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Top Twelve Windows Mobile apps for the 700w

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

Travel Applications

8. Co-Pilot Live, $299-$199 [ Info ]

There are so many GPS applications for the Pocket PC platform that selecting one can be difficult. They all have more or less the same functionality and are capable of getting you from one point to another. Some have both visual and audio turn-by-turn guidance. Some have a bigger database of Points of Interest. What sets Co-Pilot Live apart, and the reason I selected it for my Treo 700W, is the �Live� aspect of its name. This program can actually monitor road conditions on your route and warn you. If there is a traffic accident or natural disaster ahead, such as a flood, mudslide, washed out bridge or forest fire, Co-Pilot live would give an appropriate warning and re-route to your destination.

What makes this monitoring and communication possible is the Treo 700W�s ability to establish a wireless Internet connection for this purpose. You can program the time interval between connect sessions.

Why pay $2500 or more for a car-bound GPS console that you cannot remove from the car and that only does one thing? Instead, equip your multifaceted, multifunctional little personal assistant with Co-Pilot Live. It will cost you $299 if you need a Bluetooth receiver to communicate with the satellites. If you already have a receiver, the software costs $199.

It works on a boat, a plane, a helicopter, a motorcycle, or a bike. Use it on hunting or camping trips, for hiking or geocaching. What a great use for the built-in Bluetooth capability of your Treo 700W.

I particularly appreciate Co-Pilot Live�s 1 GB SD card preloaded with map data for the United States and Canada. Accordingly, you no longer have to swap data as you travel, a huge convenience.

9. WorldMate Pro, $74.95 [ Info ]

I can�t think of any single tool that will do more for a traveler than WorldMate Pro. With 14 different services, it�s like having a travel agent in your pocket. In fact, this fantastic program will do more for you than any travel agent I ever had, and it�s your constant companion.

With your yearly subscription ($74.95), you can access the OAG (Official Airline Guide)--the same source travel agents use. You can manage your travel itinerary, find worldwide dialing codes, get global weather forecasts right on your desktop, view a world day/night map, convert currencies, and calculate taxes and tips. It gives you built-in size and measurement converting, even a clothing size converter. You can view global weather with satellite imagery.

The comprehensive packing list organizer makes it difficult to leave something crucial behind. Most import is the real-time flight status feature so that you know if your flight's delayed or cancelled allowing you to make alternate plans ahead of the crowd. This feature alone makes it worth its weight in gold.

A year�s subscription costs $74.95, which includes the OAG. An online subscription to the OAG costs $199. Advance information on a single cancelled flight could be worth a lot of money to a businessman or save a family a lot of inconvenience.

Additionally, the program includes a desktop version to sync with your handheld. About the only thing it doesn�t do is book flights, which I would put on my wish list, along with a database of airline and airport codes. The ability to book flights is a more important, because many online booking services will not work with a handheld device browser. When you visit, select Pocket PC; do not select Windows Mobile Smartphone.

10. Keep Track Professional Edition, $24.95 [ Info | Buy ]

What I like about Keep Track is simply its simplicity, and it fits my needs perfectly. All I want is a handy means of tracking my expenses while traveling. Of course Keep Track will do far more than that with such tasks as withdrawals, deposits, checks, charges, credits, debits, advances, payments, transfers, and cash expenses. It will handle running balances, secure with passwords, and has custom categories and notes.

You can export its data in QIF format to Quicken or MS Money, and synchronize your records with the desktop version. This easy-to-use utility makes my financial travel record-keeping a cinch.

Enrichment applications

11. MobiPocket Reader, $19.95 [ Info ]
Wordbook, $19.95 [ Info ]

These work together so well that I'd hate to think of one without the other, even though each is perfectly capable of standing alone. I chose MobiPocket eBook reader because it handles so many different platforms and formats from plain text to HTML to Word docs to Palm prc. No other reader is so versatile. MobiPocket costs $19.95. You can download a free trial version. After the trial version expires, some of the advanced features are disabled. If you don�t flash the cash, you can still use its basic features for free.

