Portrait of Edd Dumbill, taken by Giles Turnbull

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a conference management web application

XTech Conference
a European web technology conference

Tracker for the P800

In general, I view payware for PDAs as largely a rip-off, but there are some exceptions. The most notable of these is Tracker 3.1, which provides the missing functionality that the Sony Ericsson P800 should have had in the first place.

Beware the screenshots on the Tracker description page. As with so many software vendors (especially in the open source world, I notice) the screenshots do the product an injustice rather than promoting it.

Tracker's key ingredient is the "Today" view, which provides a summary of appointments, to-do items and incoming messages. Just a simple addition, but it suddenly makes the diary and tasks facilities so much more useful.

Tracker also allows redefinition of the function of the various smart keys on the P800. My favourite here is the ease with which the P800 can be keylocked and then unlocked. So much better than the roundabout menu choices that the default interface makes you use.

Perhaps the least useful function to me is the Launcher panel, which is pretty much like a PC desktop view where you can dump shortcuts to your favourite applications or contacts. I think it's a little overconfigurable and pointless, but plenty of people evidently find it handy.

Tracker is certainly worth sparing 20 to investigate, especially as you get the Symbianware FileMan and TaskMan applications thrown in free. FileMan in particular is a very respectable file management application: it includes another feature obviously missing from the default OS, sending multiple arbitrary files via IrDA or Bluetooth.

I hope Sony Ericsson are taking note, and that the default setup for the upcoming P900 has some more sensible interface decisions.

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