Batteries or Clocks?

Upgrades from WM5 to MSFP (AKU2) have started to hit the streets.  One of the major features (direct push) has been a big hit.  But one of the smaller features (a battery icon) has been met with ... less enthusiasm.

On PocketPC, AKU2 replaced the clock display on the Title Bar with a battery indicator.  The clock was moved farther down into the today page.  We've gotten a lot of feedback on the relative usefulness of clocks and battery indicators, and we've gotten a lot of feedback on the usefulness of this particular battery indicator.  We're taking both pieces of feedback to heart and are working on improving the situation.

It's unlikely that we'll make the clock the default again.  Prior to AKU2, we got a lot of consistent feedback that users prefer a battery indicator.  I know that many of you feel that the clock is more useful (and I happen to agree with you), but there are a lot more battery people than clock people in our customer base. 

However, something we've definitely learned from all your feedback is that, if we're going to make a change like this, we need to give users a way to switch back to the previous behavior. 

The bad news is that there's no way to get the clock back in AKU2.  The good news is that there will be a way in the next minor release (AKU2.2).  But the other bad news is that I don't know which hardware devices will use AKU2.2.  So I can't tell you when or even if you'll be able to make use of this change. 

I also don't have a good way for you tell which version your hardware is on.  These AKU's are really intended for OEMs, not end users to see.  The best I can offer is for you to make the following change and see if it works.  If your device has the "put the clock back" feature, the change will enable it.  If it doesn't, the change won't have any adverse effect.

The change is enabled by a registry key.  Please understand we're reserving the right to change its location in future releases.  So don't write software that relies on it being there. 

What you need is a DWORD value called ShowTitleBarClock that is set to 1.  The value needs to be placed in HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Shell.  After adding the value and flushing the registry (usually the safest way to do that is to hit the power button to suspend the device, wait a few seconds, and then hit it again to wake it back up) reset the device.  If it comes back with the clock showing, you've got an AKU2.2 device.

Note that this will only work for PocketPC.  Smartphones have always had the battery icon on the Title Bar, and we're not planning to add a clock to them.  (In fact, one of the reasons we changed the PocketPC was that we wanted to make it consistent with Smartphone.)

Thank you for all your feedback on this matter.

Edit: I've been told that you can tell which AKU you're on.  If you go to Start->Settings->System->About it will list the build number as something like xxxxx.2.0.0.  The numbers after the first five digits is the AKU number.  So that example is AKU2.0.  The registry key went into 2.2, which will show up as xxxxx.2.2.0.

Mike Calligaro

Comments (89)
  1. Vibhu says:

    Hi Guys,

    This is a general suggestion – if you could provide pics and links on the article it would be really helpful.


  2. Stefan says:

    Thanks for the info, so I can stop feeling like a idiot searching for the clock settings.

  3. alex says:

    Funny, my Treo 700w has both the battery (Palms, I suppose and not MS’s) and a clock using AKU2.

  4. Galt says:

    Thanks for covering the issue, Mike.  The reg edit didn’t work fOr me (imate JasJar running ROM 1.30.76), but it’s nice to know that there could be a fix down the road and even more importantly that you guys are listening and willing to make some changes based on feedback.

  5. Jodyb says:

    Thanks for hitting this.  You really mean there is NO way to get the clock back on the AKU 2.0 ROM…at all?

  6. Boris Letocha says:

    And what about to include both, like it is for example done in Magic Button. Also to not have full functionality of "task" manager even in 2005 is for me really not understandable. Also I think that someone was on THC then created concept of hiding/minimizing of application using close button :-). It is really interesting to look at development in MS to not get even most simple concepts, people are used to from Win95.

  7. Sam says:

    In response to the above comment, I think its important to remember that a Windows Mobile machine is not a full-blown computer; rather it is a mini-computer or PDA, and hence the ability to have programs fire up instantly is more important (as programs often do in the old electronic organisers). That said, yes I think more importance should be focused on a task manager, however it will need to be built in such a manner so that it doesn’t confuse ordinary users.

    Anyway, the main reason for this post is that I was wondering why you can’t make the digital clock change a part of the context menu, similar to how you can tap-and-hold on old clock and choose between analog and digital.


  8. Boris Letocha says:

    To Sam:

    Don’t forgot that user base of Win95 or higher is much much bigger then Win. mobile user base. And concept of switching of running tasks is now deep in people minds.

