Windows Mobile 5: Getting Started

By Jason Dunn on Wednesday, June 22, 2005

After putting my Fido SIM into the WM5 phone the first thing I needed to do was get my data onto it. It would be cool if the phone asked the network for the GPRS settings, but it doesn't, so I manually created the GPRS connection for Fido - easy enough. Then it was time to get my data onto the phone. Since I'm using a hosted Exchange solution (courtesy of 4smartphone) it was fairly simple. The new ActiveSync client on the phone has an easy menu option: Add Server Source (I think that's what it said - now it says "Configure Server"). I entered in my Exchange settings, and when I pressed finish it kicked off a GPRS connection and began to sync my data. The on-device ActiveSyc client has an updated UI, and it seemed a bit faster than before (though that's all relative when we're talking about pokey GPRS speeds). There are new icons that display as the device is synchronizing calendar events, contacts, etc. I've read that Tasks sync is now supported, and there's finally a Tasks client on the device [edit: there has always been a Task client, which I forgot because it's so useless and didn't sync against my Exchange server], but none of my tasks synchronized. In fact, on the device ActiveSync client there's no option for Task sync under the Exchange Server section. It is listed under the Windows PC sync list, but I don't normally set up a sync partnership with my desktop PC. If that's the way Microsoft chose to implement Task sync, I'm very disappointed.

The biggest user interface change is that the menu system is now iconic, three rows of three, instead of the list we had before. The number keys still work as shortcuts though, so if you're used to pressing START > 2 to get to your app, that will still work. The numbers don't appear in the UI though, so this is more of a power-user feature that will be discovered by new users over time (which is the way it should be). There are other minor UI tweaks - some of the options screens look different, and unless I'm mistaken there's a new default font that's easier to read.

So what's it like using a WM5 Smartphone day to day? Tune in next time faithful reader... Wink

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