***If you just want a simple list of links to apps, tips and tricks with minimal comments, scroll to the bottom of this post for "THE LIST."
Tired of trying to cull through thousands of pages of thread posts to figure out how to simply do stuff with your Omnia (or perhaps another Windows Mobile based device)? Well look no farther. I will be posting any information I can glean about my Omnia i910 here.
So here is "how to" number one:
Swallow your geek pride, and take your old phone to the Verizon store to have them transfer your numbers for free. Like I said, I spent three days trying to do this on my own. When I finally just went into the Verizon store, it took them about 8 minutes and it cost me nothing.Over the next couple of weeks, I'll post the rest of my findings and thoughts here. There is a simple list of tools, tricks and links at the end of this post, so go there for the quick fix.
***If you just want a simple list of links with minimal comments, scroll to the bottom of this post for "THE LIST."
Use the Start menu! I didn't realize until a day or so in that you can click on the "Start" just like in WinXP or Vista (and I felt really stupid when finally I realized). When you click on Start, there is a drop down with many options (that you can customize).Installing apps involves placing .cab files on your phone. Don't fret. This is very easy. Simply place the .cab file on your phone, either by downloading it directly with your phone from the app's website, or by downloading it to your computer and then moving the file to your phone via Windows Explorer and ActiveSync. I've been placing all my .cab files in the My Storage root folder (just inside "My Storage" without any extra folder).
Now just use the Omnia's "File Explorer" (or other file program like Total Commander) to find the "My Storage" folder, open it, and click on the .cab file. The phone knows what to do from there. It will ask you where you want the program installed (device or My Storage). I suggest installing your apps on the device so they run faster, but if you start installing a LOT of apps, you'll need to use the extra space on your "My Storage."If you decide you don't like a program/app, uninstalling is very easy. Go to Start > Settings > System (it's a TAB at the bottom of that page)> Remove Programs. Select the program you no longer want and remove it!
I quickly became frustrated trying to do lots of things via my Omnia's tiny touch screen interface. Why, oh why don't they have a program to control my phone via my PC?! Well "they" do! MyMobiler rules! It is a simple program that connects your PC to your phone via WiFi or USB and then opens a window on your PC that allows you to control your phone in real time (there is a tiny lag). Finally I can edit my contacts on my phone with my PC keyboard! This is also a great way to learn the ins and outs of your phone via a more friendly input device (your real keyboard and mouse).
Click "Start." Click "settings." Click "Today." At the bottom click "Items." Uncheck "Samsung Widget" and get rid of that godawful sidebar for your opening screen. Woo-hoo! Freedom! (Sorry, I've just become completely annoyed by the Samsung Widget sidebar; it's pretty damn useless, as you can't customize what's available, and a lot of what is there you won't use... ever --who cares if you can move the icons around the screen if they're useless?!).
You can now select "Today Screen" as your opening screen. If I don't switch to another shell (like SPB) or a screen/icon program like iFonz (see link below), I will be using "Today 2" for my home screen. More on that later (see the "how to" in the registry editing section of this post).
SYNCING YOUR CALENDAR AND CONTACTS
Microsoft's Active Sync will only sync your contacts utilizing Outlook. Since that's bulls**t, here are a couple of other options:
- Sync to Thunderbird via Birdie Sync or FinchSync (WinXP only for now)
- (Not so much a sync, but at least a back up) Back up contacts with PIM Back up application
- iContacts (I haven't tried this yet, but people seem to like it as an alternative to Windows Contacts --apparently it works well with iDialer and thumbCal, but I haven't tried these yet) [update... I wouldn't really consider this a syncing option... it's just a different contact manager for your phone]
- To sync your Windows Contacts with your Mobile Device WITHOUT using Outlook (apparently the only way Microsoft wants you to sync contacts), I've created a How To post here.
MAPS and GPS
GPS for the i910 is currently only available via VZNavigator. There are many rumors that it will be unlocked for 3rd party apps during the first half of 2009.
Google Maps... just plug in your number and Google sends you a link that you click. A .cab file downloads to your phone and Google Maps is installed automatically. Currently, Verizon has GPS locked up so you can only use it with VZNavigator. Supposedly that will be changing in the first half of this year.
However, after doing some more searching, I found that Windows Live Search Mobile is pretty much the same thing as Mobile Google Maps... except Gizmodo says that it's much better. You be the judge.
