Software Reviews

17

Head to Head: AT&T Pure and Tilt 2

AT&T might have been slow to get to the party but, it definitely turned heads when it walked through the door. While T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon had already released their versions of the HTC Touch Pro 2, some wondered what was causing the delay with AT&T.

To the surprise of some, AT&T first released their version of the Touch Diamond 2 (the Pure) and a week later phased in its version of the Touch Pro 2, aka the Tilt 2. While AT&T was the final major U.S. wireless carrier to introduce the Touch Pro 2, it was the first to do so with Windows Mobile 6.5 and the first to introduce the U.S. version of the Touch Diamond 2.

Both phones are impressive, quality Windows phones. But how do they compare head to head? Does the tilting screen and slide-out keyboard have an advantage over the thinner, lighter form factor? Can you live without the physical keyboard and do just fine with the on-screen keyboard? And does .4 inches really matter with screen size?

Follow the break to see how the AT&T Tilt 2 and Pure compare head to head.

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Review: Facade 2.0

SBSH Software announced last week the release of Facade 2.0, an updated version of its popular Windows Mobile Standard user interface. It has been more than a year since we looked at Facade 1.0 and were eager to see what changes SBSH had up its sleeve.

Facade is a customizable user interface for non-touchscreen Windows phones. It is an alternative interface to the standard WM Standard today screen. Where the Windows today screen consists of vertical sliding panels, Facade looks to a horizontal tab system. SBSH continues the tradition of putting a lot of information at your fingertips with Facade 2.0.

Follow the break for more on the updated version as well as some more screen shots

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9

Bolt Browser comes out of Beta

The Beta tag has been removed from the mobile browser Bolt and is reported to be faster and more reliable than the Beta versions.

Bolt 1.5 includes such features as the ability to stream videos of any length, a dedicated search bar, a download manager that downloads files directly from Bolt, improved navigation and a caching feature that enables browsing back to a previously visited page without waiting to reload.

We took a look at the Beta version of Bolt some time ago and had mixed feelings. While download speeds were fast, the layout of the browser was a little lacking. Menus were small and hard to read and touch navigation was choppy.

To see if the production version of Bolt is an improvement over the Beta, follow the break.

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5

Review: VsNotepad 2

All of us use our Windows Mobile devices (er, Windows phones) differently. And this is one of the strengths of the platform. Some of us use it solely as a messaging device. Phone, e-mail, text and chat are all things that Windows Mobile (with some help from third party applications) excel at. Multimedia is an area in which our Windows Phones don’t necessarily beat everyone else, but with a few additions in the software department it can compete with any other device on the market.

One of the things that I am always doing with my phone is taking notes. I tend to forget things like what my wife likes on a particular sandwich and simple things like that. Being able to jot down quick thoughts in a low drag environment is incredibly valuable to me. The Notes application that is built in to Windows Mobile has the ability to save notes in a variety of different formats. Sound, text and handwriting or drawing can all be used to create and save notes. My problem is that I’ve just never liked the feel of the Notes interface.

My search for the complete note taking application begins with VsNotepad 2 by Vetasoft. Check out the breakdown after the jump.

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Video Review: Midomi 2.0 Music Identifier

For the last 2 years or so, many in the Windows Mobile community have been using MusicID (now Shazam) as a way to ID music that they hear in a commercial, on the radio, or even the supermarket.

Now, via the newly launched Windows Marketplace for Mobile, we have a choice with Midomi. Costing $4.99 for an unlimited subscription, not only do we have a viable music ID program, but one with many, many more features. Probably the most unique is the ability to hum or sing the song you can't quite remember — awkward, sure, but it works!

After the break take a look at my whole review including a video demonstration of it in action.

