Merry Christmas!#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

For those who celebrate Christmas - well, Merry Christmas! Here's to hoping your holiday brings you health, happiness and a gadget or two. For me, this season brought some very non-technical (but thoughtful) gifts from my young sons and wife. They, on the other hand, were the big gadget winners including -

  • A Nintendo DS for my oldest son, replacing his aging GameBoy Advanced;
  • An XM Xpress RC for my wife, replacing a first-generation XM Roady.

While I may feel a bit "gadget-deprived" for a minute or two, this picture often puts it all in perspective...

IMG_0921

All of these devices (placed in chronological order) are fully operational, by the way :-) So, who wants to:

  • Name all of these devices in order?;
  • Play "Which of these is not like the others" and tell me why?

I'm interested in hearing what some of our readers got this holiday season. Anything "gadgety"? Feel free to comment on this thread.

12/25/2007 11:50:19 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

REVIEW: VITO Technology ZoomBoard#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Introduction
The recent success of the Apple iPhone in the consumer market has created an interest in many Windows Mobile users to find ways to leverage the touch-screen interface of Windows Mobile Classic and Professional devices to gain a "finger-friendly" approach to interaction. HTC has introduced the "Touch FLO" approach with the HTC Cube and a specialized Today Screen, and other software vendors and developers have been experimenting with redesigned user interfaces. One such vendor moving to the forefront of this new user experience is VITO Technology. VITO has put together 3 specific applications in an attempt to "iPhone-ize" the Windows Mobile experience in FunContact, GoodWin and ZoomBoard.

In my first of 3 VITO product reviews, I found FunContact to be both fun and productive. I then reviewed GoodWin, which added both style and substance to navigating my applications and program launching. This left me with the task of ZoomBoard, which (according to the iWindowsMobile.com web site) "is a high-tech onscreen keyboard for quick and accurate finger typing on Windows Mobile Pocket PC". Would this be the case?

Installation
ZoomBoard uses a desktop installer for device installation. I did not encounter any problems during the install, but it is important to note that in order to ensure proper installation, a soft reset should take place after the install completes. This is due to ZoomBoard being added as an input method to the system.

Usage
Once installed, ZoomBoard is accessed and made active by tapping on the input icon on any screen requiring input (the input icon being the icon that looks like a keyboard at the bottom-center of teh screen between the two soft keys.

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When selected, the first thing I noticed was that ZoomBoard did not appear much different than other keyboards.

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While the buttons were slightly larger, there was not a significant difference in size. As I mentioned in my previous 2 VITO Technology reviews, I have (written in a modest tone) slightly larger than average fingers.

My previous attempts to use a keyboard on-screen that allowed for finger touch were only successful if the keyboard occupied the entire screen (or close to it). Of course, that meant there was no ability to see the underlying application that I was working with. For me, this simply was not acceptable. If ZoomBoard did not take this approach and left the keys at a smaller size, how could I possibly work for me? The answer was found quickly.

ZoomBoard allows you to touch and press the keyboard, moving your finger until finding the correct letter. While moving, the "zoom" kicks in. This is view, similar to a magnifying glass, that appears just above the keyboard on the screen.

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As you move your finger, the magnifying glass updates.

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What does all this mean? Well, the challenge with using your finger on small surfaces is seeing where you are actually pressing; your finger is blocking the view. By using the "magnifying glass" approach, ZoomBoard allowed me to see what I was actually doing. Before I tried using ZoomBoard, I wasn't sure what the benefit of the application would be. The first time I navigated using my finger and the magnifying glass showed me my progress, I "got it".

ZoomBoard, like GoodWin and FunContact, takes some getting used to. Because of the straight-forward nature of this application, however, ZoomBoard is more about getting comfortable with a very different way of doing a very common task. I liken it to purchasing a new desktop keyboard with a slightly different layout. While it is still functionally the same, it takes a while for your mind to adjust.

From a functional standpoint, ZoomBoard delivered as advertised. I found the animations to be smooth and accurate, and overall performance to be very good. From a reviewer's standpoint, ZoomBoard was a rather rare type of application to review. It is focused on something very specific, thus focusing my review time. As a result, I found myself saying "is that all" fairly quickly. For ZoomBoard, that is a good thing; it does what it is supposed to do well.

Pros and Cons
Pros
- Allows keyboard input using fingers without a full-screen keyboard;
- Nice graphics and animation serve a purpose as well as providing style;
- Accurate reporting of finger location for accurate typing.
Cons
- None to report.

Availability
You can find out more about ZoomBoard and download a trial version at iWindowsMobile.com.

Conclusion
ZoomBoard does what it is advertised to do, plain and simple. It provides a finger-friendly input method that does not require a full screen keyboard, yet still provides a means of inputting text with accuracy. If you are looking for a way to use your finger to input text without sacrificing screen real estate, ZoomBoard is a first-rate option.

