Home > Wireless > Pocket PC Software suggestions Pocket PC Software suggestions Eugenia Loli 2005-05-15 Wireless 23 Comments For those lucky to have a Pocket PC PDA, here is a list of freeware applications that any user should have installed. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 23 Comments 2005-05-15 6:19 am “Lucky” is an overstatement IMHO. Maybe it’s because my old iPAQ 3870 was too early a specimen of the PocketPC legacy to be considered evolved enough, or the fact that I haven’t tried recent Palm PDAs, but I generally find the PDA being a poor replacement for a laptop, and awfully clumsy and not sufficiently more powerful compared to a (smart)phone. I mean, after the initial novelty thing (and I’ve tried *everything*, including most PocketPC software as well as Familiar/GPE/Opie) wears off, what’s it for? A fancy calendar? (well, reading AvantGo or RSS could perhaps be considered useful if you’ve got the time to read it on-the-go, e.g. when commuting). I’ve asked other people (and read the list Eugenia linked to above), but no one can come up with anything *truly* useful. And until it becomes truly useful, I’d rather have the much smaller form factor of a mobile (smart)phone (even a mid range phone like the Sony Ericsson K700i packs a lot of punch these days!). Anyway, this is just my own humble opinion, feel free to disagree… 2005-05-15 6:24 am It would be nice to see a list of suggested applications for Palm based handhelds, since I got one of those I haven’t found much software for it and I haven’t found a good way of writing my own palm software. 2005-05-15 6:30 am There are three levels of usage for a PDA: 1. Business usage (yes, the fancy calendar thing) 2. Real work with it (e.g. medical people) 3. Gadgeteers (people like me, usually doing multimedia or games or quick internet access) If you are on No1 the PDA can be really useful if you commute or travel a lot for business and you use it as complimentary to your laptop for quick data access. If you not travel/commute then a laptop-only is a better solution. If you belong on No2, then you would use the PDA only at work. If you belong on No3, chances are that you don’t really use it a lot, usually when traveling or when away. So, if you don’t belong in any of these three categories of people, no wonder you find the PDAs useless. A PDA is not for everyone, that’s for sure. 2005-05-15 6:32 am I might write one soon. For now, I highly suggest the Today freeware app: http://nikman.k2.net/today/ and JpegView (for PalmOS5 only), AvantGo and Acrobat. 2005-05-15 6:46 am I was given a Pocketpc recently and this article was a nice heads up about some of the software out there for it. The IM client in particular looks interesting. However, I’m not sure how to install these programs without a Windows PC and ActiveSync. Some software has CAB files or whatever that are executable on the PPC, but most seem to need to be installed from the PC. So, anyone know how to install such software from a Linux PC? I own VMWare with a Windows virtual PC, but Linux doesn’t want to give up control of the device when I try and use that, and it won’t let me rmmod the module at fault. 2005-05-15 6:54 am If there is no .cab file available for download for the application you want to install, then you are out of luck. You must either find a way to make the sync work through VMWare (or Qemu or Win4Lin) or you will need a real Windows partition. BTW, if there is a .cab file available, unfortunately it will automatically install in the RAM instead of ROM/CF/SD cards and that will take away valuable RAM space. To force Windows to not uncompress the .cab file in the RAM, use this utility: http://freewareppc.com/utilities/cabinstl.shtml 2005-05-15 10:20 am 1. Business usage (yes, the fancy calendar thing) 2. Real work with it (e.g. medical people) 3. Gadgeteers (people like me, usually doing multimedia or games or quick internet access) IMO PDA buyers are usually from group #3 thinking they might fit on #1 or #2, during an impulsive moment at the duty free shop 2005-05-15 10:51 am 1. Business usage (yes, the fancy calendar thing) 2. Real work with it (e.g. medical people) 3. Gadgeteers (people like me, usually doing multimedia or games or quick internet access) 1. use a Powerbook, it wakes from sleep just as fast, and can do a lot more. Unless your day is spent meeting to meeting, and you must travel to each it’s overkill for a simple sheet of paper for the day’s activities. 2. Real work people need a screen. tablet are best for those spots. Unfortunately they are to heavy, run to hot, and don’t have the battery life needed. On a small screen your making to many adjustments to the screen and crazy inputing instead of writing it down and moving on. 3. These people buy anything(opens desk drawer and looks at old visor). I find it far easier to carry a semi-smart phone(Motorola v551) It can store all my contacts, can give me a calendar, and it now sync’s with my powerbook(yea tiger!) anything new I need to add(phone numbers can go in right away), get written down put into the same pocket as the phone and entered later. 