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Although Windows Mobile shares many programming techniques and tools in common with "desktop" Windows, your applications will have the largest impact when they make use of the many features that are unique to Windows Mobile devices.

For example, by spending time optimizing the user interface for a mobile device, your users will benefit and your application will be able to better distinguish itself. Examples of these features are listed in the reference section below.

However, developers often find they need to adjust some settings that are specific to Windows Mobile devices. For example, a developer may wish to change an alarm setting programmatically, or determine the currently playing song in the media player. There are two recommended approaches to accessing and changing low-level device information such as this: using the State and Notifications Broker, and using Configuration Service Providers.

In This Section

Accessing low-level Device Information

Accessing low-level device status using the State and Notifications Broker.

Programmatically Customizing a Device

Changing device-specific settings using Configuration Service Providers.


Here are some of the key mobile technologies that differ from their less-mobile counterparts. Spending time on these features will allow your application to make the most of the mobile platform and exploit its opportunities.

Customizing the User Interface of Windows Mobile Devices

Control the start menu, and add new elements to the Home or Today screen.

User Interface

Add support to your applications for keyboards, touch panels and soft keys.

Pocket Outlook Object Model (POOM)

Pocket Outlook provides calendar and contacts information that your application can utilize.


With MAPI, your application can create, send and intercept emails and text messages.

GPS Intermediate Driver

Using GPS, your application can determine its location, and react accordingly. See also Creating Applications that Utilize GPS.

Networking - Wireless

Add features that allow communication over Bluetooth, Infrared, or Wi-Fi.


Make the most of WAP and SMS messaging to bring mobile phone technologies to your application.

Security for Windows Mobile Devices

Understand the unique Windows Mobile security model, and use encryption and security services.

Phone Features

Interact with low-level phone features, such as vibrate and wireless connection services.

Sounds Functions

Play audio files for use as ring-tones and other custom applications.

Windows Mobile Ink

Add support for hand-writing input to your application.

Windows Mobile Features (Managed)

These managed classes are unique to Windows Mobile devices, and includes classes for querying the internal contacts database, and dialogs for interacting with the camera.

Code Samples for Windows Mobile

Over a hundred code samples for you to examine, and use in your own applications.


The Windows Mobile Developer Wiki, Making use of Phone-specific Features page.

See Also