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REVIEW: Getting the most out of Pocket Internet Explorer with MultiIE 3.0
Posted by Carlo Guerrero - on Sunday, 21.03.04 - 10:56:12 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 12473x
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Several months back,  Arne announced the availability of MultiIE 3.0 here. It also made it to the Q4-2003 PPCW.Net Editors Choice which appears on a quarterly basis.

MultiIE 3.0 is a tremendous improvement over v2.0. In fact, it has matured into a multi-faceted utility that adds a plethora of functions, never before imagined possible, for the Pocket Internet Explorer for Windows Mobile 2003 Pocket PCs. Designed to increase efficiency and productivity, this PIE plug-in is sure to be a "must have" for any Pocket PC user who often surfs the Internet through his mobile device.

MultiIE was originally known for what it's name stands for: that is, being able to load up multiple windows in Pocket Internet Explorer.  Early versions added features such as save options and presets which made things surfing an easy task.

With the latest version, the aim has expanded more towards providing more efficiency in inputting URLs, and navigating within pages.

Analyzing the maturity of MultiIE brings us to the point of assessing its original function of being able to load multiple PIE windows for easy viewing and how version 3.0 actually adds a twist to it.

MultiIE 3.0 has improved on its multiple window functionality by adding the tab feature. Page titles are reflected in the tabs which also feature a page loading status icon. With Tabs enabled, the user can easily switch from one window to another.  Incidentally a new added feature is the ability to load up a page in the background as opposed to loading it in the foreground. This way, selected page viewing is uninterrupted.  As an added option, the user can also be notified by sound if a page has completely loaded up already, and if the loaded page is in the background, it can also be made to jump to the foreground if preferred. If tabs do not fit your taste, you can easily disable the tab feature and rely on the MultiIE menu to move from window to window.

MultiIE 3.0 also has enhanced navigational features that expand on their support for hardware buttons. On screen tap-and-drag actions allow easy scrolling vertically and horizontally. Using the D-Pad also offers similar features but also adds line by line scrolling as an option.

The full screen function has also been improved with the option to use a quick toggle button at the right bottom corner of the screen. Full screen viewing can also be activated in the menu and allows a user configurable "back to default layout view" by tapping on the bottom most area of the screen which can also be configured to show a "tap area" bar or not.

MultiIE has always been friendly with landscape view either by certain Pocket PC's landscape features or by a third party solution. Version 3.0 adds a feature that works with NYDITOT's Virtual Display to offer non-rebooting landscape view (best set at 320x320).

While MultiIE 3.0 has the Preset (URL) for 4 of your favourite sites, it also features enhanced URL inputting features through its URL builder and the enhanced Go Button menu. These features were tremendously enhanced during beta testing and offers unlimited combinations and functions.

The URL builder is probably the best feature added in version 3.0 as it eliminates having to enter the complete URL manually. By default it is set to input the most common URL patterns but can be modified to the ones which are most used by the user. But the best part about it is that you can set it to act as a template for the address field of Pocket Internet Explorer or in a more active setting, to complete and launch addresses in as less as two screen taps.

Similarly the enhanced Go button exhibits a similar behaviour and can be modified to one's preference too. There are presets to run different Google searches and to make use of the Skweezer online service from Greenlight Wireless which reformats pages to work well with the Pocket PC format.

Several common PIE and Network registry hacks have also been included with MultiIE 3.0 which are User Agent Identification, Font Rendering, Scripting and TCP/IP options. This version probably has the most options so far.

MultiIE also has several additional options that show up in the Context Menus. There three of these and are controlled by the object which is subject to a tap-and-hold action, one standard Context Menu for the page itself, one for hyperlinks, and one for images.

Final Conclusion

MultiIE integrates very well with Pocket Internet Explorer that it's easy to forget it's even installed. This is actually a good sign as it means it does not stick out like a sore thumb.

Multi-page loading is a pleasure to use particularly when surfing over a high speed wireless Internet connection. You can see several pages loading in the background and that chime that sounds when a page has loaded just works wonders. Never has mobile Internet been such a pleasant experience.

MultiIE 3.0 is available from Southway Corporation as a 14-day full-featured trial version which can be registered for only US$14.95 which I feel is very much worth it.

Mabuhay! ~ Carlo

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