Palm Treo Pro#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Palm just officially announced the Palm Treo Pro. The Treo Pro has been on the internet already as the 3G counterpart to the Palm Treo 800. The Treo Pro includes a headset jack, Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities geared for one handed use that meets the needs of businesses and end users alike. Palm also raised the screen to be flush, so unlike the bezel of older Treos the new Treo Pro won’t catch the debris in the edges of the bezel from your pockets as well as streamlining its looks.

palmpro2

The Treo Pro, will be made available from Vodafone and O2 in Europe and from Telstra in Australia, also an unlocked version will be available in in the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific.The Treo Pro will be available in September in Europe through Vodafone (from free to EUR 399 with contract) and O2 (pricing is available from O2 direct sales and online business stores), and in Australia through Telstra (from free with contract). It will be available in the United States in the fall through the Palm online store (http://www.palm.com/store) as well as select Internet, retail and enterprise resellers for a suggested retail price of $549. The U.S. version is unlocked and unsubsidized, giving end users the flexibility to simply insert their existing active SIM card and immediately start using their Treo Pro without a new contract. :)

treo pro

QUICK FACTS


· Palm shortcuts for the things you do most
· Touchscreen and full keyboard
· Microsoft® Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional Edition
· Outlook® email with Microsoft® Direct Push Technology
and HTML support1,2
· High-speed data with UMTS/HSDPA3
· High-capacity, removable battery
· Instant-on Wi-Fi button1
· GPS for navigation, turn-by-turn directions, and local search1
· Microsoft® Office Outlook® Mobile for Contacts, Calendar,
and Tasks
· Edit native Microsoft® Word and Excel® documents4
· Open and view PowerPoint,® PDF, and ZIP files
· Use Internet Explorer® Mobile to search the web fast1
· Functions as a high-speed modem for your laptop5
· Personal email including Hotmail, Yahoo!, and Gmail1
· Chat-style view for SMS and MMS6
· Windows Media® Player Mobile for audio and video
· 2.0 megapixel camera with video capture

Here is a link to the official press release.

Here is a link to a video on the Palm Blog.

Palm Pro layout

Palm Treo Pro Specifications:

Brochures Treo Pro by Palm
Platform Microsoft® Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional Edition
Processor Qualcomm® MSM7201 400MHz
Display 320x320 transflective color TFT flush touchscreen
Radio HSDPA/UMTS/EDGE/GPRS/GSM radio
Tri-band UMTS – 850MHz, 1900MHz, 2100MHz
Quad-band GSM – 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 1900MHz

WiFi
802.11b/g with WPA, WPA2, and 801.1x authentication
GPS Built-in GPS
Bluetooth®
Wireless
Version: 2.0 + Enhanced Data Rate
Memory 256MB (100MB user available), 128MB RAM
Camera 2.0 megapixels with up to 8x digital zoom and video capture
Battery 1500mAh lithium-ion; Up to 5.0 hours talk time and up to 250 hours standby
Expansion microSDHC cards (up to 32GB supported)
Connector MicroUSB™ 2.0 for synchronization and charging
Audio 3.5mm stereo headset jack
Dimensions Length: 4.49", Width: 2.36", Depth: 0.53", Weight: 4.69 oz
Color Obsidian
System Requirements Windows® XP, Windows Vista™
Software on device

ActiveSync®; Adobe Reader LE; Bluetooth®; Bubble Breaker; Calculator; Calendar; Communications Manager; Contacts; File Explorer; Get WorldMate; GoogleMaps;Internet Explorer® Mobile; Messaging; Microsoft® Office Mobile including Excel® Mobile, OneNote Mobile, PowerPoint® Mobile, and Word Mobile; My Treo; Notes; Pics & Videos; QuickGPS; Quick Tour; SIM Manager; Solitaire; Sprite Backup; Streaming Media; Tasks; Telenav; Voice Command; Windows Live™; Windows Live™ Messenger; Windows Media® Player Mobile

 
08/20/2008 08:56:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Review: Samson Zoom H2 Handy Recorder#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

If you are musician or podcaster you may have noticed that there has been an accelerated trend toward pocket-sized stereo recorders, which started out as a niche market for musicians, audio professionals, broadcast journalists, sound-effects collectors has grown to the consumer market mainly podcasters. The folks at SamsonTechnologies have seen this and came out with an affordable pocket recorder called the Zoom H2 Handy Recorder.

