XDA EXEC (HTC Universal) Review
The XDA EXEC runs on Window's latest operating system for PDA's Windows Mobile 2005. This is greatly improved from WM2003 2nd edition and gives users a better similarity experience to Windows XP.
Here are some areas I have noticed a great improvement:
The outlook program is miles better than before. Emails can be displayed in true html format rather than just text. Attachments are much easier to display and open especially Word, Excel & PowerPoint documents although this is mainly due to these actual programmes being improved, which we shall come to in a minute. The overall font looks better and easier to read and to me it really does feel like I'm using a smaller version of outlook on my desktop. Synchronization options are also far better when used in conjunction with a PC and offer a better ease of use as well as features. One of the key newly included functions is the ability to now sync your sent' items from your desktop/laptop's outlook email program. This is something I find extremely useful when on the move and have sorely missed on previous PDA's.
These three programmes have again evolved from their respective predecessors making the user experience far more pleasant. In all three programmes you can now view their documents in a more familiar format to that of a PC or laptop. By zooming out' you create a print preview like mode where you can see exactly how your document will look on an A4 sheet. There are additional things like a more comprehensive spell checker in word, paragraph alignment etc.
Excel sheets now have more formulas in place and can hence perform more functions. You can still use the zoom in and out feature to view the document's layout better and then to add text or edit it.
The biggest thing that makes all these programmes more productive however in my opinion is the QWERTY keyboard. In the past when editing or creating a new spreadsheet or word file, you were often very limited by your view. For example, if you were using the on screen keyboard, it would take up the bottom portion of the 3.5 inch screen, leaving even less space to see your document. Switch to the transcriber' (handwriting recognition) or the block recogniser, then again your view would be limited as the characters of your transcribing would be on the screen. The QWERTY keyboard enables you to have your whole screen visible at once. It is also very practical to write long emails or documents as the keyboard is comfortable, easy to use not to mention super speed efficient. I wrote 2/3 of this review on my XDA EXEC.
MSN Messenger as a standalone program has been removed from WM2005 but has been replaced with Pocket MSN. This combines MSN messenger & the newly added hotmail integration; a welcomed inclusion. You can now check your hotmail account without actually having to go on to hotmail's website. This works via your pocket outlook where a ghost' email account is displayed once you sign in to messenger. When connected, your hotmail account will sync via the server and update your inbox with all the emails stored in your hotmail's inbox, including any newly received unread messages. Anything you delete from your PDA will then automatically replicate that action on the server giving you the ultimate control over your hotmail emails.
There was some third party software available for WM2003 which enabled you to perform the above described features but in truth it doesn't compare to Microsoft's official version.
MSN Messenger hasn't really changed much from previous versions. One disappointing thing for me is the lack of the webcam/picture display feature found on PC's/Laptop's. You would have thought that support for 3G devices that have a secondary camera would be included in order to allow webcam viewing over MSN but this is not the case.