    But you are right that make some options would be best. There is still big space for improvement in GUI on small displays, especially how to fit more usefull information together.

  9. Steve says:

    This key was already in my registry (5.1.195 build 14847.2.0.0) and set to 1 but I still have the battery on the Today screen. I did select the "Display the clock on the title bar of all programs" under settings/system/clock/more which helps. This works fine for all programs except the phone dialer. I use the Battery Pack Pro on my Today screen which is ok but not great.

    You provide great insight on WM internals in your posts. I don’t neccessarely agree with all the design decision but I appreciate the explanation.

    Thank you.

  10. Jan says:

    Wasn’t one of the WM5 pre-release promises the ability to install updates without having to wait for a manufacturer update?

    I take it this has gone out of the window, if such a minor update will require such a disproportionate amount of third party input

  11. JGUI says:

    Generally it’s useful: to select the "Display the clock on the title bar of all programs" under settings/system/clock/more which helps.

    This does not hide a clock on the taskbar, even when Phone dialpad is displayed. <a href=""></a&gt;

    If I want to see a clock on Today Screen, I use 3rd part plugin, pretty easy solution.I use the mine one 😉 <a href=""></a&gt; or <a href=""></a&gt;

    Please do not ask me for the above programs, these are not published yet. Sorry. I just wanted to share the idea of solution.

  12. Rich says:

    The battery indicator on my PPC-6700 wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t show "full" until I hit 60%

    It seems that it only has three variations, full, not so full and reasy to die!

  13. angusc says:

    Hi & thanx for this great tip on how to get the clock back on the title bar!  I have another question for you learned gentlemen… WM5 device wakes up from standby mode when it receives an sms message. This is annoying especially if i have the device in my pocket as once it has come out of suspended mode it is easy to inadvertently stat a phone call, or activate any programs.  Is there a REGEDIT to prevent bringing the PDA out of suspend mode when it receives an SMS?

    thanx for all your advice

    regards Chris

  14. angusc says:

    Hi & thanx for this great tip on how to get the clock back on the title bar!  I have another question for you learned gentlemen… WM5 device wakes up from standby mode when it receives an sms message. This is annoying especially if i have the device in my pocket as once it has come out of suspended mode it is easy to inadvertently stat a phone call, or activate any programs.  Is there a REGEDIT to prevent bringing the PDA out of suspend mode when it receives an SMS?

    thanx for all your advice

    regards Chris

  15. Rick Mahn says:

    Unfortunately you probably didn’t ask enough customers – at least many bloggers never heard about a survey let alone got to participate.

    Why not make it really simple – create a "Title Bar Configuration" option in Settings and let the user decide what is placed in the Title Bar?

    Guess that would be too simple a solution – and no it would not be that hard to do.

    I’m very frustrated now that my clock is gone and I have to take up valuble space on my Today Screen to get a clock displayed.  You guys really screwed the pooch on this.

    Thanks a lot.

  16. Kirk says:

    I agree with a previous poster.  The new battery icon is pretty much useless because it only has 3 settings.  Full, 60% and empty!  Why aren’t there more levels in the battery icon?  Doesn’t make any sense!

  17. Michael says:

    Bummer. I’m using a PPC-6700 and the change didn’t work for me. I am dying to get rid of that darn battery. I can’t believe the only wat to show the clock (without 3rd party software) is to take up two valuable lines on the Today Screen.

    Having said that, I’m appreciative of the explanation. It’s nice to know somebody is listening.

  18. MikeCal says:

    I just added the following to the original post:

    Edit: I’ve been told that you can tell which AKU you’re on.  If you go to Start->Settings->System->About it will list the build number as something like xxxxx.2.0.0.  The numbers after the first five digits is the AKU number.  So that example is AKU2.0.  The registry key went into 2.2, which will show up as xxxxx.2.2.0.


  19. MikeCal says:

    Jan, the WM5 promise was to make updates easy enough that manufacturers and mobile opperators would be willing to do them.  We didn’t meet that perfectly, but, given the number of devices that now have free updates to AKU2, we must have made SOME progress on that front.  

    It is NOT our goal to update your device without your mobile opperator’s consent.  With WM5 we have the technical ability to do so, but we prefer to work with our partners, not against them.