12/23/2007 10:57:51 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

REMINDER: BostonPocketPC.com Windows Live Alerts#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

I was just reminded of a feature available to the web site that many of our readers may not be aware of. If you use Windows Live Messenger, you may want to take advantage of our Windows Live Alerts functionality.

alert_signup_eng

By simply clicking on the "Windows Live Alerts" graphic on the left side of our page, you can sign up to receive notifications whenever new posts are made to the BostonPocketPC.com web site. They appear in the same fashion as other Windows Live Alerts, and provide you with one-click access to the latest the BostonPocketPC.com has to offer.

Please consider giving it a try today!

12/22/2007 11:52:43 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

REVIEW: VITO Technology GoodWin#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Introduction
The recent success of the Apple iPhone in the consumer market has created an interest in many Windows Mobile users to find ways to leverage the touch-screen interface of Windows Mobile Classic and Professional devices to gain a "finger-friendly" approach to interaction. HTC has introduced the "Touch FLO" approach with the HTC Cube and a specialized Today Screen, and other software vendors and developers have been experimenting with redesigned user interfaces. One such vendor moving to the forefront of this new user experience is VITO Technology. VITO has put together 3 specific applications in an attempt to "iPhone-ize" the Windows Mobile experience in FunContact, GoodWin and ZoomBoard.

In my first of 3 VITO product reviews, I found myself very impressed with VITO FunContact, which provides a "finger-firendly" interface to Outlook Mobile contact information. My next step was to try out GoodWin, a product that serves as a program launcher (and a bit more) using the same touch approach.

Highlights
- Easy access to applications, settings and common functions;
- Large, readable text;
- "Wow-factor" screen animations.

Installation
Installation of GoodWin is very straight forward, with a desktop executable that installs the application in seconds. I encountered no issues.

Usage
Once installed, GoodWin is started from a standard application icon. When initially started, GoodWin presents a sort of "home screen" with current date and time, as well as indicators for battery, profile/volume and carrier. VITO once again has excelled in making these icons large and legible for the average user. In a nice bit of functionality, GoodWin also provides a "screen lock" function to avoid inadvertent screen touches while the device is in a pocket or holster.

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As the imagery on the screen suggests, simply use a finger to touch and drag the lock icon and unlock the screen.

Once the GoodWin screen is unlocked, the main functionality of GoodWin is exposed.

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GoodWin breaks down application launching into several main areas:

  • The very top of the screen provides access to general phone information. You can press the power icon to see detailed battery information. Pressing the second icon allows you to change between ring, vibrate or silent settings. Pressing the signal strength icon will provide signal and carrier details. While all of these icons try to be finger-friendly, I must admit last "digitally-challenged" (read "large-fingered") people like myself had a bit of a problem here.
  • The first set of buttons at the top of the screen provide access to commonly-used functions. You have access to SMS, mail and the phone. Unread messages counts are displayed if available. The clock icon will bring you back to the time and lock screen. All of these buttons were easily accessible to a finger touch and behaved as expected.
  • The "Favorites and Running" section of the screen displays what it advertises; currently running applications and applications selected as "Favorites". For each of these applications, a simple press with your finger will switch to or launch the application. What is not obviously apparent, however, is that pressing and holding on an icon here (or in the general "Programs" section) will bring up a large and finger-friendly context menu. The menu options are sensitive to the application, and provide such options as "Run", "Close" or "Remove from Favorites". I found this menu to be highly useful when managing applications in memory.
  • The "Programs" section provides access to applications installed on the device.Here is an area in which GoodWin shines, especially for people with a large number of applications. Each application icon is clearly displayed with a large and easily touched icon. Pressing and holding an icon brings up the context menu, allowing you to run, add the icon to favorites, close or even uninstall an application (if you had installed it versus a default device application). If you have a large number of applications, scrolling on the screen is performed by using a sweeping motion using your finger across the screen.

    pc_capture3 

    The scrolling animation was smooth on my device. As I mentioned in my review of FunContact, a small learning curve exists to make certain that you do not press on an icon (as thus launch an application). Within a matter of seconds, however, I was effortlessly scrolling up and down on the screen.

    One limitation of GoodWin (in my opinion) relates to how it builds the list of applications for the "Programs" section. I am someone who commonly uses a file explorer application to create folders under the \Windows\Start Menu\Programs folder on the device. I then move icons from the Programs folder into these subfolders, thus making for less clutter in the Programs folder. Unfortunately, GoodWin does not leverage this organization, instead searching all the subfolders for applications and simply adding them to the "Programs" section. I would like to see some option in the future that would allow a user to honor this organizational method and allow for less scrolling.
  • The "Settings" section of the screen provides access to the Settings applications for the device, again allowing for easy finger taps to launch.

    pc_capture4 
  • A menu button is located at the bottom of the screen, providing access to help information and a way of closing the GoodWin application.

    pc_capture5 

    From a usability standpoint, this was a minor annoyance when wanting to shut down GoodWin, as I had to scroll quite a ways to get to the button at a time where I simply wanted to close the application. However, the cool scrolling animation generally offset the extra work ;-)

Overall, the application performance was very good, and navigation to icons was fast and efficient. If I was not someone who used subfolders for application organization, I am certain the GoodWin would be a far faster way of launching my applications than the standard forms of navigation.