Zoom H2 Zoom H2 box

The Zoom H2 comes with four microphone capsules offering 4-channels for 360° recording in addition to stereo recording, which is found on other pocket recorders and is capable of recording 16 and 24 bit WAV files at sampling rates up to 96kHz and MP3 files at bit rates up to 320Kbps, which stored on an SD card.

What's in the Box

Zoom memory card Zoom H2 memory card slot

A 512MB SD card is included in the box and slides into the bottom of the unit.

Zoom H2 battery compartment Zoom H2 Box contents

Also included in the box are two AA batteries that are stored in the back of the unit, an AC adapter (9VDC 300mA and mini-USB to USB cable all of which can be used to power the H2.

Zoom H2 earbuds Zoom H2 audio cable

A set of earbud headphones for monitoring as well as a standard 3.5mm to 2 RCA adpater cable that could be used for line out, line in or external microphone in via the jacks on the side of the microphone.

Zoom H2 Windscreen Zoom H2 Windscreen installed

You also get a windscreen that slides over the 4 microphone capsules and rigid metal grill.

Zoom H2 Stand Zoom H2 Stand installed

A desktop stand, which isn't really needed unless you are one to pull on any attached cables or have cables that are heavy enough to tip the H2 over.  Or plan on recording several  instruments in a room or recording space.

Zoom H2 Bottom

The bottom of the H2 has some pretty good rubber feet and it can easily be used with out the stand. If you click on the picture you will see that the above desktop stand and microphone stand adapter below uses a standard coupling hole found on cameras so it could even be mounted to a camera tripod.

H2 Mic Mount H2 Mic Mount 2

H2 Stand 1 H2 Stand 2

Standard microphone clip adapter that screws into the bottom for using with standard microphone stands or it can be held in the hand as an interview microphone. This option is really nice for the home recording artist that wants to focus on recording vocals or instruments.

H2 Bag

And last but not least a black drawstring bag for carrying everything and/or protecting the H2 in your travels.

Using the H2:

H2 Front H2 Display

The H2 is lightweight (4oz) and fairly easy to operate with one hand. The LCD display is backlit with a green LED that turns on when a button is pressed or a switch is slide and times out after 15 seconds by default(you can configure the timeout time in the menu settings).

H2 Components

The display shows the L & R input levels, elapsed and remaining time, file type, folder, battery level and state of playback/recording.

H2 Menu

A dedicated Menu button displays a fairly well organized menu that is navigated by using the Fast Forward and rewind buttons to move up and down the menu structure and the Record button to make your selection from options including:

  • Lo Cut - which attenuates low frequencies and is good for removing wind noise or pop noise for vocal recordings.
  • Rec Mode - is the recording mode and format as well as sampling frequency
  • AGC/Comp - Automatic Gain Control (for general recording and speech) as well as Compressor (boosts lows and attenuates highs) and Limiter(attenuates set frequencies to prevent distortion)  microphone support for General, Vocal, Drums, as well as a Limiter for General Concert, or Studio settings.
  • File - access to the files used for playback and additional options as seen in the pictures below for renaming the file, encoding in MP3, Normalizing, Dividing, Mark list and deleting.