2005-05-15 11:14 am hi everybody i live in argentina (the developing world) and here you nay add another category: students for us a laptop computer is really expensive (perhaps 3 or 4 salaries) and a pda ( i own a tungten e) is a cheap and convenient way to study on a bar (starbucks like) carry on the papers and researchs, power point, word, etc…. imho, for this segment of user a clamshell pda (like the classic emate 300 from apple) will be a huggggggggggeeeee product enjoy the weekend 2005-05-15 12:17 pm Hello Eugenia. We haven’t talked for a while now. The list of applications is nice. I agree that a similar list for Palm would benefit a lot of people Unfortunately for me, I have yet to find a PDA I can use successfully. I am one of those people who disrupt electronic devices. I cannot use a PDA without an almost constant backup. At any time, I can be working on one and have it totally bollixed. OS, Apps, and data are all trashed. The only option I have is Reset and any data not backed up is lost forever. However, I have co-workers that use them all the time and seems to find them very useful. Later. . . 2005-05-15 1:06 pm For linux there are a program named cabextract that extract the contents of Microsoft cabinet archives: http://freshmeat.net/projects/cabextract/ But I recommend put one program in your PocketPC PDAs: http://familiar.handhelds.org/ PocketPC is a toy OS and you will have to buy many proprietary programs to make it usefull. With my iPAQ with Linux I have a great OS and tons of free (as freedom) programs. 2005-05-15 1:12 pm Theres a lot of palm websites.. http://www.palmgear.com http://www.freewarepalm.com http://www.palmgamingworld.com http://www.palmblvd.com etc etc 2005-05-15 1:50 pm One thing is missing on for what to do with a PDA: car navigation With a GPS receiver and the nav software this is truely useful. Not as good as build-in nav and not as good as a dedicated device, but it is still relatively cheap and very useful to find the destinations. Otherwise it can be used to transfer files from other PCs if you do not have a USB stick with you but the PDA with a memory card. Also you can store images from the camera to the PDA, if you happen to have USB host capability. So it is like a more complicated but small and carryable laptop for some uses 2005-05-15 2:31 pm I use my palm so that I always have everyone’s phone number on the go, an encrypted password database (and other important sequences like account numbers, PINs, etc), eBook reader (by far the most common use for me). Some things I would LOVE – wifi + IM. Checking email. Skype on PPC sounds pretty cool, too. 2005-05-15 3:43 pm If you own a PocketPC or a PalmOS handheld, I would also check out the following: Repligo (Portable Document Viewer) http://www.repligo.com eReader (excellent book reader and books) http://www.ereader.com 2005-05-15 4:21 pm ebook reader is about the only thing I found a use for. The problem then becomes I read to fast for it. i find I am nearly constantly scrolling. That doesn’t help things any. odd question what passwords do you need while on the go that you can’t memorize? or pins’s even? If I need to make a purchase off of ebay or ubid I just send the auction home, if I can’t get home in time I didn’t really need it or it will be back. 2005-05-15 6:00 pm Repligo looks sweet, thanks! As for eReader, MSReader seems to be doing the same job… 2005-05-16 2:44 am I use mine to sync my email and calendar at work and carry it with me. The pocket pc is important for attachments that I get, even though pocket word isn’t quite what it could be. It’s alot handier than my powerbook G4 12″ so I use them both alot. I plan to try out most of those on the list. Thanks! 2005-05-16 4:35 am i found this site before, it has cab installers alot of great freeware: http://people.freenet.de/FreeCabs/index.html definitely check out mortplayer and agile messanger 2005-05-16 7:39 am they changed the name to “windows mobile” 2005-05-16 9:34 am eReader (excellent book reader and books) 2005-05-16 9:45 am As for eReader, MSReader seems to be doing the same job… No, they are different in format, and the availability of books are very different, depending on the subject. For example, I could not find any decent reference dictionaries for Microsoft Reader sofar, but there are plenty for eReader (including Merriam-Webster Unabridged). The two readers als diverge significantly in term of interoperatibility. You can get eReader very easily to run under Wine and read e-books with Linux, for example. Or Microsoft Reader has a much more strict DRM, and you need to activate your desktop computer first. 2005-05-16 5:10 pm I’ve got computers, a laptop, and a pda. Each device is completely different for me and aside from the web browser, I have almost all apps are different. For the naysayers, I can’t imagine trying to use a ibook or smartphone in its place. The Handwriting notes feature is much too convenient to be duplicated on these other form factors. Of course, now I’ll disclose that I only have 2 of the apps from the list installed.