Pros and Cons
Pros
- Highly usable finger-friendly application launcher;
- Context menu provides faster access to certain tasks (application uninstall, for example) than standard methods;
- Nice animations and graphics.
Cons
- Program section does not honor use of folder organization of applications if it is used on the device;
- Closing the application can require significant scrolling to access the close function on the menu.

Availability
You can find out more about GoodWin and download a trial version at iWindowsMobile.com.

Conclusion
GoodWin does a really solid job of providing a finger-friendly interface for application launching and management. If you are looking for faster access to all of your applications and a sexy and "iPhone-like" interface complete with scrolling navigation, then GoodWin is a very solid option for your Windows Mobile device.

12/22/2007 11:33:27 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

REVIEW: VITO Technology FunContact#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Introduction
The recent success of the Apple iPhone in the consumer market has created an interest in many Windows Mobile users to find ways to leverage the touch-screen interface of Windows Mobile Classic and Professional devices to gain a "finger-friendly" approach to interaction. HTC has introduced the "Touch FLO" approach with the "Cube" and a specialized Today Screen, and other software vendors and developers have been experimenting with redesigned user interfaces. One such vendor moving to the forefront of this new user experience is VITO Technology. VITO has put together 3 specific applications in an attempt to "iPhone-ize" the Windows Mobile experience in FunContact, GoodWin and ZoomBoard.

As a longtime Pocket PC/Windows Mobile Professional user, I have always been quite comfortable in using a stylus and D-Pad for navigation and interaction. I was, however, intrigued by the idea of "letting my fingers do the walking" on my device, so I decided to give it a go and try out all three of these applications. I was interested in these for both function and form, testing usability as well as the stylistic "bells and whistles" that would impress myself, friends and colleagues. I decided to start with FunContact.

As the name suggests, FunContact attempts to add a little fun as well as function to the process of working with your Outlook Mobile contacts. In order to do this, FunContact has arranged the user interface in a way that makes finger-based navigation possible.

Highlights
- Easy access to contact information;
- Large, readable text;
- "Wow-factor" screen animations.

Installation
Installing FunContact was no problem on my device. One thing all users should be aware of, however, is that the installation remaps the "Contacts" softkey from the Today Screen to launch FunContact instead of the default Contacts application. I personally would prefer this to be an installation option, as I often prefer the default application to remain this way and to use other applications as I desire or need.

Usage
Once launched, FunContact brings you to an initial "Rolodex-like" main screen that lists your contacts. By default, they are sorted in "Last name, First name" format (this can be modified easily - more on that shortly). The individual entries are display in a large enough format to allow even "digitally-challenged" (translation - big-fingered) people like myself to tap on an individual contact to display details.

pc_capture2

Navigation can occur in a few ways. The D-Pad is still functional in FunContact, allowing you to scroll up or down. There is also an alphabetical navigation area to the right of the main view. For me, this area required a stylus for tapping; the letters were just too small for my fingers and attempts to select a single letter almost always were futile. The third method of navigation provides both functionality and some style. Using either your finger or a stylus, you can scroll up or down in the list using a flick-like movement up or down the screen. The scrolling is a very smooth animation that provides a few "ooh and aahs" when demonstrated to people. The only caveat to this navigation method is that it might require a little bit of practice to make sure not to press on a contact before scrolling (thus opening up the contact). Once I overcame that bit of self-training, I found scrolling was - well, quite fun (thus living up to the name "FunContact").

Selecting an individual contact opens up a window with nicely-presented contact details. In addition, FunContact employs another stylish animation in the form of a "flip transition" to the detail view. I was impressed by the screen layout for details, especially the presentation of the contact photo which I found to be much more legible than the standard Outlook Mobile contact photo.

pc_capture3

As in the case with the main screen, all items that should have a touch option are presented with areas large enough to allow the touch action to occur easily. Touching phone numbers initiates dialing, pressing the SMS buttons allows for the creation of text messages and pressing e-mail addresses opens a new e-mail message window. From this screen, you have the option to either view all contact information or to edit the contact. In either of these cases, FunContact uses the standard Outlook Mobile contact screen for your actions.

pc_capture4 

The main screen of FunContact also provides button-access to some commonly-desired options. The first button allows for the changing of sort criteria. Sorting can be done by company name as well as the first/last name option. The second button brings up a "Favorites" page. To add a contact as a favorite, a large star appears on each contact detail screen. Simply selecting the star adds the contact to the Favorites list. The third button provides a very accessible Call History screen. I found this to be a nice functionality, as I rely quite heavily on call history on a daily basis.

pc_capture5

A fourth button displays menu options, all of which were very accessible using my finger or the D-Pad.