H2 Menu  H2 Menu 2

  • Folder- where the files are recorded
  • Monitor- on/off
  • Plug-in -on/off
  • Pre REc - on/off
  • Auto recording-which can be set to on/off or at certain start and stop dB levels that you set.
  • Mono Mix
  • L/R position
  • Metronome
  • Tuner
  • Play Mode
  • AB Repeat
  • Light - 15 seconds, 30 seconds, on, off
  • Contrast of the screen from 1-8, default is 5
  • Battery - Alkaline or NiMH
  • SD Card - remaining space in percentage, MB, and minutes of recording or to format it
  • USB- as storage or as USB audio microphone with adjustments to the Frequency(44.1kHz or 48kHz) and connect.
  • Date and Time settings
  • 3D PAN – when using surround sound you can adjust the center of the sound field

 H2 Tuner Choices H2 Tuner

Some of the cool features is that that the Zoom H2 as seen in the menu options is that it has a metronome and tuner built right in, which is great for musicians traveling light. The tuner is pretty good in that it allows you to calibrate to a certain frequency, Chromatic tuning , Guitar, Bass, Open A, Open D,Open E, Open G, DADGAD.

  H2 Side components  H2 Right side

The H2 has no dedicated record level knob or buttons and the input level is adjusted by selecting one of the three different Microphone Gains from the gain switch located on the right side between Low, Medium and High.

H2 Left Side

For playback Volume controls are located on the left along with a headphone jack to monitor out as well as listen to playback of your recordings. Also on the left hand side is the power switch for turning the unit on and off as well as the DC power connector to the included transformer.

Hughes 2008 665

What is kind of confusing when using the H2 is that when you press the record button you aren't really recording, but are in record standby, which allows you to adjust the recording levels by pressing the Fast Forward (+ Rec Level) and Rewind (-Rec Level) buttons. Pressing the Record button a second time begins the recording. Using this in a live setting between multiple interviews I found this confusing and actually missed recording some of my interviews thinking that the blinking Play/Record button and dancing levels indicated that I was recording, when in reality I wasn't and was just checking the levels. A solid Play/Record light indicated proper recording and it a few times to get used to that.

Hughes 2008 667

To stop the recording you just press the Record button a third time and it will automatically create another recording file the next time you record. You can adjust a pre-record buffer to via the menu to about 1 or 2 seconds depending on your sampling rate, which will allow you enough time to capture something you might have missed when pressing the record button a second time to start recording.

Pressing the Play/Pause button while recording allows you to leave markers/bookmarks so you could quickly fast forward to during playback or in your editing/synch process if you are using the microphone in conjunction with a video camera.

Microphone Pattern Selection

 90 deg pattern 120 deg pattern

The front L and R cardioid microphones are fixed at a 90 degree relative angle , while the rear L and right cardioid microphones are at 120 degrees apart. When all 4 microphones are on for 4-channeling you get full 360 degree recording.

Choosing the mode you are using is very easy just press the MIC Pattern keys at the top of the microphone.

90 Degree

Front 90 degrees is for sources within a 90 degree angle of the front recorded in stereo.

2CH Surround

Surround 2CH records the sound from the front side and rear side of the unit in 2 channels.

4CH Surround 4CH Audio Levels

Surround 4 CH records the sound from the front side and rear side of the unit in 4 channels, which are saved as a pair of stereo WAV files in a dedicated folder for four-channel mode. So when playing back you can mix the front and rear signals appropriately and allows for the creation of 5.1 channel audio with an appropriate surround sound encoder.

120 deg Rear

Rear 120 degrees records sound located with a 120 degrees on the rear side of the H2.

Rear Mic Active Front Active

Once activated you will also notice the MIC Active indicator on the front and back illuminate. If the sound level is too high causing distortion, the indicator light will flash. To set your input sensitivity you can adjust the  gain with a switch on the right side from H – for sources ata distance or have low volumes, M – good for accoustic guitar or other low volume instruments and L – for recording a band performance or other loud sound source.

H2 Computer Use

H2 Computer Use

The H2 can be used with your computer via the USB port. As soon as you plug in the H2 whether the unit is on or off, you will be prompted by the H2 how you want to use the H2 as either a USB storage device or audio device. Depending on you choice the appropriate drivers will be installed.

H2 storage install

H2 can be used as an external SD card reader (if your computer doesn’t have one) which allows easy copying of your recordings directly to your computer for further editing or archiving.

