10 tips for new T-Mobile HTC HD2 users

This is a revised version of my original 10 tips for new HTC HD2 users. It has been updated specifically for the T-Mobile HD2 that was released in the US on March 24, 2010.

Tmo_hd2_tips (1)

The T-Mobile HTC HD2 is currently the best Windows Mobile phone on the US market, but it could still be a little better out of the box.

While adventurous users often prefer to flash custom ROMs, dual boot WinMo and Android, and hack the registry to bits, others would be happy with a very simple set of tips, tweaks, and other suggestions to get the most of their new handsets. If you're part of this second group of new HD2 users, then I hope you'll find what you're looking for below.

What follows is by no means an exhaustive list of tips for the HD2; it is only meant to serve as a starting point. It is also compiled primarily for beginning users with limited knowledge/experience with Windows Mobile.

Tip #1: Apply official updates.

The first thing to do after charging your new HTC HD2 is to visit the HTC support site to check for officially released updates. Just as Microsoft routinely issues patches and other updates for Windows computers, HTC will often release files that fix and/or improve functions for users to download and install. Clicking the "download" link for the update you want to apply will take you to page with installation instructions and more information on the fix/upgrade.

Tip #2: Turn your music into a ringtone.

Nothing is wrong with the standard set of rings already on your HD2, but why not turn any MP3 file into a ringtone so you can hear music when someone calls instead? Go to File Explorer and navigate to the folder that contains all of your music. Find the song you want, press and hold on the title until the pop-up windows appears, and choose "Set As Ringtone."

Tip #3: Install BsB Tweaks.

If you're looking for an absolute must-have for your HD2, it is BsB Tweaks by xda-developers forum member makeveral. It's a free utility that takes some of the best registry changes and packages them in an attractive interface that couldn't be any easier to use.

Hd2_tips_bsb

Simply choose which tweaks you like and tap the on/off switch to enable or disable them. Some of the best ones include enabling 802.11n for faster wireless access when connected to an 802.11n WiFi network, adding pinch zooming to other applications, shaking the HD2 to take a screenshot, adding vibration to HTC applications, enabling 9 tabs in the Opera Mobile web browser, and improving camera quality.

If you need help installing the BsB Tweaks CAB file to your HD2, please see these tutorials on how to install CABs to Windows Mobile devices.

Tip #4: Enable Flash support in Opera Mobile.

The HTC HD2 comes with two web browsers: Opera Mobile (default) and Internet Explorer. Both browsers have their pros and cons: Opera Mobile supports pinch zooming and is generally just a better browser, but Internet Explorer supports Flash. There are other third-party browsers that support Flash as well (e.g., Skyfire), but did you know that you can stick with Opera Mobile and still be able to view Flash content like YouTube videos directly in the browser?

All you need is fixOperaFlash, a free tool that automatically does everything that needs to be done to get Opera running with Flash support. In addition to the fixOperaFlash file, you'll need to install SdkCerts and .NET Compact Framework 3.5, which can be downloaded from this how-to tutorial (also includes how-to videos and FAQs).

Tip #5: Tweak the YouTube app.

If you love watching YouTube but find that the large fonts cut off too many video titles, which makes it difficult to find what you're looking for, you can decrease the font size with a simple change to the registry.

Tmo_hd2_tips_youtube

Once the font size is to your liking, you'll be able to see much more of the title to make sure that tapping on a video brings you to something you actually want to watch.

For more information on how to edit the registry, check out WMExperts' comprehensive how-to guide.

Tip #6: Increase number of Quick Links.

Out of the box, the HD2 has 9 Quick Link slots on the home screen arranged in a 3 x 3 grid. You can increase that number to 16 (4 x 4 grid) or 20 (5 x 4 grid) by installing xda-developers forum member Co0kieMonster's QuickLinks & Extended Appointments mod, which not only boosts the number of slots but also offers additional features.

Tmo_hd2_tips_ql

If you don't need the extra functionality and are fine with having just 16 slots, there's also "Vovichek_Jamrecords 16 TT UPDATED" (shown above and attached herescroll to the bottom) to consider.

Tip #7: Increase Start Menu columns.

When you first use your T-Mobile HTC HD2, your Start Menu will contain program icons arranged in 3 columns.

Tmo_hd2_tips_sm

To reduce the amount of scrolling needed to see all of the icons, which will only increase as you install more apps from Windows Marketplace and other places, change the Start Menu layout to display 4, 5, or even 6 columns. You can do this by installing StartMenu_Grid_4, StartMenu_Grid_5, or StartMenu_Grid_6, which was created by isangelous from the xda-developers forum.

If you need help installing the StartMenu_Grid CAB file to your HD2, please see these tutorials on how to install CABs to Windows Mobile devices.

Tip #8: Try out VistaHide Battery Gauge.

There are a lot of third-party battery meters out there, but my favorite one is a free utility called VistaHide Battery Gauge.

Tmo_hd2_tips_vh 

It's an unobtrusive color-coded gradient bar that sits at the top of the screen and "shortens" as the battery depletes. I use it on all of my Windows Mobile devices because it's always visible and doesn't take up any room on the taskbar.

Tip #9: Reclaim hidden games.

The T-Mobile HD2 comes with six preloaded games/demos: Teeter, Guitar Hero 5 Mobile, and demos of Millionaire 2010, Ferrari GT Evolution, Prince of Persia HD, and Tetris. This is already a nice selection, but did you know that Solitaire and Bubble Breaker are on your new phone too? They're just hidden.

To reclaim them, go to File Explorer -> My Device -> Windows and find Bubble Breaker. Press and hold the item until the pop-up window appears, select Copy from the menu, then scroll up and tap the Start Menu folder -> Programs -> Games. Press and hold an empty space on the screen until the pop-up window appears, and select Paste Shortcut from the menu. If you want to rename the file (by default, it will be called "Shortcut to Bubble Breaker"), hold the item until the pop-up window appears, select Rename from the menu, type in whatever name you want, and hit the Enter/Return key on the keyboard.

Repeat the process with Solitaire.

Tmo_hd2_tips_game

Now when you navigate to Games on your HD2, you'll see all eight titles. You can get more games from Windows Marketplace directly on your device or from other app stores online on your computer.

Tip #10: Accessorize.

Customization isn't limited to software, so accessorizing your new HTC HD2 is worth looking into. From cases and microSD cards to headsets and screen protectors, accessories are a great way to protect, personalize, and enhance your investment. Check out the nice selection available at online retailers like Amazon and Proporta. Use the promo code POCKETABLES at Proporta to receive 10% off your order.

Enjoy your new T-Mobile HTC HD2!

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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