Software Applications Palm OS PDA's

AvantGo
Allows you to download internet pages to your Palm OS device via the PC Desktop. If you have a color PDA, the graphics are displayed in color. You have your choice of downloading predetemined channels available for a multitude of subjects, and/or adding any web page you desire. AvantGo does not support frames, but frames may not be practical with a 160 X 160 resolution. Overall, this software is great and the price is great also, free! I have my entire website and some Palm OS related channels on my IIIc and Visor Prism using AvantGo.

In addition to off-line browsing via the PC Desktop, AvantGo is also a capable on-line browser if you have a line or wireless modem. If you use the Internet, you will probably enjoy this software.

Click here for AvantGo Web Page

Big Clock
Gives a big clock display with date. Also has 4 alarms, several timers, and nice calendar. Nice piece of software, I use it a lot. Great price also - free.
Blazer
A very nice browser, particularly for a first release. This browser downloads the web page text first and then the graphics. You can read the text while waiting for the graphics to download. I used this browser extensively with both the OmniSky wireless modem and the Thinmodem. In all cases, this browser was impressive. The browser does not directly display pages with frames (which would not be practical on a 160 X 160 display). When you enter a URL to a framed paged, a list of all frames on the page is displayed and you choose which frame to download. A nice solution for framed pages, particularly if the web page developer used intuitive names for the frames. In addition to entering any URL you wish, the Blazer interface includes links to many PDA formatted sites. HandSpring has purchased the company that produces Blazer. The initial version of Blazer was free, the newest version is no longer free.
DateBk5
DateBk 5 integrates the Datebook and ToDo List, with views of the Phone and Memo applications. I am very impressed with this application. There are a plethora of display preferences and views to choose from with this application. The documentation is over 70 pages and is needed to describe the wealth of features in this application. The list view and the ability to link an appointment with an address book entry or memo are my favorite features. I have heard some people say there are too many features and the program is cumbersome. I respect their opinion; however, I do not share their opinion. I may not use all the features now but I will use additional features as my needs change. The application is over 405KB; however, the application runs fine in Flash. I run DateBk5 in Flash without any problems. If you have the space available, download the demo and give DateBk5 a spin. Chances are you will really enjoy this application and wonder how you ever operated with just the built in Datebook and ToDo applications.
Date Dif
Allows you to save date calculations. One of the dates can be a system date which allows you to keep track of how many days have passed since an event, or how many days to an event (such as vacation). I use this application a lot.
Documents To Go 5.x/6.x
I had tried previous versions of Documents To Go and, although impressed, I was not impressed enough to purchase any of the prior versions before Version 3. I purchased Documents To Go Pro, Version 3, after using the trial version for only one day and have updated to Versions 4. 5, and 6 since then. Documents To Go allows you to transfer Word, Excel and other popular Word Processing and Spreadsheet documents to your Palm. Prior to Version 3, you could only view the documents on your Palm. Since Version 3, you can edit the documents on your Palm and the edited documents will replace the files on your PC after the next hotsync. Version 6 introduced use of native Word and Excel with Documents to Go. The transfer conduit works very smoothly and is easy to install. I changed the font color in a Word document on the Palm device and the font color was changed in the Word document on my PC after the next hot sync. Overall, I am impressed with the quality of the Word and Excel documents when displayed on the Palm. Although a bit expensive, Documents To Go Pro, Version 6, is an excellent application if you want to have your important Word Processing and Spreadsheet documents on your Palm and have the ability to edit them on either your Palm OS device or PC. I already have dozens of important Word and Excel documents on my Palm and will add more on a regular basis. I have received several native format Excel/Word files on my Palm OS device via email attachments and DocumentsToGo, Version 6.x, displayed them perfectly. Definitely add this software to your evaluation list for word processing/spreadsheet software.

