Always on the lookout for utilities and fun stuff for my Pocket PC, I turned to Resco and was given the opportunity to check out some great software. Resco is a Microsoft Certified Partner thus allowing them to produce software that not only compliments your phone but makes it an extension of your day to day living. With a swag of awards, and a reputation for being an industry leader Resco doesn’t disappoint with its new releases.
So I started by installing the Utility Package...
Now this includes the renowned Explorer 2008, Photo Viewer 2007 (Standard Edition) and Keyboard Pro and comes with a nifty today screen plug-in for easy access to all the components including Recycle Bin just in case you deleted something in error and a Registry Editor program for Tweaking those little things you need to make your Pocket PC your own. The today screen gives you easy access to all of the above along with running programs and the ability to close all at the touch of the screen, battery indicators and space meters... an all round top little Utility in my book.
needs no introduction really, if you haven't seen this little beauty download it today and check out the trial version because it really is the epitome of File Explorers.
* The File Manager
* Recycle Bin
* ZIP Compression
* Strong File Encryption
* Build-in viewer
* Network Browser
* Registry Editor
* FTP client
Great search feature for those lost files and let’s face it sometimes either we forget where we have put stuff or where the phone saved something so this makes things very easy to find. Send to Function at the touch of the screen, Delete and Multi Selection mode and the ability to add to Favourites. There is an option for a standard view or tree view would be great to see a preview of the files selected in the space below the tree view, having said that though if you select a picture file it will revert to the Photo Viewer program also by Resco. The Tree View option works terrifically well on Pocket PC's and other devices that have a reasonable size screen however you may wish to use the standard view on a Smart Phone or Symbian platform.
There are also add-ons consisting of Zip compression, Network and FTP locations, Registry editing and the good old Recycle Bin and some File associations but again would be great to see more file associations. Customizing is easy with everything from skin, colours, toolbars and even the ability to assign buttons to specific actions. You can even map drives! One of the best Explorer utilities I have seen for the Pocket PC.
Photo Viewer 2007 ...
View, Zoom, manipulate all your photos in this easy to use viewer, slide shows at a touch . Supports over 20 file formats including all the standard jpg, tiff, bmp, psd, mpeg and the list goes on. You can Crop photos, add text, date and time and even add voice notes.
I did find I had to install this program separately from the Utilities Package to get it to be available in the Resco Today screen options otherwise I could only access it when I selected a picture from within Explorer, but on second installation it appears as a selection. It is listed under Programs as Photo Viewer not as Resco Photo Viewer as one would expect so it’s easy to miss if you're not completely up to date with the programs on your Pocket Pc.
You are also given the choice of Photo Viewer being the default for your picture files including Power Point files. There are multiple views on multiple photos and a slide show option for presentation. However when viewing pictures it gives the properties of each picture on the display which can be a little annoying. The facility is there to view the properties separately and they don’t show when using the picture in a slide show which is a bonus. Following the easy to use Explorer system this small but powerful viewer caters for all your needs for on the spot editing.
Keyboard Pro ...
Finally a Keyboard you can use with one hand! How funky is this one. Nice big keys, QWERTY keyboard so easy to type on the run it appears in all applications as an input choice but if you select the simple skin it looks just like the keyboard input that comes with the standard phone, the iSkin is a better look and all include predictive text which can be set to suggest 1 - 4 words after typing 1 - 7 letters, handy when you want to type a txt quickly. Doesn't allow you to drag letters you have to tap each letter separately which limits spelling mistakes and makes typing more accurate unlike some other software available.
Cute little sounds on key press, which of course can be turned off and a nice little calculator as well although only available while using the keyboard might be nice to access this feature separately as well, definitely a bonus installation.
The Brain Games came next ...
Again as with all Resco products: easy installation and use. Scroll with the flick of a touch through over 30 Brain Games and keep your mind alert, with Memory, Calculation and Analytical games and it even keeps your statistics to show your improvements over time.
Brain Games are a great way to exercise your brain and what better time to do it than when you are waiting for an appointment or travelling on public transport. Well now you can, just bear in mind you will get consumed in them, but no better way to keep your mind sharp and alert, and they certainly help stretch the grey matter.
All controlled by touch, either by Stylus or finger operation with clear directions and an onscreen helper recording your every answer and providing assistance when you need it, and as I discovered the assistant clocks your rating not only for incorrect answers but also if you answer too slowly. Clear right and wrong indicators and similar formats throughout the games make them easy to learn and start keeping score on how well your brain is performing. I would like to see the option of different users, as it is there is no provision for this so if someone else plays these games they join your statistics as a whole, and would be nice to see the Statistics last longer than the 30 days stated.
Resco Audio Recorder
One touch recording, unlike other recording programs I have seen this one offers ease of use and many features you won't find elsewhere like automatic phone call recording and yes it gets both sides of the conversation on most devices however it is listed as sometimes missing one side dependent on the device its installed on. Alarm and Sleep function so you can be woken with your favourite tune or sent to sleep listening to some music.
File conversion between formats, supports most audio formats and can convert recordings to your preferred extension which makes transferring files between phones and PC's very easy. There is an equalizer which is a handy tool as we know phones don’t always give us the best output and everyone enjoys their music differently so you can set the treble up or the base higher which ever you prefer.
