10 more tips for the AT&T Tilt
My "10 tips on fixing common AT&T Tilt problems" has been the most viewed article here at Pocketables almost every day for the past four months, so I think it’s high time that I put together a follow-up piece.
This new list of 10 tips (below) includes software recommendations, free utilities, and simple tweaks that further enhance the Tilt (HTC TyTN II) and help to make the powerful Windows Mobile device even more enjoyable to use. Have a look below.
Click on a tip below for more information.
- Use VistaHide Battery Gauge.
- Make dialer skin vibrate.
- Improve contacts list.
- Remap PTT hardware button.
- Install Vibra (Switch).
- Get threaded SMS messaging.
- Find a wallet application.
- Demo PocketPlayer.
- Check out accessories.
- Download ListPro.
Missed the first set of tips? Check them out here.
Use VistaHide Battery Gauge.
If you’re looking for a really unobtrusive way to keep an eye on your Tilt’s battery, give VistaHide Battery Gauge a try.
It’s a color-coded gradient bar that sits at the top of the screen and "shortens" as your battery depletes. It doesn’t cost anything or take up any space on your toolbar or Today screen either.
Make dialer skin vibrate.
It isn’t always practical to use the number pad on the Tilt’s keyboard to make phone calls, but you may find yourself frequently misdialing when using the touchscreen because of the lack of feedback. Sure, you can enable short or long tones to accompany each key press (Start -> Settings ->Phone ->Keypad drop-down menu), but beeping sounds aren’t exactly welcomed in quiet environments.
A better solution would be for the touchscreen keypad (i.e., dialer skin) to offer tactile feedback in the form of a short vibration. And if you download and install KD8DNS’s keypad vibrate free application, then that’s exactly what you’ll get. Note: You need to press-and-hold a key to trigger the vibration.
Improve contacts list.
Since the default contacts application isn’t very finger-friendly, why not install one that is? There are many contact managers out there, but my favorite one is FunContact ($19.95) by VITO Technology.
It allows you to keep the stylus in its slot and use your finger for kinetic scrolling and list management. Check out the YouTube demo to see FunContact in action.
Remap PTT hardware button.
Unless you’re actually paying for and using AT&T’s Push to Talk service, then the dedicated PTT hardware button on the Tilt is completely useless out of the box. Because unlike the other hardware buttons, it can’t be remapped. Not without a little tinkering to the registry, that is.
To remap the PTT button to launch an application or adjust a setting, just follow this simple tutorial.
Install Vibra (Switch).
Unlike the iPhone, Treo, and some other mobile phones, the Tilt lacks a dedicated ringer/vibrate switch. So while iPhone users can simply flip the switch to quickly mute their handsets when necessary, Tilt folk need to take their devices out, awaken them, tap a few on-screen buttons, and adjust some settings. The process isn’t difficult, but it would be so much better to just press a button blindly and be done with it.
That’s why vmirage’s free Vibra (Switch) utility is so lovely. Mapped to any hardware button, including the PTT one if you’ve followed tip #4 above, it enables you to toggle between normal, silent, and vibrate settings with a quick push of a button.
Get threaded SMS messaging.
As with most of the preinstalled Windows Mobile applications, the default messaging one leaves much to be desired. Get a better one that organizes your messages into threaded conversations instead. There are several options to choose from here, but two of the most well received ones are SMS-Chat and Textr. Both are priced at $14.95.
Find a wallet application.
Since you probably never go anywhere without your Tilt, it’s a good place to store credit card numbers, passwords, and other important information you’d like to have on-hand at all times. A password-protected wallet application is perfect for this purpose.
My favorite one is Spb Wallet ($29.95), which features strong 256-bit AES encryption and customizable templates to make the e-cards look like the real cards in your wallet. Other great digital wallets include Ilium Software’s eWallet ($29.95) and CodeWallet Pro ($24.95) by Developer One.
I prefer real DAPs for listening to music on the go, but if you’re a one-device person who’s satisfied with the audio quality of cell phones, then give Pocket Player by Conduits Technologies a try. It’s just as finger-friendly as an iPod touch, but it supports more file formats (Ogg Vorbic and FLAC included), gapless playback with adjustable crossfading, and Bluetooth stereo headphones.
You can demo a full version of Pocket Player free for 30 days or just buy it straightaway for $19.95. An alternative that has also received rave reviews is CorePlayer Mobile ($24.95).
Check out accessories.
Customization isn’t limited to software, so don’t forget about all the third-party accessories that can help you personalize the Tilt’s hardware. From leather cases and holsters to headsets and screen protectors, accessories are a great way to protect and enhance your device.
Here are some online retailers that carry a wide range of Tilt accessories:
If your life would be in shambles without lists (to-do, shopping, reminders, tasks, etc.), then you need Ilium Software’s ListPro ($29.95). It has a ton of features and is almost always included in those "top apps" articles and must-have lists put out by various magazines and websites.
SplashNotes ($29.95) is often cited as a worthy alternative to ListPro, but most users would agree that ListPro is the best list manager around.
If you know of other tips and tricks that would make the AT&T Tilt even better, please share them in the comments section below.