Click here for DocumentsToGo web page

FlashPro
The Palm III has app. 800KB of unused flash memory and the IIIc has app. 568 KB of unused flash memory. I installed FlashPro on the Palm III and immediately transferred 650KB of software to the flash memory. FlashPro installed without any problems and the only software that would not run in flash memory was AportisDoc. When I phased out the III in favor of the IIIc, FlashPro worked fine on the IIIc. I currently run DateBk4 (405KB) and Peanut Reader (95KB) in flash on the IIIc. Check out the FlashPro web site for a list of applications which will run in flash memory. If you have a Palm and could use additional memory, try this software.
HackMaster
If you add software to your Palm, sooner or later, you will need HackMaster. HackMaster is a system extension manager which allows "Hack" files to be installed/uninstalled on your Palm. HackMaster allows software applications to do things that would not normally be possible with the Palm OS. There are many "Hack" files available on the Internet and most of the files add very useful features to your Palm. As with all shareware, please don't forget to register.
Launch 'Em 3
Launch 'Em 3 is an excellent application launcher and is invaluable if you use a large number of applications on your Palm OS device. Launch 'Em 2 uses a tab metaphor and allows you to easily organize your application icons in the tab of your choice. The tab metaphor is very similar to organizing your PC or MAC desktop icons in folders. Desktop folders can be very useful for organizing your PC or MAC desktop icons after adding applications. Launch 'Em 2 performs the same task on your Palm OS device. You can also assign tasks to 10 gadget buttons in a toolbar. The gadget buttons allow you to perform a task by just tapping the gadget button. The gadget buttons are easily customizable and many users keep the default settings which include a gadget button for turning the device off, turning on/off backlight (or display intensity on color devices), beaming applications, and hiding private records. I use the gadget buttons all the time. This application has quickly become one of my "must have" applications.
Iambic Mail
Another impressive software application, particularly for a first release. Iambic Mail allows you to check multiple POP accounts and you select whether to download just the header or the header with the message body. I used this application extensively on my vacation with various modems. In all cases, the software performed well. The downloads were quick, connections hassle free, and the messages easy to read. There are some attachments that will not download (they are probably too large or too complex to display on a 160 X 160 screen); however, overall this mail application met my needs and impressed me. If you need an email application to use with a modem, try the demo of this application.
Iambic Reader
You are probably saying to yourself: "why did he purchase another reader, he already has too many?". I purchased Iambic Reader because it does an impressive job of displaying HTML pages in addition to normal DOC formatted pages. Graphics in the HTML pages are not displayed; however, the text and background are displayed in the font color and style the web page developer designed. The current browsers for the Palm do a really nice job, but one thing they do not do is display the color designated in the font tag (unless the color is black) or display the background color. Iambic Reader does a nice job of displaying fonts in color as well as setting the page background to the designated color. In addition to displaying HTML pages impressively, Iambic Reader is a fine DOC reader for regular DOC formatted documents. Try the demo, you make like it.
JFile Version 5.x
As you probably guessed from reviewing my Palm OS page, I like databases and spreadsheets, two major business applications. ThinkDB was my favorite Palm OS database; it had a lot of nice features and interfaced easily with the PC. The one disappointment I had with ThinkDB (versions 1.4 and 2.01) was the time it took to apply filters. I have a 3000 record database that I use almost daily and apply several filters during each use. It was not uncommon for ThinkDB to take 14 to 16 seconds to complete a filter. I am not thrashing ThinkDB, it is an excellent database application with a lot to like. However, my priority is execution speed when applying filters.

I had heard of JFile, but had never used it. I saw a posting on the web about the latest version of JFile speeding up filter operations significantly. As filter execution speed is a priority for me, I downloaded a demo. I converted my 3000 record database to JFile Version 4 format and hotsynced my Visor Prism. I applied one of my usual filters and JFile Version 4.2 returned the results in about 6 seconds. Sold, I immediately purchased a registered copy and now use JFile Version daily. The time between downloading a demo of JFile Version 4.x and a registered copy was about 10 minutes, a new record for me. I recently upgrade to JFile Version 5 and this latest version has the same fast filter execution speed that I experienced with JFile 4.

