Aug 062008
 

Our friends at HP’s have recently provided the TamsPPC team with a sample of an OfficeJet 470 (we had to return it – don’t worry ;) ). Having such a box in-house of course makes me curious to find out which gadget prints the best…surprisingly, the winner is my good ole’ N71.

The device connected to the OfficeJet via Bluetooth without needing drivers, printing software or anything else – it just connected and started spitting out useful stuff. Click the images below for full page scans:

Calendar
Calendar print-outs arrive in an outlook-like grid. As for the color scheme: it will likely make HP very happy due to the high amount of blue ink used…the design is debatable and cannot be changed:
0a Printing with S60 phones   Nokia N71 vs HP OfficeJet 470

Contacts
Contact printouts turn out surprisingly well. Notes get truncated weirdly – but the printouts can definitely be given to low-tech folk who need the contact:
1a Printing with S60 phones   Nokia N71 vs HP OfficeJet 470

Text messages/notes
Text messages and notes share the weird color layout – but turn out usable:
2a Printing with S60 phones   Nokia N71 vs HP OfficeJet 470

2b Printing with S60 phones   Nokia N71 vs HP OfficeJet 470

Images
The device seems to insist on placing the images in the center of the page – stretching them across a A4 page is not possible. Nevertheless, the images from the internal 2MP camera can look very usable in 10×15 – my family has received quite a few and likes them very much:
3a Printing with S60 phones   Nokia N71 vs HP OfficeJet 470

3b Printing with S60 phones   Nokia N71 vs HP OfficeJet 470

Cutting a long story short: the N71 cannot hide its EPOC roots and does an excellent job handling all kinds of print job. People who have a bluetooth printer will be happy to know this, everybody else should IMHO pass it off as a novelty item. Even though the 470 is transportable and battery-powered, the machine IMHO is WAY to heavy to be transported around all the time. People having two flats will appreciate it, however…

Feb 142008
 

Use the discount code CHEAPWRITE3 in the TamsShop for a 20% rebate on the list price!
Entering texts on devices with MultiTap keyboards has always been a royal pain in the butt – even the oh-so-famous T9 utility cannot change much about this. MobileSystem’s QuickWrite plans to do something different in order to speed up your typing – instead of forcing you to enter a full word and then guess what you meant, their application lets you enter the first letters and tries to guess the rest. Can it stack up?

After installing the application, you are presented with a slightly confusing screen asking you to choose a “text engine”. A text engine is a special “driver program” that converts key presses into characters – AknFEP is the default S60 one, while QuickWrite is MobiSystem’s improved version:
0a QuickWrite for S60   speed up your text input

Once QuickWrite is the active text engine, various settings can be configured in a fashion similar to the various Settings panels of the operating systems:
1a QuickWrite for S60   speed up your text input 1b QuickWrite for S60   speed up your text input 1c QuickWrite for S60   speed up your text input

QuickWrite can be enabled/disabled via the Shift key(#) – if it is enabled, three horizontal lines are shown next to the input mode indicator:
2a QuickWrite for S60   speed up your text input 2b QuickWrite for S60   speed up your text input

Here’s an example of the program in use:
3a QuickWrite for S60   speed up your text input

After having tested QuickWrite in the Note Pad, I decided to torture it a bit with Opera – no issues whatsoever. Entering long URL’s and other stuff not contained in the dictionary is no problem whatsoever – you just keep on typing and ignore the suggestion box:
4a QuickWrite for S60   speed up your text input 4b QuickWrite for S60   speed up your text input 4c QuickWrite for S60   speed up your text input

This review looked at QuickWrite v2.50 on a Nokia N71. The program needs approximately 2MB of RAM and CAN NOT be installed onto an external memory card.

In the end, QuickWrite is a true must-have for every MultiTap-keyboarded device. While the price of 30$ before our discount looks a bit hefty, rest assured that it is worth every penny if you enter a lot of text. Save yourself time and frustration – get the free trial and see if you can live without it(hint: you can’t).

Oct 062007
 

Welcome back to the second part of the TamsS60 QuickOffice review. Part 1 of the review looked at the general UI of the program and can be found here. Anyways, Part 2 looks at the PowerPoint capabilities(which are truly amazing) – read on to get the full scoop:

For me, PowerPoint is of utmost importance in my daily work – I use the program for all kinds of presentations and also derive my handouts from the slides. A mobile device that can edit PowerPoint thus is very helpful…but so far, most PowerPoint implementations for mobile devices have limited themselves to viewing. Can QuickPoint finally set a new standard?

Our first test consisted of chucking a 4MB PowerPoint file containing loads of images at the program – these were tackled well:
0a QuickOffice 4.5 for Series 60   Review: Part 2(PowerPoint) 0b QuickOffice 4.5 for Series 60   Review: Part 2(PowerPoint)

An overview allows you to grasp a presentation’s structure quickly:
1a QuickOffice 4.5 for Series 60   Review: Part 2(PowerPoint)

Slides can be zoomed and panned with the menu. While this may sound great on paper, having to click pan every time you wish to scroll gets annoying fast – please give us a bunch of hotkeys for panning in the next version:
2a QuickOffice 4.5 for Series 60   Review: Part 2(PowerPoint) 2b QuickOffice 4.5 for Series 60   Review: Part 2(PowerPoint) 2c QuickOffice 4.5 for Series 60   Review: Part 2(PowerPoint)