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11

Review: MagiCall

We’ve all experienced phone calls that we didn’t enjoy. Whether it’s a telemarketer, a boss on a weekend, a buddy during an important business meeting, or someone else that you just really didn’t want to talk to; unwanted phone calls can be cause for major frustration. Fortunately, there is a way to filter out some of these unwanted calls (and even text messages) to minimize frustration and time wasted trying to get off the phone.

MagiCall by Mobiion Software allows you to specify what calls you do or do not want to take. MagiCall can be thought of as a Spam filter for your phone. Complex, intricate rules can be applied to fine-tune the configuration to your specific needs.

If you have a problem with unwanted callers, or if you just need the ability to micro-manage the way your calls are handled; jump on through.

 

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1

Review: SoftMaker Office 2008

One of the best things about writing for this website is when I write up a review, and post it; only to have a whole bunch of people post comments about another product that is unquestionably a more complete package. The review that I’m referring to was the one that I posted on Documents to Go Premium, which is an upgraded Office package over what is included in Windows Mobile. You guys, who are obviously Windows Mobile Experts yourselves, pointed us in the direction of SoftMaker Office 2008; which I’ve heard good things about from a number of different sources since that little nudge.

On to the review, you know where to go.

 

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8

Review Glympse (GPS Tracking) Freeware

I discovered Glympse by using the new Windows Marketplace for Mobile, which goes to show you just how powerful that piece of software is going to be.

In short, Glympse is a free, easy to use, no strings attached application that allows certain contacts you select to track your location/travels in timed increments.  Think of it this way: say you are taking a road trip to visit some friends and you think you'll be there by 4:30pm.  Well, with Glympse your friends can see exactly where you are on that trip without bothering you (i.e.getting that call while driving "How much longer do you think?").

I gave this app a quick spin and came away impressed.  It's both visually appealing, simple, effective and kind of fun to use. Best part is there is no signing up, enrolling or hoops to jump through.  All the other person needs is an email/sms account and access to the internet to click a hyperlink.

Take a look after the jump to see it in action and how it works.

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10

Microsoft re- launches MyPhone

Microsoft's My Phone has been in open beta for several months now. With today's Windows Mobile 6.5 launch, My Phone emerges with a few new features.

For those not familiar with My Phone, it is a mostly (details in a second) free, over-the-air backup system for your Windows phone. According to Microsoft, My Phone "is a service that helps users organize information, back up data and share information more easily between the Web and Windows phones."

With the official launch of My Phone, Microsoft has added a few more features to the service beyond being a backup system. Follow the break for information on My Phone as well as the new features.

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63

Review: SPB Mobile Shell 3.5

SPB Software has announced an update to its excellent Windows Mobile application, Mobile Shell. We saw major renovations to Mobile Shell with the release of version 3.0 earlier this year, and the updated version, 3.5, doesn't break suit.

SPB Mobile Shell is a user interface for Windows Mobile Professional (touchscreen phones) that implements touch navigation, widgets, and multiple pages to put more functionality at your fingertips.

Follow the break for highlights of the updated version along with some screenshots.

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7

Review: Token2Shell Mobile

When it comes to software for Windows Mobile, we have a little bit of everything. Twitter clients (PockeTwit, Twikini, moTweets), Music/Video Players (Kinoma Play, Core Player, Pocket Tunes), Games (Rabbit Wars, My Little Tank); these are just the tip of the iceberg. One class of applications that seem to be significantly under served are programs that are designed for IT professionals.

It seems like Information Technology would be an area that had more applications than it knew what to do with. Tools that allow remote monitoring or remote control of servers and network hardware are available, but aren’t nearly as pervasive as one would expect them to be.

Token2Shell Mobile is a SSH (Secure Shell) client for Windows Mobile. For the uninitiated, SSH is one of the standard tools for remotely managing and maintaining IT equipment. For the full review, hit the jump.

