added value for your Pocket PC

posted in Reviews on May 16th, 2005

Most of us probably remember the Windows Plus! packages of tools Microsoft would distribute with Windows. A $30 to $50 Dollar price tag for stuff that didn’t really add value and hence didn’t make up to their name.

Since then, I’ve been a skeptic in regards of applications that have a “plus” in the name. Luckily however, SPB Softwarehouse is not about shallow promises but rather about “added value”.

I’ve been using PocketPlus since version 1, back then I received a complimentary code for my iPAQ as part of the iPaq Choice Programme. I didn’t really bother upgrading to version 2, which was released about a year ago. Thinking about it in retrospect, I’m sorry about this.

PocketPlus is not so much about tweaking your device but rather about adding those features Microsoft and your device manufacturer most certainly didn’t add. PocketPlus is by no means minimalistic, yet doesn’t come with too many options to make the user feel uncomfortable. Basically, PocketPlus is split into five different parts: “Close Button”, “Pocket Internet Explorer”, “Today Plug-in”, “Taskbar Battery Indicator” and “File Explorer”.

closing chapters
Ever tried to close an active application on your Pocket PC without using the Memory Management? Good, then you know that it’s not possible without invoking a 3rd party application. PocketPlus offers you the possibility to either minimize applications or close them.

The minimize feature can come in helpful in situations where you started to read a book in Microsoft Reader (and you don’t want to endure the long startup again) or if you are using your Pocket PC to listen to music or podcasts. Press the “X” button, drag your stylus down - voila: instant minimize. Quite easy to remember.

Closing an application can come in handy in most other situations. You don’t have to worry about too much memory being eaten away by applications you are not using right now. Nice feature: you can list applications that should never be closed.

PocketPlus also includes a task managment utility in the menu that appears when tap-n-holding the “X” button. From rebooting to volume settings, as well as resolution switching - everything is there.

Internet Enhancements?
The standard PIE doesn’t do much. No tabbed browsing, no ability to save a page, no nothing. PocketPlus’ PIE enhancements cure all of those problems and even add new features.

For one, there’s a full screen switch, which is certainly helpful when you are reading forums or news. Then there’s the possibility to open more than one window at the same time and browsing on more pages simultaneously. Of course, those enhancements wouldn’t be complete without the ability to save pages and images and copy hyperlinks into to the clipboard.

more Today, right now
PocketPlus’ Today plugin let’s you have almost everything on your Today screen; be that a link to your favourite playlist or a shortcut to system settings - it’s all there.

PocketPlus really lives up to it’s name. It’s certainly worth it’s price and it performed perfectly for me.