Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Favourite Windows Mobile apps

One of a string of posts about my favourite phone apps:

Fizz traveller.
Love this one. Although its not optimized for the landscape QVGA screen yet, it is incredibly useful. It features a multicity weather forecast display, with high/low temperatures, precipitation, great graphics and an easy way to display todays weather in 6 or 8 cities with the local times displayed, country dialling code, time zone difference, and a sun/cloud icon. In fact the icons show rain, snow, lightning and can be displayed on the homescreen of the phone too but I don't do this because it removes some homescreen features that I need, like the communications manager shortcut for flipping wifi and bluetooth on or off.

The forecast comes down wirelessly in tiny chunks or when you cable synch to your PC. I set up the Fizz "home" screen so that at a glance I can use it to monitor the weather here at home, in Calgary, where I have family and friends snowed in, Boston where the aforementioned JVM is lonely, London where sparx et famille are expanding, Munich where my lead customer seethes, and Seoul where my distributor lies silently awaiting product. I bought the app for the multiple time zone feature and currency converter, but really like the weather feature and wish that it had tide charts and sunset times for rowing and other outdoorsy purposes.

The currency converter is priceless (fnarr) especially when I'm submitting a three-currency expense report which I have to do every month or so (airline tickets, cab fare and breakfast in Canadian, lunch in US, and then a weeks worth of accommodations and meals in Euros or Korean Won) thanks to flight paths that force me to connect through the US, etc.

Like the weather forecast, the currency rates may be set to autodownload, or on demand from the IMF. They appear to agree with generally and are available for a bewildering array of currencies from Venezuelan Bolivars to Polish Zloty and Slovenian Tolars (what's the plural for zloty?). The converter also handily does length, area, weight, speed, temperature, volume, power, mens and womens shoe sizes and even shirt and dress sizes for the Uk, US and Europe. Truly brilliant for travelling. Even does torque for those moments when you desperately need newton metres converted to pound feet.

I have to say that I use this tool in some way every day. Today I checked my German customer's loc weather forecast so that on our weekly call this morning, I could distract him from the grim reality of more slippages by waxing lyrically about the coming thunderstorms and wild temperature swings expected for Munich this weekend (low of 4C and high of 23C today, for those readers itching to know). Then later in the morning I booked a trade show in Sweden for October, and converted the equipment rental charges from Swedish Krona into Canadian to cut the PO. Marvellously practical. It does need a built in calculator though.

Great app and the 5 day forecast is 100% reliable so far, beating even the local news

Love the well-rendered alarm clock manager, which easily allows multiple configurations for repeats and weekday/weekend behaviour, and easy audio capture (I have a WAV of my better half whispering gently:
"Hoto..Ho-To. It's time to get u-u-p.") and nice graphics. Much easier to get to than the default alarm clock.

I could go on but you get the picture (well, at least the words - more on my ongoing picture blogging fiasco later).

Fizz is a steal at about $20 from
(sent wirelessly from my phone)

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