JFile does not have the form design, reporting capability, or relational capabiltity of some other Palm OS databases; however, it is very fast in executing filter operations. If you are in the market for a Palm OS database, include a demo of JFile in your evaluation. If filter/search execution speed is important to you, you will be impressed with JFile.

Click here for JFile web page

Peanut (Palm) Reader
Allows you to read ebooks in the Peanut Press format. The reader is supplied free with each book you download. The latest version of Peanut Reader works fine in Flash and now can read all DOC files (Palm DOC not Word DOC). I have used the Peanut Reader to read an entire book on my Palm III. Software worked well and the Palm makes a nice ebook reader with the Peanut Reader. Peanut Press has been purchased by Palm
PIMC MiniCalc
A nice spreadsheet for the Palm. You can exchange data with Excel and, although MiniCalc does not support all the Excel functions, MiniCalc does support a good number of spreadsheet functions. Workbooks can contain more than one worksheet. The latest versions of MiniCalc include a charting application. You must remember that you are using a Palm PDA, not a 1 GHZ Pentium III or Athlon. MiniCalc will make your calculations; however, do not expect the instantaneous results for multiple calculations that you get with the latest Intel/Motorola/AMD PC chips. Version 6.0 of MiniCalc has been released and is even more impressive than prior versions. The recalculations seem to be faster, there are more functions supported, and color is now supported. Download a demo and give MiniCalc a try. When Version 6.1 was released, some of my (if)functions did not operate correctly. I emailed tech support and in less than 24 hours, I had version 6.1.1 which still calculated faster while processing all (if) functions correctly. MiniCalc is now my favorite spreadsheet and I use it daily. Outstanding Customer Service!!!
Quicksheet and Quickchart
Quicksheet has always received an excellent rating whenever I read a product review. I can understand why. Quicksheet is a very powerful spreadsheet that integrates nicely with Excel. I imported a six sheet workbook that I use to track tax information in Excel. All the formulas and 3D spreadsheet links worked properly. Quickchart is now included with Quicksheet and gives some nice charting capability to Quicksheet. As with any Palm based spreadsheet, you must remember that you are using a device with a relatively slow processor, not a 1 GHZ Pentium III or Athlon. Unfortunately, I have experienced one limitation of Quicksheet 5, the 75 character limit for formulas or text in one cell (50 characters in version 4). I have one workbook that sums department totals from an alphabetical list and the formula exceeds 75 characters. The formula is truncated to 75 characters when imported from Excel. The 75 character limit is clearly stated in the documentation. You can work around this limitation by using intermediate result cells. IMHO, this 75 character limit detracts from an otherwise excellent program. I hope this limitation is eliminated in future versions.
SnapperMail
I receive many newsletters in HTML format and have been searching for a Palm OS email client with good support for HTML formatted emails. SnapperMail does the best job of rendering HTML emails of any Palm OS email client I have tried. I regularly use SnapperMail on my Tungsten T3 coupled via Bluetooth with my Sony Ericsson T610 phone. I am very happy with the combination and most, not all, email is rendered properly. With other email clients I have tried, all the HTML code was displayed which was very distracting. SnapperMail also includes software to extract ZIP files and read JPEG files. SnapperMail is relatively expensive by Palm OS standards; however, I have found it to be worth the cost. If you in the market for a Palm OS email client, definitely include a demo of SnapperMail in your evaluation.

Click here for SnapperMail web page

SplashPhoto
My current favorite application for displaying pictures on my Clié NX70V and Tungsten C is SplashPhoto. The desktop application allows you to choose bit depth, crop the picture, adjust brightness/contrast, choose a category for the photo and supports the latest HiRes and HiRes+ devices. The quality of the converted JPEG images is excellent and the conversion speed is very fast. SplashPhoto can be run from a VFS storage device and the pictures load quickly from the VFS storage devices as well. I keep the application and pictures on a Memory Stick or SD card.

