Monday, 14 January 2008

How to transform your Windows Mobile device into a personal travel assistant

If you are one of these people always on the move, why not explore the potentialities of your Pocket PC or Smartphone? Clever applications can help you to convert your WM device into the ideal travel organiser and companion.

The latest version of WorldMate Professional, created by MobiMate is an all-in-one travel application. It offers most of the basic information that people is likely to need while away, especially on a business trip. There are 5 world clocks, a world map (with cities localizer), global 5 days weather forecast, a currency converter, measurements conversion and a table displaying clothing sizes in different countries.

The Pocket PC version also brings a Tip/Tax Calculator and a Travel Itinerary Manager (where you can record details from flights, hotels, car rentals and meetings). All these services are free of charge, but if you want, you can subscribe for the PRO version (US$39.95 for Smartphone and US$74.95 for Pocket PCs), which offers extra services such as Satellite Weather Imagery and Real-time Flight status (covering most of the airlines).

Overall the MobiMate is easy to use. It has lots of comprehensive graphics, works on a multilingual platform (English, French, Italian, German and Spanish) and the user can also select some of the functions to be always displayed on the Home Screen.
The basic version can be downloaded for free at the MobiMate website.

Pocket Earth 3.4 (by Informap Technology Center Inc) is another clever application that can help you to find your way around the globe. It displays an interactive set of 3D maps of the Earth, with VGA resolution (640x480). The user can locate cities by name and measure distances from multi-points. There are also colourful atlas maps in different formats (e.g. physical, political, etc), as well as sun and moon info. In addition the application brings useful information about several cities of the world, population and time. Other advanced features are GPS support and real-time weather forecast. It works with Windows Mobile Pocket PCs (2000 and all later) and can be bought online for around £10 (US$ 19). A trial version is available.

Not as complete, but also informative is the latest version of the Kai's City Info (made by Kaisoft /Pocketkai). It comprises as database with 472 Cities of the world. For each of them it gives information such as time-zone index, phone codes, airport codes, latitude/longitude, summertime, location on the map and GPS position (when available in the device). It also calculates the distance between two cities and time differences. It works with all versions of Windows Mobile for Pocket PC (from 2000 to WM6) and can be downloaded for around £5 (US$ 10).

Even if you are not on the road very often it still worthy to have a look in any of these applications, since you can get a lot of interesting information from them.

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