Top 10 essential Nokia Lumia tips for beginners

Whether you have a Nokia Lumia 800, 900, or a more entry-level Nokia Lumia 610 or 710, getting started with Windows Phone is a lot easier than you may think. Here we look at the top 10 essential tips for beginners to getting started with Nokia Lumia.

Windows Phone is an incredibly intuitive and easy operating system to get accustomed to. One of the things we really like is that once you find a way of doing something, all other instances follow suit, so you don’t need to learn multiple ways of working with your phone.

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Here we take a look at the 10 ways beginners can instantly make the most of their new Nokia Lumia powered by Windows Phone.

1: Setting up email on Nokia Lumia

One of the things we found incredibly easy when moving over to Windows Phone, especially from Symbian, was how easy it was to set up and add email accounts. If setting up an email account is easy enough, then you’ll be amazed that you can add Contacts and even integrate your Calendar at the tap of a button.

To set up an email account simply find the Settings feature on the Apps page and then tap Email+accounts. Choose Add an account and you’ll find an array of the most popular accounts already waiting for you, from Windows Live to Google, Yahoo and even the new Outlook mail.

2: Add your own email signature in Windows Phone

When you send an email message from your Nokia Lumia you’ll find ‘Sent from my Windows Phone’ at the bottom of the page. However, changing this to your own signature message is pretty straightforward.

Simply tap on the three dots in the right-hand bottom corner and select Settings. Here you’ll find a couple of options but the one you want is Signature. First, make sure that it’s switched on so you can see the dialogue box. Then simply enter the message or contact information you want. What’s more, you can add multiple lines simply by using the ‘Enter’ key on the virtual keyboard.

3: Adding Social Media to Windows Phone

One of the tricks that really shocks first-time Windows Phone users is that you don’t need to install Facebook, Twitter or even Linkedin accounts. Sure, you can add them a separate apps and pin them to the Start screen but for most people simply adding them to their phone is as easy as adding an email account.

To set up a social media account simply find the Settings feature on the Apps page and then tap Email+accounts. Choose Add an account and you’ll find Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin ready for you to tap and enter your details.

4: Back Button for Multitasking

Switching between multiple open apps on your Windows Phone is incredibly easy to do and all you need is the Back Button. It cuts down on extra button presses, making this perhaps the ultimate shortcut! The Back button is the left-hand button below your Nokia Lumia screen. Press and hold this button and you’ll be presented with a list of the six most recently used apps, each one just sitting there at the point you left it waiting to kick back into life.

Tap on any of them and you’ll cut straight back in at the exact point you left it, as long as the app developer has implemented the feature that is. If not you’ll jump to the start of the app without having to scroll through the menu.

5: App menu alphabet grid

When you first get your Nokia Lumia you’ll find you can quickly add all your favourite apps to the Start screen by pinning them on there. Everything else is conveniently stashed away on the second page just waiting for you.

You may have noticed that as you’ve downloaded more apps and the list has gotten longer, Windows Phone has automatically added an alphabetic filing system. However, with Windows Phone you don’t need to scroll down this long list, as the list is touch sensitive and allows you to drop into whichever letter your app begins with.

Tap any letter on your Nokia Lumia and it will bring up an alphabet menu. Touch the letter that corresponds to the app you’re after and you’ll jump straight to that section. One final flourish of style to look out for is that only the letters under which you have apps will light up, which streamlines the process further.

6: Quick use of the Camera button

This is something of an old tip for those in the know but for the first-time smartphone user, this is a great tip that any new Nokia Lumia user will really like

The Nokia Lumia comes with a built-in camera and dedicated hardware button for taking snaps on the go. When you want to take an impromptu photo there’s no need to unlock your phone, scroll to the camera app and load it up like in the old days. No, with Windows Phone all you need to do is press and hold the hardware camera button on the side and within seconds you’ll find the camera app opens and you’ll be ready to shoot!

7: Make your photos personal

Now you’ve got some photos in the Camera Roll of your Nokia Lumia smartphone you can use them to personalise your device. On the Start screen of Windows Phone is a double width Live Tile for Pictures that shows photos you’ve taken. By default this scrolls through all the photos on your phone but you can choose which photos it shows.

To do this you need to make photos your ‘Favourites’. Tap into Pictures and choose the photos you’d like to see added then tap the three dots in the bottom right-hand corner, this will pull up the Options for that photo, and scroll to the ‘Add to Favourites’ option. Tap this and you’ll find it will now appear on your Start screen more often.

8: Listen to free music on your Nokia Lumia

The Nokia Lumia experience comes with a built-in music player that is separate from the Microsoft Music Player, allowing for a far degree of differentiation and unique music to be offered to Nokia Lumia users only.

This can best be seen with Nokia Mix Radio, which allows you to listen to thousands of songs for free. There is no sign up, no subscription, simply fire up Nokia Mix Radio and choose the music you want to listen to.

Nokia is constantly adding to Mix Radio with dedicated playlists created by a team of real music lovers, not some automated algorithm as you’ll find on other devices. What’s more, you can download playlists while connected to WiFi network and then listen to them offline later on, so saving you money as you go!

9: Music control on your Nokia Lumia

While we’re talking about the music player on your Nokia Lumia, when you’re out and about and listening to music and suddenly find you need to stop listening, you don’t need to unlock your phone, load up the music player and pause or switch off.

If you want to control the volume of the music, simply use the volume controls, the two buttons on the top right-hand side. You can do this without having to unlock the screen and the best thing is, it won’t even kick the screen light into life, so won’t waste battery life.

If you want to pause the music or come across a tune you don’t want to listen to, simply press the screen unlock button and you’ll find a mini-music player on the Homepage. Here you can control your music without having to mess about with Windows Phone itself.

10: Home button voice commands

Voice commands are nothing new, even if Apple users seem to think they invented them! After all, why bother scrolling and looking for apps, people or contacts when you can simply ask your Nokia Lumia to do the job for you?

To get Voice Commands simply press and hold the Home button (this is the middle one below the screen on the front of your phone) and you’ll bring up the voice command box. Now you can tell your phone to “Call” a contact, “Find” a service or weather report for your area, “Open” an app or even “Text” someone.

That our Top 10 tips we think every Nokia Lumia beginner needs to know. If you’ve got a query on how to get more from your Windows Phone device then let us know in the Comments below.

  • Mikey_Bee

    To make calls tap the Phone option, People is where you’ll find your contacts and for SMS use Messaging. These are the basic phone functions on any Lumia.

  • Eddie

    Hi, I am 75 and I have new lumia 630. How do I useit as a basic mobile

  • Mikey_Bee

    You need to press the button that says ‘Answer’ on the screen and then the call will be connected. Hope that helps?

  • Mikey_Bee

    You need to be in the mail box and not in an open email.Tap the three dots and Settings will be the second option.

  • Nick C. Ruffin

    How do i add a signature to my emails — the description on this page does not work. when i push the three dots i don’t see settings as stated

  • Graeme

    Yes, my wife has one.

  • Umar Ghauri

    does it voice command in Lumia 610?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=513126636 Giles Jones

    Same as the 800 and 900 then :)