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As we know, cellphones are for more than just calling. Let’s explore a few programs one can use for the Pantech duo.

Java MIDlets

Included in the Java Group are various programs and some games. This includes MySpace Mobile and My-Cast Weather. There’s more available for sale just by going to the Application/Java icon which opens the list of applets. You can from there access the Menu and go to the Shop to buy more. Click the Jave icon to see some screen grabs.

MySpace Mobile – a bit sluggish, but a nice GUI. Although the menu text is Very Very Very small. I wasn’t able to upgrade (the cellphone version of myspace). It started Opera Mobile but I was unable to connect to the site. I’m not sure why that is. This is a good application for those who are heavily invested in their My Space page. It doesn’t show the page with all the (in my opinion) annoying bells and whistles, but it shows the text and data.


My-Cast Weather

This is one of the most attractive weather programs on a cell phone I’ve ever seen. They have cleverly made a large library of graphics that are made to appear for every weather condition in real time. If it’s raining in your city Now, the rain graphics appear immediately. This puts you in the right frame of mind – it’s almost as good as sticking your head out the window to check the weather. Plus, they cleverly acknowledge holidays – Halloween had pumpkins littering the screen. It was very cute.
You can access a variety of maps – visible clouds, invisible clouds, radar and so on. These are often animated over several frames so you can see the direction of the cloud movement. You can change and save various locations, track hurricanes with maps, get hourly forcasts and more. It reminds me of program I used on a Blackberry pearl which was very nice. Dedicated weather programs like this operate faster than the internet weather gotten from a browser. Plus, this is great for travelers because you can have a list of cities at the touch of a click.

One thing My-Cast Weather doesn’t have is access to international weather. It doesn’t accept European cities like the Blackberry program does. This is a bit of a disappointment for me, but maybe they will include this feature in the future.

MobiTV2

If you want to watch TV on your phone this is the program to get. Access it from the MobiTV icon and go right to the guide to pick your channel. This have a very nice interface and is easy to navigate. I did notice that the stream gets interupted when I changed to full screen. Error reporting occurs by default. Click the MobiTV icon to see some screen grabs.

As you can see from the picture here, watching TV by flipping open the QWERTY keyboard works just fine.

Instant Messaging

You have three IM Services available on the Pantech duo. Any of them can be accessed from the bottom of the main screen (if you are using the Default ATT home screen). Or from the Icon in the list of programs. Choose from AOL, MS or yahoo. As you can see from the animation I put together yahoo messenger on the duo looks very nice. You have the option of automatically getting logged in or not. The colors are pleasant, and you have your pick of lots of smilies to help make your point. You can make and save often used text.

This screen grab shows what the conversation looks like from the computer end. There’s no audio or webcam features available, but smilies work fine. On the computer end of the conversation Yahoo lets you know you are chatting with someone on their cell phone and even reminds you to make your sentences long enough to make the charges worth it. It doesn’t imply you should write as well as Shakespeare, but it’s probably a good idea.

Just in case your chat was full of brilliant ideas the phone software lets you save the chat via a menu. I investigated and the program saves it as a “.dat” file which not only can be accessed again from within yahoo mobile messenger, but I copied it to my laptop, renamed it as a “.xml” file (sneaky, ain’t I!) and viewed in my Opera Browser. In case you want to find your ‘secret’ conversations look in “My Device/Application Data/OzData”.

I find the QWERTY keyboard fairly comfortable for this type of activity. Logging on is fast, easy and problem free. This is one of the most successfully transfered features for a cell phone. And I’m not a major IM user. In fact, using IM on a cell phone makes more sense than using it on a computer. At least to me. And the fact that you can save important conversations is very useful – especially if you had an impromptu brainstorming session! It’s great to be able to trace where all those clever ideas developed.

In the next installment we examine the new Google Maps Mobile with the new feature: My Location

Written by Cecilia