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So, you’ve scored a Windows Phone 8 device. Nice choice. By now, you probably know all about your sleek Start screen and its “live” tiles, which let you access familiar Windows programs (including Word and PowerPoint). You can also sync with your PC, tablet and other devices via the cloud-based service SkyDrive. But there’s a lot more to know about this versatile device. Here are five ways to master your Windows 8 Phone.

1. Pin Tiles To Your Start Screen

WP8’s Start screen features large, colourful tiles that have real-time info pushed to them, such as new messages and social network updates. Personalize your Start screen with these tiles.

To pin a tile, tap and hold the item (such as an app). A menu will appear with an option to Pin to Start. In some cases, you can tap the Pin icon in the menu bar, which looks something like a push pin.

Use your finger to move the tiles wherever you like. You can also tweak their size.

2. Back Up Your Phone

Protect your phone by backing up your content.

On your phone, sign in with your Microsoft account, then go to Settings>Backup. Here, you can turn on the service that lets you automatically save things to the cloud, such as photos. You can also back up your SMS/MMS messages, and even create backups of your phone’s apps, settings, Internet Explorer favourites and more.

3. Master Internet Explorer Mobile

To search online, type your search term in the browser’s address bar. Or, press the hardware Search button on your phone (the picture of a magnifying glass) to use Bing. To search by voice, tap the micro- phone icon next to the Search box.

Share a link by tapping the More icon (three little dots), then tap Share before selecting the recipient.

To open a new tab, select More, followed by Tabs and finally New. Or, you can set the address bar button to open new tabs; simply tap the address bar.

4. Import Contacts Onto Your Phone

WP8 consolidates contacts into a hub called People. Each contact gets its own page. You can import your contacts onto your new phone in one of three ways:

  1. From a removable SIM card from your old device.
  2. From a cloud service, such as, Google or Microsoft Office 365 (or Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn).
  3. Through Microsoft Office (if your contacts are on a PC).

Find instructions for all three at

5. Copy and Paste Text

One way to copy text in WP8 is by highlighting the text. To do so:

  1. Tap a word you want to copy.
  2. Drag the circles at each end of the high- lighted text to include the first and last words you want to copy.
  3. Tap the Copy icon, which looks like two overlapping pieces of paper.
  4. Open the app, message or file where you want to paste the text. Tap where you want the text, and in the text suggestion bar (above the keyboard), tap Paste (the icon looks like paper on a clipboard).

Watch our Windows 8 how-to video:

Please be advised that streaming video consumes larger amounts of data

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