    Angusc, the device waking up for SMSes is an OEM choice.  Whether or not there is any way to change the behavior (and, if so, how to do it) could be different for every device.  Your best bet is to give feedback to your mobile opperator that you don’t like the behavior. The MO will then give that feedback to the manufacturer.  Since the MO is the manufacturer’s customer they have a lot of pull with them.


  20. Frank says:

    The battery icon wouldn’t be so bad if it was actually a functional battery indicator icon.  Showing me full, half and empty does me no good.

  21. badbob001 says:

    I have not seen any cellphones that had a battery meter that just read 100%, 60%, and near empty. Instead, there would about four to six battery levels shown. If the goal was to unify the smartphone and pocketpc interfaces, then what’s with the lazy programming for the pocketpc’s battery meter?

    Speaking of laziness, it seems pretty lazy to issue a 2.2 "fix" that requires a registry change to make it work instead of a settings option.

    Was there *any* planned purpose to the download agent in WM5? Was each Mobile Operator suppose to configure that agent to download from their own servers? Really… Microsoft should come out with their own hardware… then they can’t blame the MO for not releasing updates.

  22. badbob001 says:

    If I bought a Dell computer, should Dell disable my ability to run Windows Update? If no, then what makes Windows Mobile devices so different? If they are not subsidizing my purchase, then they should not monopolize my upgrade options.

    Surely subsidized devices can have their rom configured to block generic updates, but non-subsidized devices should be allowed to accept direct updates from Microsoft. Worried about compatibility? Does Microsoft wait until all their OEMs have tested new patches before release? And I would think Microsoft is smart enough to be able to release software that doesn’t interfere with oem hardware drivers.

  23. WMWizard says:

    This is precisely the kind of cock up that makes WM a laughing stock. Only MS could unilaterally replace a perfectly good clock with a battery meter that was useless because it only had 3 states. Whoever signed that one off deserves the boot.

    If you want to see how to show battery status without wasting screen real estate, take a look at Batti. Maybe one day WM PE will get the phone functionality of a 10 year old Nokia. How many more years before we get bluetooth and call divert status icons?

  24. Michael says:

    Frankly, I can work around the lack of the clock on the title bar..  what I cannot stand is the useless battety icon.

    Don’t need the clock back, but is there any way to just remove the battery icon??

  25. MikeCal says:

    Thank you everyone for the feedback on the functionality of the battery icon.  Yes, we understand that we need to provide more granularity there.  I’m not sure why we shipped the PocketPC version the way we did.  The smartphone version has a reasonable amount of granularity.  

    Badbob, what you’re seeing as "laziness" is better described as "timeliness."  The time to get a quick control panel working isn’t too much more than the time to get a registry key going.  

    But the time to SHIP a new control panel is much longer.  To do that, we need to translate it into 27 languages, adjusting the size of the text to fit each of them, test its fuctionality on all of those languages, update the documentation to explain the purpose of the control panel, and translate that documentation.  We also have to make sure that no OEM has overridden that control panel with his own.  If they have, we have to make sure that they update their control panel and translate it.  We have almost 50 OEMs shipping hundreds of different devices to check.  That involves coordination with a huge number of people.

    The difference between a registry key and a control panel is the difference between you getting the ability to change the behavior in AKU2.2 and Windows Mobile 6 (or whatever the next major release is called).  If you’d like to wait for the next major release to get the feature, you’re welcome to.  But, in the mean time, people who really want a fix as soon as possible, are going to prefer having a registry key to no solution at all.

    As for the difference in the desktop update story and the mobile update story, please see the blog entry I wrote about this.


  26. Mike Herchel says:

    Besides batteries instead of clocks, is there any other way to verify that MSFP (AKU2) is installed on your device? Thanks!

  27. Jan says:

    Okay I can see how you wouldn’t want to upset the mobile operators – I’m sure they could make it difficult to use WM devices on their networks if they wanted to.

    At the same time it would be nice to see some recognition that I, and others who have posted here are your customers.

    For sure the availability of updates is much improved over old days but could not such a trivial change as clock/battery have delivered in a minor update without network say so?

  28. MikeCal says:

    Jan, you are definitely my customer.  However, like it or not, the Mobile Opperator outranks you.  If you and the Mobile Opperator disagree on a feature, we need to do what the Mobile Opperator wants.  In the end, here’s how the industry works:

    Microsoft sells software to an OEM.

    The OEM sells a phone to a Mobile Opperator.

    The Mobile Opperator sells the phone to an end user.

    In a place where you and the MO are in conflict, if we did what you wanted instead of what they wanted, they just wouldn’t buy the phone from us.  

    I’m painfully aware that, if the MO offers you a phone that you don’t like, you just won’t buy it from them (and I know that this hurts MS).  But the reality of the situation is that the only way you can be my customer is for me to sell the device to the Mobile Opperator first.  So they call the shots.

    That said, as the MO’s customer, you have a lot of pull with them.  If you want them to act differently, give them that feedback.  


  29. Richard says:

    First, I would like to commend you on addressing this issue in your blog at all – many of "the clock people" were rather worried that Microsoft would indeed leave this ignored or, if addressed, unpublicized.  It’s good to see that Microsoft is indeed on the ball with this.

    As far as the battery indicator goes, I can only agree on what others have said.  In addition I, too, am a Batti user.  If you / your readers are not familiar with it, please do check it out.

    What I don’t fully understand, however, is why there wouldn’t be another "PocketPC Power Toys" section – as I think there was before, and still is for the desktop Windows versions.  Unsupported, English-language only, no guarantees tiny bits of software that you think are cool, that your userbase thinks is cool, and makes nearly everybody happy; a simple applet or even just a program* to switch between Battery, Time, Date+Time, Date could be released in this manner without all the headaches you describe.  It may not be as good as having it included in the base install, but it’s certainly more friendly than a registry edit – especially as these are typically strongly discouraged.

    I can only guess that somebody is already working on at least CAB files that do this, probably a small program as well, but it would have made sense for Microsoft to do this themselves.

    Just my 2 cents – thanks again!

    * from a paradigm viewpoint, a control panel applet would probably be better

  30. Hopefully the OEMs give out the update to bring back the clock uptop.

    Maybe MS should reposition and re-design the battery icon for it to be more useful and practical.

    Some ideas:

    Make it 4 bars atleast to reflect 25% per each bar. Move it someplace else that won’t bother the other icons.

  31. Nick Dunklee says:

    What about third-party clock solutions? I have seen an interesting space-saving clock that has the hour digits on a top row and minute digits on a bottom row so the whole thing takes maybe 1.5 to 2 characters width of taskbar real estate.

    Like this:



    Users really wanting a clock could always install a third-party clock utility – yeah, it stinks that it isn’t functionally built into the latest WM5 patch, but at least it would be an option.

    (I’ve been hunting for one of them myself as the standard clock takes up too much width – but I haven’t found it myself yet, just screenshots of it.)

    It should also be considered cool that Microsoft even gives users the option of the registry hacks – most proprietary phone operating systems give users 0 ability to configure other than hex-editing a binary file, and often times those hacks won’t enable/disable features because features are just not included.

    Now if I could only stop my WM5 from crashing the phone application (blocking incoming and outgoing calls, texts, and data until I restart the phone app) when my e-mail auto-check is turned on…ah bugs… Nothing like 911 not working because your e-mail crashed your phone…

  32. badbob001 says:

    Nick, you may be referring to xbar:

  33. auktionadmin says:

    Ist’s really true: The battery indicator goes better with foreign programs.

    The most thing which really be used is the date iclude time function.

  34. alan says:

    1st Clock is a taskbar clock replacement that offers a fully customizable clock display, alarms, atomic time synchronization, popup calendar, time zones and more.

  35. smittyofdhs says:

    Alan-We are talking PPC, not PC here. Thanks for the app but it’s not suited to this conversation.

    As for the battery vs. clock, I liked the old way of doing it. Display the clock and if you need to see the battery status, a simple click on the clock brought up the "next appt" bubble which included the clock icon. I’ve never understood why MS didn’t include better determination of the battery status. WM2003SE and prior only have 4 ranges, 100, 70, 25, empty… now in WM5 they reduced it even further to 100,60,empty. This is even more pointless.

    Personally I’ve always wanted a battery icon on the top side of the screen, only because it is present no matter what app you are in (sans a few games). This is why for years I’ve used SmallMenu (battery icon is the only reason I use SmallMenu) with my custom battery bitmap that resembles the WM battery icons.

    Until Verizon comes out with AKU2, I will be using SmallMenu and still get to have my clock. After AKU2, that will be the end of Small Menu use for me.

