Monday, February 1, 2010

Tips & Tricks Every webOS User Should Know! (Part 3 of 5)

Tips and tricks Part 3

Welcome back to possibly the most important "Tips and Tricks" entry in our series: e-mail and messaging!
If you’re just joining us … where the hell have you been?  Heh heh. No worries.  We’re just getting warmed up.  Here’s what we’ve covered so far:
Today, we’ll cover possibly the most important tips and tricks for many people… e-mail and messaging.  Let’s get right to it.


1) “All Flagged” Folderemail_2010-01-02_210043
This is a really cool feature that a surprising number of people don’t know about.  Certain messages are more  important to me than others, and that’s why I “flag” them, so I don’t lose them in the flood of emails I get every day.  Not only Palm has conveniently incorporated an “All Inboxes” folder in the email app for viewing multiple email accounts all in one folder, they’ve also included an “All Flagged” folder, which lets you see all your important messages from all accounts.  This has been an indispensable tool for me.  I thought everybody knew about it, but when I recently showed my cousin that she could do it with her Pre after owning if for six months, I figured I’d let you know about it, just in case.

2)  Gesture Area shortcuts!
Just as we use the gesture area to cut, copy, and paste, we also use this for really cool shortcuts in the e-mail app.  These consist of holding one finger on the gesture area and one finger to tap a letter key.  These shortcuts apply to both reading and writing of emails…

a. READING an email:
          • Gesture area + K = “Mar(K) as unread”
          • Gesture area + G = “Set Fla(G)”
          • Gesture area + M = “(M)ove to Folder”
          • Gesture Area + S = “(S)how Recipients”
Note: You can also access these commands via the menu (as shown) if you don’t want to use the keyboard.


b. WRITING an email:
          • Gesture area + J = “Set As High Priority”
          • Gesture area + D = “(D)iscard Message”
          • Gesture area + S = “(S)ave as Draft”

 Note: You can also access these commands via the menu (as shown) if you don’t want to use the keyboard.

3)  Type Using Italics and Bold face!

Yes, you can type in bold, italics, or both when typing an email.

Here’s how:

      • SYM + B = bold … (It will want to type ~. Delete and resume typing.)
      • SYM + I = Italics … (It will want to type í. Delete and resume typing.)
      • SYM + B, then SYM + I = both … (Yes, it will type ~ and í also.)

    4)  Delete whole words at a time
    Here's a quick way to delete a bunch of mistakes:  hold down the "Shift" key and press backspace.  You'll delete that entire word.  Make sure there's a space in between the word in front of it. Sometimes it deletes that word, too. I make plenty of mistakes. I use this feature pretty darn frequently.

    5)  Check email less often to save battery life!
    In Palm’s words from their website:

    “How much power checking email uses depends on a number of variables, including the type of account, how many email messages you receive a day, and whether you are downloading a lot of attachments. These guidelines may help you:
    • Using an Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) account that is set to receive email as it arrives is generally efficient. However, if you receive many email messages each day, you may be able to reduce power consumption by using an interval such as every 15 minutes or longer.
    • Using a web-based email account that is set to receive email as it arrives is not as efficient as using an EAS account. This is true even if you are not receiving a lot of emails. You can reduce battery consumption by using an interval such as every 15 minutes or longer on web-based accounts.”



    1) Emoticons!
    It amazes me how many times I’ll send a text to a fellow webOS user, and they ask me “how did you do that smiley?”  … So for your viewing pleasure, I joined together the screenshots of ALL the emoticons available for webOS.  Learn ‘em.  You're welcome. Go nuts.

    2) Change the alert sound for texts
    Many users are a little sick of the alert sound the Pre and Pixi make. I don’t really blame ‘em.  Palm has made this easy enough to do:  just open the menu and select “Preferences & Accounts.”  There, you will be able to select from System Alert, Ringtone, or just mute texts altogether.  You can even shut off text notifications entirely if necessary.

    3)  Quickly find the person you are texting
    Since I'm such a popular guy (*snort*), I text a lot of people.  Finding a conversation you've had with a person can be a pain if you text a whole bunch of people in a day.  The solution?  Just start typing the recipient's name.  In the example pictured on the right, I wanted to find the conversation I was having with my friend Ericka. So, I just typed "e" and boom, there she was!  Now I can read the conversation we had or text her again.

    (Of course, another method of quickly finding someone to text is using Universal Search.  Just type someone's name and their numbers will pop up, with a tiny "SMS" button.)

    4)  Delete whole words at a time
    Yeah I know I already mentioned this in e-mail, but it applies to texting, too.  Just hold down the "Shift" key and press backspace.  ...  Just wanted to make sure you were paying attention. ;)

    5)  Delete parts or a whole conversation
    By swiping from left to right, you can delete parts of a conversation, or entire conversations. Totally up to you.  (Note: Rarely, some people have had problems with future conversations displaying properly when deleting conversations.  This has happened a whole lot less since Palm fixed this bug, but I've read the occasional complaint.  If this happens to you, it’s really no big deal. Just check out my simple fixes article on how to deal with it and you’ll be just fine.)

    6)  Log off IM to save battery life!buddies
    We all know the Pre’s Achilles’ heel is battery life.  Unfortunately, being continuously connected to the web for Instant Messaging eats up battery life like crazy (this is particularly true of AIM). 

    This tip should be obvious to most of you.  Tap where it  says “Buddies” on the upper right hand corner of the messaging app.  (Why it says “buddies” and not “IM” is beyond me.) Then, tap the green button where it says “Available.”  Your options will be “busy” and “Sign Off.”  Tap “Sign Off.” Bear in mind that even if you have your account set to “Busy,” you are still online, and battery is draining.
    Don’t have an IM account? Just open the menu and set one up. :)

    That’s it for e-mail and messaging! Want some more? Check out Part 4 out of 5 of my Tips and Tricks series: Calendar, Browser, and Camera!

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