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The more I used FunContact, the more I became enamored with its usability. As someone who had come to rely less and less on stylus input for navigation, I found myself moving back to the screen, only I was leaving the stylus behind. I have come to appreciate the function that FunContact provides for user interaction as much if not more than the style it presents.

Pros and Cons
Pros
- Easy to use; a minimal amount of "training" is required;
- User Interface is often more readable vs. the default Outlook Mobile contacts screens;
- "Wow factor" is great for showing off.
Cons
- Installation automatically makes FunContact the default application from the Today Screen softkey.

Availability
You can find out more about FunContact and download a trial version at iWindowsMobile.com.

Conclusion
Making contact navigation fun is always a good thing. Making the overall experience is even better. FunContact has managed to achieve both these goals with an easy-to-use interface, large readable and navigable screens and nice animations. If you are looking for a different approach to navigating contact-related information, I strongly recommend giving FunContact a try!

12/22/2007 11:18:43 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

REVIEW: Pantech Duo#
Post By Eric Hicks

 

Windows Mobile has always had a tough time playing in the "regular size" handset market.  Small phones are all the rage but what about when you want to do more than just have a voice conversation or send a quick SMS?  Sure you could buy sleek RAZR for voice and use a blackberry for your other electronic communications but after a while that utility belt becomes heavy and unsightly.  The other problem with smaller devices is while they're small enough to fit in your shirt pocket it's hard to type out a nice and detailed e-mail using just then numberpad.  So then you get a device with a QWERTY keyboard but trying to dial a number becomes a challenge without voice dialing aids.    

 

Pantech Duo is aimed at addressing many of these shortcomings.  Weighing in at 3.88 ounces the device measures 4.02 x 1.97 x 0.83 inches.  To put this size into perspective the Motorola RAZR V3 measures in at 3.86 x 2.08 x 0.54 inches.  Other notable specs are 10 Day standby time, 3 hour talk time, Bluetooth with A2DP, Quad Band world phone, Dual-band domestic UMTS/HDSPA, 128 MB of flash ROM with 64 MB SDRam and a fast 416 MHZ Marvel Bulverde processor.  The thing I don't understand is the inclusion of only a 1.3 megapixel camera.  Many devices are already at 2 megapixel with higher resolutions coming soon.  The device also has a 2.2" QVGA screen with LED backlight.  The LED backlight is impressive as it draws very little power and will last longer than the flash ROM in the device. 

 

Running Windows Mobile 6 Standard the Duo is not just an ordinary "slider cellphone".  Coupled with Exchange Active Sync this device can replace that blackberry and cellphone very easily while providing more functionality than having two individual devices.  Features such as SMS, MMS, Push E-mail, PDF viewer and the ability to edit Office documents help to distinguish the Duo from other "slider cellphones".

 

The face of the device has a clean layout and access to frequently used buttons have really  been thought out.  On the main face of the device you have power, home, back, talk, end and two softkeys along with a 4-way navigation pad with selection button in the middle.

 

On the left side of the device you have access to volume buttons and on the right side you have access to the camera and recorder buttons.  The buttons are small and make it difficult for those with larger hands to access them.

 

A big rub for me with the Duo is it's power connector.  A majority of  my devices utilize a mini-usb connector which is great as it allows the use of existing chargers and accessories.  Plus it decreases the number of cables that you need to carry because many devices (mp3 players, digital camera's, etc) use the same mini-usb connector.  To use a wired headset you need to also use an adapter that plugs into the bottom connector.  Honestly that's just too many things to carry and I wouldn't dream of using a wired headset with this device for this very reason. 

 

The one feature that sets this device apart from others is the dual sliding keyboards.  The Dual Sliding mechanism allows for a small device footprint when closed and still allows great functionality with either keyboard.  Slide the device up and you are greeted by a nice functional numeric keypad.  The numerical keypad provides great tactile feedback and navigation.  The button sizes are just right even for a person with wide thumbs such as myself.  Another nice numerical keypad feature is a spring assisted slider.  As you open or close the numerical keypad a spring assists in opening and closing the keyboard.  This makes one handed access and operation of the numerical keypad a snap.

