Note from Dieter: Welcome to Tim Hillebrand, who gives us his first article for WMExperts today, a round up of software that's available from Vito Techonology
Founded in 1999, Vito Technology employs 30 people and occupies four floors of a large building in Novosibirsh, Russia. While Vito offers an amazing array of software programs for handheld devices, it specializes in navigation and digital cartography. Vito also has considerable experience in custom software design, hardware development, and business solutions for mobile devices. Vito is a Microsoft Empower Program Partner.
Let’s take a look at some of the programs available for Windows Mobile devices. Note that I tested these programs on a Treo 700wx, so I left off applications that did not work on my device.
Vito Update, 15 March '07
Some time has elapsed between the time I reviewed the Vito products and the publication of the roundup. Let me take this opportunity to offer some updates.
Audio Player has a special “Play as an Audio Book” mode that conveniently picks up where you left off, but it does not record phone calls. The latest version of QuickContact (3.0) can now be invoked by simply pressing the green button. Just as a heads up, ButtonMapper does not work on Smartphones; MobileDownloader and ThemeEditor still only work on Pocket PCs, not Smartphones. The new version of Navigator II still does not work on square screen Pocket PCs.
AudioNotes is a powerful recording solution that allows you to record everything from a phone conversation to lectures. You can use it to make quick hands free memos while you are driving. It’s simple to use. You can even program a hardware button dedicated to its operation. When you have completed a recording, you can email it instead of laboriously tapping out a text message. The sound quality is superb. To conserve space, you can adjust the quality of the recording. To further save space, you can elect to install it on a storage card and store files there too.
Yes, your Windows Mobile 5 device comes with the Microsoft Media Player pre-installed. So, why would you want to spend extra money on yet another player? For me the answer is simple. Using Windows Mobile Media player is cumbersome to say the least. You have to navigate through endless menus and playlists to find files. AudioPlayer makes it ever-so-much-more-simple.
For convenience, AudioPlayer is set-up so that you can control it with the joystick and soft keys. Of course, you can also use your stylus. If you just want to cycle through all your music, just go to your storage card, and push play. Alternatively, you can play a single file once or repeat it, You can play just the songs in a particular folder, shuffle, boost the bass. To save battery power, you can turn off the screen. You can also set it to pause for an incoming call.
It plays MP3, OGG, and WAV formats, but unfortunately not WMA and some of the other formats now in vogue, so that is a limitation. As the name implies, it is solely an audio player and will not play video files nor some audiobooks.
Why spend a fortune downloading ringtones and making someone else rich. Create your own out of any sound clip you like, even your own yodeling with Vito Ringtone Editor. This ringtone editor is far and away the best one I’ve ever tested. It allows you to find your files quickly no matter how deeply embedded they are. It allows you to start and stop your recording anywhere in the file you wish. This is an important feature because some other ringtone editors will only allow you to start at the beginning and the record for a predetermined time. If you are thinking of creating your own ringtones, this is the one to buy. Hey, you can even make ringtones to sell or give away as an incentive on your Website.
If you ever wanted to create drawings like the forensic artists do for wanted posters, here’s your chance. With this fun application, you can have a lot of fun making sketches of your friends and enemies. With the choice of thousands of facial features, you build a caricature feature by feature. You will be astounded by the variations in noses, eyebrows, chins, ears, etc. There are a different set of hairdos and features for males and females.
A word of caution: once you start playing with this program, it becomes addictive. The SketchArtist palette does not fit a Palm Treo's 240x240 screen; part of the bottom of the face disappears until you shrink it so that it will come into view. I hope Vito will soon offer a release configured for small square screens. You may wish to wait on this one.
SoundExplorer is really three programs in one. It is an MP3 player, a sophisticated sound recorder, and a file explorer just for sound files.
The player will handle MP3 and WMA files including GSM and ADPCM and operates with one button recording. You can even use voice commands, and you can schedule preset recording times. You can record everything from a lecture to a phone call and expect excellent playback quality. For some reason, I have a difficult time finding sound files in MediaPlayer, but SoundExplorer makes it a breeze.
The Today screen plug-in allows you to control the program directly, which can be very handy. SoundExplorer also gives you a set of tools for sound editing right on your Pocket PC. It’s too bad that it’s not a multimedia player.
Granted, Windows Mobile comes with several different methods of retrieving contact information However, QuickContact could save your life by allowing you to gain access to contact information with one hand. All the controls and large buttons are set-up for use with one hand and a finger. You don’t ever have to touch the screen with a stylus.
There are three different search panel views. In the Box view, you start inserting letters until your desired contact appears. In the Diamond Panel mode, you can use a modified phone keypad to key in numbers or letters to seek your contact. In the touch panel you can use the standard phone keypad.
You can add new contact, sort by first and last name, and adjust the fonts to your specifications.
Have you ever had the dilemma of talking on the phone and having to search for a phone number at the same time? QuickContact allows you to expedite this cumbersome process with one hand while still talking.
Now all this is well and good, but there is no quick way to access the program itself. To make it readily available, it’s a good idea to program a hardware button to invoke it. For that reason, you may wish to invest in Vito’s ButtonMapper.
Perhaps it’s because Microsoft wants to sell you their voice manager program, but it has always surprised me that there is no voice command program pre-installed with Pocket PCs. If the one-handed operation of QuickContact isn't your thing, Voice2Go is instead a handsfree application.