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On Pocket PCs, Smartphones and Windows Mobile

Posted on: May 21st, 2008 by Craig Rairdin 3 Comments

One of the more common questions that we receive related to our mobile PocketBible product line is this: “I have a Windows PDA, but how do I know if it is a Pocket PC or a Smartphone?” This can be especially confusing because some Pocket PCs are also phones, and the marketing names for these devices has changed several times over the last few years. These various devices have been referred to as Windows CE, Palm-size PCs, Handheld PCs, Handheld PC Professionals, Handheld PC 2000s, Pocket PCs, Pocket PC 2002, Smartphones, Smartphone 2002, Pocket PC 2003, Pocket PC 2003 second edition, Smartphone 2003 and now Windows Mobile Classic, Standard, and Professional. Whew. You can understand how some one might be confused. (And I might have even left out a few names!)

While all Windows Mobile devices use a version of the Windows Mobile operating system, there are significant differences between the various classification of devices (Classic, Standard, Professional).

Both the Classic and the Professional devices include a touch-sensitive screen. The Professional device also includes a phone. The Windows Mobile Standard device is also a phone, but does not include a touch-sensitive screen. We tend to call the former devices Pocket PCs and the latter devices Smartphones.

So, how do you know what kind of Windows Mobile device you have? Take this simple quiz:

  1. Does your device have both a touch-sensitive screen and a cell phone? If so, then it is a Windows Mobile Professional, which we sometimes also call a Pocket PC.
  2. Does your device have a touch-sensitive screen but not have a cell phone? If so, then it is a Windows Mobile Classic, which we sometimes call a Pocket PC.
  3. Does your device have a cell phone, but not a touch-sensitive screen? If so, then it is a Windows Mobile Standard, which we sometimes call a Smartphone.

Prior to our recent release of PocketBible 4 for Windows Mobile, we packaged our PocketBible program in a Pocket PC version and in a separate Smartphone version. As noted above, it wasn’t uncommon to receive questions about whether a particular device was a Pocket PC or a Smartphone. It also wasn’t uncommon to have someone buy the Smartphone version, but really need the Pocket PC version. While this was easily corrected by contacting our technical support department, it wasn’t always convenient.

However, now with the release of PocketBible 4 for Windows Mobile, we have packaged a version of PocketBible designed for the touch-sensitive screen models (Pocket PC, Classic, Professional) along with a version of PocketBible designed for the non-touch-sensitive screen models (Smartphone, Standard). Our setup program will then determine which version to install to your device based on the information about itself that the device supplies to ActiveSync or the Mobile Device Center. While the features between these two versions of PocketBible differ (since the devices themselves are very different), the PocketBible setup program will now automatically determine the correct version of PocketBible to install.

You will still see some of our products referred to as “for Pocket PC”. This simply indicates that that program is available only for the Pocket PC (aka Windows Mobile Classic and Windows Mobile Professional) devices, and not for Smartphones (aka Windows Mobile Standard).

And as time goes on, you may even find that I refer to these handheld computers less and less as Pocket PCs or Smartphones, and more and more by their new name du jour!

3 Responses

  1. Bruce Gilliland says:

    When did you release PocketBible 4? I have not yet received an e-mail from you about it at the address listed here.

  2. Jeff Wheeler says:

    Bruce, PocketBible 4 was released May 20. Email notifications have already been sent out, and you should have received yours. I’ve asked for another copy to be sent to you. (Your new announcement won’t be personalized, but will have the pertinent information in it.)

  3. Bruce Gilliland says:

    Thanks. I always look for Laridian mail and had been checking closely since I saw the PB4 beta announcement a while back. It’s not the $3 saved. I was more concerned about the absence of thne e-mail.

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