  36. muja says:

    still i am not sure if this story mentioned anything regarding how to remove the battery from the top of my windows mobile device. can we do this or not??

  37. milindkumar says:

    I hate to see my today screen with the useless battery icon. As mike has said the chain goes like MS to OEM to MO to us. May be MS should think of having retail version of the WM as they have in all other OS ie. OEM version and retail version of windows XP. I am ready to purchase it. And in such version may be we will have a strong pull to drive the software desing and layout ………

  38. Chris says:

    Hi Mike, I know this is not the right place to ask but please can you tell me if it is possible to adjust the ear piece volume with a registry edit? my Pda (O2 Atom) has very low volume when at maximum volume setting. sometimes it is almost impossible to hear the phone coversation. This problem is not there when using the wired head phones but is also a problem when using BT headset.

    Thanx for any advise


  39. MikeCal says:

    Chris, unfortunately, I can’t help you with that one.  The audio driver, audio amplifier, and speaker are all completely controlled by the OEM.  If there’s a registry key, it’ll be specific to your device (and, if one exists, I don’t know it).  



  40. seamonkey420 says:

    again, good to see MS blog about this..

    and like all of the other WM5 users (who didn’t get the survey about clock vs battery); i am very disappointed in the removing of the clock and adding of the pointless power/battery indicator.  seriously a HUGE case of ‘dropping the ball’ imo… especially since there is no option to have power or time…  and plus, i don’t see Tmobile updating their MDA roms anytime soon..

    As for those who value knowing how much power is left on their device, should just go and spend $20 and get the SPB Pocket Plus program.  well worth the cost for a nice and simple and ACCURATE power/battery indicator.

  41. BoSJo says:


    Agree with you……..Rom updates…..yerrrrr right.

    The battery bar is so pointless that someone in the M$ WM developer team should create a little app to remove it and the doubble line Clock/alarm on the today screen.

    Iff not official, then just leak it on to ASAP

    The day that WM will get updates directly and not through the dealers……well we can only hope some day soon :-/

  42. BatteryBoy says:

    Battery people. Heh, there haven’t been manhy of them posting here, that’s for sure. But guess what? I’m one of them. I was happy to get a battery indicator in AKU2! Except once I discovered it was useless at indicating the battery life.

    I like the battery bar because I have a hard time managing my device’s power. I’m always on the go, and am often away from chargers. It’s useful for me to always know how close I am to the dreaded double-beep, and this is information I expect my phone to keep my aprised of. (As far as the relatively usefulness of the clock for me: I own a watch.)

    Sadly, of course, the battery indicator doesn’t really do its job, and it’s surprising that something so simple could be botched up that badly. Also, the debate on the matter is sortof moot considering the battery indicator disappears when you’re not on the today screen. So, it may as well not be on the bar anyway!

  43. JellyMe says:

    Something no one has mentioned about the analogue clock that now appears in the title bar of WM 5.0 apps:

    It doesn’t show the correct time when the time passes the 30 minute point.

    The hour hand still points to the current hour, when it should point between the two, or even at the next hour.  Even at 59 minutes past the past the hour (duhhh).

    Has no one noticed this? I really can’t believe it. Click on the clock and the correct (digital) time is shown.  


    – the time is 10:50 (according to every other app on the pocket pc, and the Today screen clock)

    – Open an app, an analog clock is then shown on the title bar.

    – The analog time shows 09:50 (the minute hand covers the hour hand completely). Click on the clock, it shows the correct tim e digtally(10:50)

    – at 11:00 it correctly moves the hour hand to point to the hour 11.

    (I tried setting to GMT +2, it changed the time, but the clock face still showed 1 hour behind).

    I appreciate that there is a lack of screen real estate in the title bar, but this is ridiculously bad programming. At at least 40 minutes past the hour the hour hand should be pointing towards the next hour (or between the hours, if possible). Otherwise this little clock is useless.