[update] After using it, Windows Live Search is clearly superior for the Omnia (and I assume all other Windows Mobile based phones). It makes sense that an app created by the maker of the entire OS would work better... and it does. For the Omnia, I highly recommend Windows Live Search over Google Maps. It spawns faster, and the tools are more useful. You can even speak locations and Live Search will find them for you. I really look forward to the day that Verizon unlocks the GPS and you can use the "find me" link.[another update] After a month of actually using Live Search, I'm not so sold. The "traffic" option is often waaaaaay off (it will tell you that your road is free and clear, when in fact things are at a dead stop). The restaurant search doesn't have a LOT of restaurants listed. And the "search for specific locations" function is often extremely frustrating in that you have to manually update what you are searching "near" every time. Very bothersome. I think this would be much better if you could utilize GPS for the "find me" feature (still disabled by Verizon on the i910). So I reinstalled Google Maps and I use that for traffic and maps. I still use Live Search to find movie showtimes and theaters.
Supposedly, this method does not format your 8GB/16GB hard drive memory (only the system memory). To wipe everything, use the hard reset from the SETTINGS menu as follows (from the Omnia manual):
- Press the soft reset hole beside your power button (it's very tiny)
- Press the CALL and CANCEL buttons at the same time when you see the Samsung Omnia on the screen
- The reset screen will appear (yes will hard reset, no will soft reset)
- From the Today screen, tap the right soft key function: Main Menu > Settings > System tab > Hard Reset
- The Hard Reset screen displays with the Memory tab open. To reset your phone, tap the Clear all data button.
- At the Clear all data prompt, tap Yes.
- Tap the QWERTY keyboard icon at the bottom bar on the main LCD screen to open the virtual QWERTY keyboard and enter the Device Lock Code (last 4-digits of your phone number) and tap “yes” in the box.
Creating New Notification Tones for SMS Messaging
Copy and paste your SMS tones or music to the main WINDOWS folder. The music or tones must be stored in the WINDOWS folder and not any sub folder within it. Go to your sound settings and the new tones should appear in the drop-down for easy selection.
For the following changes, make sure you have enabled viewing of hidden files on your phone.
It seems odd, but WinMo doesn't seem to have an interface to change specific notifications, so you have to actually change the file that is used for the tone you want changed. In other words, to change the sound for when you turn the phone on, simply change the file called "pwr_on.wav". Create or find a sound you like, remove the original "pwr_on.wav" from the Windows directory. (I like to just rename the file as "pwr_on_old.wav" so I can go back to it if need be), and then add the sound you like... but rename the file "pwr_on.wav". I'm also not sure why the phone uses .wav files (larger) instead of .mp3 files (smaller).
EXAMPLE (change Ringer Off sound) : For some reason, the sound the phone makes when you turn off the ringer is INCREDIBLY loud. When you're turning off your ringer, isn't it because you don't want to make a lot of noise? WTF? This problem is easily remedied by changing the "PhoneOff.wav" file in your main Windows directory. You can replace the tone with a sound of your choice or replace it with a silent .wav file for no sound at all.
IMPORTANT NOTE (how to move sounds): When you drag and drop a .wav file to your phone, it will most likely be placed in the My Documents folder. You will then need to find the file in My Documents, click and hold on the file and then choose "copy/move." Select "tree" to see the folder view and then select "Windows." If you named the file correctly, your file should overwrite whatever sound you are replacing (you may need to uncheck "read only" and/or "archive" in the properties of the file you are replacing).
This all seems like a major pain in the butt to just change a sound, but I think this is how you have to do it until Microsoft implements a real sound panel.
ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE (where to put your ringtones): If you don't want your ringtones gobbling up your system memory, create a file in "My Storage" named "My Ringtones". You can place mp3's and wav's in this folder and they will show up in the Sounds and Notification settings. They will also show up in your Windows Contact editor (but they didn't seem to show up in the PocketCM contact editor --I assume this could be fixed with a reg. hack).
As I understand it, you can also change where your Omnia looks for the ringtones by editing the Registury thus:
1) Navigate to HKey_Current_User > ControlPanel > Sounds > RingTone0
2) Change "SavedSound" value to your desired directory.
3) Exit registry editor and soft-reset. You are done
EDITING YOUR REGISTRY
(It's often a good idea to soft reset your phone after making registry changes; just use a paper clip to press the teenie-tiny button next to the power button.)
First, BE CAREFUL. You can really screw things up in here. I take no responsibility for you hosing your phone, and I WILL NOT help you get things back to where they belong. That said, you'll need a program to edit your registry. I'm using Total Commander. Open Total Commander. At the root, click on "plug-ins." This takes you to three backslashes in the address bar ("\\\"). You should see three directories: ftp, LAN, and registry. Click on "registry," and you'll see HKCR, HKCU and HKLM. These are what you'll be editing.
To unleash the "Samsung Today 2" option, use your registry editor to drill down to the path shown below; once you get to "Items," you'll need to create the "Samsung Today 2" directory by clicking on the icon at the bottom of your screen with the folder and plus sign. Now double click the "+Add value+" icon (not the text), and then start creating what you see in the list of registry values below. Type in the name first. Then select the "type." Notice most of the entries are "DWORDS" (only "DLL" is a "String"), and the DWORD values are "decimal."