Click here for SplashPhoto website

ThinkDB - now SmartList To Go
ThinkDB is an excellent database for a Palm OS device. The forms designer is outstanding and allows you to easily customize the way data looks on your Palm OS device. Filters are very powerful and allow more than one restriction per filter using and/or logic. A nice report/statistic feature is included. ThinkDB comes with an easy to use PC desktop to allow data transfer to/from Access 97/2000. I do wish ThinkDB would process filters faster; that is my only disappointment with this otherwise fine database application. With the lastest Palm OS 5 devices, filter execution speed is much quicker. DataViz purchased ThinkDB and renamed the application SmartList to Go. I highly recommend you try Smart List To Goif you have a need for a database on your Palm OS device and you use Access on your PC.
ThoughtMill/ThoughtManager
A nice outlining package for the Palm. Allows you to collapse/expand the levels of the outline and you can use checkmarks when a task is complete. I used ThoughtMill to prepare for my last two vacations and the software worked very well. The latest version of ThoughtMill has been renamed to ThoughtManager.
TinySheet 4.x
One of the first business productivity applications with color support. I am impressed with the color support, nice job. This application accepts multiple sheet workbooks. In addition to exchanging data with Excel, the display on the Palm now looks like an Excel spreadsheet due to the color and interface design. A desktop application is included to allow easy sync of data with Excel. A lot of Excel functions are supported as well. Overall, one of the fine spreadsheets for the Palm OS. You would be wise to include a demo of TinySheet in your spreadsheet evaluation. The latest 4.x version is very fast when loading and performing calculations, a definite plus for me. Currently, this is my favorite spreadsheet.
ToDo Plus
Allows alarms for ToDo list events; also allows repeating tasks to be set up. A nice improvement over built-in ToDo List application.
TomTom Navigator with PalmOne Blutetooth GPS Unit
The TomTom Navigator software in conjunction with a Palm branded bluetooth GPS receiver worked as advertised on my recent trip from Boston, MA to Quebec City/Montreal, Canada and Lake George, NY. I purchased the TomTom Navigator/GPS package in 2004 for $299.00. The TomTom software is running on a PalmOne Tungsten T3. The T3 is attached to my windshield with a suction cup based mounting solution which places the T3 at a nice height for quick viewing. I usually place the bluetooth GPS module on the passenger side of the dashboard. Click here to read more...
Vagablog
Vagablog is a Palm OS application that I use almost daily and has quickly become one of my favorite Palm OS applications. I keep several blogs on my site, but I use Blogger.com for formatting and posting. Before Vagablog, I had to be at my PC or Mac to post. Now with Vagablog, I can post from home or work via Wi-FI or from anywhere I have a cell phone signal using the UX50 or Tungsten T3 with a bluetooth connection to the SE T610 phone. Vagablog works great with Blogger.com. You enter your username/password into Vagablog and Vagablog shows a list of all your blogs. You choose the blog you wish to post to, create your message on the Palm OS device, click the post button and you will have the new post on your blog site within about a minute. Vagablog remembers your username, password, and blog id until you change it. Future posts only require you to key in your message and press the post button. I have only tried Vagablog with Blogger.com; however, I understand it works just as well with other blog creation sites. If you have a blog, definitely try the trial version of Vagablog. Vagablog is a great piece of software at a great price.

Click here for Vagablog web page

WordSmith
WordSmith has been touted as the first real word processor for the Palm OS and I certainly agree with that claim based on my experience. You can create, edit, and read both Memo and Doc files with WordSmith. WordSmith easily intergrates with Microsoft Word. You can select font size, font color, bold, and other formatting options directly in Wordsmith. You may not see the exact selected format show on the Palm screen due to the limitations of the Palm; however, the selected formatting options will show when the document is loaded into Word. WordSmith also works very well with add-on keyboards, such as the folding keyboards for the Palm and Visor. The latest versions of WordSmith have a built-in spell checker. If you have a need to edit or create documents on your Palm OS device and integrate those documents with MS Word, definitely evaluate WordSmith.

Click here for WordSmith web page


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