Julie asked me a couple weeks ago if I would be interested in reviewing Easy PocketNAV’s OnCourse Navigator GPS software and I didn’t have to be asked twice! Understand that I am a novice when it comes to GPS and GPS software but the technology behind it just fascinates me. My previous experiences with GPS were with HP’s Navigation System (the GPS Bluetooth unit and software bundle) that I used with my HP hx4705 IPAQ and after I upgraded to Windows Mobile 5 on that unit, I bought OnCourse Navigator 5 (OCN5). I have since sold my IPAQ and GPS unit over a year ago and I let the OCN software sit to the side…that is until now.
This month, my review focuses on another program that has a
large following in the PDA community…PhatWare’s
PhatNotes. In earlier reviews on note-taking programs, I
mentioned that the PocketPC was made for note-taking. Most
note applications are singular in their focus of taking
notes. PhatWare took that one concept step further,
really giant steps forward, in how notes are taken and
organized. The folks at PhatWare utilize the database
approach to organizing data, syncing it to outside platforms and
adding functionality within the “note” like voice or images.
All in all, PhatNotes sets the standard for note-taking and
others to emulate. Let me try to explain how I’ve come to
This software review is on PhatWare’s CalliGrapher which has to be on the “must-have” list of utilities for any serious PDA junkie’s collection. Setting aside the Casio B.O.S.S. I used only briefly, I consider my first handheld to be the Apple Newton MessagePad. What was the big attraction of the MessagePad device? It was its handwriting-to-text translation, the earliest ancestor of today’s CalliGrapher. The inventors of that software was not Apple but actually some creative Russian programmers and the company they eventually formed called Paragraph International.
Here’s a review that I have been looking forward to doing…an application with some real life uses for my PocketPC! Being a “gadget junkie”, I am always looking for smart ways to use my device, something that is actually needed, not made up. That is the case with my review of Resco’s Audio Recorder.
I am simply amazed at how cell phones have evolved from the “portable” bag phone to today’s vast selection of featured laden mobile phones. Built in cameras, music players, text messaging and voice dialing are just some of the options available in mix and match feature laden phones. Add to the mix WiFi and Bluetooth, push email, robust calendar and contact management with Internet access plus a large catalog of third party software makes today’s smartphone a compelling reason to leave the laptop at home.
In my opinion, this is one of those applications for which all PocketPC and Windows Mobile OS devices are specifically made for…taking notes on the spot! There is nothing more natural to me than to use these devices for such purposes and yet the basic Microsoft notepad is still lacking. I think the proof is in the dozens of notepad replacement products on the market today with each one having their own unique spin on how one takes notes. Vsnotepad from Virtual Spaghetti has its own simple philosophy on note-taking and may just be a worthy contender in this software category.
Are you the type of person that wants a great PDA that happens to also have a good phone built into it? Or would you rather have a great phone that just happens to also function as a good PDA? That’s almost always the question you have to ask yourself when you’re in the market for a smartphone. It seems that no matter which brand of phone/PDA that you look at, you can’t find a device that is both an excellent PDA and an excellent phone. Trade offs, gotta luv em…
Although I have had a Microsoft PocketPC since my Phillips Nino
days in 1998, I am new to the PocketPC Phone Edition – Windows
Mobile 5 world. I purchased an imate JasJar (aka the HTC
Universal) this past summer on eBay. I got it mostly for the
PocketPC side of things and thought I’d toy with the Phone side
when I had the time but that didn’t last long…say two days!
Trying to find my perfect smartphone has been causing me the same frustration as trying to find my perfect gear bag. The quest just never ends because I’ve come to realize that there isn’t any one perfect phone (or gear bag) out there for me. The whole trick is to find one that comes as close as possible. This review is for the Hewlett Packard iPAQ hw6945 Mobile Messenger; a Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PC phone. The question is, will it become my new “perfect” smartphone?
Updated with software info…
I’ve been a Palm Treo junkie since March of 2005 when I began my odyssey into the world of smartphones. It was a strange journey that began with a Sprint Treo 650 that had been hacked to work on the Verizon network. Then I switched carriers from Verizon to Cingular and purchased an unlocked 650, which I’ve been using as my main device ever since. In the past year, I have seen Palm release the 700p and 700w for non-GSM carriers.