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Today\Items\Samsung Today 2]
After you enter these values, go to "settings" and click the "today" screen. On the "items" tab, deselect everything and check the "Samsung Today 2" box. You're there! Here's a simple list of the Today 2 screen features and how to use them.
Change Scrollbar Thickness (wider is more finger friendly):
Horizontal (bottom) scrollbar:
HKLM\System\GWE\cyHScr = 9 (DWORD decimal)
Vertical (right) scrollbar:
HKLM\System\GWE\cxVScr = 9 (DWORD decimal)
Change Dialer Screen to original default (this hack will save you around 6-10MB of system memory and I think the interface is better)
HKLM/Security/Phone/SkinAfter a soft reset, your screen should look like this.
Enabled: 1 : change 1 to 0
Disable Auto Keyboard Pop-up in E-mail or SMS/MMS (man, that gets annoying):
Change TurnOffAutoDeploy from a 0 to a 1.
Delete Shozu (free up 400k of running RAM plus extra space for program files)
Look for Launcher140, containing the string "\Windows\shozurcp.exe"
Delete additional space by removing files:
Delete the ShoZu shortcut file from "\windows\start menu\programs\"
Delete the entire ShoZu folder and everything in it from "\program files\cognima\Shozu"
Record Video in 400x240
Change VideoSize to 1653
Available settings: 1652=640x480 1653=400x240 1654=320x240 1655=176x144
Note: you cannot achieve this size setting from within the camera; you can only set the video to this size by editing the registry (until I find a way to add a link) I'm not sure why they didn't include a 400x240 icon on the video size screen, if it's obviously available on the phone.
Change Directory Path for Ringtones
(I actually haven't tried this, so lemme know if it works.)
Navigate to HKey_Current_User > ControlPanel > Sounds > RingTone0
Change "SavedSound" value to your desired directory.
Move Opera cache to "My Storage"
Here's a great little trick to free up some device storage from xsrx over on the Modaco forums.
Something not mentioned, but that I assume is a good idea: clear your old cache first. Open Opera, click the little arrow in the bottom right, go to History, click the trash can and affirm that you want to delete all. If you don't do this first, you'll need to delete stuff from your old cache folder at Application Data\Opera9\cache. Now...
- Close Opera.
- Create a folder on your storage card where the cache files will go. I chose \Storage Card\Program Files\Opera\cache4, but I don't think the folder structure or folder name matter.
- Open \Application Data\Opera\opera.ini in a text editor. [note: this directory was "opera9" not "opera" on my phone; "opera" is just help and skins]
- In the [User Prefs] section, add the following line: Cache Directory4=[full path to folder on storage card].
- Save and close opera.ini.
- Restart Opera. Your cache is now being written to your storage card.
- Edit the Opera.ini file
- Under [User Prefs] change "Download Directory=\My Documents\" to another directory on your device or storage card
More useful space saving techniques (move your default download directory, move your help files, etc...) for Opera Mobile can be found at this post from Download Squad.
(non-free programs are marked with an asterisk)
(things that I use are bold and red)
Back Up and Sync
- Birdie Sync (for Thunderbird - WinXP only)
- Finch Sync (for Thunderbird - Windows, Mac, Linux --it's Java!)
- Gsync (sync your Google Calendar with your phone)
- Sprite Backup *
- NuevaSync.com (sync your Google Calendars with your phone calendar -no software to install, works with ActiveSync and your NuevaSync.com online account)
- OutSync (sync your Facebook friends' profile pics with your contacts)
- Windows Live (like a second Exchange Server that only works with Windows Live, should be included with WinMo, but can be downloaded to phone if not)
- Windows Live Mail (Microsoft mail program that installs on your computer to syncs with Hotmail, Windows Live (on your phone), etc...)
