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TEST DRIVE: Windows Mobile 2003 - The Today Screen, info at first glance
Posted by Carlo Guerrero - on Monday, 14.07.03 - 08:36:48 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 8731x
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Have you ever really wondered about what's really so good with Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC? News and comments have gone around the internet that the changes were simply incremental and are rather concentrated on bug fixes. Well, I think Arne's articles on the new HP iPAQ h2200 series running Windows Mobile 2003 proves otherwise and the performance of the new OS is pretty much improved.

So let us now look at Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC in a 7-day test drive and see how much we can discover about the new OS that runs our favorite Pocket PC platform.

Since the new OS and GUI looks so much like the old Pocket PC 2002 OS and GUI, at least visually, people have been a bit tougher to convince that the new OS under the hood and the improvements are actually quite compelling. During my first day with the new OS, I must have noted more than a dozen differences that actually make sense and made me wonder how I was able to live without them with the previous OS.

Let us take a look at the screen where everyday takes a new beginning, the Today Screen. The Today screen actually looks the same, feels the same, and performs in a similar fashion. The first give away that it is a Windows Mobile 2003 powered device is the Connectivity icon which is located before the speaker icon on the Start bar. This nifty little icon is quite welcome as it provides the most sought after shortcut to connecting to a network or an ISP. There is definitely no need to go through the 5-step process of getting to the Connection Manager like the Pocket PC 2002 devices.

Another very big improvement is the implementation of the Today Screen themes. They now support Clear Type and the Start drop down menu now supports colors defined in the Today theme itself. Even 3rd party plug-ins (tested with Mohair Sofa's Calendar+) are supported by ClearType. The ring of circles that appear on a tap and hold are also supported by the Today Theme colors. The calendar plug-in also has some significant improvements. It doesn't just show Today's appointments and events, it even includes tomorrow's appointments and events too.

Removing applications that use Today Screen plug-ins are also easier to remove now as these plug-ins are simply dealt with with a simple soft reset unlike previously with PPC 2002 requiring the DLL file to be renamed prior to removing the application.

Find out more on the differences that make Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC a better device tomorrow when we look for more features and changes..

Mabuhay! ~ Carlo


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Posted by jpzr on 14.07.03 - 20:30:49

still no battery icon in title bar in Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC? I miss it so much in my xda...

Posted by Arne Hess on 15.07.03 - 19:52:48

@jpzr: Oh yes... it seems they have forgotten it once again.

But in fairness to the people who put so much effort in developing the Pocket PC platform, the improvements included in Windows Mobile 2003 are so welcome.

Mabuhay! ~ Carlo

Posted by jpzr on 15.07.03 - 20:19:27

by any coincidence, Carlo, could you recommend me some tiny program for Pocket PC that I could install in my xda and that would do nothing more, but just show the battery state in title bar, exactly (or similarly) as it is in Microsoft smartphone? (not in home screen, I need in title bar!)

Posted by Arne Hess on 16.07.03 - 22:12:28

@jpzr: Well, I still have not seen one that works flawlessly. Although Wisbar gives you this feature, I find the Wisbar implementation of the battery meter a bit on the rough side. I think a dedicated real-time battery indicator in the title bar is definitely needed.

Anyone out there want to make one?

Mabuhay! ~ Carlo

Posted by Andy on 17.07.03 - 00:12:09

Does anyone know the status of Pocket Excel & Work in Windows Mobil 2003? It came with the first 2 Pocket PCs I bought but I have not been able to find any mention of either app. I am thinking of purchasing another PPC and would like to know.  Thanks

Posted by Lauren on 17.07.03 - 01:44:21

I've got Pocket PC 2003 on the HP 2215 ipaq, and it does indeed include excel and word.  I've never owned a 2002 PPC, so I can't compare them, but I will tell you that word works fairly well, although there are font size formating issues when using the transcriber.

Good Luck!

Posted by Chuckie on 17.07.03 - 04:09:22

Try Battery Watch by Birdsoft.

Posted by smittyofdhs on 17.07.03 - 17:42:52

For those of you that want a battery in the taskbar, try small menu by tillianosoft. The app is free and you can just use the taskbar battery icon. I've created an icon set that looks like the PPC interface so it looks like the icon is part of the OS.

Posted by Jane Austin on 22.07.03 - 07:11:39

I too looked high and low for a simple battery meter icon for the title bar (not the system tray which can't be seen from every program) I've been trying Qbar 2002 downloaded from So far it seems to do the trick but it isn't free - $6.99 US. It offers other meters too but can be set to just show the battery status. I was hoping there was a "one trick pony" available as freeware somewhere

Posted by andy on 31.07.03 - 04:42:28

try magic button at

Posted by Raja on 18.02.04 - 20:57:09

I'm looking 4 a similar prog. too. pls reply. thanks

Posted by AndyP on 06.06.04 - 22:36:51

I can certainly recommend the small menu app for the XDA II  It works great for the battery display and the replacement start menus isn't half bad either.  Plus it's freeware. Anyone with Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC should get this.  Nice one.

BTW The URL is:

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