One of my favorite mobile apps is ShoZu. So when Julie asked me to do a piece on a *really* useful mobile app, I didn’t have to look too far.
One of the perpetually unresolved debates among web users and observers alike is, “Who among the big three â€“ Yahoo Mail, Windows Live Hotmail and Gmail â€“ has the best email service?”
Released in November of last year, the latest offering of Opera Mini, version 4, hasnâ€™t really sent shockwaves through the World of cell phones. Whilst the iPhone browser (which I think is very annoying!) has been hailed as a revolutionary success, Mini has taken the sidelines slightly, but as I have learned, this isnâ€™t really a position it deserves.
The HTC TyTn II is the successor to the powerful and popular TyTn Windows Mobile PDA phone (which Julie and I reviewed here last year). While it retains the original’s features, including 3G mobile broadband, WiFi, and a sliding keyboard, it adds new features such as a tiltable display and internal GPS. A customized version of it, called the “Tilt”, has recently been released in the USA by AT&T. Is the TyTn II a worthy successor to the original TyTn? Read on to find out.
Since the advent of the handheld device, the quest for easy input of data while on-the-go was always the Holy Grail of mobile computing. In my earlier Gadgeteer review, I went down that path, looking at the excellent handwriting recognition software, PhatWare’s Calligrapher. Calligrapher did a great job of taking my scrawl and translating it into digital form, performing just as advertised. However, just as there are all kinds of PDAs and handheld platforms today, so too are the means by which developers have devised ways to input your data.
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 conclusion…
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.
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. No joy for me! But, finally Palm has released a new GSM phone. The 750v is a quad band (850, 900, 1800, 1900) phone for the Vodafone network. Right now it is only available outside the US, but will eventually be available here. Of course you didn’t think that I would be patient enough to wait around for that day did you? Ummmm…. NO! A little googling turned me on to PhoneSource-USA.com and one day later I had an unlocked 750v in my hands.
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!