Tips & Tricks Every webOS User Should Know (Part 1 of 5)
Since I first started this blog, we’ve covered a lot of ground:
… we’ve talked about the very basics of the Palm Pre.
… we’ve talked about some cool tricks for adding ringtones to your Pre or Pixi.
… we’ve talked about simple fixes that might prevent a trip to the repair shop or retailer.
… we’ve even talked about how to erase your webOS device when push came to shove.
My next goal is to turn you into a power webOS user! You can handle that, right? So let’s get started! This is my very first installment out of five in my “Tips and Tricks” series. Hopefully you will find these articles very helpful. Some tips you probably know, while others are less well-known.
Read on after the break, where we cover system tricks and tips for using the launcher.
1) Quick Reset:
There’s different ways to make your Palm Pre reboot, but here’s a quick way: press these three keys at the same time: ORANGE, SYM, and R! Boom. Your Pre is now rebooting. (Better go make yourself a sandwich. This doesn’t make it actually boot faster! Just an easier way to do it.)
2) Take a screen snapshot:
Here’s a cool trick! (Even the Motorola Droid can’t do this.) All you need to do? Press ORANGE, SYM, and P at the same time. In your pictures app, you will find a new folder was created, called “Screen captures.”
3) Easily wake up device:
When I first got my Pre, I would always try waking it up with the power button. When the slider was open, this presented a challenge as the button is hard to access. I discovered I could wake up my Pre by pushing any key on the keyboard. I default to the spacebar.
When the slider is closed, the easiest way to wake the device? OPEN the slider! It skips the "slide to unlock" step.
4) Turn your phone into a FLASH DRIVE!
You no longer have to carry around that dorky flash drive tethered to a shoelace around your neck! Just connect your webOS device to your computer and select "USB Drive" from the options. You will now be able to access your phone’s files directly. This is great for quick transfer of files, music, videos… you name it.
This came in really handy for me: one day, I was in an area with no wifi and I had to send a file to my boss from my laptop. Using my quick "McGruber" thinking, I connected my Pre to my laptop in USB mode, transferred the file to my phone, and then sent the phone using Sprint’s network. It took me all of thirty seconds.
5) View active card information:
Want to know extensive details about a particular app you are using? There’s a way to do that. While in an open card, just hit ORANGE, SYM, and I. Detailed information will pop up in the upper left hand corner, as pictured. If you do this in card view, detailed information will pop up in the launcher. Repeat the keystrokes to switch it off. Is it useful for the average user? Nah, not really. Just nerdy fun. Sorta.
6) Want a better signal? Open the slider!
Quick anatomy lesson of the Palm Pre: the wifi and network radios are in the keypad portion (not the top) of the phone! So, opening the slider works much like extending an antenna. Whether I’m talking or web browsing, I almost always have the slider open on my Palm Pre to maximize the signal. I think you’ll find a noticeable difference. I’m always on my wife about this, who for some reason has the habit of chatting with the slider closed.
6) Advanced Gestures
Here’s a cool trick… Normally, to switch from card to card, you have to zoom out into card view and flick your cards around. With Advanced Gestures activated, you can directly slide between apps by dragging your finger across the full length of the gesture area. This is particularly useful for copying something in one card (say, email) and pasting in another, like SMS or Twitter. I leave it on all the time. In order to activate this…
a. Go to “Screen and Lock”
b. Find where it says “Advanced Gestures”
c. And turn ON "Switch applications."
7) Force Reset:
In the rare event that your Palm Pre crashes and your screen becomes unresponsive, you can force it to do a soft reset (a basic reboot). Just follow the directions in the picture. Then go make a sandwich.
1) UNIVERSAL SEARCH!
Your launcher does more for you than just show off your cute app icons. It’s actually a powerful search engine built into your phone. The folks at Palm were the pioneers in this feature, beating Android and even the famous iPhone to the punch. So… Here’s a hot tip for beginners: learn to use Universal Search… all the time! I can’t stress that enough. It will really speed up everything you do. Seriously. If I catch any of you flipping through your contacts or opening the browser to do a Wikipedia search, I’m gonna slap you upside the head! Below is a video on how this works.
Palm recently baked some extra keyboard shortcuts into Universal Search:
- Typing “store” takes you to the App Catalog
- Typing “pic” takes you to Photos
- Typing “sms” or “text” takes you to Messaging
- Typing “time” takes you to Clock and Date & Time
- Typing “add” (as in address) takes you to Contacts
- Typing “todo” takes you to Tasks
- Typing “eve” (as in events) takes you to Calendar
- Typing “note” takes you to Memos
- Typing “net” takes you to Wi-fi settings
Update: For those asking, no… you cannot use universal search for calendars, tasks, or e-mails. However, emails CAN be searched within the email app, and there is a FREE app called Google Calendar Search that allows you to search your Google calendars. It’s slick and easy to use.
2) Change your Quick Launch icons:
Your Quick Launch icons are for the apps that you use the most frequently. Or, you could do what I do: leave the apps you use most frequently open as a card… then you have four more options quickly available to you in the Quick Launch bar! How do you customize it? Like this:
a. Open your launcher
b. Tap and hold an icon in the Quick Launch bar. It will light up.
c. Drag it to wherever you want in your launcher
d. Drag an icon from the launcher to the Quick Launch bar. You’re done!
3) View app info or delete an app:
Easy. Open your launcher, then hold down the orange button on your keyboard, and tap the icon of an app. This will allow you to see the app version, its developer, and file size. You will also be given the option to delete the application.