Smartphone Thoughts

NEWS - Chapura Updates Software for Windows Mobile 5 Devices

Jason Dunn - Wed Apr 26, 2006 6:00 pm
Post subject: Chapura Updates Software for Windows Mobile 5 Devices
"Chapura®, Inc., an innovator of synchronization technology for mobile personal information managers (PIMs), today announced that its popular Outlook synchronization software, PocketMirror® Professional for Microsoft Windows Mobile, now supports the Pocket PC and Pocket PC Phone Editions of Windows Mobile 5.0. This updated version of PocketMirror Professional offers owners of Windows Mobile 5.0-based devices, such as the Palm® Treo™ 700w smartphone, a way to transfer more information between Outlook on the desktop and Outlook Mobile on the handheld than allowed with ActiveSync alone. PocketMirror Professional for Windows Mobile also offers owners of these mobile devices a near desktop-like toolset for organizing personal information on the go...Chapura's exclusive AnyFolder™ technology lets Windows Mobile-based device owners pick and choose which Outlook Contacts, Calendar and Tasks folders to synchronize with their handheld, including any public and subfolders on a Microsoft Exchange Server."

I've used Chapura Pocket Mirror to move clients from Palm Desktop to Outlook, but that's about it. The last sentence above caught my attention in a big way - you can sync any Calendar, Contacts, or Tasks folder to sync with your device? That's impressive, and something I've wanted for a long time. I can see it being especially important in small businesses where there's a group calender. I assume that this solution pushes calendar data into the calendar app, where you have the problem of the calendar app of not having multiple data stores. As in, it only has one calendar. I've heard complaints about this for years, but in my discussions with product managers at Microsoft about this, they see it as a fringe scenario that isn't worth supporting. Chapura gets around this limitation by assigning categories to each folder within the app, but when you factor in the fact that Windows Mobile 5 <A HREF="">resets category filters upon application load</A>, this solution seems pretty kludgy. Chapura is doing the best they can with what Microsoft has given them, but I think they (and we) deserve much more.

It's a classic chicken-and-egg scenario: I think users of Windows Mobile devices would get far more value out of their devices if the calendar and contacts applications allowed for multiple data stores. Imagine if someone built a sync application that would allow you to sync your Windows Mobile calendar with your friend's Google Calendar, or any number of public calendars based on the iCal protocol - basketball games? TV shows? Local sporting events? There are so many fascinating possibilities, and sadly Windows Mobile is shut off from most of them. Confused
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