getting Started panel in the Home screen (see Figure 3) and then select E-mail . . . Set up e-mail.

Configuring email account is a snap—I configured my Gmail account in less than 15 seconds. You just need to enter your email address and Windows Mobile will attempt to get the email settings from the Internet. Windows Mobile found an auto setup for my Gmail account and before I knew it, I was downloading my emails.

I decided to add another email account—this time for my Hotmail account. After Windows Mobile has detected the auto setup for Hotmail, it signs you in to Windows Live (see Figure 4).

Figure 4. Setting Up Hotmail: When 6.1 detects the auto setup for Hotmail, it signs you in to Windows Live.
Figure 5. Download Your Contacts: Your contacts in Windows Live can be downloaded into your local Contacts application.

You will also have the option to display the Windows Live on the Home screen. Finally, you can also choose to store your Windows Live contacts in your mobile phone's contact list (see Figure 5).

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