Aug 02 2007

PDA App #3 – PocketNav

Category: Amsterdam,Personal,Windows MobileChrisM @ 5:05 am

When my iPaq had to be hard reset last week, I took the opportunity to try out some alternative applications that I’d previously downloaded, but not got around to testing just yet. One of these was PocketNav. Unlike the two previous pieces of software I mentioned, this has nothing to do with travel, WiFI or GPS; instead it is a task switcher/ender replacement system. One of the problems with my 2210 is there is not much memory left for day to day usage, after the bare minimum has been installed to the internal storage section. (Unlike more recent Windows Mobile 5 powered PDAs, one block of RAM is dynamically split between storage and system.) I install as much as possible to the SD card, however some utilities are required before the OS can access external memory cards, and others are simply too slow to be stored anywhere other than the faster internal memory. Newer models have non-volatile memory specifically for program storage, which has the added benefit of the PDA not losing all its configuration if the battery should completely die.
Anyway I digress, apologies; one problem with closing programs on a PDA is that although they dissappear from the screen, they still reside in the memory. The reason for this approach is that when you next need to use the program, it is already present in memory, and therefore is almost instantaneously presented to the user. As is often the case with my digital accessories, I prefer to retain a little more control (if something works, it only proves you haven’t tweaked it enough 😉 ) over how they operate. PocketNav provides a way to permanently close applications that you do not want to stay resident; you then have more memory instantly available for the other programs you do want to keep or start running. PocketNav places a shortcut icon next to the clock in the top right corner, from which you can access a list of the programs/windows currently in memory. This also provides a simple task switcher. If my hardware buttons were not already re-assigned to directional duties (my d-pad no longer works) I could simply use the iTask app that Hewlett Packard install as standard to switch apps, however, previous to installing PcoketNav I had to return to the desired program’s shortcut to bring it to the foreground again.
One thing I noticed is that the shortcut icon disappeared when some programs covered it, however selecting the Windows Mobile 2002 style of shortcut icon bypassed this issue.
Anyway, I’ll report back on how things went after Amsterdam, when I will get a chance to test this program ‘in the field’ in more real life like conditions.

Once more this post is not sponsored, nor are there any affiliate links, I just hope someone finds the information useful.

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