Windows Mobile

Windows Mobile Standard Landscape Shortcut Keys

On a traditional Standard (nee Smartphone) device the start-menu items are arranged into a 3×3 grid, you can navigate these quickly using the numeric keypad. On a landscape device the items are arranged in a 4×2 grid so this is impractical. Instead the QWERTY keys are used, or to be exact:-


Another helpful feature which was introduced in one of the AKU updates to Windows Mobile 5.0 was a scrollbar so that scrolling off of the current page of menu items would advance to the next or previous screen of items (Equivalent to pressing soft-key “More” or Back button). The scrollbar give you a visual indication of where you are within the menu items which typically span 5 screens in landscape orientation.

One part of the shell which has not received the same attention is the Settings screens. Unlike the Start Menu there is no scrollbar, you must advance to the next screen using the last list item (this is not offered as a soft-key item). This means that in landscape orientation only 6 settings items fit on a page. A few changes here would allow more items per screen and consistency with the start menu behaviour. On devices with a built in scroller such as the HTC S620, T-Mobile Dash etc you could quickly scroll through all the configuration items.

Another place where this behaviour is not followed is the Pictures & Video application. Here the items are again arranged in a 4×2 grid on a landscape device however the key assignments are really wacky:-

1 2 3  
4 5 6  

You can see that the application is hard-coded to use the numerical keys and so there isn’t a shortcut to select the righthand column.

These help to illustrate another area where developing for multiple screen sizes and layouts can introduce complications. You should try to follow best practices to offer appropriate shortcut keys in your application, just be aware that even Microsoft have missed some of these issues in the platform itself.

By Peter Foot

Microsoft Windows Development MVP

2 replies on “Windows Mobile Standard Landscape Shortcut Keys”


I want to use my sound card and my bluetooth handsfree together…
1-One person that is operator is Transceiving[1] voice with a headset through sound card and wiry to/from Second Person…
2-Second Person that is some meter far from computer and operator is Transceiving[1] voice to/from Operator…
Can i use Audio and Voice tab in Control Panel -> Sounds and Audio Devices in this section?? (in windows xp sp2)
i want use voice for my bluetooth audio device and audio for my wiry headset and have a cross between their…
with programming (VS.NET 2005, etc…)

please help me …

[1]: Transceiving: Transmit and Receiving Voice

The Microsoft Bluetooth stack on the desktop doesn’t have any support for the audio profiles (they were in Vista betas but removed before the final release). Also I think even when these are implemented they wont support your scenario since they pipe the system audio through the headset, not setup an intercom system. You could possibly implement it yourself if you got the specs for the headset profile and know how to implement the audio stream which is over an SCO connection (control is via an RFComm connection which you can do with the library).

Good luck!


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