The QWERTY keyboard unfortunately doesn't receive the same accolades.  Sliding the screen to the left (or up if you change the orientation) and you now have access to the QWERTY keyboard.  To keep the device size small a condensed QWERTY keyboard is used.  It comprises of all the letters of the alphabet with punctuation and number keys being accessed via a secondary function key.  Punctuation placement is straightforward and easy to navigate once you familiarize yourself with the associated function keys.  Coming from the larger QWERTY keyboard on my Sprint PPC 6800 the transition to was slightly difficult until I became acclimated to the device.  One thing that I miss on the condensed keyboard was directional keys.  It's amazing how many time you use directional keys move information around, especially on a smartphone device since there's no screen to quickly tap on.  Unlike the numeric keypad the QWERTY keyboard doesn't have a spring to assist in the opening and closing of the slider but the sliding travel when on the QWERTY keyboard is very short so it's easy to open without much fuss.  Still it would've been nice to have the same "slider" feel throughout the device.  When I moved from the Sprint PPC 6700 which didn't have a spring assisted slider to the Sprint PPC 6800 which did, I could tell the difference immediately.  The biggest problem I had with the QWERTY keyboard was lack of tactile feel.  The keyboard is completely flush with the bezel and boxes that make up the whole keyboard face.  If you're a person with small fingers or fingernails then you're able to access the keyboard without much issue but if you are a person with large fingers and no fingernails then typing out messages will be somewhat disappointing and slow.

 

Out of the box the device is preloaded with trial software like MobiTV and My Space Mobile.  You also have an AT&T branded IM program, AT&T Mail, AT&T Music and Cingular Video.  I tried out a few of my usual programs like Sling Player Mobile, Windows Live Search, and One Note Mobile which all worked great and felt snappy thanks to the fast processor in the Duo.  Sling player worked well over the fast 3G services and the best part about 3G on the AT&T network is that you can use both data and voice communications simultaneously.  This is extremely helpful when you need an e-mail and you need to be on the phone at the same time.  There were a few times that I forgot about this only to be startled when the device alerted me to new mail messages while I was on the phone. 

 

Bluetooth worked very well on the duo and because the device is A2DP compatible I was able to use my blue spider stereo bluetooth headphones with the duo.  Listening to music and watching shows via sling media was very enjoyable and allowed for a nice complete "wireless" experience. 

The Duo's Battery life is very impressive.  In my line of work I am sometimes in high density cellular areas and other times trying to cling on to that last bar but that didn't seem to affect battery life one bit.  There were times when I would forget to charge the device only to find the battery level still high the next morning.  Most of my use on this device was data but I use data like others use voice plus add the fact that continuous device data access keeps the backlight on much longer than a phone call would.  This shows the tremendous gains the LED backlight gives this unit.  One thing that I did notice and this is true with many smaller cellular devices is that prolonged voice communications will leave the back of the device fairly warm.  I haven't used a device this size in some time so I had forgotten about this until I started using the device for a few lengthily voice conversations.  A bluetooth headset will decrease the noticeable heat as the device will be tucked away in a pocket or case.

 

The Pantech Duo is a really nice device aimed at those who require more functionality while maintaining a sleek appearance.  The device packs many nice features like great battery life, 3G data, dual keyboards and Windows Mobile 6.  The suggested price point will give it's competitors a run for their money.  One of the biggest problems with Windows Mobile Devices was getting the price point to be acceptable to the customer.  AT&T is selling the Pantech Duo for $449.99 but if you go for a 2 year contract the price is $299.00, adding a $100.00 mail-in rebate and the final price is $199.99.  Not bad for a device that packs so much functionality into a small package.  So if you're looking for a device that'll give you great performance while keeping you in the "in crowd" you will want to check out the Pantech Duo.

12/19/2007 10:35:47 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

LingvoSoft Suite 2008 Released#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

We've long covered the great language products for the Windows Mobile platform provided by LingvoSoft. The only thing better then a number of individual products focused on language translation is to bring them together - The LingvoSoft Suite 2008! -

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LingvoSoft Suite 2008 is a fully integrated solution which combines all our major language-learning tools.
This essential set of software includes:

·  Bi-directional Talking Dictionary with an extensive 400,000 word vocabulary

· Talking PhraseBook of 14,000 travel-related phrases divided into common situations you may encounter while abroad;

· Flashcards language learning application to help you memorize new vocabulary as you play.
Taken together these applications deliver instant translations, offer quick and easy search functions, and supply valuable educational games - instantly turning your PC or PDA into your own personal language learning and communication assistant.

You can find out more about the LingvoSoft Suite 2008 at the LingvoSoft web site.

12/18/2007 20:48:41 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

It May Be Cold Outside, But... IntelliGolf 8.5 Ships#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Well, I must admit as I sit in Orlando, FL (on business) that golf in December *does* exist in parts of the world. What better time than now for the release of IntelliGolf 8.5? -

IntelliGolf, Inc., leaders in ‘Sports Enhancing Software’, today announced the shipment of its new IntelliGolf® version 8.5 software for Microsoft® Windows Mobile 6.0-based Pocket PCs and Palm® OS-based handhelds. Version 8.5 adds support for Windows Mobile 6.0, embedded GPS, rotating/landscape-based screen displays (e.g. AT&T Tilt, HTC Ty Tn II, etc), and wireless access to 24,000+ signature course scorecards. Version 8.5 is also shipping for the latest Palm OS-based smartphones (e.g. Treo 700p, Treo 755p, etc). Both operating system versions are immediately available from resellers listed at www.intelligolf.com. SRP: $29.95-$59.95.

