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On The Net - Issue 07

On The Net is a regular Internet column for handheld computing magazine Palmtop User. The column is put together by the FileSaveAs team, and we'd like to thank Palmtop User for allowing us to include back issues on our site.

Focus on... Pocket Download

Loading stacks of new software onto your PDA can be lots of fun - there are loads of handy utilities and diverting games out there that are eager to fill your memory. The downside? Making the payment when the software's trial is up. Fortunately, regardless of which type of device you have, there's a stack of free software out there, in the form of Freeware, and that's where Pocket Download comes in.

This site has to be one of the largest, and certainly the easiest to use, collection of cross-platform free software around. At the time of writing, the site offers around 900 freeware applications in over 200 categories. That makes 350 Pocket PC applications, 280 for Palm OS, 230 Symbian/EPOC programs, plus various bits of Windows Smartphone and RIM software.

The site is incredibly easy to navigate, allowing you to scan the top rated software, see what's new, browse through categories, discuss software in the forum, and vote for your favourite freeware application. Each application's listing contains a brief description of what the software has to offer, the number of downloads (great for gauging popularity), the file size, date last updated, a link to the authors homepage, and the ability for registered site users to write a review (although these were a little scarce). The only thing missing from a program's page is a screenshot of the app in action, but you can't have everything handed to you on a plate.

The site make an impressive boast that the freeware collection listed contains no crippled software, and no nag screens, and if you're looking for some new software without forking out a fortune, Pocket Download is the place.

Looking for Mr Average?

29 year old male, with a PDA? Congratulations. You're the average PDA user. As part of his dissertation, an anonymous student has been canvassing the Internet community to get some facts and figures on PDA and Smartphone usage. If you're curious which applications are the most important, and whether size really does matter, take a look at the slick results site. Software designers take note!

Palm OS 6, coming soon...

We all knew a new version of Palm's OS was bound to be just around the corner, but following February's Palmsource Developer Conference in San Jose, California, the details of what to expect next are firming up. If you want to get a feel for what we can expect in the next release, take a look at the reports and screenshots over at Palm Infocenter.

Get on the Net

One of the snippets in this issue's Hint & Tips suggests that it's a good idea to set up your handheld for Internet access in case your PC packs up. As well as being handy for emergency email access, adding Internet connectivity to your PDA can bring a wealth of other benefits, such as being able to access the web on the move, update your Avantgo, use a live chat messenger, or check up on important travel or finance information. If you're looking for details on how to get your PDA online, take a look at the tutorials for Palm OS, Pocket PC and Symbian OS on the FileSaveAs site. There's a handy forum for discussing connectivity problems too.

And finally...

A wonderful snippet from one of the online newsgroups made me snigger... a user looking for handset software to make her life that little bit easier:

"I've just been proposed to and now find myself with 101 decisions and deadline which need to be taken care of.  I've searched for wedding software and come up with zilch.  Anyone know of any? Thanks, Angie"

The short-and-sweet response from a poster known as Agent 777... " Nope. Elope."


Article from Palmtop User Issue 07. Click here for Issue 8's article


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