    My config (don’t think that this plays a role):

    O2 xda neo (HTC Prophet), with german WM 5.0, german country settings, GMT +1, WM 5.0 build 14847.2.0.0 (OS 5.1.195)

  44. Paul Wilson says:

    I greatly prefer the clock on my top bar, and use Batti to show more battery info in a smaller space anyhow.  But probably the biggest problem to me, which I don’t see addressed here, is that now my Today bar that shows the date and time takes up twice as much room as it did before.  And that means one less line to show other info that I would like to see on my Today screen — all because it takes two lines to show the date and time!  🙁

  45. wmshell says:

    Regarding JellyMe’s comments:

    I wrote the analog clock about 4 1/2 years ago. Looking at the code, compensating for the minute is included in the calculation for the hour hand, but it’s commented out. It appears it was left out of the calculation by design. I don’t remember a particular decision on that, but I’m guessing it just looked better that way. More likely, since it’s off by default and fairly undiscoverable, we just didn’t get very good dogfood coverage on it.


    Windows Mobile Shell Team

  46. JellyMe says:

    Thanks for the reply. "looking better that way". Hmm,  When was the last time you saw a clock act like that?  Yes, I am dissin’ yer.

    When it’s the only clock on the screen, I care that it says 10:50 and not 09:50, when the time really _is_ 10:50.

    Undiscoverable?  This is something that is accessible directly from the Today screen.

    PLEASE uncomment out your code and check the results. Would love to hear any feedback.

  47. antons_art says:

    I tried the reg edit and all the instructions but ended up with a soft keyboard displayed when the Windows startup screen is loaded. Then it hangs. I tried this twice with the same results on my Imate Jasjar and ended up having to reset EVERYTHING ie re-install windows and 3rd party software. Very sad now. Miss that clock.

  48. MikeCal says:

    I’m pretty sure the JasJar does not have AKU2.2.  However, setting the registry key shouldn’t have caused hangs.  On previous versions, the registry key should have just been ignored.  The registry key also shouldn’t have had anything to do with the soft keyboard.  

    I’m sorry you’re having trouble.


  49. karsten says:

    Just tried the registry hack on my Asus A636 with  ROM Version V03.0607.00 DEU 0407   (German Version).  

    On the first try it came also up with the keyboard after the soft reset.

    Checking the registry showed that I have made a typo in the key! After correcting this the clock is back.   Thanks Mike !


  50. MikeCal says:

    Glad it worked for you, Karsten.


  51. Andrew says:

    Another pro clock person. I have an Atom with the latest Rom from O2 Asia. The registry fix work perfectly. YAH!!!!

    Thanks for this.


  52. Jorge Schrauwen says:

    You said that you don’t like to update the devices without going through the OEM’s,

    I can understand that to some extend…

    But small fixes should be made avaible to the public directly IMHO…

    For example the clock fix would probebly be quite easy to redistribute as a small patch…

    That is presuming it isn’t nester somewhere very deep near the core of WM5

  53. Mikester says:

    I want to do this Reg key fix, however I have never fiddled with the registry in my PPC before.  Does anyone know where there would be a detailed outline of how to get into the Registry and what to actually type in?  I don’t think you can got to the run menu and type regedit.  

    Thanks ahead

  54. Danny Bush says:

    In lieu of the patch. Does anybody know of an app I can buy that will put a clock on the task bar?

  55. Oliver says:

    Is there any way to download & apply the AKU2.2 patch to my PPC without having to wait for O2 to provide an update?

  56. Aidan says:

    This is quite possibly one of the stupidist decisions made by a software developer.

    Removing a rather useful clock, and replacing it with a battery indicator that has [I]three states[/I]? What the hell? It’s actually completely useless. Utterly idiotic.

  57. Larry Telfor says:


    You could use Wisbar Advance from Lakeridge Software.

  58. Ben Tillison says:

    I appreciate you fading the flack here. But, that said, I think that once again, nobody really asked users what they want – they just push code out the door and down our throats.

  59. Dima Kuchin says:

    It’s not updated to the latest version of Windows Mobile, but works. If i have time, i’ll add some nice changes (and so can you, if you want – send me your changes and i’ll apply them).

  60. bendybruce says:

    Hi all, I own an Axim X51v and just upgraded the ROM to A12 (it was a badly needed upgrade!)

    I liked the battery for about the first 5 minutes, before realising how much more useful the clock was (you could click on it and get the date + your next appointment)

    So thanks Mike for letting us know about the new reg key for dumping the rather pointless battery indicator in favor of the inherently more useful clock.

    Regarding the battery, I have SPB’s PocketPlus installed which includes a great battery indicator that draws a very thin bar at the very top of the screen -it has huge granularity and is just another reason to dump the battery indicator.  You can even customise how thick it is, or remove it entirely.