“Version 8.5 is for golfers on the go...” said Craig A. Schmidt, President/CEO of IntelliGolf, Inc. “It supports wireless access to over 24,000 signature courses, embedded and Bluetooth-based GPS receivers, and various screen formats.” he said.

Product Overview
The IntelliGolf software replaces pencil and paper golf scoring, wagering, and statistics gathering on the golf course. Users enter their scores, wagers, and club selection on their smartphone. IntelliGolf totals all scores, tabulates all wagers, and synchronizes with the included Windows desktop software (Birdie and Eagle editions). From the IntelliGolf desktop software users can view performance graphs, approximating their handicap, and evaluate their Dream Round™. The IntelliGolf Eagle edition adds support for Bluetooth and GPS. This allows customers to view distances to the 200, 150, 100 yard/meter markers, front, center, and back of the Green, and up to three custom fairway points (e.g. creek, oak tree, sand trap, etc) using industry-leading GPS receivers.

IntelliGolf is the only golf software to include all seven S’s of golf: Scoring, Shot tracking, Satellite GPS, Sharing, Sidegames (35+), Statistics (250+), and Signature course (24,000+) scorecards. IntelliGolf is available for Windows Mobile-based Smartphones and Pocket PCs, Palm handhelds, RIM’s Blackberry, Java-based smartphones (e.g. Nokia, Sony Ericsson, etc), and Windows-based PCs in over 125 countries.

ig_rot76_ppcE

For more information and ordering, check out the IntelliGolf home page. FORE! ;-)

12/18/2007 20:41:45 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

HanDBase 4.0 Released#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

If you're looking for staying power in the mobile application world, look no further than DDH Software. Ten years of Palm, Pocket PC, Windows Mobile, Symbian and RIM development. If you're looking for a great Windows Mobile database application, you also need look no further than DDH Software and HanDBase. Version 4.0 is now available -

DDH Software, Inc. is celebrating its 10th anniversary with the announcement of a major update to its HanDBase relational database application for all top mobile platforms-including Windows Mobile. Version 4.0 includes a host of new synchronization features, a deeper level of security, and a myriad of user interface and database design enhancements, plus updates specific to the Windows Mobile platform.

True to HanDBase's long reputation as a leading innovator among mobile databases, the new version includes a wide range of new enhancements, including the ability to synchronize databases stored on a memory card. HanDBase also now includes a "Smart Date" filter that enables users to view data in ranges such as "This Week," and "Next x Days."

With data security risks such as identity theft and business intelligence loss, the security of mobile data is of utmost importance. HanDBase is once again in the lead with its tight, yet practical and easy-to-manage security measures. In addition to 128 bit Safer-SK encryption, HanDBase 4.0 now offers an inactivity auto-close feature and encryption password caching, with HanDBase optionally remembering and recalling passwords for subsequent saves/closes of the database. This feature reduces the likelihood of users entering an incorrect password when re-encrypting and is also far more convenient.

Versions of HanDBase that support custom forms will find a host of new actions and features to make designing and using custom forms much more powerful. From adjustable form scaling on different devices, to the ability to make large paper-sized forms that scroll, to the ability to add images such as logos, backgrounds and even buttons, the list of new power and functionality is extensive. Finally, the addition of a forms design wizard in the newly redesigned HanDBase Forms PC Desktop enables the flexibility and sleekness of forms to be more accessible to even novice users.

New features specific for Windows Mobile include support for the 5-way navigator on Windows Mobile 5 and Windows Mobile 6. Further, HanDBase 4.0 offers Windows Mobile 5/6 menu optional support, giving users the ability to display menu items using the newer soft key style or the traditional toolbar format.

"HanDBase 4.0 again sets the standard for mobile databases, with features deep enough for power business users in a wide variety of fields such as medicine, inspections, and education, yet easy enough for anybody to create and manage lists for their own needs," said David Haupert, president of DDH Software. "HanDBase is still the most flexible and inventive program available for handhelds--and it is always amazing to see the ingenious uses of HanDBase as users create their own mobile applications."

handbase4proppc

For more information and pricing, check out the HanDBase for Windows Mobile home page.

12/18/2007 20:34:16 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

REVIEW: Vmoda VibeDuo Wired Stereo Headset#
Post By Eric Hicks

Stylish,functional and great sound, those are words which don't go together especially when  describing stereo headsets. Most cellphone headsets are included as an afterthought and many are cheap sounding pieces of plastic that are not even suited for listening to phone conversation let alone music. Add to that their usually bulky, cheap construction and poor sound and it's no wonder they only make their appearance when you really need them (like in your car).