 H2 audio install

The H2 can also be used as an audio interface for Windows and MacOS based systems. The input signal to the H2 can be recorded directly on the computer at a sampling frequency of 44.1kHz or 48kHz and the output signal of the computer is available on the H2 via the PHONES/LINE OUT jack. So the H2 makes for a great podcast recorder or Skype microphone to use with your computer.

Conclusion:

The H2 Handy Recorder is a compelling affordable pocket microphone allowing for many versatile functions as a studio microphone, for interviews, podcasts, recording lectures, computer microphone, etc. The Zoom H2 retails for $199 and can be found bundled with larger memory cards,4 High Capacity AA Nimh Rechargeable Batteries,battery charger, screen protectors,etc at the same price of $199 at places like Amazon.com

08/19/2008 14:30:23 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

iPhone 2.0 and MobileMe - Very "UnApple-Like"#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

On the heels of friend Chris Leckness' post at MobilitySite regarding recent iPhone issues (Chris, BTW, references another great article by Matt Miller on the same subject), I thought I might chime in with some observations made through all of the recent events.

What has transpired with regards to the iPhone, and MobileMe over the past weeks has, in my opinion, been very uncharacteristic for Apple as an organization. Let's face it - like it or not, Apple may understand the concept of "user experience" better than any software or hardware vendor in history. I regularly reference Apple as the standard-bearer for insuring that any given user experience is complete, well-defined and thoroughly tested before public consumption. It is this mindset that plays a large part in Apple's brand loyalty. The iPhone 2.0/MobileMe issues seem to fly directly in the face of these very principles.

I sincerely believe many of the issues related to the iPhone were avoidable if not for another aspect of Apple corporate culture; unbridled secrecy. Most are familiar with Apple's zealous approach to "keeping things under wraps" until product launch. Few are ever given access to Apple development in its earlier stages, and are sworn to eternal secrecy if they are. While this approach works well in scenarios where the number and diversity of testers are not critical to true validation of the product, it can be the "kiss of death" in scenarios where diversity and number of testers makes all the difference in the world. Keeping that in mind, let's look at some of the issues and how a limited testing group can be a major factor -

  • Cellular signal strength/quality issues. While we all often laugh at the Verizon "Can you hear me now?" guy, there is an important principle here. Anyone who works in or around the cellular industry or is tied to a mobile phone while traveling extensively can tell you - what works in one area doesn't necessarily work in another area. The more geographically diverse a testing base, the better the gauging of a cellular radio stack. And no, you can't cover every square foot of North America, Europe and all of the places which have access to the iPhone, but a large testing group is statistically going to be better than a small one. Remember also that with varying geography comes varying carriers and varying cellular networks. Again - the more diversity, the better.

    Some recent finger-pointing in all of this is now blaming the radio chipset as the culprit. Even if so, more extensive testing results in more reported issues which results in identifying the culprit - before product launch. Whatever or whomever the final cause is regarding this issue, the bottom line is that a primary user experience with a cellular phone - using the cellular radio - has been far from desirable for many users.
  • Third-Party application issues. there have been any number of issues reported with the running of third-party applications on the new iPhone. As Chris L. pointed out, many quickly blame the developers. If "bad code" is truly to blame, then so be it. However, with all of the restrictions placed by Apple in relation to third-party developers and the AppStore, a testing/certification process should catch the most flagrant issues. I cannot help but believe that Apple was either unprepared for a large number of applications being submitted or simply did not test the applications as thoroughly as they should have (if at all). What strikes me as most surprising in all of this is the fact that Apple gave a strong impression that a primary reason for the AppStore approval process was to ensure quality control was in place. That being said, a larger testing base may once again have facilitated any QA process.
  • MobileMe. Honestly, I believe many of the issues here exemplify how any company can struggle when leaving their "comfort zone". While iTunes shows that Apple can managed large-scale connectivity and distribution models over the Internet, synchronization of thousands (if not millions) of computing devices is a far different beast (remember - MobileMe is not an iPhone or even Apple-exclusive technology). MobileMe likely should never have been launched until after the iPhone was launched, and then only in controlled testing modes to ensure reliability and scalability.

