RealTime IT News

iPAQ Pocket PC Users Have New Options

Hewlett-Packard Tuesday said it has scored two deals that will give its PDA users new and improved services.

And we're not talking about the Jornada... No, no, no... We're talking about the iPAQ, which the Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer and printer maker acquired from Compaq Computer and has decided to pursue in its product line.

The new family of wireless products and services, called iPAQ Pocket PC Mobility Services, include wireless document management, calendar management, fax capabilities, and e-mail. The deal was made possible through partnerships with Toronto-based Infowave and Hackensack, New Jersey-based GoAmerica .

In addition, HP said it would offer a new AvantGo channel for HP news and information formatted specifically for the iPAQ Pocket PC using AvantGo's free software. The company also highlighted two new expansion packs for the iPAQ available from LifeView and Unity Digital.

"Today's mobile workers are constantly looking for new ways to increase their productivity and flexibility for on-the-go computing and communicating," said HP Smart Handhelds vice president Sean Burke. "The addition of these services allows our customers to have untethered access to their data when they are away from the office, continuing our wireless mobility strategy of providing the best services through the best partners."

As part of the deal, HP is offering Infowave Symmetry Pro, a $19.95 a month software service that lets wireless iPAQ Pocket PC customers manage their corporate Exchange e-mail, attachments and calendar in real time. The service is secured between the desktop and the iPAQ with 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption technology. The company says the installation is easy enough that it needs no IT assistance or client/server architecture. Messages also can be filtered and truncated for faster downloads.

For its partnership with GoAmerica, HP is offering GoAmerica's Mobile Office Document Manager. The service allows wireless iPAQ customers to upload frequently used documents from their desktop PCs to their Document Manager Libraries and to share files with customers and employees.

The service includes a customizable pre-made document template or an AutoLetter tool to compose a business letter and send it by fax or e-mail. Customers also can send and receive faxes wirelessly from their iPAQ.

Document Manager Premium Edition for HP customers includes 250 MB of storage space, as well as fax in and fax out capabilities, at a cost of $29.95 a month. Document Manager Basic Edition comes with 50 MB of storage space and fax out capabilities at a cost of $9.95 a month.

GoAmerica Mobile Office Document Manager and Infowave Symmetry Pro are available for 14-day free trial periods to HP customers.

On the consumer side, the $199 FlyJacket i3800 from LifeView can transmit images from the iPAQ Pocket PC to a projector, video graphics array (VGA) monitor or TV, while maintaining an available CompactFlash slot for storing data and files. Additionally, the bundled pen-sized remote control/pointer is specifically designed to perform the task of "page up" and "page down" for Microsoft PowerPoint file presentations.

Then there is Unity Digital's $99 ProPower Pack. The battery enhancement upgrade includes a rechargeable nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery that offers 2,700 milliamp hours power usage with no memory effect.