Working With Mobile Devices in Vista

Before you start

Objectives: Learn what are specific settings that we can configure when working with mobile devices in Vista and where to configure them.

Prerequisites: no prerequisites.

Key terms: display, center, mobile, devices, mobility, sync, Vista, configure, options

Mobile Devices

Mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, PDAs, smart phones, cell phones, all have some special configuration options which ordinary desktop computers don’t require. Most mobile devices can be synchronized with a desktop PC. Vista has the sync center which we can use to synchronize data between the Vista machine and other PCs, servers, and mobile devices.

Sync Center

The Sync Center enables us to configure synchronization partnerships. Partnerships are a set of rules which control the synchronization. In general, we simply connect our device, configure the partnership and then choose what we want to sync. Mobile Device Center is another name for Active Sync feature. Sync Center is available in Control Panel.

 2 Sync Center

Sync Center

In our case we currently don’t have any partnerships configured, but this is where we would go to set sync partnerships with other computers and mobile devices. Partnerships can be either one-way or two-way.

Windows Mobility Center

Vista also includes Windows Mobility Center which has all of our mobile settings in one place. There are eight areas in Mobility center that we can configure: display brightness, power plans, volume, wireless networking, external display, display orientation, synchronization status, and presentation settings. To open Mobility Center we can go to Control Panel > Mobile PC > Windows Mobility Center. Note that you won’t have this option if you have installed Vista on ordinary desktop computer.

 1 Mobility Center

Mobility Center

Mobile Display

There are two basic options when configuring mobile display settings. This depends on whether we are working with the external display or some kind of projector. With an external display we can go to the Windows Mobility Center to connect to the display device. We can also go to Appearance and Personalization option in the Control Panel to configure display settings. External display can be:

  • mirrored – Desktop is duplicated on all display devices.
  • extended – every display shows different parts of Desktop. By default, the source display has the Start Menu.
  • only external display used – original display is turned off.

Vista also has an option to connect to a network projector across the network.

Presentation Options

In Mobility Center we can also work with presentation options. With this options we can make sure that the computer always stays turned on. We can also disable system notifications, screen saver, set the volume, choose the background, and work with connected displays.