There have been other issues surrounding the iPhone floating around the Internet, but I think I'll stop here. The point that I am trying to make is that Apple appears to me to have drifted from what has always made it such a vastly popular company -

User experience took a back seat to a product launch date.

As someone who has worked with and for companies that take this approach to doing business on a regular basis, brand loyalty will only last as long as a new or cheaper competitor doesn't arrive on the scene. In Apple's case, recent events are an exception, not the rule. Moving forward, Apple can (and likely will) return to its tried and true ways. If not, "unApple-like" practices will really test the patience of what is arguably the most loyal customer base in technology history. In addition, people and companies new to Apple (iPhone and the enterprise, for example) are definitely being given an initially unfavorable impression of Apple. To these folks, there is no "unApple-like" thought process; there is only a "bad product launch" thought. Gaining trust with this market is probably going to be even rougher than first thought.

I believe that Apple will correct many of the issues around the iPhone and MobileMe. History proves they are responsive. What will be interesting to see, however, is whether or not Apple is willing to accept the fact that venturing into new businesses and technologies may require a change in corporate culture. In the case of the iPhone, third-party applications and MobileMe, that change may require steeping away from the isolated and limited world of product testing and moving towards more open and expansive testing programs. This would definitely be the most "unApple-like" thing that Apple could do, but likely would allow them to be most "Apple-like" in terms of customer satisfaction.

08/14/2008 12:29:23 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Next Windows Mobile User/Developer Group Meeting: Wednesday, August 20, 2008#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Yes, Virginia - there will be a meeting of the Boston/New England Windows Mobile User/Developer group this month :-)

Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 20th 2008 starting at 6:30 PM at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA (201 Jones Road, 6th Floor).

Map image

This month's meeting will have a developer "flavor", with two topics for discussion:

  • "Windows Mobile Device Configuration: A Developer's Perspective"
    While many people are aware of device management and configuration solutions available for Windows Mobile, developers are often surprised to discover that they have the ability to configure devices using the .NET Compact Framework from their own applications. In this presentation, we will look at some of the options available to allow your application to configure such features as WiFi, Bluetooth and more.
  • "Sync Me Up! Sync Services for ADO.NET and Sync Framework for Devices"
    As most developers will tell you, the process of developing a data synchronization framework for an application can be an extremely complex process. Microsoft is address this issue through the Microsoft Sync Framework. Two components within this framework include functionality for ADO.NET synchronization and a more generalized synchronization core functionality. If you are responsible for developing Windows Mobile application that moves data from device to server and back, than this presentation should be considered a "must-see".

As always, we will have lots of great items up for grabs in our end-of-meeting raffle.

Hope to see you there!

08/14/2008 09:26:26 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Celio REDFLY Mobile Companion Now $399#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Celio Corp. just recently made the REDFLY Mobile Companion available to consumers outside of the business sector and now just chopped another $100 off the price of the unit to make it more appealing to consumers. When we had the review unit and talked to a few folks at Celio at CES and before we did the review this is what they had in mind all along. As with any product when the demand for units increased they could reduce the price due to increase in production volume and pass the savings on to consumers hence increasing sales.

redfly sale

To get your hands on the Celio REDFLY before they are backlogged again head here. They are still listed as eval/demo units.

Edit: Amazon also has them here. :)

08/13/2008 14:34:46 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Tablet Enhancements for Outlook 3.0 (TEO 3.0) Now Free#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Josh Einstein of Einstein Technologies is now offering the popular TEO 3.0 for free to download, which used to be a 15-day trial. I have been a huge fan of Tablet Enhancements for Outlook since it first came out and was part of several betas and have watched it grown over the years.

teo 3 free

If you are not familiar with TEO it is an add-in for Microsoft Outlook 2003 or 2007 that augments Outlook into a fully pen-enabled app. You can use it on your Tablet PC or UMPC running Windows XP Tablet PC Edition SP2 or Windows Vista. You will need the Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0 or higher to run it.

