Tip o’ the Week #273 – Projecting your Windows Phone


It’s often handy to be able to show to an audience what’s happening on a phone’s screen (or other device). Many an A/V technician has had to deal with the challenges of switching from PowerPoint clip_image003bore-ware to an analogue ELMO  projector, trying to set autofocus so as not to make the audience sick, and the light levels balanced enough so people can actually see what’s going on.

There are a few options for projecting what’s happening on your phone using a more modern solution – you can use Miracast to send images over Wifi to a suitable telly or projector (though it can be a “fragile” process).

If you have a No-KEE-Ah phone (you may need IE compatibility mode or Chrome to show that page properly), you may want to check to see if Wifi projection is supported on your device (NB: 820, 920 and 1020 are not on the list). See the Help for more details of either wired & WiFi solutions.

If you’re presenting using a PC anyway, why not cable up your phone over USB and run the separately-installed Project My Screen app instead? All you need to do is install & run the app on the PC, plug the phone in, and you’ll get a prompt to mirror the display of the phone on the PC, and Bob’s Your Uncle.

clip_image005Symbol Swipe

One thing you might want to show your friends is how they can more easily use Word Flow on their phone, and maybe how to quickly swipe symbols and numbers (a tip courtesy of Robert Deupree Jr. and his excellent Microsoft internal Yammer group) – in a nutshell, tap and hold the “&123” symbol key in the bottom left of the keyboard, and instead of then tapping the key you’d like – such as a number – instead, keep your finger on the &123 key and then swipe to end up on the destination key, then release to go back to the standard keyboard layout.

It maybe sounds more complex than it looks – so is probably easier to show than explain.

Tip o’ the Week #274 – Hello, Skype for Business


Instant Messaging (and later, voice/video calling) has been with us, in the corporate world, for 15 years – the first real enterprise IM platform was Exchange 2000 Instant Messaging, which used a variant of MSN Messenger as its client, and some workers had been using MSN and AOL for a while before that.

The Exchange 2000 IM server was a one-off; it was superseded by Microsoft Office Live Communication Server (released at a time when everything at Microsoft was seemingly prefixed or suffixed “Live”, and somehow linked to Windows or Office) and latterly Office Communications Server (when the edict came around to ditch the practice of sticking “Live” in every product name), and later acquired the much groovier name of “Lync”.

And now the next phase has rolled out; just as the original MSN Messenger gave way to Windows Live Messenger (see?) and then went away in favour of Skype, Lync has now given over to Skype for Business – though SFB is effectively a technology update, rebranding & a new UI, rather than the wholesale change of underlying technology that MSN/Live Messenger to Skype was.

So now we have Skype for Desktop (the traditional Windows, Mac etc application, which uses a Skype ID or Microsoft Account to sign in), there’s Skype for a variety of mobile & TV platforms, Skype for Outlook.com (the plugin to Outlook.com online email, you know, the email service that was once Hotmail). And for Windows 8.x users, there’s also Skype the Modern Application, now also being referred to as Skype for Tablet.

D’ya follow?

And now the spangly new Skype For Business client has been distributed via Windows Update, as an update to Lync – so you may already have received it. If you haven’t, and you’re still on Lync, you could either:

  • clip_image003Try downloading the update to turn Lync into Skype, from KB2889923
  • If you’re running Office in “Click to Run Mode”, you can check for updates by going into (for example) Word and choosing File / Account, then select Update Options / Update Now. See here for more.

Or maybe you’ll get it automatically via a corporate deployment. It may even have been pushed out to you already,

Whatever, you’ll have a cracking new updated UI compared to Lync, and the emoticons will be better again… in fact, most of the animated icons from the regular consumer Skype app have made it over to the corporate one, with a few of the less work-oriented ones removed. clip_image001

Tip o’ the Week #272 – Finding your phone (again)


(breaking the fourth wall)
Inevitably, when writing the Tip o’ the Week for 4½ years, the odd topic is revisited, sometimes because there’s a notable improvement or update, and sometimes just because it makes sense to do so. I try to keep the stuff that’s written about here as broadly relevant as I can, and with a particular style of humour that tries – though on one or two occasions, fails – not to offend anyone. Please keep the ideas and feedback coming, as it wouldn’t be possible to send this out every week without you, the dear reader. Oh, and a bottle of red wine on a Thursday night. Yes, that, too.

Recently, a colleague’s better half lost her phone. More accurately, she accidentally laid her phone down for a few minutes and, when returning to that place to retrieve it, found it had vamoosed. As it happens, some opportunistic light-fingered vagabond had made off with it.

clip_image003What to do? Well, if you can get to a network connection somehow (even a friend’s phone), then you should be able to locate your handset. This is a capability that’s been in Windows Phone for a while, but the web UI is being jazzed up a bit. It’s possible to:

Find your phone (it shows up on a map)

Ring your phone (with a distinctive ring, even if the phone is set to silent, so you can zone in on it)

Lock your phone (with a message offering kudos and karma to the finder)

Wipe your phone (if you know it’s a goner, like the aforesaid colleague’s wife who called the phone and spoke to the thief, who promptly informed her what she could do with rest of her evening, before hanging up and turning the phone off)

clip_image004You do need to make sure it’s enabled to start with – best check now, as you won’t want to discover that your phone isn’t reporting its location, the one time when you need to find it. Just go to the settings and look under find my phone.


If you sign in to the WindowsPhone.com portal, you’ll see where the phone was last contacted, and you can ping it (which sends a text to the phone, and makes the phone report its location if it can) by clicking Refresh.


clip_image007The updated UI for the Find My Phone function only seems to appear on the latest IE/Windows 10 build, but it provides a little more info – like when your phone was confirmed to have been found/locked/wiped etc.

clip_image006If you know you’re phone’s never coming back, you can wipe it – so your data doesn’t end up in a baddie’s hands, but your phone is reset to factory defaults so will still be a functional device that could be used again.

There is a movement to allow remote “bricking” of phones – the challenge being that it probably could be too easily exploited and unless the phone commits some kind of self-immolation at a hardware level, it’s always going to be possible for a savvy hacker to re-activate the device. The best thing to do is, just don’t lose your phone. Natch.