Software Reviews

11

Review: QoreFunctions PushEffect

Push email is one of those things that could be considered the Holy Grail of mobile communications. For those of us that connect to a Microsoft Exchange Server on a daily basis, we’ve been experiencing this phenomenon for a while now. The problem is that Windows Mobile doesn’t support push email standards like IMAP Idle, which are supported by Google’s Gmail and other free email providers. Workarounds have been detailed on this site in the past to receive notifications from Gmail in particular. Everything from third party mail apps to simply forwarding a text message to your phone have been suggested.

PushEffect by QoreFunctions is a utility that enables push email on your Windows Mobile device. It uses existing technologies and a small application that runs in the background to accomplish this task. There are some caveats to getting this working with your email provider of choice. I’ve got the full rundown for you after the break.

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5

Short Take: Skyfire 1.0 on WM Standard

A few weeks ago the mobile browser Skyfire 1.0 was released for Windows Mobile. We took a look at it on the AT&T Fuze and found it to be a decent browser with a good bit of potential.

We had the opportunity to review the Samsung Jack and taking advantage of having a Windows Mobile Standard phone in the house, Skyfire 1.0 was installed and taken for a test drive. Follow the break to see how well Skyfire matches up with Windows Mobile Standard.

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2

Review: Handy Assistant for Windows Mobile

Paragon Software has developed an interesting application designed to help Windows Mobile users manage their phone more conveniently. Handy Assistant is described as your personal mobile secretary that manages your incoming calls and profiles. The application gives you the ability to establish groups of contacts and define how your phone will react to each, record calls, block calls, and manage profiles. Follow the break for more on this phone management application.

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7

Review: Vlingo Beta for Windows Mobile

Vlingo is an application that has been floating around the Blackberry and iPhone circuit for a while now, and the company has just opened a beta version for a limited number of Windows Mobile phones. What is Vlingo you ask?

According to their website: "Vlingo lets you control your mobile phone with the power of voice. With Vlingo, you can simply speak to your phone to send a text or email message, call a friend, search the mobile web, update your social status, and more." Sounds a lot like MS Voice Command to me, and the upcoming TellMe on Windows Mobile 6.5.

Follow the break for more information on this Windows Mobile Beta application.

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A little awhile ago, we talked about the special Vito Tuned In package roundup, so I wanted to take a closer look at each of the software titles offered in it. We have been impressed with many of Vito’s products in the past (i.e. Vito Roundup, Vito Voice 2 Go, Vito Audio Player, Vito Winterface, Vito Astro Navigator II,) so I was very interested in checking out three of their audio programs. These include Vito Audio Explorer, Vito Audio Notes, and Vito Ringtone Editor. To see if Vito has lived up to the high standards that they have set or if they fall short, you will have to read on with the full review inside…
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Smart Tweaker 2008

One of the reasons I love WM so much is the ability to tweak and optimize the phone to my liking by editing the registry.  If you don't know about editing the registry (or want to learn about it) then take a look at our WM Registry Editing Tutorial or if you want to do some of the most common registry edits then you can browse through the Registry Edits That We Love.   But if you are too scared or too lazy to do any registry edits yourself, then you will probably be very interested knowing that there are programs out there that will add a safety net between you and the registry by doing all of the registry edits for you. 

One of those programs is called Smart Tweaker 2008.  It is a program that has a collection of registry edits making it fast and easy.  The downside to some of these types of programs is that you are limited to only the registry edits that they include.  If it is comprehensive, it is not an issue.  But if it is limited, then you end up going to the registry to do the edits not included.  Is Smart Tweaker 2008 worth the money?  Read on to find out...

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Elecont Weather gets a makeover

Some time ago we took a look at Elecont Weather and found it to be a very good weather application for your Windows phone. Since our first look at Elecont Weather, the software company has run the application through a makeover of sorts.

Version 1.0.904 has an increased extended forecast, hourly forecasts, barometric readings and a few other changes intended to improve the weather application. Follow the break to see if the latest version of Elecont Weather has a sunny forecast or if overcast skies are in order.

Read on for more.

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As GPS starts to become more of a standard feature in cell phones we are going to continue to see a lot of new and inventive ways to use it. I have always been a big GPS fan.  I have been using a wide range of different GPS software applications on my cell phone ever since I bought my first Bluetooth enabled WM phone along with a Bluetooth GPS unit 5 years ago. But now with GPS built into so many cell phones, GPS applications are even that much easier to use… and become a lot more affordable with a wider market to sell to. How would you like to use your GPS on your cell phone to track your trip across the country and have it posted live on the GPSed website (either publically or privately in your own personal GPSed account) or live on Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, or MySpace? Imagine going on a bike trip and you wanted to share your trip with your friends on your Facebook page along with GPS tagged photos along the way and Waypoints (GPS bookmarks) with your own personal summary of any point of interest.Or do you think it would be cool to be able track any cell phone in your family to see exactly where they are… or send an SMS message to anyone you want with your exact location, even if they do not have a GPS enabled phone, so they can meet right up with you? All of these promised features are what caught my eye with GPSed. Now I have taken it on the road, I have used it all around town for both work and family and I wanted to share what I found.  Take a peek inside to see if GPSed really does deliver on all these sounds-to-good-to-be-true promises… 
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20

A closer look at the HTC Fuze ROM update

 

The on-again, off-again ROM Update for the AT&T Fuze seems to have stabilized with fewer "Oh No! 404" errors popping up when you go to it's download link. Having had success at downloading the update and avoiding the dreaded error messages, we have installed the update on the Fuze and while the new update started a little rocky, things settled down and liked what we have found.