teo3

If you use your Tablet PC as much as I do, entering in appointments is easily done in ink and I actually prefer to using TEO over the standard Outlook method of entering appointments into my calendar its also a great for note taking especially during conference calls with Journal. Here are a few features:

  • Enter appointments, contacts, tasks, and journal entries in your handwriting or use Microsoft's incredible handwriting recognition to convert it to text.
  • Handwritten items synchronize (as text) to your PDA just like any Outlook item.
  • Use the Outlook Journal to organize your daily activity and categorize your notes with almost infinite flexibility using Outlook's built in sorting and grouping features.
  • With Microsoft MapPoint, you can embed live maps and directions into contacts and appointments.
  • New rich note taking allows mixed ink, text, images, and more.
  • Built in audio recording lets you record conversations, meetings, conference calls and more. Recording and playback embedded right in the Outlook item.
  • Paste text and images from other applications and web pages. A hyperlink is automatically added for clipped web content
  • CardScan® scanned business cards and contact pictures now supported.

    Also check out these reviews and walkthroughs done by the folks at GottaBeMobile:

  • TEO 3.0 Exclusive Preview InkShow
  • TEO 3.0 Research Assistant InkShow
  • ActiveWords & TEO SoftShow
  • Tablet Enhancements for Outlook 3.0 Inkshow

    To get your free copy of TEO 3.0 head here to learn more about TEO head here.:)

  • 08/11/2008 08:22:34 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

     

    SlingPlayer for Windows 2.0 PUBLIC BETA#
    Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

    If you are SlingBox owner you will be happy to know that the folks at SlingMedia have a new offering for your in the form of the SlingPlayer for Windows 2.0 PUBLIC BETA. We got to see a sneak peak of the beta when we were at CES 2008 and now you have the chance to get part of it as a beta. Here are the features that was requested by the community to make a better viewing experience:

    slingplayer 2

    Live Video Buffer—Control Live TV
    The new Live Video Buffer with DVR-like control, allows you to easily pause, rewind or fast-forward, up to 60 minutes of video on your PC, right from the SlingPlayer. (Not yet available for Mac)

    sling EPG

    The Guide—See What's On
    The SlingPlayer Guide, is just like your programming Guide at home but is built right into the SlingPlayer for Windows 2.0 PUBLIC BETA software. So you can easily find what's on without having to use your TV's programming Guide or the remote control. (Not yet available for Mac)

    SlingRemote
    SlingRemote™ looks and acts exactly like your real remote control at home, giving you full control over your viewing experience. From changing channels to setting a DVR to record, you can do it using buttons right on your computer screen.

    Multiple Viewing Modes & Sizes
    With different viewing modes, the SlingPlayer software allows you to work, surf the web and enjoy your TV, all at the same time.

    slingbox2 install

    When installing the new version of SlingPlayer for Windows 2.0 you will also need to upgrade the software on your SlingBox(es). This can take a while. You will then need to enter in your Zip code and cable/satellite service provider so you can receive the correct EPG information.

    The buffering for pausing and replaying are just simply awesome. I really like the actual time indicator of on the time slider of the recording and not just a minute ticker like most other PVRs. Also the addition of the EPG (Electronic Program Guide is great as well.)

    Be sure to read the requirements and known issues before installing to make sure you want to participate.

    08/07/2008 22:15:44 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

     

    PhatNotes 5.3 Review#
    Post By Louis Senecal

    Introduction

    Our friends over at PhatWare recently contacted us to try out the latest release of PhatNotes, version 5.3. I jumped on this opportunity as it has been a long time since I reviewed one of their products. PhatNotes is an alternative to the built in notes application in Windows Mobile. In fact, not only is it an alternative option, it has advanced features not present in ‘Notes” in Windows Mobile. Best of all, you can customize it, and it is very simple and easy to use. You also get a desktop component that syncs with the PhatNotes on the device.

              

     

    Requirements

    If you are using a Pocket PC, you can install PhatNotes on any device running Windows Mobile 2003, WM5, or WM6. You can even install it to a storage card. All you need is approximately 1mb space. Note though that the actual notes database will be stored on the device itself. If you are using a Windows Mobile Smartphone, all you need is approximately 400K free space for full installation. Same comment goes for the notes databases itself. Additional space for storage is dependent on how many notes you have and how large they are obviously.