Vmoda wishes to change this. They have created a line of "designer" headsets that appeal to your fashion and sound senses. Just a look at the packaging suggests that this headset was made for you to wear and enjoy everywhere.  Plus the array of available colors makes color coordination with you outfit a breeze.

Inside the box you will find the headset and leather carrying pouch. Inside the pouch you'll find different size earmolds for the earbuds in both clear and black rubber. For me the pre-installed black molds were a perfect fit. The earbuds are light weight and feature some pseudo "Bling"  to draw attention to you're new found status of sound and fashion. The headset buds are made to snuggly fit inside the outer ear canal giving you a nice sound space and reducing background noise.

 Along the wire for the left earbud you'll find a sleek microphone with a button. This button allows you to answer calls without touching the phone. Something that's definitely needed as your phone will likely be in your pocket. There's also a shirt clip and a nice Vmoda branded metal cylinder which is used to split the left  and right wires for each earbud.

So with all that out of the way the big question is how do they sound? Well I hooked the Vmoda's up to my Toshiba Gigabeat and pulled up a playlist that I use to evaluate and set sound systems. My first impression was WOW, is this a headset or a nice pair of headphones. The sound was very full, rich and also had one thing that many headsets (and headphones for that matter) lacked and that was low end response. The specified frequency response is 12 Hz to 22 kHz and while I don't really think they are capable of reaching 12 Hz,the bass was full, deep and uncluttered.  You won't need to crank the volume of your MP3 player to max just to have good volume. When paired with the Gigabeat I was able to keep the volume at a reasonably low level while maintaining a good listening level even on a busy subway. Part of this I attributed to the earbuds sensitivity and the other is the earmolds. External noise is kept to a very minimum level even while riding an underground subway during rush hour.

The Vmoda package says it's designed for iPhones and MP3 players but be aware that not all MP3 players are made the same. The Vmoda headset has a four conductor connector and depending on you MP3 player you may need to insert the plus only partially into the headphone  jack. My Gigabeat utilizes a four conductor headphone jack for the output of both audio and video, when I plugged the Vmoda's all the way into the headphone jack I got sound that was indicative of surround sound but not much else. This was due to the missing ground connection from the  MP3 player to the headset. It may be a good idea for Vmoda to include a four conductor to three conductor adapter with these headsets so the user doesn't need to pull the headset jack partially out of the device.

 

Vmoda has what I feel is a good product but I don't know if many people are ready to shell out $101 for a stereo headset.  Then again there are those who these will definately appeal to and because this headset looks good and sounds good it will have no problems bringing hours of listening pleasure, comfort and style to the end user.  You can purchase the VibeDuo right from  Vmoda's website.

12/17/2007 18:53:50 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

MERGER: FlexWallet Upgrade to eWallet#
Post By Johan van Mierlo

Today WebIS is proud to announce a new partnership with Ilium Software to bring a renewed focus to the Wallet Market. this year we spent some time with Ilium and found a very strong renewed focus on eWallet going forward and with our focus on FlexMail and Pocket Informant and our work on the Blackberry we have decided to team up with Ilium and turn FlexWallet 4 into eWallet 6.0! This provides many great improvements that I'm sure you are going to love and we've made it easy for you to upgrade from FlexWallet to eWallet 6.0. eWallet 6.0 combines the best of FlexWallet and eWallet with a renewed focus that brings greater security and features to all of our users!

eWallet 6.0 brings the following major improvements:

  • iPhone/Web version currently in beta.
  • Sync your info where you want - to any PC, Windows Mobile or Palm OS device, USB thumb drive, a laptop, even your server at work - there is no limit
  • Stronger security - AES FIPS and 256-bit encryption
  • Encrypted file attachments
  • Sync securely to remote locations using SFTP and other remote syncing options
  • Access your data from remote computers using Iomega iStorage
  • Prevent intrusion by locking your wallet after a certain number of failed login attempts
  • Make online purchases safely! With eWallet's SmartCopy your credit cards and personal info won't be left in the clipboard for keyloggers to find
  • Fill in passwords online without typing using AutoPass - protect yourself from keyboard logging in an easy and secure way
  • Personalize your cards with background images
  • Customize the card design with options for displaying icons on the card, square or round corners, card borders, and more!
  • Use eWallet on your U3 USB Smartdrives
  • Get Step-by-Step Instructions for basic tasks with the eWallet Companion
  • Four free icon packs

For more info you can go the WebIS site

12/17/2007 17:37:22 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Attacks are opened on Google's Android#
Post By Johan van Mierlo

Wow, It has been quiet from the non-partners of the Google's Android mobile platform. But this week we have seen 2 responses one from Microsoft in the name of Steve Balmer and one from Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo .

Basicly both reations are down grading Android to either mere a press release and the other says they are just newcomers but credible. Android has a strong group of partners and definitly is credible. Just look at Google's history.

