Matt Gemmell

Windows Phone

A guide for iPhone users

Tech 31 min read


Windows Phone has a Settings app, just like iOS, with system-wide and app-specific settings. There’s a vast array of options available.

Settings system

System settings

There’s also a tab of app-specific settings, though I believe it’s limited to built-in apps. Third-party apps, as on iOS, tend to provide their settings in-app.

Settings apps

Application-specific settings

There are a few interesting options, for those coming from iOS.

Certain Windows Phone devices (some Microsoft Lumia phones, for example) support double-tapping the screen to wake up the phone. You can also make the phone vibrate subtly when the softkeys are tapped, which provides a pleasing sense of interaction and positivity to virtual buttons.

Settings touch

Touch options, on some devices.

Cortana’s text-to-speech functionality can be configured to read aloud incoming messages, and this feature can be limited to only certain audio output devices, like Bluetooth peripheral or wired headsets.

Settings speech

Speech output options

Windows Phones can backup to the cloud, just as iOS devices do with iCloud.

Settings backup

Cloud backup

System settings and app data backups are independent, and you can manually trigger a backup or manage remote backups from the device.

Settings backup options

Backup options

You can also choose to sync your settings across your other Windows devices, including your passwords, browser settings, and Start theme.

Settings sync

Sync options

Over-the-air software update checking is enabled by default. You can choose whether to automatically download updates as soon as they’re available (respecting your data usage settings), and when to install updates.

Phone update

Phone update options

By default, installation occurs in the middle of the night, as you’d presumably prefer.