    For the complete specifications including the desktop component, you can visit this page.

    Installation

    I installed the software on my iPaq 210 and my desktop with the .exe file. You can also install only the handheld component using a .Cab file. You really do not need the desktop part, but it is nice to have and be able to use on a larger screen with a full keyboard. Lastly, if you do not want to install another separate application on your desktop computer, PhatWare sells a version that syncs directly with Microsoft Outlook. I installed the standard package software once I downloaded it and had it up and running in minutes. It is very easy to do, as it should be. You can see the separate sync option in active sync when the device gets connected to sync.

    Product Highlights and Specs:

    There are a lot of features and specs that goes along with this application. I can’t imagine the amount of work and hours put into the development of it. Whether you are an existing PhatWare product user or potential new customer, you will appreciate the various options available to you. Below is a PARTIAL list of the Pocket PC and Smartphone items that are new in this version that is listed on their website. If you visit here you can see the full listing of all the new options in this version.

    “Smartphone specific

    • PhatSpell - Multilingual spell checker (US English dictionary is included, dictionaries for other supported languages can be downloaded
    • Support for rich text formatting (WM5 or later)
    • Added paragraph spacing setting to the Paragraph dialog box
    • Added The Set Paragraph numbering dialog box (WM5 or later)
    • Line Spacing and Set Paragraph Numbering options have been added to the Paragraph dialog (WM5 or later)
    • Allows renaming linked notes and attachments.
    • Paste Special command added in the note editor window

    Pocket PC specific

    • Added new buttons and 2nd toolbar for the Note Editor dialog
    • Added new text formatting features (WM5 or later)
    • Added paragraph and line spacing settings to the Paragraph dialog box (WM5 or later)
    • Four new paragraph formatting buttons have been added to the Note Editor toolbars (WM5 or later)
    • Allows renaming linked notes and attachments.
    • Changed behavior of 5-way navigator in the main window: up/down keys allow you to scroll the database list, notes list, or preview depending on the focus, left/right keys allow to move the current input focus. “

    Benefits and Features

    The following benefits and features listed below can also be found on Phatware’s website HERE

    Under each feature I will either add a screenshot and or comment I have from using PhatNotes during my test. PhatWare created a very detailed and thorough product description for the consumer which is why I have used their webpage listing for reference. Why create the wheel twice is my motto?

    Organize your notes - by clicking on the column header buttons you can sort notes by creation date, modification date, subject and type. (Lou's notes: There are various sort options available)

    Compatibility - export and import notes as text files or transfer data to and from other applications using copy and paste. (Lou’s notes: This is very handy)

    Efficiency - small size of the program and compressed database leaves plenty of storage space. (Lou’s Notes: I installed mine in my iPaq file store. I do not have a lot of notes set up right now, but it does not slow up my device at all)

    Privacy - protect notes from unauthorized access with a password and 256-bit strong encryption algorithm. (Lou’s Notes: If you want a note protected, all you do is find the note, press on it and wait for a menu to pop up. From here you just select properties and select Protect. Also, as a side note, while you are at that screen, you can also set up a reminder alarm as well.)

         

     

    Simple User Interface - intuitive user interface allows you to start using PhatNotes right away. (Lou’s notes: This is very true. If you have a couple minutes to play around with it, check out the settings and options and get familiar with it. However, everything is straight forward and can be used immediately after installation)

    Email capability - send email messages directly from the Note Editor by clicking on the Send Mail button. (Lou’s notes: You can send emails directly from the PhatNotes application. See the screenshots for the setup and the confirmation message that also pops up after creating it.)

           

           

    Customizable Views - provides a wide range of modifiable look and feel settings.

           

            

    Advanced Filters and Text Search - allows a user to search one or more notes databases for a specific text or a regular expression, and filter by text, creation, modification, authoring dates, color, and priority.

