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March 6, 2014

Deep dive into Windows Phone 8 Messaging

Continuing our Deep Dive series, we’re now plunging into another mobile phone essential – messaging.

For many, sending a text message is more important and common than making a phone call. Firstly, you can do it silently without interrupting people around you, unless you’ve got the key press tones maxed out – annoyingly.

On a practical level, it’s much easier to relay important information via text. The recipient can refer back to an SMS for fact checking; you can’t do that with a phone call.

With two main methods to chat within Messaging, the first you’ll notice is the threads section.



It wasn’t that long ago that text messages were saved to your phone on one big long list. Meaning you were forever scrolling down to find content.

Thankfully now, each text message you send or receive is assigned to a person. What you’ll see under threads is a collection of names that, when one is selected, will reveal every message sent or received in chronological order.

If there’s a single chat thread you want to delete, tap and hold on that item, then select the delete option. If you’re looking to delete on mass, either tap the screen just left of the text messages to activate a hidden check box, or choose the select option from the settings bar at the bottom of the screen.

Don’t forget to prod that litterbin icon when you’re ready to delete.

Facebook chat

With your Nokia Lumia smartphone connected to your Facebook account, which we’re sure you’ve all set up, you can make use of the online messaging feature.

Swiping the screen left or right from threads will bring this into view. From here you can see which of your Facebook friends are online and you can message them directly.

If at any point you want to disconnect from Facebook, while not deactivating your Facebook account, the status icon at the bottom can be used to switch you from available, to busy, away, invisible or offline.

Blocking people

As we briefly mentioned in the dialer deep dive, you can put an end to nuisance text messages. These may be from fraudulent companies trying to scam money out of you via text, deal alerts that you’ve somehow been subscribed to, or just simply from people you’re no longer friends with.

Tap and hold on any name within the thread view and press block number. It really is that simple.



If you’re into your settings and toggle switches, make sure you check out the settings option in the menu bar at the bottom.

To activate text messaging and chat backup, toggle those switches. There’s also a switch to turn on/off Facebook Chat. Additionally, you can activate the SMS or MMS delivery confirmations as well as enable group with just a few taps.

The Messaging tile

Size-wise, you’ve got three options: small, medium, or large.

All options will show you a messaging icon and along with a number count of unread messages.

If you’re using the large tile you’ll be able to see the name of the person who sent you an SMS, as well as a snippet of the text right from the Start screen. So, be aware of this if you want to keep your messages private.

You may also notice that the little smiley-face on the SMS icon turns to a winking-face when you receive a message. It’s simple, and almost subliminal, but it’s a nice touch and makes it a bit more fun.