Back to Basics: Smartphone Keypad Lock

While writing my scorecard for Pogue’s complaints about Windows Mobile, I began thinking that a few people might appreciate a series talking about some of the basics of using Windows Mobile devices. So, I’m going to spend a little time this week writing a few blog entries about Windows Mobile Smartphone (Standard Edition) basics. I’ll hit Pocket PC Phone Edition (Professional Edition) basics next week.

Before getting to today’s back to basics information, let’s get the Standard Edition and Professional Edition branding out of the way: Prior to Windows Mobile 6, Windows Mobile devices were categorized as Pocket PC (no phone radio), Pocket PC Phone Edition, and Smartphone. Microsoft changed this nomenclature to Classic Edition (Pocket PC), Professional Edition (Pocket PC Phone Edition), and Standard Edition (Smartphone) with the introduction of WiMo6. From what I can tell, this has caused more confusion than anything else and carriers, journalists, and consumers either are confused by it or ignore it completely. The more noticeable difference is that the Pocket PC devices have a touch screen while the Smartphone devices do not. Now, back to basics…

At one time it looked like the flip-phone (clam shell) phone design might become the dominant design. One of its great advantages is that both the keypad and main screen were protected when closed and did not suffer from accidental key presses while closed. Unfortunately, this impression of mine was wrong and the candy bar (and more recently slide out) design became dominant. Fortunately, it is easy to lock the keypad and prevent accidental button presses (dialing). You can press and hold the End Call button (usually has a red phone icon on it) to lock the keypad. You can unlock the keypad by pressing the Left Soft Button and then the asterisk (*) button.

You can answer a call and then end it without unlocking the phone. So, you don’t have to worry about pressing a bunch of buttons just to answer a phone call.

There are a few applications (Fizz Traveller comes to mind) that ignores a locked keypad. But, there aren’t many of these kinds of applications.