             

    ActiveSync support - allows synchronization of multiple notes databases with the desktop PC. (Lou’s Notes: You can do it this way, sync it with Outlook Directly or just use the application on your device. It is your preference)

    Microsoft Outlook Support - import or export Microsoft Outlook notes and email messages. (Lou’s Notes: This is another handy feature. Also, don’t forget what I said about syncing to Outlook should you want that option. As a side thought, the desktop component to me looks very similar to some of the MS Outlook screens. I need to play around with this some more, but it was “eye” friendly and not confusing)

    Hyperlinks between Notes - allows a user to create links and cross references notes. (Lou’s Notes: When you are in the note creation stage, you would click on menu, insert, link and select the other note that you want to link to. Once setup, in each of the two notes, you will see the notes file name. Once you click on that, it will bring you to the other note that is linked to it. When you are at that note, you will see the link to the first note.)

          

    Comprehensive User's Guide - 180 pages long PhatNotes User's Guide is also available in HTML and PDF formats online. (Lou’s notes: Who needs instructions? It’s like asking for directions! Don’t worry, if you need any support with the application, there is help available)

           

    File Attachments - up to 32 files can be linked to a note. (Lou’s Notes: I did not have that many in my database but can you see the potential here)

           

    Database Tree View - optional database view provides easy access to multiple notes databases.)

          

    Spell Checker - now includes PhatSpell Spell Checker with the English dictionary (dictionaries for other languages supported by PhatSpell can be downloaded from PhatWare web site free of charge). (Lou’s notes: NICE and handy!!)

    Today screen add-on - provides an easy access to PhatNotes application recently modified notes directly from the Pocket PC today screen. (Lou’s notes: This is a nice feature also. I tried it out but it added some extra content to my today screen. I am one of those people who like the Today screen with just the right amount of info on it, my way. I unchecked the PhatNotes today option. Just my preference)

    Customizable Toolbars - choose from the selection of over 30 buttons. (Lou’s Notes: And Options Galore!!)

            

            

            

            

    Text Formatting - text formatting is now supported on Pocket PCs.

    PhatPad support - PhatNotes provides direct access to PhatPad, which allows a user to attach handwritten notes in just two taps. (Lou’s Notes: I did not try this during my test. I can attest to the compatibility though that PhatWare builds into their different product offerings though)

     

    How does it work?

    That is a good question. I don’t know, it just works, and it works well. As you may know from my other reviews, I like simplicity and the truth is I will probably never use and or change all the options that are available to me. I looked at all the options and settings when I installed it and I did not really make any changes than which was installed as the default. PhatNotes allows you to use the WM2003 “Classic” look where the buttons and menus are at the bottom of the screen. The default view is the two softkeys as in WM5 and 6. I liked that one better. Going through the application, you will see all the various settings and options you have that has been pointed out above. Another very handy feature is that there is another button installed called “PhatWare Update.” You need to be connected to the Internet to use it but it basically looks for any product updates that may be available. You also see some suggestions for additional PhatWare products listed here also.

           

    Pricing and availability

    You can purchase PhatNotes directly from PhatWare.

    Here are some of the pricing options.

    If you are a current registered owner of a PhatNotes 5.x version, the upgrade is free.

    Registered users of PhatNotes 4.x Smartphone, Standard, or Professional Edition can upgrade for $24.95.

    If you have an earlier version of PhatNotes that is not listed above or are a new customer, the cost is $39.95.

    If you want to get the special version 5.2 that links directly to MS Outlook, the cost is $19.95.

    Conclusion

    First off, thank you to PhatWare for sending this software for me to try out. I have always been a fan of their software because it is not complicated to use, but yet powerful and functional. I have never had any issues with their software in the past, nor did I have any during this test. My review was intended to give an additional glimpse into how this tool works, but it ultimately comes down to how you like it, how you use it and what your needs are. PhatWare offers a 30 day Free Trial for PhatNotes. My suggestion, as always, is to download it free and try it for yourself. What do you have to lose? Have Fun with it.

    08/03/2008 21:10:07 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

     

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