As I was looking for a new cellphone, I began to consider the “Smartphone-type phones. These are combinations of cellphone plus other functions.
I mentioned last week that I was looking at one of them — the Samsung Blackjack. Other Smartphones include the Blackberry phone/email devices and the Windows Mobile Smartphones.
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I bought the Cingular 8525 smartphone yesterday. This little jewel is slightly thicker than my old Sony Clié but is only 2/3’s as wide. It uses Windows Mobile 5 to provide its smarts, so it is a combination PDA and cellphone. It has a decent-sized keyboard that slides out to the side — and the screen goes into landscape mode when the keyboard is extended, too.
Since I was used to having both a cellphone and a PDA, any Smartphone that I bought needed to replace both functions. Of course, while I would have to change some programs for other programs, depending on the Smartphone that I chose, I had some applications that I required to be available.
Usually the term "killer app" means an application (a program) that makes the new product a success. In a slight variation from this, my killer apps are those that I must have available if I want to use that platform.
My killer apps for Smartphones are the HandBase database and the Mobipocket ebook reader.
Category: Database for PDA’s
Operating Systems: Windows, PalmOS, Windows Mobile (PocketPC & Smartphone), Symbian OS, Blackberry,
Price: varies. “Professional,” which includes the ability create input and display screens other than just lists of data, is $31.99 for Windows-based Smartphones plus for the Windows desktop.
The HandBase database program, from DDH Software (www.ddhsoftware.com), is a program designed for personal digital assistants (PDA’s). There is also a version for desktop PCs — and more importantly, HandBase is available for PalmOS, Windows, and for many Smartphones.
HandBase is one of my killer apps because it allows me to create easy-to-design / easy-to-use database applets to track data that I want to track. Whether I want to create a log of blood pressure readings or a shopping list or travel expense, I can easily add an input form and database fields to store the items I want.
I’ve been using a program called Secret! on my PalmOS PDA and the corresponding Secret! Desktop on my computer. Secret! is an encrypted database (I set the password) that allows me to keep all my various passwords and userIDs and any other data that I want to have secure and available). I start Secret! and enter my master password, and it opens to let me find the one I want.
HandBase is much, much more, but for this particular aspect, it is also a solution. HandBase allows me to encrypt any of the database(s) I create, while it lets me create others that are not encrypted.
Since I’ve been using HandBase on my PalmOS PDA, I needed this same application for my smartphone.
My other killer app is the Mobipocket Reader, which is a free ebook reading program. Read more about Mobipocket Reader later in this newsletter.