There aren’t that many phones that inspire such a loyal following that an entire discussion forum gets dedicated to them. But the PPC-6700 is one such phone. The PPC6700 Users Forum is overflowing with information on hacking, using and generally getting the most out of this all-in-one Phone / PDA.
I’ve had a string of combo devices including the Treo 600 & 650, but nothing has ever come close to the usefulness of the PPC6700. Here are a few examples of how I use my phone on a day to day basis:
- First of all, and one of the nicest things, I plug it into the USB port on my computer to both sync and CHARGE. That’s right. No more carrying a charger around with you when you travel!
- I’m constantly checking my Calendar on my PPC, which of course is always synchronized directly with Outlook. Anything I add to the PPC or to Outlook appears in both places.
- Obviously, I make and receive a lot of calls. What is less obvious is that I never have to program a number since Outlook syncs my contacts directly with the phone. It also shows caller ID info and even a photo if I have one attached to the contact.
- I use the built in Voice Dial feature for nearly all of my most frequently called contacts. All I do is tap the Voice Recorder button and say the name. (This feature can also be used to launch applications, though I’ve never done that.)
- When I’m out doing a little shopping I routinely fire up Pocket Internet Explorer and pull up price comparison Web sites to ensure we’re not over-paying.
- I’ve created my own little web site at PygmyWeb.com to use as a portal for my favorite small screen friendly sites.
- If we are running around and decide to catch a movie I use Internet Explorer to pull up Google Movie listings for times and show listings.
- I use my Tasks and Notes as I travel around to keep track of my “things to do” and when I’m driving I occasionally use the voice recording feature to make a note to myself to do something later.
- I use it to check my e-mail in 5 different boxes while traveling. The PPC downloads the mail while connected to the laptop, or will dial in and get it on the road.
- I use it to send SMS messages to my friends and family.
- I sometimes use the video recorder to record a friends kid singing, or record a place I’m walking through on vacation if I’ve forgotten my camera.
- I use the 1.3MP camera to take photos of things I need to remember, like price tags in stores or artwork that I find inspirational.
- I routinely use the phone as a wireless modem to connect my laptop to the Internet when traveling (here are fantastic instructions).
I could go on all day, but I’m sure you get the picture. In addition to all of that “out of the box” functionality I’ve added several enhancements which allow me to get even more enjoyment out of this little puppy (these should work with any Pocket PC, not just the PPC-6700):
- I use LogMeIn.com to remote control all the computers I support (basically mine… plus my whole family. :-) )
- I use RoboForm to store all of my Web site logins and other confidential information in an encrypted format. Since there is a version for PPC it automatically syncs all of that info so I have it with me at all times. If you’d like to download it without having to navigate their web site here is the direct download link.
- When I want to chat on AOL, Yahoo, or MSN I fire up Agile Messenger 3 Beta (for Windows Mobile 5).
- The free Total Commander is a great file management tool which allows me to move and delete stuff.
- I’ve used Skype along with the built in 802.11 WiFi to make calls over the internet from a hotspot.
- I use the Core Pocket Media Player to watch full length movies on my PPC. (How to convert movies.) All you need is a large storage card. I recommend 2GB.
- I’ve loaded about 250 of my favorite MP3s on my card and use the built in Windows Media Player to create and listen to playlists. It works great with headphones on a plane, but can also be used via the speakerphone while sitting at a desk or something.
- I use an app called Skookum to retrieve RSS feeds so I can read them when I’m offline. It will also download PodCasts and let you listen to audio books from Audible.com
- WiFiFoFum is great at finding WiFi hotspots and open access points so you can jump on the internet using someone else’s free connection.
- I check weather forecasts with the excellent and free ABD Weather application.
- I’ve found several of the PHM Pocket PC PowerToys to be useful in the past.
- There is a great Today plugin which allows you to quickly Search Google from your Today Screen.
- cLaunch is the best freeware program launcher for the PPC. It makes it much easier and quicker to launch programs than going through the Start menu.
- Windows Mobile has a nasty habit of keeping programs open in the background, even when you think you’ve closed them. So I use Magic Button to take care of that little problem.
The one addition I’ve made to my PPC besides software (oh, and a memory card) is a Seidio holster. I find it to be much more secure, quicker to release and generally all around nicer than any other.
In addition to everything here, the PPC-6700 is a true PocketPC. So any software or hardware designed to work with a PPC will run on this phone. Some sites with freeware and addons for the PPC are: