There are thousands of software titles available for mobile devices and I personally load up quite a few on my devices (not uncommon to see 20-30 titles on my smartphones). It has been tough to get reviews written for software titles when there is lots of news and hardware to cover in the mobile arena and software is released and updated regularly. I decided that the best way to make sure I post regular software reviews and share my thoughts and experiences with you all is to schedule regular postings for mobile software. Mondays are usually a bit slow for news, so today I am kicking off my software reviews with the first "Mobile software Monday" article. I plan to post image galleries containing lots of screenshots and videos from time-to-time. Other planned reviews coming up are for HanDBase 4.0, Softmaker Office suite, eWallet 6, and SplashMoney for Windows Mobile. Please email me or respond in the talkback section with any software title that you would like to see me check out and write about. I can check out software that runs on Windows Mobile, S60, Palm (yes I have a Sony CLIE UX50 in my collection) or BlackBerry.
The first title I tried out is WorldMate from MobiMate. I checked it out on my Nokia N95-3 (S60 device) and T-Mobile Shadow (Windows Mobile Smartphone) so you get to read a bit about software running on two major operating systems present today. WorldMate is a wonderful software solution for the enterprise mobile phone user who travels and spends time on the road. Check out my image gallery for screenshots of WorldMate on S60 and Windows Mobile non-touch screen devices.
|Image Gallery:There are 30 screenshots of WorldMate running on S60 and Windows Mobile in my image gallery.|
WorldMate is provided in both Standard and Professional versions. The Standard version is available for free and the Professional versions are priced as follows; Palm OS (US$74.95/year), Windows Mobile (US$74.95/year for touch screen and US$39.95/year for non-touch screen), UIQ (US$69.95/year), S60 (US$49.95/year), and J2ME (US$4.95/year). The BlackBerry version is now called WorldMate Live (US$99.95 /year), which is in beta for Windows Mobile non-touch screen Smartphones at this time.
WorldMate for S60: The Standard edition of WorldMate for S60 provides you with a selection of five world clocks, weather forecasts with weather caster feature, world day/night map, and currency converter. Upgrading to Professional adds flight status and flight schedules, as well as satellite weather imagery.
In the world clocks module you have the option to set your home location and then up to four more locations to view. The time and date is given for each location on a standard analog clock. The weather forecasts on S60 devices are pretty basic and give you the high and low temperatures and the condition (showers, rain, snow, sun, etc.) for the next four days. The weathercaster is an on-device service where the weather report for your selected location actually is presented to you at a set time each day. You can have a morning report (given at 9 am each morning) and then setup two other daily reports. The morning report appears visually, while the other two reports can be set to be spoken to you.
The currency converter is one of the handiest tools I found, especially when trying to figure out how much further the dollar has fallen compared to the Euro. You can view three concurrent currency values and there are conversions for over 200 different countries. You can use your data connection to update currencies to the latest conversion rates too.
The world day/night map is a pleasant visual way to view where it is day or night all over the world. The view also gives you the time, date, and quick forecast for the selected location. You can quickly scroll through other locations using the directional pad.
After upgrading to the Professional version, then you can access and view the latest flight schedules and flight status information. You can create up to five search queries for flight schedules that are saved on your device so you can easily find flights to the common location you travel to for business.
The satellite imagery view lets you view radar and precipitation maps for North America so you can see what to expect. You can zoom in on your location and also switch to full screen mode.
There are a couple of settings that let you choose your units of temperature and measurement, as well as your access point.
WorldMate for Windows Mobile Smartphone (non-touch screen): The other version I tried on my T-Mobile Shadow had a couple of different modules compared to the S60 version. The free Standard version gives you world clocks, weather forecasts, a currency converter, and world day/night maps. You also get a size/measurement converter and a clothing size converter. You do not get the weathercaster feature.
The weather forecasts in the Windows Mobile version is better than the S60 version because you get wind speeds and direction, humidity levels, UV rates, and sunrise/sunset times shown in addition to the weather condition and high/low temperatures.
WorldMate for Windows Mobile Pocket PC (touch screen devices): I didn't evaluate this version, but there are a few more features that what you find on the non-touch screen devices. These include weather forecasts that let you view the weather for multiple cities on one display, a travel itinerary manager that works with the Desktop Companion, and a tip tax calculator. If you upgrade to the Professional version you also get real-time flight status, global dining code guide, and a packing list organizer. If I buy the HTC Touch Dual that I plan on picking up soon, I will definitely have to load WorldMate on the device.
WorldMate for Palm: The Palm OS version looks to have all of the same features found in the Pocket PC version of the application, which explains why these are both priced the same.
WorldMate for J2ME: The version available for J2ME devices is more basic than what is found on smartphones, but it does include a currency converter, weather forecaster, world clock, and world day/night map.
The WorldMate Live product currently available for BlackBerry devices gives you direct real-time access to flight details, maps and directions, phone numbers, and e-ticket and confirmation numbers. There is also a special calendar that takes care of time-zone issues often experienced on mobile phones. An Outlook add-in is used to integrate many of these features into WorldMate Live. You can use the web interface to manage WorldMate Live as well. Check out the BlackBerry Cool review for more details on this service. There is a free version and a Gold membership version for the BlackBerry (US$99.95/year).
Conclusion: The WorldMate range of products provide some essential tools for the regular traveler. While much of the information may be found online in various locations, MobiMate has brought the most valuable travel tools into a single application that makes it easy and convenient for you to manage and survive your trips. I think the high end features for touch screen Windows Mobile devices and WorldMate Live functionality add the most value to the business traveler and plan to test out more of these features soon. You can also use much of the application for free on your mobile devices so give it a try. MobiMate also gives you a 7-day free trial of the Professional version.