Innobec has created some software that will let you use your Pocket PC as a touch-screen extension of your computer desktop. In their own words, “The expensive desk ornament that used to be your cradled PDA can now serve a useful purpose.” Read more about it at Innobec’s website.
Version 1.14 of Undercroft was just released. It is available for Windows Mobile 2003 as well as Windows Mobile 5.0. There’s also a Windows XP version. Here is what they say about its features:
- 20 hours of total play time (on the average).
- Quest based gameplay with elaborate plot and plenty of sidequests to gather extra experience
- 5 characters with unique skills and spells.
- Hundreds of items, over 60 kind of enemies.
- Enhanced interface overcoming many disadvantages of older games and keeping all the extensive functionality quickly on hand
- Sophisticated graphics with strong fantasy atmosphere
- Plastic level design with holes, bridges, roofed and opened areas and other features unseen in classic “dungeon” RPG before
- Classic, but also very untraditional weaponry (e.g. chains for assassins, sabreteeth for summoners etc.)
While it might be a bit of a fun diversion, I am unimpressed with the graphics. I am even less impressed with the poor English translation. What kind of a game has a monster called Fat Dead?
Anyway, check it out at Rake in Grass Games if you’re interested. It’s $19.95, but you can download a free demo.
Here’s a useful resource for all you e-book lovers out there, Microsoft maintains a catalog of all sorts of e-books in Microsoft Reader format. Check out the catalog for yourself at www.mslit.com.
It looks like some poeple have been developing a Windows Mobile port of DOSBox, which they call PocketDosBox. With it, you can emulate a 286/386/486 machine with sound, graphics, and a directory file system.
Why would you want to run a DOS emulator on your Pocket PC, you ask? So you can play your favorite classic DOS games, of course.
Ed Hansberry at Pocket PC Thoughts has written a lovely article on Tons of Uses for Google on Your Device. Some highlights include:
- The Google Optimizer (http://www.google.com/gwt/n), which will take a web page and reduce its size so that it will fit better on your screen and download faster;
- Gmail for Mobile Devices (http://m.gmail.com), which cuts out a lot of the page elements you don’t need, skipping straight to the good stuff;
- Froogle for Mobile Devices (http://wml.froogle.com), which shows prices but doesn’t actually contain links so you can buy any of the stuff;
- Google Maps, specially formatted for your PDA;
- Personalized Home Page, also formatted for your PDA;
- And don’t forget what Google does best, search. There are a number of ways to use Google search on your mobile device, depending on what kind of results you want.
Along with Orb from Orb Networks and Slingbox from Sling Media, there’s now a new great TV solution for the Pocket PC. From The Unwired:
You can use MyTinyTV either at home within your own LAN or you can take it with you because it also works across the Internet when you are away from home. Go to your favorite wireless hotspot, like Starbucks, at airports, at hotels and watch TV or take your WAN broadband connection (MyTinyTV recommends a Pocket PC download speed of at least 250 Kbps, so EV-DO as well as UMTS are sufficient).
For remote access you will need a wireless Internet account and a decent broadband connection at your house (at least 250Kbps), where the desktop computer with the TV tuner is located.
In addition, for each show and movie, you can also obtain detailed programming information.
MyTinyTV costs US$ 59 but a fully functional 7 days trial version is available as well which is recommended to test first before you buy it. Also make sure to check the system requirements page first.
It may be that for 2006, tiny television is in, relegating big-screen TV to “so last year” status.
Jason Dunn talks about Pocket XM Radio:
If you haven’t heard of satellite radio, here’s the breakdown: for a monthly fee, you get access to a wide variety of radio content, commercial free. Unlike traditional radio, where in most markets you’d be lucky to get a dozen radio stations, you typically get access to well over a hundred radio stations. The content ranges from the usual Top 40 stations, to R&B, hip-hop, latin, and talk radio programs, including comedy.
Read the whole thing at Windows Mobile.
Here are some Pocket PC software programs that have been announced or reviewed recently:
Opera Web Browser (Beta)
Opera has released a beta version of its browser software for Windows Mobile 2003 and Windows Mobile 5. It uses the same core rendering engine as Opera’s desktop browser. It features full screen support, multiple windows, and landscape support. This beta version will expire 45 days after installation.
PocketWeather’s main feature is a Today Screen plugin for your Windows Mobile device, which shows a six day forecast complete with weather icons and a list of current conditions. It is small, concise, and totally compatible with Windows Mobile 5 and VGA screens.
Dywer Technology has just released MobileBiz 3.0, a Pocket PC application which “allows users of QuickBooks accounting software to take QuickBooks with them on their Pocket PC to keep track of contacts and track expenses.” It comes with a 30-day free trial, or you can buy it for $39.95. It requires Windows Mobile 2003 or better.
It’s nice to see more applications being developed for the Pocket PC. The quality and quantity of available programs will make or break a platform—this is a large part of why I think Microsoft Windows has been so successful.
LG Electronics would like to start shipping the screen by the second or third quarter of this year. The question looming in everyone’s minds, of course, is whether anyone would actually want to try to read 640 x 480 pixels on such a tiny screen.