Mobile Systems' reputation
has been made with their excellent dictionary programs, although
they offer a wide variety of quality applications. Mobile Word
comes as the newest addition to the Palm word processor market.
The approach seems simple enough: this app tries to look and
work as much like MS Word as possible. I'm happy to say that
Mobile Word is well on the way to achieving that lofty goal.
The file list comes up with sizes, sync
status, and a tool bar for common file functions. Internal
icons can be assigned to documents to aid in quick identification.
Currently opened docs in RAM appear in bold type.
Mobile Word supports both the translation
from the desktop and internal creation of complex formatting,
bulleted lists, tables, and pictures in documents. It uses
Mobile Paint (discussed below) to handle all graphics and
the importing of TrueType fonts. Double tapping on a graphic
automatically brings up Mobile Paint with the graphic loaded.
Tables can be nested and include pictures. Anything that
you can import intact from MS Word you can create in Mobile
Word from scratch on the handheld.
The spell checking uses a large word database
(about 1 MB) in Mobile Word and closely parallels that in
MS Word. The handheld can be set to underline misspelled
words with red lines like the desktop. Selecting an underlined
word and then tapping the spell check icon brings up a dialog
with suggested spellings as well as options to ignore the
word or add it to the dictionary, which can be stored on
the card. This implementation proved very effective. The
gapping hole in the implementation is the lack of ability
to spell check just the selection. When trying to spell check
just one red underlined word, Mobile Word moves on to try
to spell check the rest of the document.
In addition, Mobile Word can be set to
suggest completed words as you type. It uses the same dictionary
as spell check, and may be customized in behavior. I didn't
use this as "typing" in MessagEase4T3 or FitalyT3
is faster than always looking up to the screen all the time.
Graffiti uses should take careful note of this capability,
Mobile Word boasts full WYSIWYG formatting,
including TrueType fonts converted from the desktop, and
page layout/orientation control. Mobile Systems claims that
Mobile Word stands unique in its use of TrueType on the handheld,
but in fact WordSmith has done this for several years already.
All major formatting, including insertion of tables and pictures,
can be done from the toolbar at the bottom of the screen.
Spell checking can also be initiated from here. The toolbar
has the look and feel of the MS Office toolbars and is quite
Mobile Word clearly needs further development,
though. The most glaring shortfall has to be the lack of
Undo/Redo capability. What were they thinking? That one bit
me during testing. It supports neither footnotes nor bookmarks,
either. Judging from file sizes on my T3, documents don't
compress. These shortfalls need to be addressed soon for
Mobile Word to achieve the deep market penetration of its
Mobile Paint-wow! Here's an app for your
Palm with virtually all the functionality of MS Paint on
your desktop. It can import/export bitmaps and JPEGs, view
them, scale them, resize, crop, rotate, flip, work transparency,
and invert colors.
I imported one of my ZLauncher background
images to test Mobile Paint, then scaled it by half to import
into a table in a test document. The process couldn't have
been simpler or work any better. In addition to working with
images, you can draw your own graphics using the on-screen
tools, which can be hidden. You could even annotate an image
with text or markings.
Mobile Paint works with bitmaps and jpegs,
including pictures taken with your digital camera. If it
worked with the pcx files from ZGrab, I wouldn't need MS
Paint to resize and convert images for these reviews. I could
capture the screens I needed, resize them, and insert them
directly into the doc on my Palm.
In addition to working with graphics, Mobile
Paint also provides the mechanism to import TrueType fonts.
Simply copy the fonts you want on your handheld into a directory
you choose on your PC and HotSync. Don't get carried away,
though, as these will reside in RAM on your Palm. Fonts can
be viewed via the TT tool in Paint.
Mobile Word comes with a desktop tool to
control synchronization. These weren't as elaborate as DTG,
but they provided everything needed for excellent service.
It also integrates into MS Word's menu system for seamless
work between the desktop and handheld.
So, just how good is Mobile Word/Paint
in real life? After importing the pcx graphics into MS Word
on the desktop, I HotSynced the review to Mobile Word on
my T3 so that I could write parts of this review in front
of my fireplace. This approach succeeded flawlessly. I always
enjoy a good story by the fire!
I should note before closing that Mobile
Systems offers packages they call offices, but they don't
parallel MS Office functionality. That's the reason they
weren't included in this review.
Mobile Systems offers Mobile Word for $29.95,
which includes Mobile Paint and, for Palm OS 4 users, Font
Bucket to manage TT fonts on those devices. OS 5 devices
don't need Font Bucket. I think that Mobile Word has the
potential to dominate the Palm word processing market with
just a few additional basic capabilities.
Powerful document creation capability on the Palm
Seamless integration with MS Word
Excellent Paint app
No accompanying MS Office-type suite
No undo/redo/footnote/bookmark support
Large footprint on handheld (about 4 MB out of the box w/Paint and TT