Pocket PC Software I’m Using

This is the set of software that I’ve found useful on my Verizon (UT Starcom) XV6700. Note some of it is specifically applicable to this device, but most will be just as useful on any Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PC.

Software update for the UT Starcom (that’s the actual manufacturer) — free
The update has two very important fixes: You can now use WiFi at the same time as the phone — you don’t have to choose between the two. Also, the update includes a voice speed-dialer that works with Bluetooth hands-free devices. (There were workarounds for both, but the official update is probably better in general.)

A few warnings about this update:

  • The update will hard-reset the phone, so you’ll need to re-install apps and restore data. If you’re using ActiveSync to synchronize with your mail server and a desktop machine, most people will have an easy time with this, but make very certain that you have everything backed up before running the above.
  • It takes a few minutes to complete the update, so make sure your battery is full or you’re connected to a charger. Also, wait ’till you’re sure you have 1/2 hour or so to complete the install.
  • Last: Many corporate Exchange servers have a policy that locks the phone with your PIN (Settings -> Lock) after 10 min of inactivity. This can be really annoying, especially if you’re used to being able to just glance at the phone for PIM information without having to enter a password.

SKSchema – $10
Scripting app that allows registry changes and automation of many basic functions.

ImmerSoft XCPUScalar – $20
A CPU throttling app that can adjust CPU speed based on utilization, theeby saving battery power – don’t use speeds over 520MHz on the XV6700 – it’ll likely freeze the unit; the 208MHz setting may make the unit power up slowly, but will save more battery power than higher settings.

IMPORTANT: Don’t enable the CPU or battery meters – they eat lots of battery power (which kind of defeats the primary purpose of the app). In fact, don’t ever enable battery or CPU meters that display all the time on your Today screen – they will probably all do this. (The System Tray CPU speed indicator for XCPUScalar is ok though.)

acbPowerMeter – free
App to measure power usage (useful for figuring out what apps are using lots of power & battery).

PocketBreeze – $15
A very cool Today plug-in that does lots of fancy views of your calendar, mail, tasks and otehr stuff – a bit of a pain to configure, but very handy. These guys have other apps that look cool too, but I haven’t tried any of them. I recently heard of another Today plug-in that does similar stuff, but haven’t tried it yet: Spb Diary ($15). Their Finance, Tips & Tricks and Pocket Plus apps look interesting too.

TranCreative Magic Button – free (I think)
A very handy task switcher that displays running tasks as icons in the menu-bar. It also lets you quit apps withou switching to them, and can be configured to make the close button exit apps, instead of hiding them (to save memory).

pRSSreader – free
Lightweight RSS aggregator/reader.

Resco Explorer 2005 – $25
Filesystem explorer with plug-ins for ZIP archives, encryption, FTP client, SMB client, and registry editor; also has today plug-in & built-in file viewer. (These guys also make other cool apps.)

Opera for Windows Mobile – $24
Web browser with tabbed UI, nice small screen presentation, but a little heavy.

PhatWare CalliGrapher – $40
Very nice handwriting recognition – much better than what comes with WM5 on the device. Only important if you do lots of text input on your device, and don’t want to be forced to use the built-in chicklet keyboard. Also has an on-screen keyboard with lots of special characters, handy if you use the following to access any machines over SSH:

PuTTY telnet/SSH client – free
Just what it says. Also, there’s a nice page of SSH-related links on that site.

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