We promise no "404" errors are present after the break, only our observations on the updated ROM.

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7

Review: Fizz Alarms

One thing that’s nice about having a Windows Mobile Device is that (ironically) Microsoft offers one of the more open mobile operating systems on the market. The ability to choose your hardware form factor, and then customize your device with applications and settings gives you more flexibility than any competitor.

The best applications (particularly for the mobile environment) are often some of the simplest. Many are simple upgrades to applications that may come pre-installed on your device. Fizz Alarms qualifies for both of these statements. Using your cell phone as an alarm clock is nothing new. Many Americans have stopped wearing watches in lieu of utilizing their cell phone to tell the time. Fizz Alarms attempts to improve upon the simplicity, power and flexibility offered to you by a digital watch while utilizing the hardware that you already carry around in your pocket.

To see all of the features in detail, this is the place to be.

 

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3

Review: Call of Duty Two

I have always been a FPS (first person shooter) and WWII genre game fan. I have played all of the Call Of Duty (COD) games on my desktop since the conception of the franchise. That is why when I say COD2 was available for PPC along with my new Touch Pro with an insane amount of memory and decent processor, I was itching to give it try. I have to be honest that even with some apprehension about how good a FPS shooter could be ported over to a PPC while keeping it easy to control and without bogging down even the highest end phones, I have to admit that I was amazed. To find out all the details and see all the screen shots, take a look inside at WMExpert's full review.

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1

Review: TomeRaider 3

The ebook market keeps trying to get off the ground.  In the early days of ebooks, Microsoft and Adobe were the heavy hitters, both pushing their respective software and ebook formats. Both gained momentum, sputtered and died.  The second wave of ebooks has been with hardware readers from Sony and Amazon. The Kindle and the Kindle II have become one of the more sought after gadgets on the market.

The end result of this instability is that the little fish in the ebook pond have been able to garner something of a cult following. One such little fish is TomeRaider. While it doesn’t have the backing of a heavyweight like Microsoft or Adobe (or even Amazon), TomeRaider makes up for this in a number of other ways.

To see what TomeRaider has to offer, follow the link.

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10

Review WMWifiRouter

Have you ever been on the road with work or on vacation and wished you could tap into the internet with your laptop, but don't have anyway of doing it? With this in mind, how cool would it be to be able to turn your WM phone into a WiFi router anywhere you are to access the internet? Sound a little far fetched? Well, that is exactly what WMWifiRouter does!

WMWifiRouter has a large fan base in the WM community, dating all the way back to its free beta days. Now WMWifiRouter ver 1.25 (which was just released in November 2008) has matured and grown into a full fledged commercial product. Some of the questions I explore and answer are... how easy is it to use no matter if you are an novice or expert? Is it worth the one time $29 USD (19 euro)? And simply, does it work and deliver on its promise?

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21

Software Keyboard Roundup

One of the big selling points of Windows Mobile at this point is the amount of choice you have when you are looking to buy a device. Whereas some of Microsoft’s competitors in the Smartphone market are pushing one piece if hardware on one carrier, you can find Windows Mobile phones in all shapes and sizes on your carrier of choice. Honestly it’s kind of ironic that Microsoft is one of the more “open” or “accessible” choices when it comes to buying a handheld.

A priority when choosing a new piece of Windows Mobile hardware is what input method you prefer to use. I think most of us would agree that the software keyboard in Windows Mobile leaves a bad taste in your mouth, especially when compared to what is offered on some of the more popular hardware on the market.

With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at a small selection of what is available from third party developers in the way of software keyboards.

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11

Roundup: Mobile Photo Viewers

 

For anyone who has lifted a camera to take a picture of their favorite place, children, friends or a memorable event there is a compulsion to share those photographs with others. Historically, you either had to trap someone in front of an old Kodak slide projector or have the wallet photos get crushed from everything else that was in your wallet. Gone are those days of peeling pictures out from behind your library card.

Your Windows Mobile device is already fitted with a basic viewer but what if you want more?  The other day we touched on SPB's Imageer, a photo manager/editing application for Windows Mobile but what other applications are out there if you don't need the editing capabilities but do need the organization and viewing abilities?

Several photo viewers are available for your Windows Mobile device that lets you share your favorite photos without the mess of wallet photos or the torture of a slide projector. Viewers that let you organize, view, and send your photos to friends and family.  We decided to look at a few of the photo viewers that are available for Windows Mobile devices.  I've been known to take a few pictures here and there(shameless plug) so it was interesting to see how these mobile photo managers measured up.

Read on after the break to see what photo viewers made it out of the darkroom and which ones ended up being overexposed.

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Review: SPB Puzzle

SPB Software has announced the release of SPB Puzzle, a classic jigsaw puzzle game for your Windows Mobile, touch screen phone. We received an advanced copy of SPB Puzzle and took it out for a test drive. Follow the break for our impressions and a few screen shots.

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Review: SPB Imageer

For some, the camera on your Windows Mobile phone is an everyday tool. From snapping photos for your address book to capturing a scenic shot as you drive down the road these cameras can get a good work out. SPB Software is offering an application, SPB Imageer, that will allow you to organize these photos, upload them directly to your Flickr account and edit them.

To see how useful SPB Imageer can be for your mobile photography needs, follow the break.

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