Today’s review is on a category of software that isn’t very exciting or sexy but something that everyone who really uses their PocketPC device needs each and every day…it’s the File Explorer utility. If you are like me, you are constantly working on the internals of your PDA, moving files between cards and internal memory, accessing hidden registry files or just doing some old fashion housekeeping. I believe a truly great File Explorer can be worth every cent if it makes these functions easier for me!
Every decade or so, there comes certain fashions, foods, oreven
dances (remember the Macarena!) that transcend international
boundaries and becomes popular just about everywhere on the planet.
I would put sudoku in that category. Just in case you’ve been
living under a rock, sudoku has done just that by becoming popular
with the crossword puzzle crowd to dominate every bookstore shelf,
grace the pages of many newspapers and periodicals and of course,
the thousands of fan web sites around the world devoted to the
Most of the time, I find that the i-mate JasJar’s 1620mAh factory
original battery is sufficient to make it through a typical day.
However when I am using the built-in wireless extensively, when I
am traveling, or when I am not able to recharge at some point
during the day, I have noticed a definite need for a backup power
solution. That’s why I was very interested to learn that Lion
Battery was carrying a 4800mAh Mugen Power Battery replacement for
the HTC Universal / i-mate JasJar.
I am going to take a tiny bit of credit for the product that I’ll be reviewing today, so if you like it, let me know. If you don’t like it…well, what’s not to like? Here’s the story: Soon after I purchased my PPC-6700, also known as the HTC Apache, I contacted Vaja and askedRead More…
I think that many HTC Apache owners would agree that they use their PDA Phone without a headset more often than not. Even though the 6700 is a little brick, it can comfortably be held to the face when talking without making its owner look like a complete tool. For that reason alone, I thinkRead More…
Looking for the perfect HTC Apache case has turned into an obsession for quite a few of the device’s owners. But what is perfect for one person may be the ultimate deal-breaker for another. Some people want a case that protects every corner and surface, while others want the thinnest possible design – one thatRead More…
Many new cars come with GPS navigation systems. But what if you don’t have one? Adding it might not be practical-perhaps you drive more than one vehicle, travel and rent often, or just don’t want an expensive piece of electronics permanently and visibly stuck to your dash. Today’s smartphones and PDAs are powerful enough toRead More…
It totally figures that about the time I am ready to move on from a device, its accessories will start becoming available. Ah well, such is the life of an early adopter… Case in point, I recently received the new PDair aluminum case for the HTC Apache/PPC-6700. I have long been a fan of thisRead More…
First I want to thank Judie for this opportunity. I love the Gadgeteer site and this was a great chance to contribute. (Shameless sucking up finished, now to the review); I just got the Qtek 9100 Windows Mobile phone and was looking for a case for it when I read the post asking for aRead More…
Early last year, when the first rumors began to swirl that HTC would be introducing a Pocket PC Phone Edition made with the mini-laptop form factor of the CLIÉ UX50 and Zaurus SL-C3100, my interest was immediately piqued. After all, I had long been bemoaning the fact that as of yet there were no similarlyRead More…
I’ve been eagerly awaiting the appearance of cases for the HTC Apache since I bought mine, and I am happy to report that they are finally starting to appear. That’s not to say that pouch-style versions haven’t been available for some time, but what I really wanted was a case in which I could keepRead More…
One of the things I like best about many of the latest Windows Mobile devices is that they are now using mini USB connectors to accomplish syncing and charging. This means that the same set of cables used for my HTC Apache / PPC-6700 will work with the HTC Universal I am currently testing, andRead More…
One of the first things I did after getting the HTC Apache / Sprint PPC-6700 was to start looking for accessories, but it has not been easy. As has been the case every time a new device has come to market, there was a bit of a time lag between acquiring the device and acquiringRead More…
The smartphone designers at HTC recently introduced their fourth-generation product, code-named “Tornado” and running the latest Windows Mobile operating system. Like previous generations, the Tornado is (or at least will be) available under many different brand names including those of major wireless carriers; i-mate is among the first to offer it for consumer purchase. i-mateRead More…
In September 2005, my daily driver PDA was an HP iPAQ hx-4700 and my mobile phone was the Samsung i550, a Palm OS device that was never technically released in the US. I thought that I was satisfied with the combination of the two devices – enjoying the best of both PDA worlds in aRead More…