The features include type sizing, font selection, cleartype, choice of type colors, choice of background colors, fast search, bookmarks, word lookups, notations, drawing in colors, and adjustable speed scrolling.

It�s not just an eBook reader. A conversion utility that comes with it will publish documents as eBooks in various formats, as long as you do not sell them. You can buy a MobiPocket publisher that addresses digital rights issues and allows you to sell the results.

MobiPocket is also an excellent news aggregator in all the popular formats. So, if you�re wondering why I haven�t recommended a newsreader, it�s because you get an excellent one at no extra charge with MobiPocket.

You can load any manner of literature or non-fiction into this eBook reader, including sacred scriptures, porno, dictionaries, encyclopedias, romance novels, and the latest blockbuster.

Since you can load dictionaries into MobiPocket why would I recommend a standalone dictionary? Here�s the reason: WordBook is superior to any dictionary available for MobiPocket. Dictionaries in MobiPocket only work within that application. WordBook works in all applications. With its WordPicker feature turned on, an icon appears in the task bar. Highlight a word in any application, even on the Web, tap on the WordPicker icon, and up pops the definition. Pretty cool, huh?

In the graphic, notice the little eyedropper in the task bar; that�s the WordPicker icon.

WordBook has a speech recognition engine that pronounces words, which is good for people learning English. WordBook also comes with a free PC desktop version and an array of foreign dictionaries you can download for free from the company's website. WordBook even allows design-your-own database/dictionary. Finally, you can search for words using wildcards and �sounds-like� criteria.

A terrific crossword puzzle companion, it will also do anagrams. Can you see why it�s my dictionary of choice? Have you ever tried to look up just one word in a dictionary? I find it similar to eating potato chips�can�t eat just one.

Treo as radio

12. Pocket Radio, $19.95 [ Info | Buy ]

Music should be part of everyone�s life because it is uplifting and inspiring. Well, I can�t say that about some �music� I�ve heard lately, but even that cacophony must be inspiring to some people.

I liked Pocket Radio for several reasons. One is: it just plain works, even over a slow dialup connection. I was ready to rail against Palm for not including WiFi on its 700W, an omission I don�t understand. I suspect it is probably Verizon�s doing because it wanted customers to pay extra to use the wireless network. EVDO may be faster than dialup, but it doesn�t compare to a WiFi connection.

Once in a while EVDO�s streaming is interrupted for buffering, which probably would not happen with WiFi and a larger memory. I can�t wait for my new WiFi card to arrive to try it out, but there goes my ability to do any serious recording with the expansion slot eaten up by a WiFi card instead of a memory card. I wouldn�t complain if you could get a 4GB WiFi card.

By the way, you cannot connect while the 700W is docked to a PC. You may only connect with a phone connection, probably Verizon at work behind the scenes again.

Pocket Radio has 160 pre-programmed choices of stations all over the world in 14 genres that run the gamut. Most of the stations are commercial free, so it�s much like having satellite radio playing on your 700W. There are six keys you can program with your favorite stations. You can easily add more stations to the playlist and. As they play, the song title and artist scrolls across the screen, another nice feature. But you can also turn off the screen to save battery life. (Another good reason to carry a spare, charged Treo battery if you�re not gonna be around AC or DC sockets or don�t want to stuff charging cables in your pockets).

What�s really cool about this little tune grabber is that you can actually record incoming programming or your favorite tunes in MP3 format to a storage card. Try that with a costly satellite radio subscription.


So there are my top twelve Treo 700w picks. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. It wasn�t easy narrowing the field from thousands of possibilities to a mere dozen. I�ll be reviewing a plethora of software and peripherals for the 700W, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, I want to hear about your experiences with any of these products and about applications that you recommend or your must-haves.

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