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Reviews

SBSH Mobile Software PocketBreeze v5

By Stephen Skarlatos November 17, 2005, 12:00 am

INTRODUCTION

    I recently
become a user of WebIS’ latest version of Pocket
Informant which we’ve recently reviewed. One of the great attributes of Pocket
Informant is its ability to tie all Personal
Information Management data together in a single
application, however you must launch the program to
gain access to that data. Microsoft Windows Mobile
has plug-ins for the Today screen to view
upcoming tasks, calendar events and email
summary counts without having to launch a PIM
application.  However, these plug-ins do not
allow you to manipulate the data without launching
the associated PIM application. The ideal situation would be
to have a Today screen plug-in that would allow you
to work with that data;

SBSH Mobile Software Breeze v5.0 is a
plug-in designed to do just that. Let’s see how it
works.


WHAT’S HOT

    PocketBreeze version 5 provides some
great new features including full support for
Windows Mobile 5.0:

  • Manage all
    your written and voice notes
  • View your
    inbox folder and SMS/MMS message titles
  • Create new
    appointments or tasks using PI templates for
    PI users
  • Support
    for both horizontal or vertical tab layout
  • Unlimited
    support for custom tabs
  • The
    ability to add additional Today screen
    plug-ins as custom tab

SETUP


    The program installation is
performed with a standard setup process on the PC.

On the
option screen a choice to install the sample icon
set is available, in addition to PocketBreeze. The
icon set can be used to identify categories which
are displayed with the associated appointments and
tasks.


On WM 5.0
a publisher certificate is not available, and
validation is required by tapping yes. As of this
writing I have not found any applications which have
a valid certificate, even applications from
Microsoft.


On WM 5.0
the installation location for the application is
requested, rather than in ActiveSync (as with WM
2002/2003) making it easier to install using a .cab
file directly on the device.


    PocketBreeze is integrated with
the most popular PIM applications. PocketBreeze
version 5 supports the default Microsoft PIM, WebIS’
Pocket Informant, and DeveloperOne’s Agenda Fusion.
The ability to add a custom PIM is also available to
access the calendar, task, and contact data.

PROGRAM FEATURES

    The PocketBreeze version 5 Today screen plug-in integrates
with a PIM’s functions using the concepts of tabs
identified by icons. There are 5 default tabs;
calendar, tasks, notes, messaging and special
events. You can also add your own custom tabs with
icons for other Today screen plug-ins.


    The PocketBreeze display is
divided into two sections. The top section,
delimited by the red box, contains the tab icons on
the right and associated grouping/filter options on
left of the wrench (settings) icon. The bottom
section, delimited by the yellow box, contains the
selected tab’s associated data.  In this screen
shot, the calendar tab is selected with the
option set to display tasks.


The tab
icons can also be displayed vertically on the left.


PocketBreeze is fully compatible with Windows Mobile
native landscape mode.


The are
many areas of the applications which can be
customized.


The
data can easily be filtered using categories.


From
the calendar tab, the ability to directly create new
appointments and tasks is available. A great feature
for Pocket Informant users is the direct use of
appointment and task templates.


   

A tap
and hold on an appointment or task brings up a menu
with many useful manipulation options.


A time
line view pop up is displayed by tapping and holding
on the timeline icon associated with a specific day.
Appointments can be created directly from the
timeline display.


A
monthly view can be summoned by tapping on the month
icon on the left of the PocketBreeze top section
display. There is also a setting to pin the calendar
permanently to the bottom of the view.


    

The
task tab provides for many task oriented options.


The
notes tab lists all your text and audio notes. It allows for the display to be easily customized.


    

The
messaging tab provides access and preview of email, SMS and MMS services configured in Windows Mobile.


The
special occasion tab provides a display of
birthdays and anniversaries from the the contact
database, as well as appointments associated with
selected categories.  In this view the holiday
category within 30 days was selected.


    

PocketBreeze allows you to add currently installed Today
plug-ins as tab icons.  This allows for easy
access to plug-ins without sacrificing the Today
screen’s real estate.

PocketBreeze is an all-encompassing Today screen management utility with
special focus on providing easy access to your
favorite PIM.


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HELP SUPPORT

    A well written manual, in
Word or PDF formats, is available for download from

here
.  Unfortunately, the table of contents is not
linked, and there is no index. I did not encounter
any issues during the preparation for this review
but the SBSH Mobile Software forum

here
seems well attended to.  Even though
there are a large number of settings, the defaults
seem to satisfy most needs. 

Options

   
PocketBreeze can associate icons to categories for highlighting calendar and
task data. There is also an ability to create a smart filter that allows
the selection of multiple categories which can be accessed from the
filter button on the Today screen.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

   

PocketBreeze version 5 will run on Windows Mobile
2002, 2003, 2003SE and 5.0. The programs runs in about
750KB of RAM depending on how the options are set
and
the amount of data needed to load the display.

BUGS AND WISHES

   
I found no problems with PocketBreeze
version 5 running on my Axim X51v with Windows
Mobile 5.0. PocketBreeze can be painfully slow to
load the first time it is executed, and whenever you
make a setting change. Once the data has been
cached, swapping between tabs is fast. Here are some wishes
for future enhancements:


  • The notes tab should provide for integration
    with Phatware’s PhatPad and PhatNotes.

  • The messaging tab settings should include a way
    to filter which mailboxes to display.

  • The messaging tab should provide a menu option
    for send/receive.

  • The ability to filter multiple categories on
    the main filter button rather than having to set
    up smart
    filters.

PURCHASING

   
You can download a trial version of PocketBreeze

or purchase it for $14.95 from Handango

here or PocketGear

here.  There is also a competitive upgrade
offer for current users of a Today screen plug-in

here.

PROS

  • Excellent
    integration with WebIS’ Pocket Informant
  • Intuitive
  • D-Pad
    option for one handed movement between tabs and
    scrolling within bottom section
  • Good
    value

CONS

  • No
    integration with Phatware’s PhatPad or PhatNotes
  • Improved
    messaging integration needed
  • Slow initial data load time
  • No linked
    table of contents or index in manual
Value
Ease
of Use
Features

Overall

OVERALL IMPRESSION

    This a well thought through add-on
to manage PIM data from the Today screen, and
for $14.95 a very good value. There is a lot of functionality in this
plug-in, and the tight
integration with Pocket Informant makes this a must have Today screen
plug-in. This is a great productivity
enhancement tool. This is now my Window into Pocket
Informant.


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