The amazing thing that the mere press release of Android has done is that other platforms are speeding up the way mobility will be presented to us through the carriers. Or as Nokia says "But now the U.S. market may in fact be adapting to Nokia…and other newcomers. Insofar as Apple (with its iPhone and lucrative revenue sharing deal with AT&T) and Google (with the OHA and Adroid) are the harbingers of a new cellular landscape, Nokia finally stands to win a halfway decent chunk of the U.S. market without all that bothersome 'adapting.' Who cares if it happens to be a competitor that's paving the way for these changes."

So who is paving the road map for who? Time will tell.

12/12/2007 21:36:11 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

No new Treo 800w under the tree#
Post By Johan van Mierlo

After reporting the overall poor financial performance at Palm, they now blame certification issues for the delay of the new Treo 800w. But there statement is: " We are pleased with recent improvements in our product delivery engine, the early success of Palm Centro."

Palm has been struggling now for a long time and the excuses are piling up. Palm still has his place, but it needs to keep its customers happy. Without proper timely releases I would go to explore and try new devices. Maybe wait for the Google androids which are also linux based.

12/10/2007 13:21:20 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

China To Control Future of Satelite Mobility Opportunities#
Post By Johan van Mierlo

According to the annual report of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, released last week, listed among Beijing's goals that of ensuring that Chinese space weapons are "conducted covertly so China can maintain a positive international image." China has called for a ban on space weapons at the United Nations.

The report said that China is also developing civilian technology that can be applied to military space programs and is acquiring the "ability to destroy or temporarily incapacitate every enemy space vehicle when it is located above China," the report said.

According to the report this will include the right to deactivate the American GPS technology using their anti-satelite and other weapons on Chinese soil. Of course if that ever will happen a battle will start which is will include the Chinese Beidou, Russian GONASS-system and maybe even the to be developed European Galileo-systems. Not to talk about all the other commercialized uses we have with our flying unmanned vehicles circling around the earth.

This almost seems to be a new outer space warfare in communication technology. Just think about .....now we need stealth satelites...or is this report needed as a backbone for our approval for the space defense system

Read more using this link.
http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2007/ea_china_11_29.asp

 

12/10/2007 09:58:22 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Holiday Specials from VITO Technology and Handango#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

'Tis the season for holiday specials for Windows Mobile software...

  • VITO Technology - 25% Discount
    VitoLogo
    "December is the time of holidays, magic & presents! VITO Technology wishes its customers Merry Christmas and happy New Year and presents a 25% discount for all VITO products*.
  • 25% discount will be available till the end of this year December, 31 at www.vitotechnology.com and www.iwindowsmobile.com. This year was very fruitful for us and we invite you to harvest for the holiday gifts with 25% discount!

    This year VITO products again are high on the list among the best of the best Windows Mobile software nominated at the Best Software Awards. Make sure to take advantage of the holiday discount to get your hands on such best-sellers as VITO AudioNotes, VITO SoundExplorer, VITO Voice2Go, VITO ButtonMapper (2008 WINNER) and others with 25% discount.

    The discount is also available for our brand-new top quality software with finger friendly interface, fancy graphics and animated menus. Go ahead and discover the new appealing looks of Windows Mobile and its surprising functionality with this new software. FunContact, GoodWin, ZoomBoard are waiting for your Pocket PC at www.iwindowsmobile.com. Give it a new Good Start!

    We wish you a wonderful Holiday Season and a New Year filled with Peace and Happiness!"

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Be sure to watch for a review of FunContact, GoodWin and ZoomBoard coming soon!

  • Handango - Save Up To 20% Sitewide
    handangologo
    Handango has two promotions going on for the holidays. The first is a 10% off using code HOLIDAYS10. If you are looking for an even bigger discount, Handango is offering a 20% discount by simply using this page to forward on the holiday promotion to one or more friends (your promotion code will be displayed after filling out the form).

    This Handango promotion is also good through December 31st.
12/08/2007 10:51:04 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Where In The World Is Don?#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Sorry to sound like an old PC game/TV series in the post title, but it is the only thing I could come up with at the moment ;-)

The last couple of months have been an extremely hectic period for me in both my professional and personal life. While I have managed to make it to our user group meetings, even that has been quite the undertakings. Business-related travel has been very good for my frequent flyer/traveler programs, and not so good for everything else.

What this all means is that unfortunately the site has had to suffer in recent weeks. I am working to change all of that and bring things back to a more "expected" standard for news, reviews and information. I ask that you be patient as this occurs. In addition, some very exciting changes will be happening in my life that will hopefully translate to an increase in my contributions to the Windows Mobile community. I cannot go into detail quite yet, but trust me - you'll know as soon as possible :-)

Thanks go to everyone for your continued support!

12/08/2007 10:33:56 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

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