Spb Software House has recently released a new version of Spb Diary, its instant Pocket PC organizer that provides tab-based Today plug-in for calendar, contacts and tasks. The new version 1.5 of Spb Diary also provides a separate tab for working with notes. Another new feature is integration with Spb Weather. Spb Diary 1.5 is a free upgrade for registered Spb Diary users.
Notes is one of the natural parts of PIM data. Microsoft ActiveSync provides synchronization for notes between Microsoft Outlook on desktop PC side and Notes files on the Pocket PC side. Spb Diary provides access to main PIM data from the Today screen and with this new version you can use notes from your Today screen as well.
The new tab for working with notes provides access to the most frequently used operations in just one or two taps:
- View the list of all notes grouped by folder
- View a note on the Today screen
- Open a note for editing
- Create a new note in some folder
- Move a note to another folder
- Rename a note
- Sorting and grouping
The Today screen is unique to Pocket PC devices - there is nothing like it on desktop PCs. The "desktop" screen on your PC is designed to launch frequently used programs while the Today screen on Pocket PC provides access to frequently used data. This difference exists because of the differences between using Pocket PC and desktop PC devices. A desktop PC is used for hours at a time while Pocket PCs are used several times for a few minutes only. When you pull your Pocket PC out of your pocket you usually want to see or enter some data. The Today screen was designed to be shown by default and to provide access to at least 80% of what you want to see when you turn your Pocket PC on.
The first Spb Pocket PC Survey showed that 85% of all Pocket PC users use their Pocket PC as an organizer. This is the single most popular use for Pocket PC users. However, standard Pocket PC tools for handling PIM data have turned out to be underwhelming at best. This is especially true when considering the most important part - PIM plug-ins for the Today screen.
Spb Diary is a powerful replacement for the standard PIM Today plug-ins that allows access to PIM data right from the Today screen - immediately when you take your Pocket PC out of your pocket. The new version of Spb Diary adds support for notes. According to the results of Spb Pocket PC Survey, more than a half of all Pocket PC users prefer to synchronize notes ( coming fifth in importance after contacts, calendar, tasks, and files), and that means that notes are important for Pocket PC users. Adding the notes tab is a logical improvement for Spb Diary, and makes working with PIM data even more comfortable.
Besides notes support the new version of Spb Diary offers another innovative feature - integration with Spb Weather. Usability testing has shown that it is really helpful to see the weather forecast for a given day on your calendar right near appointments scheduled for the same date. A typical scenario is to choose a date for a picnic or a walk right within Spb Diary, which now takes the weather forecast into account.
Last but not least - if you own a Pocket PC Phone Edition, now you can also dial your contacts right out of Spb Diary - something I've seriously missed in the original release version.
A free trial version that works for 15 days from the day of installation is available from Spb. The full version costs US$ 14.95 while an upgrade for current Spb Diary 1.0 customers is free of charge.
Cheers ~ Arne