    Looking at the bigger picture, perhaps part of the problem here is the divergence of product classes.  A pocket PC is not a phone, but a smart-phone can also be a Pocket PC.  A standard issue battery indicator on a phone probably has much greater relevence/value than it does on a PPC where the biggest features often revolve around time and dates.



  61. Daniel says:

    Hi all,

    I have an Axim X51V with ROM A12.

    I applied the clock & date hacks, and am able to see them in the title bar.

    A few days ago I noticed that the clock was running very late, and wasn’t able to pinpoint the reason.

    I have AS4.2, and checked the TOOLS OPTIONS setting. I have the "synchronize pocket pc date and time upon connecting" option checked.

    Today I synched just before leaving to a meeting, a few minuted before 16:00. At about 18:30 I checked my calendar, and saw that the clock showed 16:30! I performed a SR, and the clock has shown the correct time since.

    In retrospect, I realize that this problem has been going on for a few days.

    Does anyone have an idea what is going on?


  62. MikeCal says:

    I’m guessing one of two things:

    1) The PC it’s syncronizing with has the time set incorrectly.

    2) (more likely) The PC and the WM device have different time zones set.  It sounds like the time zones on the two devices are two hours apart.  

    To check for 2, on the desktop, doubleclick the clock in the tray and click the "TimeZone" tab in the "Date and Time Properties" box that comes up.

    On the device, go to Start->Settings->System->Clock and Alarms.

    Make sure that the two say the same time zone.


  63. Daniel says:


    Thank you for your prompt reply.

    1. The PC and X51V have the same time and time zones (the PC is connected to the corporate network, so whatever time is set there is fine with me). Even so, I’ll re-check this tomorrow.

    2. Remember that this happened to me afer I synched wit hthe PC (which is connected to the corporate network). The problem was only with the displayed time, since after I performed a SR the correct time was displayed.


  64. bendybruce says:


    That sounds like a bizarre problem.

    Just an educated guess but do you have any "Travel" applications loaded?  Depending on the city and/or daylight savings settings for these applications, the time could be getting re-set by the app.



  65. Daniel says:


    No, I don’t.

    A few days ago I did use an app that synched the hour to another location, but I disabled that setting, and this has been happening afterwards in any case.

    But the strange thing is that if this app (or any other "travel" app were the culprit, then the X51V’s clock would always be late, and a  SR wouldn’t correct it.


  66. bendybruce says:

    Hi Daniel

    Well I would suggest you do the following:

    (1) Backup your PIM data and also create a separate full backup

    (2) Do a hard-reset and see if the problem has gone away (before doing any mods or installs)

    if so:

    (3a) restore your PIM data and re-install your apps.

    if not:

    (3b) restore from your full backup, and if still under Warranty, request a replacement unit from Dell.

    Good luck.


    My name is Bruce, Namaste is a Sanskrit word meaning "The Spirit in me honours the Spirit in you"


  67. Daniel says:


    I have re-checked, and the PC and X51V do have the same time and time zones.

    I have a feeling that this has something to do with the appointment notification popups.

    Today I had a notification at 07:45, 15 minutes before an appointment.

    I could not turn the popup off, as the screen was frozen. I took about 2 minutes before I was able to press the "dismiss" option.

    This happens quite often after I upgraded to ROM A12.

    I then entered the meeting, and after 1 hour I turned on the X51V, and saw the clock frozen at 08:00 (a bit over an hour late). I performed a SR and again the clock was restored.

    As Alice said, "curioser and curioser".

  68. MikeCal says:

    I’m thinking a line from Alice Cooper is more appropriate…

    Whether curious or nightmarish, though, I guess the next step is to figure out whether it’s the clock being off or the screen not being updated.  Since a soft reset fixes it, I’m guessing it’s the latter.

    The next time the clock is off, go to Start->settings->System->Clock and Alarms and see if the page there has the right time.  If it’s also off, are the seconds increasing?

    If clock and alarms shows the wrong time with the seconds moving, I’m at a total loss.  At that point, I don’t even understand why the reset fixes the time.

    If, on the other hand, clock and alarms shows the right time, that suggests that there’s a problem with whatever is reporting the time to you not getting updated.  Knowing that, we could start trying to figure out why.


  69. Daniel says:

    That’s one of the things I checked. The time (start-settings-clock) was correct.

