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SyncTalk 2.0

Wed Feb 28, 2001 - 9:42 AM EST - By Scott Hanselman

The Interface

The sparse and confusing user interface is the most glaring problem with SyncTalk. Don't get me wrong, SyncTalk works fine. It does everything it says it can do. But it feels like a 0.8 version, certainly not "2.0 Professional." The Syncing Framework and the XML Format that is used to transfer information are certainly technically impressive. But the user interface is vague and kludgy. There is a View Menu that allows switching between Addresses, a single Date, a Date Range, and Memos. It doesn't allow you to select Addresses based on Category, specific Appointments within a Date Range, or ToDos.

Screenshot on PalmIf you look at the screen shots, you can see that SyncTalk simply isn't very pretty. It's not pretty on any System. Perhaps this is a minor issue for you. But I'm used to my applications being both functional and attractive. Crypic buttons, scrollbars in Message Boxes, weird Dialog Box painting - all these issues (present on each Operating System's version of SyncTalk) show a lack of both attention to detail, and respect for the unique style of each Handheld.  SyncTalk also takes quite a while to run on the Pilot, so long in fact, it puts up a "Starting SyncTalk" message. It takes even longer to shutdown, putting up an "Exiting SyncTalk" message. Generally SyncTalk doesn't feel like a typical Palm application. SyncTalk's built in Help System consists of a Message Box with a scroll bar. You can only see 3 lines of a help text file inside this Message Box. This help system is so useless as to be unusable. The help system is the same on each Operating System. Even on my Windows CE system with a 640x480 color screen, I was greeted with a tiny message box with the same text file, masquerading as a Help System.

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