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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 9445x
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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