    This evening I had another reminder that was "stuck" (ie the reminder popped up and I did not hear it, so I did not press dismiss right after it popped up).

    What happens in these cases (only after I upgraded to ROM A12) is that the screen does not respond for about 1 minute.

    The meeting was scheduled for 18:30. The popup was apparently the second reminder. And the clock in the title bar was frozen at 18:17 or so.

    I pressed "dismiss", but nothing happened. After less than a minute, the screen unfroze, the reminder was dismissed, and the clock returned to normal.

  70. Daniel says:

    Well, the saga continues.

    The problem is intermittent.

    Not all reminders get stuck.

    Yesterday afternoon at 16:00 I synched before leaving for a meeting. 2 hours later, when the meeting was completed, I powered up the X51V and saw that again it was stuck, no response at all. the hour showed 16:00 (should have been 18:00).

    Only a SR revived it, and the clock was correct. No other problems since then.

    I’m trying to understand whether the problems arise from reminders, or from synching to our office Exchange server.

  71. HP6965 says:

    You could also edit the registry to display a battery icon on the system tray – it’s much more accurate has I think 5 levels and opens the power management app when you click on the icon from the today page.  The only problem is that it displays in the system tray -anyone know how to integrate this with the date today plugin?  

  72. Raviv says:

    Hi guys,

    Basically, is there a way to get rid of these annoying battery meter and get the clock back ?

    I have: T-mobile vario UK

    OS ver

    IPL 2.21

    "talking about user friendly machine" ??!!


  73. Dream Seed says:


  74. Is there anyway of getting at the Device name in PocketPC

  75. statuescher says:

    I have an orange spv m600 with WM 5.0 & chose to display the clock in the title bar plus set an alarm. Now after turning off all these options the phone started vibrating like the alarm was still set and the analogue clock only (no digital now) shows but only sometimes after I turned it off so it should only show the battery icon! Is there any answer other than a hard reset and if so what is the procedure?

  76. Ryan says:

    Is there a way to force the battery icon to be shown ALL the time?  I’m developing an application and we would rather the battery icon be displyed when our app is running.  I’ve used the control panel option to turn off the clock, but it doesn’t show the battery.


  77. Harvey says:

    Right, I gave this a go and from the results I’ve discovered I have the older version of WM5.

    I have also done a reg hack to make the date, as well as the time, show when I’m in a program. Unfortunately this had a nasty result on my today screen battery status icon. Now it looks like an X is superimposed over the normal battery icon. Basically it looks a mess! I’m settled on the idea I can’t get the time/date on my today screen, but I’d like to remove the battery icon all together (after all, there is a much more effective/useful one in my system tray). Is this possible on AKU2.0, or at all? I don’t wanna replace it with the time (as I can’t) I just would like a hack that would stop it being there all together.



  78. Fred Finisterre says:

    I had to do the registry change to get the clock back on my Windows Mobile 6 device.

    What ever happened to consistency? Not having it there by default is like XP always having the clock in the bottom right of the screen EXCEPT when you have all windows minimized and are looking at the desktop (i.e. madness!).

    Still at least I got it back. Thanks for the article.

  79. Bub says:


    Is there any way I can get the control panel power page to appear when I click the battery icon in the title bar on the today screen? My Dell Axim X51v did that, but my HP iPAQ running WM5 AKU 3.5.2 doesn’t do that. I’m hoping there is a registry key or something which lets me launch a power panel when the icon is clicked.


  80. George L. says:

    I have the AT&T Tilt 8925 WM6 customized with 6-Tab Home & have a battery bar program I wrote similar to the battery icon used by SPB Pocket Plus, (In fac, I used their bar images as templates for mine. At any rate, I have both the battery & time covered. As such, I dont want either in the title bar. I searched for a post or key to no avail. Anybody find a key to remove both the clock & battery icon?

  81. unicodemaster787 says:

    I would prefer the Palm Treo 700wx way: show BOTH battery and clock icons on the Title Bar. I want to do this on my new HTC Mogul but found out that that extra battery icon on Treo 700wx is controlled by 3rd-party software. I located the EXE and its associated DLL on my Treo’s Windows folder, but Windows refuses to allow me to copy both files to another folder (so I can then beam them to my Mogul). Any other ideas?

  82. roger says:

    i need to purchace a battery &dockingstation&power (cord 12 volt). lost mine in move,

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