Again one handed use and even the ability to use command line controls for the more advanced user. Unlike other recorders on the market the Resco one delivers quality recordings and more powerful editing solutions ... well worth the buy!
Pocket Radio 1.8
OK I love this one, Installation is a breeze and if you have your internet or Wifi already set up on your pocket pc you will have no problem at all connecting this. This new version 1.8 now supports Bluetooth headsets as well so how easy is that. there is a Scheduler so you can perform timed recordings, and a sleep function so you can listen to the radio as you drift off to sleep, there are hundreds of internet radio stations to choose from catering for all tastes and moods. Would like to see it include Australian radio stations so you can set it to record your favourite morning show or similar such thing, and perhaps the ability to go to sleep to one station and wake to another.
You can even choose a skin to suit your Pocket PC Theme so if you’re a lover of music, and find you have your Bluetooth stuck in your ear for most of the day why not grab this application and make it all worth while ... As some Phones now have the Radio function in built you may wonder why you would want to purchase Pocket Radio but being able to record from the radio, snooze and wake to your favourite music station is far more than an inbuilt radio can offer, and some don’t yet support Bluetooth headsets.
It can be tricky to set up if you don't have WIFI or internet set up already, and it won’t work with some prepaid accounts that have very limited internet access, some allow you to access only their website and cut down versions of popular programs so it pays to check whether your plan or provider grants you access to make this program work.
Neat little game of strategy where you build towers for defense against invaders similar to Platform games you find on PC's, all controlled with the stylus. Move through the levels and achieve the great status of Defender. Great graphics, a little addictive, a variety of defense towers and invaders keep it interesting as does the experience levels with a choice of Easy, Medium, Hard and Endless which I haven't mastered as yet contrary to its name it tends to be over rather quickly.
Earlier levels can leave you feeling falsely confident so don’t be misled -- jump into the harder ones and see how well you fare.
Music to suit can be turned off or on, can appear slow in the earlier levels and the writing would appear to be very small on the normal screen sizes so works better on a larger screen.
This classic game provides hours of amusement and tests your logic ability, Sokoban translates to Storeman and the object is to stack the store in the most efficient manner in the least amount of moves, seems easy enough just push the blocks around to one shaded area of the grid, however you learn quickly enough how much concentration this takes. The early levels are good but the higher the level the more complex it becomes and the more you have to think before you push. Select a Character from a choice of 4 and different warehouses provide different difficulties. Great undo feature for when you make an error in judgment but easy to get absorbed in this one.
Again as we have come to expect from Resco excellent graphics, tonnes of levels and a free extras pack make this a terrific game of logic and I challenge you not to become addicted. Text is easy on the eye with the big screen but somewhat small on the average screen which seems to be a common element with a lot of these sorts of games not restricted to Resco alone but widespread across the board.
I did find this game likes plenty of memory to function properly and tends to limit graphics if you have other programs open so make sure everything not in use is closed down so you can enjoy the full functions of this one.
One of my most favourite past times is sudoku, and I have searched high and low for a decent Pocket PC version to keep me amused and until now none have measured up. That is until I got to see the Resco version... Choose from the traditonal 9 squares with either Numbers, Colours, Bristles, and a variety of others just for a bit of variety to this age old game. 5 levels of difficulty but all with the ability to mark squares with possible solutions, hints if you get really stuck and need some assistance, solutions for the really tough ones that you just can’t master.
You can even check how you are doing within the current puzzle, flag mistakes and flag duplicates so if you are a beginner on Sudoku you can learn better techniques with this game.
All touch screen on and on go the positives and you even have the ability to create your own puzzles all this is a winner in my book, finally now I can sudoku where ever I go .. well done Resco!!
Would be terrific to see some different varieties like Alpha or images just for a bit more challenge to the advanced users but very easy to install and navigate.
Resco has fast become an industry leader in the development of Tools, Utilities, Games and Suites for Pocket PC's, Smart Phones, Symbian systems with awards galore and deservedly so Resco can stand proud of their achievements. They provide a great support system online as well as a Forum for FAQ's and user support which is a terrific way to get honest feedback on how things are going. Their user friendly website and large partner base means they are easy to purchase, download and implement and that has to be a winner.
As with most Pocket PC's even after closing programs they tend to still be in use taking up memory and causing your Phone to stop functioning to its best ability so it always pays to check any running programs and close down any that you aren't currently using. If you have Resco Today installed this is easy to do from the front screen.
Price wise Resco's standard RRP is higher than the average with the suites being priced around the $70.00 mark and individual programs listed as under $30 each, however the standard produced in these applications are far better and with Resco constantly run promotions reducing the price of the applications by as much as 40% they are a bargain, very good value for money with the Suites being the best buys with the biggest savings when on special. The partner programs allow these applications to be purchased through many different mediums and payment methods so there is something to suit everyone which is always popular.
I would recommend to anyone who has a Pocket PC, Smartphone or Symbian phone to check out the Resco products download some trial versions but be prepared you are going to want to purchase the full versions.