Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Panoramic Calc Pro for Windows XP/Vista/7

Panoramic Software has finally brought Calc Pro to desktop PCs. It has been carefully developed to work on desktop PCs, laptops, net books and tablets.

Along with all of the features of the Windows Mobile version:

  • Standard calculator

  • Scientific

  • Financial with 10 worksheets

  • 130+ daily updated currency conversions

  • Thousands of Unit conversions

  • Thousands of scientific constants

  • Graphing

  • Multiple skins

  • Highly configurable calculator settings including RPN

  • Much more

The Windows version also allows for 4 size selections which allows it to work great on 1080p displays and tiny net book displays as small as 640x480.

For more information, purchasing or a free trial go here:


Monday, February 15, 2010

How to get support for your mobile applications and games

This sounds like a pretty straight forward topic but after being in the industry for almost a decade I know that some people could use some assistance.

Step One - Ensure there really is a problem:
Read on screen messages, take a quick look if you received an email with your purchase with further instructions, etc.

Step Two - Make sure its not your phone:
If you know how, perform a soft reset and try again. If you're trying to install software and you have the option, download it again. Occasionally the download can get corrupted.

Step Three - Prepare your support question:
No one likes software that doesn't work we all want it fixed as quickly as possible so gather the following information:
- Application name
- Make a model of your phone
- Sales transaction ID, reference number, etc
- Description of the problem (be concise)
- Description of any error messages (be precise)
You'll almost always be asked for this information anyways so you might as well save some back and forth.

Sending "software doesn't work" isn't going to get you to a quick resolution.

Step Four - decide who to contact:
If your problem is downloading the software you'll need to contact the company/website that sold you the software. There's no point calling Sony for support if Best Buy hasn't delivered TV. Contact the software development company for everything else, it'll be faster.

Step Five - send the email:
This part is easy if you've done the above, I just have one more bit of advice - "Be Polite". As a developer I avoid support as much as possible but it still falls in my lap. We've always maintained a policy of being polite and helpful to everyone. However its much more pleasant for us to deal with polite customers and we're more likely go out of our way to help them (for example, over the weekend) than a belligerent customer. You may at times be dealing with a big corporation but there's always a person on the other end that has to read your message.

Also be realistic about your expectations, you're not likely to find companies are willing to call you long distance and spend hours on the phone with you for a product that costs 99 cents.

Step Six - follow up:
Hopefully this isn't necessary but don't be afraid to follow up a couple of times. If you're not getting a response try sending from another email account and don't use excessive smiley face images. Do your part to ensure your message isn't getting caught in a SPAM filter and make sure your filters aren't blocking the response. Be polite but let them know your previous email has gone unanswered.

If you're not getting the help you need contact the sales website and request a refund. You deserve to have a working product and most of these companies will issue you a refund without much hassle assuming you've already attempted to solve the problem.

Good Luck!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Windows Mobile powered Blackberry? BlackGrape i9000

We recently dealt with a support issue for one our games and the user was reporting very odd behavior (random screen orientation changes, touch screen not working, etc). I finally asked what device they were using and they curtly responded "BlackGrape 9000". Wow.

A quick google search and I was able to find some basic information. It appears to be running Windows Mobile 6.1 and the device is a poor copy of the Blackberry Bold.

I DO NOT recommend buying these devices, this is an obvious infringement on RIM's intellectual property and I am confident that Microsoft would not give permission to create this device so it most likely means that the operating system (Windows Mobile) and any software installed on the device are not being legally obtained or distributed (ie pirated).

And if you morally don't have an issue with it, remember that this device will not run software designed for the Blackberry Bold and it sounds like it won't even run Windows Mobile software correctly either.

That being said I find the concept quite entertaining.

You can read more here and buy what appears to be a LOT of other bootleg phones running Windows Mobile .... just terrible.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Panoramic Guitar Suite released for Windows Mobile Phones

Panoramic Software Inc Guitar Suite Windows Mobile Professional Chords Tuner Metronome Panoramic Software Inc Guitar Suite Windows Mobile Professional Chords Tuner Metronome Panoramic Software Inc Guitar Suite Windows Mobile Professional Chords Tuner Metronome

Panoramic Software Inc has just released Guitar Suite for Windows Phones with touch screens.

Guitar Suite includes a comprehensive guitar chord look up engine capable of displaying over 25,000 chords in any of the included 20 tunings. Its also able to play any displayed chord.

It also includes a Play mode allowing you to tap on the screen and play any note at any onscreen fret. You also have the option to overlay 50 different scales in any of the included tunings.

Guitar Suite also helps you tune your guitar with a high accuracy digital tuner. And if you phone's microphone isn't sensitive enough for tuning, you can also tune by ear.

Finally, Guitar Suite wouldn't be complete without a precise Metronome with a range of 30 to 240 BPM.

For more information or to purchase go to:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Updating Windows Mobile

Panoramic LaunchPad Palm Treo Pro Panoramic LaunchPad Favorites Palm Treo Pro

Panoramic Launch Pad iSS Battery Monitor Pocket Digital Clock Palm Treo Pro iSS Task Switcher 1.5 Palm Treo Pro Windows Mobile

Having your phone look "cool" is really half of the enjoyment of owning a smartphone. If you read my blog at all its obvious that my current phone of choice is a Palm Treo Pro which I think is still quite a good looking device.

However the operating system on it has been looking dated for quite some time. If you own a Treo Pro or another HTC made Windows Mobile phone you could always head over to XDA developers and install a "cooked" version 6.5 ROM but its risky and I'm sure violates at least once of your license agreements. Besides, Windows Mobile 6.1 works great and now I can dress it up a bit.

1st - Panoramic Launch Pad 1.6 (currently beta)
Its receiving a major visual update along with some usability improvements and the option to add contacts to favorites. The retail version should be released very soon but the beta is fast and stable.

2nd - iSS Battery Monitor
It was recently updated to version 1.5 and includes a few new features but most importantly it has 5 new skins including that great blue color.

3rd - Pocket Digital Clock
Another gem in the world of free Windows Mobile applications that a colleague of mine came across. Its pretty, its customizable (color, size, display, etc) and it works great: I love it.

4th - iSS Task Switcher
Its also been updated to version 1.5 which includes visual enhancements but the new colors really make the application more appealing and allows it to match most color schemes on your phone.

The background is from http://www.digitalblasphemy.com, definitely go check it out if you haven't done so already. They have a great free section which is where this image is from and you can subscribe to access the paid section. I've been using the backgrounds for years, fantastic work. I used Paint.net on my desktop PC to crop and re size the background image.

Worth Mentioning:
I also have Fizz Traveler and customized version of Calendar+ and Live Search installed on the today screen. And I use Illium Software Screen Capture to create the screen shots.

For just over $10 you can give the same visual treatment to any touchscreen Windows Mobile device (5.0 or newer).