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THOUGHT: What do you use your Pocket PC for?
Posted by Arne Hess - on Sunday, 28.04.02 - 02:31:00 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 7271x
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As we've heard last week, Compaq sold more than 2 million iPAQs and also the sales figures of the other Pocket PCs increased, compared to the previous years. Well, I had some discussions with other Pocket PC users, what they use their Pocket PCs for and what they expect from their Pocket PCs.
What I've seen in the past when I met my fellow Pocket PC enthusiasts and MVP colleagues, it seems that the use of Pocket PCs in Europe and America differentiates?

Why do I use a Pocket PC and for what does I use it?
Mobilon HC-4600Well, when I bought my first Windows CE Handheld device (a Sharp Mobilon 4500) in 1997 I bought it because its built in modem (this was the reason why I've imported it from the States because the European version didn't includes a modem) and to use it with my mobile phone. Both reasons was to access the Internet and my E-Mail abroad. I also enjoyed its keyboard so I was able to use it in meetings for notes or on business trips as a mobile "Word" machine.At that time I didn't use that device primarily for calendaring or contacts as I used at that time my Franklin REX for this features (which I even use today - from time to time).

The Time goes by, Palm sized Windows CE devices came and gone and also Pocket PCs but one need was always there - the option to connect the Internet where ever I'm.

So for what does I use my Pocket PCs today - primarily? Today, my Pocket PC is my digital Filofax, it holds all my contacts, appointments and task as my PC holds it too and snchronization is - thanks to ActiveSync - so easy. But one thing never changed in all the years, no - it even expands - the need to connect the Internet to get the latest information from the Web, WAP or out of my E-Mails. I also enjoy chatting with my fellows through MSN Messenger. For sure I use my Pocket PC to send and receive SMS messages or as an interface to my mobile phone to setup voice calls or even receive them. So mostly my usage is communication based. I still use Word - like before on the H/PC but never without my foldable keyboard and often to write columns and articles for PPCW.Net which I upload later wireless with my GSM/GPRS Wireles Pack or through a mobile phone or fixed line modem.
I never read eBooks on my Pocket PC - maybe because there are not so many titles I'm interested in are available and because I still like paper and real books. I'm listening to my MP3s on trips only but not so often in my home town/area.

So basically my Pocket PC is my communication device and brain. However I don't use it for Excel, Audiobooks or other stuff. I wonder what do you use your Pocket PC for and why you decided to bought one? Did you came from a Palm sized PDA or H/PC too or is the Pocket PC your first device?

Cheers ~ Arne


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Posted by ppcsurfr on 28.04.02 - 00:00:00

My Pocket PC is more like an extension of my PC... that can, act independently of it. 

While it is still primarily used for my calendar, contacts and notes, accessing email has been a plus.  Ocassionally I would even use Internet Explorer to browse the web.

I also found both Pocket Excel and Pocket Word equally useful.  I normally use Pocket Excel to create wedding photography packages and use Pocket Word for typing out quotations and ocassionally tech articles (Pocket PC related).

Complete integration with KSE Truefax helps very much, plus the ability to receive faxes (for those who still don't believe in email) has helped me out of tight situations.

Other pluses are the multi-media capabilities like audio and video.  Waiting for your flight at the airport no longer gets boring or unproductive.

I also manage my SMS and my email through my PDA.

I may not use all the features of the Pocket PC often, but it is nice to know that I can actually do it if needed... and I have.

Posted by Anonymous on 28.04.02 - 00:00:00

I'm using my Toshiba mostly for Outlook stuff, MP3 and Video (thanks to my 1GB CF harddrive). I don't use it for Internet today but that's the reason why I like to read your site to get some ideas; what to do with the Pocket PC wireless and anytime I will do it too, if GPRS becomes available in my area in the States!

But your question/column is interesting and I wonder what others do with their Pocket PCs too!
Am I the only one here who don't do wireless stuff today? ;-)

Posted by joparp on 29.04.02 - 00:00:00

I'm still using handheld pcs nowadays.  Both are Compaq Aero 8000 and HP Jornada 720.  The Compaq Aero 8000 is my first Windows CE device which I received it for free from a friend of my wife.  It was a very nice gift ever.  I never know Windows CE platform before and when I began to use one, I really like it a lot, no booting is required, not to mention other features which are very useful for a translator like me.  I haven't used the  Compaq Aero 8000 as often for other things right now, but mainly for remote access to my office Citrix server.  I have upgraded to HP Jornada 720 for like three or four  months given the fact its size and feature are more compact and yet powerful than the Compaq. 

Mainly, I use the device for the following reasons:

-  Pocket Word for my translated documetns;
-  Pocket Excel for tables to be inserted to Word document later;
-  Windows Media Player for MP3 during free time and as alarm clock every morning;
-  Pocket Outlook for all my contacts, appointments and email from my office;
-  Pocket Internet Explorer for surfing the internet through built-in modem or my GPRS cellular phone;
-  Microsoft Money for my money monitoring and planning;
-  AvantGo for offline news reading;
-  Chat with friends occasionally;
-  Mobipocket Reader for reading ebooks and dictionary.

The dictionary is the only thing missing from my device.  I can't find one which is practical enough for my career.  The best one I believe is the Collins Cobuild from TomTom, but the program does not support handheld pc platform, which is too bad for me.  So I'll have to use dictionary software on my PC or real paper dictionaries.

That should be all so far about the use of my handheld pc. 


