Smartphones and Windows 7… VERY smart!

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I moved into my new office this week.  I have a desk, a chair, a plethora of computer equipment, and a entire bookshelf.  What I don’t have yet is an office phone, which frankly will come but is not really a priority right now.  Everyone is still going to reach me on my mobile phone anyways, so there is nothing to worry about.  Of course, because of the nature of my work I do spend a bit of time on conference calls which depending on the matter may last an hour or longer; this is uncomfortable to be sure – there are only so many times I can switch hands so my elbow doesn’t fall asleep, and besides, having to hold the phone makes it difficult to type notes.  I am spoiled because for most of the past three years I have had a hands-free Bluetooth earpiece for just these occasions.  Actually the earpiece was primarily for talking while driving, and since my new car has built-in Bluetooth I don’t need it anymore… and besides, Gingit (the devil puppy) ate it.

clip_image001I came across this screen by accident, but have been wildly mad about it since.  It is the Bluetooth Phone Operations and Settings screen, specifically paired to my HTC Touch Pro.  This feature in Windows 7 has made my life much more comfortable, especially in my office with no land line.  I have my smartphone paired to my laptop, and this new feature allows me to:

  • Use my phone to connect to the Internet;
  • Initiate a call through the smartphone;
  • Listen to audio from my phone through the computer speakers; and
  • Use the computer as a speakerphone for calls on my phone.

I have been tethering to my phone to connect to the Internet for a couple of years, but love the fact that all of these features are in a single screen.  I also do not listen to a lot of music on my smartphone… it drains the battery, and besides, I have a Zune :)  however the ability to use my computer (with, let’s face it, MUCH better audio than the phone) as a speakerphone makes my life much easier.

Because I do spend a lot of time talking to my computer (no, I have not lost my mind… I record podcasts, and stay tuned for my post on voice recognition in Windows 7!) I invested in a headphone with a good microphone (Microsoft LifeChat LX-3000) which I use to listen to music, as well as record any number of items.  I have it connected to my laptop docking station’s USB port and when I am in the office I wear it… and when a call comes in I simply have to pause my music and take my call.  I have so far conducted seven conference calls through this method and have been very impressed by the quality… not to mention the fact that my elbows are thanking me!  In return I am thanking the dev team at Microsoft that came up with this quite intelligent bit of code!

For more information about the Windows Springboard Series visit

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