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4

Review: SHBT MyHome 2.0

MyHome is one of the many Home Screen replacements that developers have come up with to make Windows Mobile more user friendly. (Read my original review here.) While the software doesn’t get the face time of things like the various flavors of HTC's TouchFLO or even SPB Mobile Shell, it did have some very cool features like haptic feedback. There were however, some areas where MyHome fell way short of the mark. The biggest downfall was the complete failure to support landscape devices. This is particularly hard to swallow with the popularity of HTC’s Touch Pro devices and others that have a similar form factor.

To see what steps SHBT has made from version 1 to 2, follow the break.

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Review: SPB Quads

We’ve all heard it before; some well-meaning friend or relative made some comment to you that playing video games would turn your brain to mush (or some variation of that phrase). Not all video games are completely void of redeeming value however. SPB has a couple of games that are actually pretty decent about exercising various brain cells. Coincidentally, both have been updated recently. The first, SPB Brain Evolution 2.0 was announced last week. The second, SPB Quads is an update to SPB Quadronica.

For all the details on Quads, keep reading. (Hint: this has nothing to do with the popular off-roading vehicles.) 

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7

Review Thumb Shopper

Thumb Software has developed a handy Windows Mobile application that will help those of us who need a list simply to make it out of the grocery store without forgetting anything. Thumb Shopper is a checklist application that allows you to create your grocery list on your Windows Mobile professional phone and check them off as you toss them in your shopping cart.

I was interested to see if Thumb Shopper was easier to use than the age old standard, paper and pen. Follow the break to see how this checklist app measures up.

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Review: Resco Photo Viewer 7 Beta

Resco Photo Viewer 7 seems to be a fast study. Just a few weeks ago we reported on the Alpha version being sighted and now Resco has up and released a public Beta version of their popular photo viewer. We were very impressed with the Alpha version ("awesome" according to Maltesta) and unless Resco really dropped the ball the same level of quality is expected with the Beta.

Admittedly, I'm more comfortable with my Canon DSLR and Photoshop but I understand that camera phones and portable image viewing can be equally important tools. I don't always have my digital camera with me but it's rare that I don't have my AT&T Fuze with me. If I need to show a potential client examples of my work or simply need to update a contacts photo, a photo viewer can come in handy. A good, feature rich photo viewer will compliment your camera whether it be a stand alone digital camera or the on-board camera on your phone. To see how well the Resco Photo Viewer 7 Beta measures up to the "awesome" status, follow the break.

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Review: SBSH GoNews Touch

One of the things that I like about technology is that it is often the simplest solution to the simplest of problems that affect our lives the most. A perfect example of this is RSS feeds. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a method of delivering or receiving a series of articles in a central location. For example, I read an odd assortment of computer, gadget and sports news every day. Instead of visiting each site multiple times throughout the day, I can make use of the provided RSS feeds and a feed aggregator (I personally use Google Reader) to read all of the news in a central location.

Because of its simplicity, RSS works extremely well with mobile devices. A quick search on this site will return reviews of several RSS readers that offer differing features for various prices (this is one reason why we love Windows Mobile as a platform). One product that has caught my attention recently is GoNews Touch by SBSH.

 

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11

Review: moTweets

As Twitter garners more and more of a following, it becomes crucial to be able to follow and manage tweets while mobile. Up to this point some of our favorite Windows Mobile clients have been Twikini and PockeTwit. A new contestant is making a play for this segment. Panoramic Software of Phone Genius fame recently launched moTweets, a Twitter application for Windows Mobile Professional devices.

We’ve put moTweets through its paces; the verdict follows.

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7

Review: Documents To Go Premium Edition

Every once in a while, you come across something that Windows Mobile does fairly well, but doesn’t quite handle everything that you throw in its direction. The Office applications that are built into Windows Mobile are a great example.

Documents To Go has been one of the leading applications for viewing and editing Microsoft Office documents for many years. With each release of Windows Mobile however, native Office support has been improved to include new features. Where does that leave Documents To Go and its $29.95 price tag? The answer to that and more are on the other side of the break.

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