Posted by Tom on 02.05.02 - 00:00:00

I use Pocket Office, and Mobipocket Reader (eBooks, eNews, eDictionaries, really great app).

Posted by Osmo Suvisaari on 16.05.02 - 00:00:00

In addition to the great benefit of using Pocket PC as a programmable tool, a calendar and a notebook - I have found the Pocket PC to be a great platform for games:

Good processing power
These newer devices have colourful graphics (Headphones ok - speaker mediocre...)
A lot of reasonable fast memory

So I started a business: Wasp Games and I have already published my first game
Gnomes and Gems...

The capabilities of Pocket PC devices are well suited for not only good looking but also logically advanced games.

Osmo Suvisaari

Posted by Anonymous on 01.06.02 - 00:00:00

First, let me put on my azbestos costume

I'll start by saying that getting the iPAQ3870 (from my work) was the biggest gadget-related dissappointment EVER. And I sure got it will all bells and whistles: Latest-and-greatest compaq foldable keyboard, expansion pack, WiFi card, etc.

All in all it's a flop and PDAs as we know it will suffer a deserved slow death. Let me expand on why:

- Browsing Internet on a PDA is the closest you get to self mutilation. Yes, even at 802.11b speeds. Reason ? Simple: SCREEN SIZE

- While I witness DAILY ppl taking meeting notes on their iPAQs (hint: Why do you think my boss bought one for me TOO ?) I sure have a chuckle every other time when their smallish screen doesn't allow them to read their notes properly, that or this program hangs, etc, etc. The fact that they look like geek idiots while diddling w/ their toys (often to no avail) while others are paitently waiting to have A MEETING is notwithstanding.

- Contacts ? Calender ? Reminders ? I have a mobile phone for that.

All in all: After carrying a Nokia9110 brick for three years around I finally realized that the world of PDA __was__ at its height when Palm came: It was simply a niche (and how timely filled !) between mobile phones (small and dumb) and laptops (big, bulky, heavy and short battery times). Nowadays the world has changed a lot, and we have fully-fledged computers that are as close as you want to a PDA size (w/ the assorted size vs usability compromise) and phones that are as smart (if not smarter) than the original PDAs.

What I use my iPAQ3870 for ? Basically nothing. Well, the BEST thing I used it for so far was as a smart map (i.e. using TomTom) for navigation (optionally w/ a Pharos GPS receiver). Other than that, it is simply a product that came to this world for a niche that is quickly and more sensibly covered by the "neighboring" devices (phones and laptops). You don't belive it ? Just wait and see when the first (almost) palm size tablet PCs will start arriving (see e.g. Asus tablet PC). It will be quite a sobering up experience...

Just my 0.02 EuroCents

Posted by Serge on 21.05.04 - 06:24:06

I've owned quite a few portable computing devices. I'm mainly partial to the Palm OS because of it's simplicity but I appreciate the "beefy-ness" (is that a word, I should check that on my Palm dictionary) of the portable encarnations of the Windows operating system. The list of devices I've had is long, a Phillips Velo, a Sharp Mobilon, a Compaq Aero 8000, a Palm m100, Palm m105, Palm m130, a Sony Clie peg-sj20, and most recently a couple of tungsten models,  the W and T3 models. I mainly use them for the same things I use my pc at home, plus I use the calendar, appointments  and contacts features. I honestly don't think one is better than the other, specially if you try to compare features and the purpose the device was intended for. I still use my Aero for Spreadsheets and word documents, even though my T3 can do it way faster, you can't beat the larger screen and the actual Windows environment that so closely resembles your desktop at home and work,but then there are advantages to the smaller size and power of the T3 or any ARM processor powered Pocket pc or Palm, plus the versatility of these things is incredible. I can view movies, surf the internet, actually download files, view pictures straight from my digital camera through the card, listen to MP3s, connect wirelessly to my cellphone, I't amazing all the things I do on a daily basis on my Palm pilot. I love the fact that the features of my PC at home can be taken with me at all time in my shirt pocket. Now back to the phone, I love my tungsten w, while it's neither a great phone nor a great pda, it is a great compromise; and this is less than a year old, if you look at the new Pocke pc and Palm phones it is hard to believe that the cellphone and the pda got crossbred just a couple of years ago. But even with that there will never be a perfect device, maybe a perfect pairing though. You can't sit and write a 12 page document on a hand held/phone and you can't reach for your notebook everytime you need a phone number or your list of appointments. However if you do as I and take advantage of your comfortable desktop to enter your appointmets and sych them along with your contacts to your handheld, now you're in business.... In short after the overly excited ramble, I use my pocket device to entertain, keep me connected and get my work done wherever I may roam.

Posted by Jay on 02.01.06 - 20:28:13

I use my pocket pc for a multitude of things. The issue here IMO is not everyone knows all of the neat stuff you can do. There are the obvious bulit in features such as email, web browsing e-books(especially nice for those who like to read in bed without bothering their partner), calendar, word, excel, mp3, video etc... BTW I got my pocket pc used for $100, just playing mp3's alone make it worth that, the key is to let some other goof pay the big bucks, and get one that is one year old.

The other things I use my pocket pc (not all adult things but I still enjoy them): Guitar tuner, game boy games, atari games, Nintendo games, wathching full movies encoded to Divx, aac encoded audio, I've plugged it into a stero to play music at parties, store files to move to and from work, a universal remote for all my audio/visual equipment including car stereos, recording voice notes or my buddy playing on the guitar, keeping track of my homebrewing recipe (I make beer) I know there are a lot more, but these are the main things I have used and still use it for.

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