One of the neatest features of your Palm is its ability to save time and simplify your life. But with so many programs available it can often be very difficult deciding which program will work best for you and fill you needs. In fact, one type of program that can truly save you time is a map. There are lots of titles of mapping software available, making this a very difficult choice to make.
Earlier this week I went to Palmgear.com and searched through their software to see what kind of maps are available. There were lots of choices to go through, but I gave each one a fair try, in the end settling on three favorites: Mapopolis, Jungle Port, and HandMap. Each of these maps provide the basic features, but what makes any one map better than the others?
When I started this review, I was using Mapopolis as my main mapping program, and I was more then happy with it. Mapopolis offers a user all of the basic features like locating streets but it doesn't stop just there. Mapopolis has two types of map: a free, basic map and an Enhanced map which costs $3. The free map has only the basics, but the enhanced map has plenty of extra features. There's the ability to find any address by simply entering it, finding any of numerous pre-programmed locations, and creating your own maplets.
A maplet is a user created file that can be beamed, viewed, edited, or deleted. Maplets are backed up on every HotSync operation and allow the user to program in their own set of locations to add into the base map. So a user can put in a week's worth of appointments, and then quickly locate them that morning so they instantly know where to go.
Mapopolis files all run off of a single viewer which is about 100k and allows you to have lists of maps. The typical map is a full county, and the size 500k. The maps do not support VFS or higher resolution yet, but are available in color.
There is a beta of Mapopolis 3.0 on their site. This adds support for GPS , VFS-compatible external memory, map rotation, search using city/town filter, large text for high-resolution displays, and more. It also supports the HandEra 330's high-resolution screen.
Jungle Port is a free program that allows users to view maps. The maps are available for all 50 states, and there are currently a few available Asia with more coming soon. Jungle Port uses maps provided by MapQuest and runs very quickly.
What makes Jungle Port unique is that it ties in with a dinning guide and yellow pages. There's also the ability to mark where you are so you can find near-by points of interests from a customizable list. This software is also capable of tying in with your address book - a VERY valuable feature!
Jungle Port also has exceptional customer service. About 90% of queries are resolved the same day and and 99% are resolved within 24 hours.
HandMap does exactly what it sounds like it should - map. There are two versions right now, HandMap Deluxe, and HandMap Pro costing $16 and $30 respectively. The main difference between the two is GPS support, and both versions have support for both the PocketPC and Palm platforms.
Including all of the basics, HandMap also has some unique features including VFS support. There is also higher resolution support for the Handera 330, with a version for the Clié coming within a month.
Pricing on HandMap is a bit more then the other products, with their entry-level viewer at $16. The maps themselves cost an additional fee, too. A 5-pack of county maps is $16 with an unlimited subscription at $48. Maps of cities in the UK are available in a 3-pack for $18 or a subscription for $49.
When deciding on a map, it's most important to decide what features work best for you . You need to individually weigh the pros and cons of every program and decide what fits your needs.
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