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Top Twelve Windows Mobile apps for the 700w

Thu May 11, 2006 - 1:36 PM EDT - By Tim Hillebrand


This article introduces my top twelve picks for productivity and enrichment software for your Treo 700W. I�ve mostly skipped specialty and entertainment programs in favor of more general applications.

In the Windows world, Windows Mobile Smartphone is a completely different operating system from Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PC. I point this out so you won�t download applications for Smartphone Edition and try to run them on your Treo, (despite the fact that Treo is commonly referred to as a �smartphone�, that term means something else to the boys in Redmond). They will not work. Only Pocket PC applications function on a Treo 700W.

A PDA can help you with virtually every facet of your life from social aspects to professional matters, from investing to health, to travel and recreation. P. G. Wodehouse�s Jeeves pales in comparison. I have no doubt that Bernie Wooster would have committed unspeakable crimes for a Treo 700W, and I wouldn�t blame him. Let�s investigate a dozen things your Treo 700W can do for you, with some add-on software.

Instant desktop access

1. Pocket Plus $24.95, and Pocket Diary $9.95 [ Info | Buy ]

A good desktop management utility is essential. Why tap your life away in search of applications, files, folders, or system information, when you could access them directly from the desktop? There are several candidates worthy of your consideration.

The desktop organizer I selected for my Treo 700W is SPB Softwarehouse�s Pocket Plus because it has programmable tabs for organizing applications into your choice of categories, and you can organize every aspect so easily. For instance, drag and drop icons within a tab or between tabs. Or, add or delete multiple files, folders, and items in one operation.

In addition, Pocket Plus puts a battery bar across the top of the screen in every program, so you always know the state of the battery. Its task manager navigates among programs. While Windows Mobile multi-tasks, programs that don�t close completely can be a drag on the system. The Pocket Plus task manager can close any or all programs easily, right from the desktop.

The program permits viewing files, and it can zip (compress) them, with encryption for greater security. In Pocket Internet Explorer, you can have multiple windows, full screen mode, save as, and source viewing. With Pocket Plus, you can reprogram your hardware buttons for dual functions. One of its greatest virtues is that it permits starting your machine in safe mode, just like Windows XP, to troubleshoot and perhaps sidestep a hard-reset.

Part of good desktop management is the ability to view your contacts, calendar, messages, and tasks at will from the Today screen. For this purpose, there are several outstanding products. I like Pocket Diary, which is a Pocket Plus desktop plug-in. It can reside in its own panel on the desktop, or you can invoke it from within Pocket Plus, either as an icon or as a separate tab. Pocket Diary also works seamlessly with both Agenda Fusion and Pocket Informant, if you want even greater PIM sophistication. I count Pocket Plus and Pocket Diary as a single application because they are so intimately integrated.

Exploring files

2. Resco File Explorer 2005, $24.95 [ Info | Buy ]

This must-have utility delves into the deposits of your 700W. Its multifunctional file manager is more than a super shovel. It can copy, move, paste, or delete files, create folders, run programs with arguments, and conduct searches. It can encrypt files for enhanced security, supports zip compression, and functions as a network browser. It comes with a built-in picture viewer, supports multiple languages, and lets you beam files via IR and Bluetooth. It also provides a registry editor.

Its Today screen plug-in displays battery and memory status and acts as a program launcher, although it�s nowhere near as full-featured as the ones mentioned above. Another feature I appreciate is the recycle bin. It supports the Treo 700W�s square screen nicely.

I�ve got a little list

3. ListPro, $24.95 [ Info | Buy ]

Everyone knows that lists increase efficiency. I constantly make lists for all manner of things to keep me moving ahead. I honestly don�t know what I would do without ListPro to assist me. I recommend the Professional Edition which will synchronize with Windows desktop. A completely customizable list database that�s simple to use, it supports alarms, hyperlinks, and calculated columns. Ilium Software even has live support if you need any guidance, but I imagine, like the Maytag repairman, it�s a lonely business.

4. FlexWallet, $24.95 [ Buy ]

Whether you know it or not, you absolutely need a secure wallet where you can store personal information where it is safe and easily accessible. Some of the excellent choices include CodeWallet, MyCodes, MobileWallet, and eWallet to mention of few. While I highly recommend eWallet, I have picked FlexWallet for my 700W because I�ve used it for years, and I�m satisfied with its functionality. Besides, I�m too lazy to convert all the information to another application. FlexWallet encrypts your data and double password protects it.

The hierarchical file structure is capable of multiple level categories and sub-categories. You can drag and drop items wherever you wish in the file tree. FlexWallet offers pre-designed templates that cover just about any kind of data types, from credit cards to CD collections, but it also allows custom-design templates. Conveniently you can search for information across all the files. FlexWallet comes with over 100 attractive icons for cards and categories. You can even modify the color of the type face and the background to suit your tastes or topics.

Important housekeeping utilities

5. SPB Backup, $19.95 [ Info | Buy ]

Microsoft proudly points out that you don�t lose anything from memory if you have to hard-reset a Windows Mobile 5 device. This is only true if the data reside in main memory, a finite resource. Most people store data and install programs on expansion memory cards. After a hard-reset, you will have to reinstall all the applications residing on a memory card, a pain in the posterior. That is, unless you have a reliable backup agent such as SPB Backup.

The screenshot pretty much tells the story. With this program, you can make scheduled backups and do full or custom backups of selected elements. The process results in a self-executing, compressed, encrypted file that you can keep on a storage card. If you never need it, so much the better.

Memory management

6. MemMaid, $14.95 [ Info ]

The Treo 700W does not have a lot of memory to spare, and to run at peak efficiency, you must keep it lean and mean. This is a daunting, time-consuming chore, and you have to know what you�re doing lest you erase critical files. Why not let MemMaid do it for you with a couple of taps? It will scan and detect files and registry entries that hog memory and remove them. It wipes files completely instead of just deleting them.

MemMaid gets rid of temp files, bad uninstall files, and the browser cache, and it will eliminate such clutter as cookies, browser history, and the phone logs that pile up rapidly. It will close unused programs and clean the notification queue.

Without MemMaid, your 700W will soon be a corpulent computer in serious need of a diet and a purge. The program lets you specify what programs will run at startup.

7. Pocket Controller Professional, $34.95 [ Info | Buy ]

You must be wondering by now how I got all the great screen shots in this article. I would have found it difficult without an indispensable utility called Pocket Controller. It captures any screen on a 700w. You can either save to file or to clipboard memory for pasting into an application such as PowerPoint.

Pocket Controller is skinnable. That means that you can download a frame depicting your particular handheld device. The live screenshot shows within the image, as you can see below.

With PocketController the screen of your PPC on your PC monitor is live and interactive. That means that you can push the buttons and input directly into your PPC from your desktop keyboard. This is a nice feature if you have to do a lot of inputting on the handheld. You can completely control a handheld device from the PC desktop, a great way to give presentations. You can even install software and synchronize with PocketController. Frankly, I could not exist without this indispensable tool.

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