Control Your Phone With Your PC
- My Mobiler (this can be used over USB or WiFi)
Maps and GeoSearch
- PocketRAR (official WinRAR for mobiles)
- Softkey Manager from Fantastic Bytes (change your softkeys to whatever you like)
- Softkey Control Panel applet (reassign softkeys)
- Audio Notes Touch * (mp3 recorder with touch friendly interface)
- Total Commander (the registry editor and file explorer I use)
- A List of Various other registry editors
- Total Commander (the registry editor I use)
- Update .Net Framework from 2.0 to 3.5
- iDialer (a full screen dial pad that makes it easier to actually dial a phone number; will work in conjunction with iContacts and I believe thumbCal... I don't use it much now that I've got PocketCM, but I've left it installed [update: I now use Green Button to map to iDialer, so when I just want to dial a number it's easy)
- PocketShield (screen lock)
- CeRegEditor (reg editor that functions from your computer so it's easier than trying to use on your device... ONLY functions as a RegEdit prog, as opposed to something like Total Commander which can edit and move ANY type of file)
Shell Replacement, Skins and Interfaces (get a whole new look, feel and functionality)
- SPB Mobile Shell * (unless you snag it via Torrent, you'll be paying for the shell, apps and plugins)
- iFonz (download from softpedia)
- configure iFonz theme (an easy way to switch icons and background without having to use the program interface)
- Throttle Launcher *
- Winterface *
- Manila 2D (TouchFlo)
- Manila 3D (TouchFlo 3D)
- iLauncher *
Misc. Fun Stuff
- XDA Developers
- Howard Forums
- PPC Geeks
- The Modaco "Favorite Hacks" thread (registry edits in a cab file --great idea)
Download Sites (apps)
- Samsung SCH-i910 official support and download page
- Make your phone more like the iPhone (from Lifehacker)
- Lifehacker's "best" free mobile apps list
- Knguyentu (probably the most comprehensive Omnia blogpost I've seen to date)
- MySamsungOmnia (another blog)
Thing That Don't Work for Omnia Yet
- Dashwire (back up to the cloud --doesn't support Omnia i900 or i910)
- Skyfire (mobile browser --doesn't support Omnia's 240x400 resolution) [03-02-09 update: now reported working --thanks, Greg]
*denotes pay (not free) app/service
(what I've installed, removed, and how I'm currently set up)
- Set phone to "wake" only with power button (not face buttons or screen) settings> buttons> wake up tab> "power button only" > uncheck lock device. This prevents pocket dialing. Also, the power button is a great "soft" off. This means I don't need to use any "lock/unlock" apps. After 30 seconds of non-use the screen goes black and I "wake" it with the power button. When I'm done using the phone I turn off the screen with the power button.
- Installed Total Commander (file explorer/registry editor)
- Installed MyMobiler (control phone with PC)
- Altered registry to use Today Screen 2
- Resized vertical scroll bar width to 18
- Altered "Start Menu" drop down choices (settings>menus) to include most often used programs (easiest immediate access)
- Used Theme Changer to choose grey as background color
- Altered registry to use older default dialer (saves space, better interface)
- Altered registry to prevent keyboard pop-up for Email and Messaging
- Installed iDialer (much bigger dial pad, easier to dial with)
- Installed Windows Live Search (maps and geo search)
- Installed Audio Notes Touch (mp3 recorder)
- Installed Windows Daylight Savings 2008 update
- Turned off auto-rotate (rotate with camera button now)
- Added and changed ringtones and notification sounds
- Installed .NET manager (netcfcfg.cab)
- Installed 3.5 version of .NET (NETCFv35.wm.armv4i.cab)
- Installed HTC emulation for accelerometer functionality (HTCEmu.zip > 2 DLL's installed in the Windows directory)
- Installed Lightsaber 1.0 (sue me; I'm a geek)
- Installed iFonz (don't know if I'll use it, but it's nice having another "look" available) [removed - Today Screen 2 is good for me]
- Removed Shozu from registry (frees up 400k)
- Installed Softkey Control Panel applet (v1.4) to remap softkeys [02/18/09 changed "contacts" to "my peeps" and mapped it to PocketCM]
- Installed mobile Flash 7 player
- Reassigned "menu" key (upper right) to Task Manager
- Set up phone calendar to sync with my Google Calendars using NuevaSync.com
- [2-12-09] Installed Zumobi/REI snow report app (made for 240x360, so has major problems on Omnia's 240x400) [removed - didn't work]
- [2-12-09] Installed PocketMax Spacer cab for Today screen [removed - doesn't work with Samsung Today, can't configure for Today Screen 2 (greyed out)]
- Installed PocketCM (contact manager) and Dark Diamond II theme (I like this MUCH more than the iContacts app, it's much more robust --can't wait to try out this guy's keyboard replacement app) See my PocketCM review post here.
- Installed Green Button to remap "call" hardware key to PocketCM
- [2-27-09] Installed PocketCM Keyboard and wm7 inspired qvga (0.3) skin
- [2-28-09] Changed Green Button to link to iDialer (since my soft key already goes to PocketCM)
- [2-28-09] Moved ringtones to My Storage. Changed Ringer On, Ringer Off, Phone On, and Phone Off notification sounds.
- [3-9-09] Installed SIPchange to set PocketCM Keyboard as default (not totally convinced about PocketCM Keyboard --pretty buggy-- but I'm giving this a shot anyway).
- [3-12-09] Moved Opera Mobile cache to My Storage.
- [3-12-09] Moved default download directory to My Storage.
- [3-13-09] Added SP2 media player... so far I don't like it.
- [3-31-09] Phone is hosed. Verizon replaced it.
- [3-31-09] Installed CeRegEditor.