Connection manager must have been the component of Pocket PC 2002 which has
received the most complaints. Stemming from the numerous steps it took to get
to the Connections Settings, to the implementation of different connection settings
for work and for Internet to the supposed smart connection it has that could
determine which is the best way to connect to a network.
Luckily, for Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC, a lot of effort was placed
in correcting the mistakes implemented in the Connection Manager. With Windows
Mobile 2003 Connections, it is a breeze to set up a connection and nothing more
than a tap on the Connectivity Icon can bring you to an immediate connection
to Work settings or Internet settings. Microsoft adds a nice touch to it by
adding a connection timer that measures the length of every session.
As I mentioned earlier, I was conducting the Test Drive on a Windows Mobile
2003 powered ASUS MyPal A620. The MyPal A620 does not have any connectivity
option built-in except for the IR port. So for the Test Drive, I used several
connectivity options which were available to me. First was the Ambicom BT CF
Card and the second was the Eagletec 56K CF modem. Plugging each connectivity
option into the MyPal A620's CF slot generated a notification bubble that a
new modem was detected and asked me if I wanted to make a new connection setting
with the inserted modem.
I created different connection settings for each modem after which I tested
them individually by simply inserting the connectivity option I wish to use.
This version is by far the best I've seen as all that is needed is for the modem
to be inserted and the associated connection setting is then automatically selected.
Now this is truly smart. When I inserted the Eagletec 56K Modem, it appears
as such in the Connectivity Notification Bubble.
If a BT card is inserted into the CF slot, it will show you the available connection
and even ask if you want to switch the BT radio on or off.
Setting up the BT connection was also painless. Unlike with Pocket PC 2002
which relied more on proprietary drivers and UIs, this one is the simplest available
making pairing devices a simple task. One draw back though is the lack of bundled
applications or features like BT sending of files and the like.
Currently, I have no Windows Mobile 2003 powered Pocket PC with both BT and
Wi-Fi radios built-in which means, I won't be able to test how smart the new
Windows Mobile Connections is. I will have to reserve that test in the future
when I have an iPAQ h5550 for testing.
That's it for now, tune in tomorrow for more insights on how well Windows Mobile
2003 devices perform.
Mabuhay! ~ Carlo