TEST DRIVE: Day 2 - A look at the Inbox
the second day of the Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC test drive, I decided
to concentrate more on the Inbox and slightly on the the connection manager.
In the previous segment of the test drive we reviewed the improvements made
on the Today screen. It seems that Microsoft has put a lot of emphasis on navigation
Going back a bit on the subject of the Today Screen, the Inbox plug-in has
been improved to provide quick access to the Inbox and its specific accounts.
Unlike with previous versions of the Pocket PC which only allows you to jump
to the active account in the Inbox, the Inbox Today Screen plug-in for Windows
Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC actually allows you to select which account to open
right from the start. This I would say is a very helpful change that makes the
Pocket PC experience a really good one.
On to the Inbox. The first thing that you notice are the horizontal stripes
which were borrowed from the Smartphone 2002 design. Other than this, everything
seems to have remained unchanged. Well, that is as far as looks go, but the
big surprise is that with the new Inbox, single handed navigation has never
been as easy. It seems that the whole redesign of the Inbox, as far as the user
interface is concerned is once more like a treasure to be discovered. The Inbox
is now controlled pretty much by the D-Pad. All movements, Up, Down, Left, Right,
and Action all mean something.
In the list view of the Inbox, pressing the D-Pad to the left or to the right
will cycle the Inbox through the different accounts. Pressing it up or down
will scroll through the Inbox message list, and pressing on the Action button/D-Pad
will open the selected email. Shown below is the notification bubble which shows
how long you've been connected.
In message view mode everything looks same as before except for the now horizontal
arrow icons (on the PPC 2002, they were vertical arrows), pressing the D-Pad
to the left or right will move you from message to message, while pressing it
up or down will let you scroll through the message itself. Pressing the Action
button/D-Pad will simply bring you back to the Inbox message list.
The PPC Inbox pretty much supports Microsoft Outlook's iCalendar format, which
is basically a Meeting Request, but it never supported vCalendar (*.vcs) or
cCards(*.vcf) formats. The good thing about Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC
is that it now supports it. I tested sending a calendar appointment from my
Sony-Ericsson T68i via MMS (Multi-Media Messaging Service) and received a vCalendar
attachment in my Pocket PC's Inbox. My Pocket PC 2002 device simply treated
it as an nknown file attachment which could be saved in the My Documents folder,
while the Windows Mobile 2003 device, upon tapping the attachment, simply asked
me if I wanted to add the item into my Calendar. Similarly, the contact (in
*.vcf format) I sent myself was received by the Pocket PC 2002 device as an
unknown file attachment which I could only save. The Windows Mobile 2003 device
upon tapping on the attachments simply asked me if I wanted to save the contact
into my Contacts list.
Also, another new feature of the Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC Inbox is
the autocomplete feature which makes entering email addresses a breeze. If you
prefer selecting email addresses from the contacts list, it is still supported.
But now, it makes use of a feature also found in the Smartphone 2002 platform.
Similar to the Smartphone 2002 Smart Dial feature, it now highlights the Contact's
first or last name for as long as it matches the letters entered in the "Find
a name" box.
Not only that. It even makes use of the AutoCorrect feature which is also available
with Pocket Word. I tested this and misspelled "experience" as "experiance".
After putting a space after the word, it automatically corrects the misspelled
Stay tuned again tomorrow as we move on to the other features that make Windows
Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC a true winner.
Mabuhay! ~ Carlo