The second presentation containing Visio imagery(a classic troublemaker for mobile PowerPoint viewers) had problems…the flowcharts didn’t really look good:
3a QuickOffice 4.5 for Series 60   Review: Part 2(PowerPoint)

QuickPoint really excels at editing presentations. The program allows you to add a variety of slide formats:
4a QuickOffice 4.5 for Series 60   Review: Part 2(PowerPoint)

All elements can be moved and rotated freely:
5a QuickOffice 4.5 for Series 60   Review: Part 2(PowerPoint)

Images, Tables and even AutoShapes(!!!) can be added to presentations on the go:
6a QuickOffice 4.5 for Series 60   Review: Part 2(PowerPoint) 6b QuickOffice 4.5 for Series 60   Review: Part 2(PowerPoint) 6c QuickOffice 4.5 for Series 60   Review: Part 2(PowerPoint)

Last but not least, voice comments and even regular slide comments used for slide reviewing(!!!) can be added to presentations:
7a QuickOffice 4.5 for Series 60   Review: Part 2(PowerPoint)

Overall, QuickPoint is true to QuickOffice’s standard company policy: a huge bunch of kickass features never seen before in a mobile device…but with a few usability and rendering quirks. If these could be addressed, this program would be the zen of mobile PowerPoint…as it is now, it is a top-class viewer with editing functions never seen before on a mobile device…

Oct 032007
 

Web browsers for mobile devices have been a difficult issue since the first wireless handhelds appeared – early browsers were slow and lacked features, while later browsers supported more features at the expense of speed. Opera has always been popular for its very fast desktop browsers – can the mobile version stack up?

Opera’s start page is very well-done. Looking a bit plain at first, it soon expands to show the 10 last-visited pages. Web addresses can be entered with ease, the search box is interlinked to Google:
0a Opera 8.65 for Symbian S60   the review 0b Opera 8.65 for Symbian S60   the review

Entering a web address via the ‘goto URL” window pays out big – the program uses an IntelliSense-like approach to simplify entering URL’s:
1a Opera 8.65 for Symbian S60   the review

Opera is among the first mobile web browsers to support multiple windows – however, opening an existing link in a new window is not possible as of now:
2a Opera 8.65 for Symbian S60   the review

Flickr pages can be used on the go – image comments are supported, too. The N71 does not have a load of RAM or phone memory – however, I experienced no out of memory errors even with multiple windows open:
3a Opera 8.65 for Symbian S60   the review

Another stunning feature of Opera is the support for dynamic menus – this example is from Resco’s web site:
4a Opera 8.65 for Symbian S60   the review 4b Opera 8.65 for Symbian S60   the review

Web pages can be zoomed in and out flexibly, a fullscreen mode is available for maximizing display area:
5a Opera 8.65 for Symbian S60   the review 5b Opera 8.65 for Symbian S60   the review
5c Opera 8.65 for Symbian S60   the review5d Opera 8.65 for Symbian S60   the review

The desktop version of YouTube is rendered perfectly, too – however, videos are not shown due to lack of a flash player on my N71:
6a Opera 8.65 for Symbian S60   the review 6b Opera 8.65 for Symbian S60   the review 6c Opera 8.65 for Symbian S60   the review

When downloading a file, Opera first asks you if the file should be squeezed into your phone’s memory or saved to an external memory card. After that, it switches to a download manager view. The whole process works very well…except that files get removed from the list when Opera is restarted:
7a Opera 8.65 for Symbian S60   the review 7b Opera 8.65 for Symbian S60   the review

This review looked at Opera 8.65 on a Nokia N71. Data connection was provided by Hutchison Austria’s 3G network. Opera can be installed to an external memory card and needs about 3MB of memory.

Cutting a long story short – Opera for S60 is the best web browser ever used on a mobile device. The program tackles all web pages thrown at it and delivers superior rendering quality for all elements at insanely high speeds. If Opera would manage to improve its ‘tabbed browsing’ and download manager, this could be the zen of browsers. As it stands now, the price of approx. 20€ is a steal for everyone who surfs the web with his phone often.

Sep 182007
 

QuickOffice for Palm OS has been around for ages, fighting a constant battle with DataViz’s Documents To Go(usually having cooler features first, but being a bit harder to use and slower than its competitor). When DataViz managed to win Palm as an OEM customer, things began to fall apart quickly. QuickOffice brought native file support to Palm OS(BIG kudos)…and left to S60 shores. Let’s see if QuickOffice for S60 is a kick-ass office suite like its Palm OS sibling was a few years ago:

While QuickOffice can be opened from any other S60 application, it also has a GUI of its own. This GUI mainly consists of a file/folder browser:
0a QuickOffice 4.5 for Series 60   Review: Part 1(file manager) 0b QuickOffice 4.5 for Series 60   Review: Part 1(file manager)

A list of recently-used files speeds up finding…well…the files that were used last. This can be very helpful when editing multiple documents:
1a QuickOffice 4.5 for Series 60   Review: Part 1(file manager)

QuickOffice 4.5 CAN create documents on its own – if it is registered(screenshot below). Unregistered versions of the QuickOffice can NOT create files of their own:
2a QuickOffice 4.5 for Series 60   Review: Part 1(file manager)

Last but not least, the main GUI also contains a tool that can be used to download updates and evaluation versions of new programs from the internet:
3a QuickOffice 4.5 for Series 60   Review: Part 1(file manager)

Overall, QuickOffice 4.5 has a very clean GUI that does what it should – exactly what one expects from an office suite!

Tune in soon for a look at QuickOffice’s word, excel and PowerPoint features!