Category Archives: Technology

Windows Phone tip: Stop your calendar from showing Monday’s meetings on Saturday nights

My Windows Phone treats me well; it’s great at e-mail, I love my Zune Pass, and there are lots of great apps.  It also has a very efficient lock screen that gives you the date and time; notifications for missed calls, new texts, and new e-mails (by account); and music playback controls all in one glance.  Plus, when I’m at work, the lock screen always helps me find my way to the next meeting on my calendar: what it’s called, when it starts, and where I should go.

That’s great during the week, but not so much on Saturday night.

You see, the logic for appointments showing on the lock screen is pretty simple. If there are any appointments the same day or the next day, they appear on the screen.  Perfect for knowing what’s next for the day or what’s coming tomorrow morning.  Except when it comes to Saturday nights.  After midnight on Saturday (a.k.a. Sunday morning), that two-day window of time includes Monday morning.  And Monday morning’s meetings.

Nothing like enjoying a bit of a respite from work and being reminded that Monday’s coming up soon.

But luckily there’s a really easy solution to the problem (without doing anything weird to your phone):  set up a recurring weekly appointment on Sunday nights to serve as your next appointment over the weekend.  I have my phone show “Happy Weekend!” until Sundays at 10pm.  No longer does your weekend have to hasten to a premature end.

LockScreen
A much nicer picture to spend your Sunday with.

To make it easier to get set up on your phone, here are some .ics event files I made that  you can add to your own calendar (in Eastern or Pacific time zone flavor).  If you’re using the calendar that comes with your Windows Live ID via Hotmail, just import that file on this page to get it synced to your phone.  Of course, you can customize the message and the timing for when it’s OK for Monday morning meetings to start showing up.

Happy Weekend! :-)

Got a Windows Phone? Some of my favorite free apps

One of the numbers they like to tout frequently is the total number of apps available for Windows Phone.  But while the total number has passed 16,000 recently, all that really matters is finding the good ones.  Especially the good ones that are also free.

Thought I’d share some of my favorite freebies; what are yours?

Screenshot of Wordament app
Wordament

Wordament pits you versus the Internet in a multi-player word game similar to Boggle.  Find as many words as you can in 2 minutes, then see how you stack up versus everyone else who just played that round.  Great for a quick mental break, just try to avoid being sucked in for more rounds than your planned.   And bonus points to the app for how easy it is to get a username and get started.
More info | Download

Screenshot of 4th and Mayor
4th and Mayor

If you use both Foursquare and Windows Phone, 4th and Mayor is the way to go.  Faster than the “official” Foursquare app and with more features.  I’m especially a fan of the Explore and Nearby Specials features.
More info | Download

Screenshot of Groupon app
Screenshot of Groupon appGroupon

Sure you can find the new Groupon deal of the day, but even better is remembering to use the ones you already bought.  You have a fighting chance with the app that brings them with you on your phone.
More info | Download

Screenshot of the Bank of America app
Bank of America

The ubiquitous bank comes to Windows Phone.  Great for checking account balances or finding a branch that’s open, but Washington and Idaho customers can’t use billpay. 
More info | Download

PS – Don’t keep a savings account balance like the one in the screenshot at Bank of America. Find someone who will actually pay you some interest.

Now if only there were an easier way to share apps from the Marketplace than writing a blog post…