HandStory Suite 2.0 Adds Offline Web Browsing
HandStory Suite 2.0 is now available. The most important new feature is it allows users to copy websites onto their handhelds to be read later, similar to AvantGo. These are called Clips and are downloaded onto the handheld during each HotSync. Users can choose from a list of suggested websites or pick any site they like. The suite includes a desktop application that allows users to reformat clips after being downloaded so they look better on a handheld screen.
There are actually two kinds of Clips: "direct" clips are pre-formatted for handhelds and are straightforwardly converted to PDB format, while "script" clips are regular websites that are converted with the help of a small script that runs on Handstory Converter (the Windows part of the software); the script tells Converter how to reformat the site for handhelds. The two kinds of clips are distinguished on the handstory site by the color of the icon next to their names.
Handstory can display both text and color images from websites. It also supports the hi-res screens found on most Sony models, allowing users to display over 2,000 characters on a single screen. It also supports the Jog Dial. HandEra users can't view the app at 320 by 240.
Handstory does not use a proxy service, like AvantGo. Sites are downloaded directly from the desktop and converted for display on the handheld. Therefore the service doesn't charge websites to have their content listed.
However, Handstory offers "Fast Clips" which are downloaded in PDB form from a HandStory server rather than directly from the sites themselves. These are pre-converted to compact PDBs on the Handstory server, so the download to the desktop is very fast.
The suite offers numerous other functions too, including a Memo Pad replacement, a Doc Reader, an Image Viewer, and an eBook Reader.
Using the desktop application, text from Windows-based programs and Internet Explorer can be converted to Doc format, ready to be synced and read on the handheld. Also, Images can be cropped and then downloaded onto the handheld to be viewed at any time.
There is no Macintosh version of the desktop app, though the company is working on one.
It supports reading Docs, images, and ebooks from expansion memory cards.
HandStory Suite 2.0 is available now for $20. There is a $5 charge to upgrade from previous versions. There is no service charge to use the company's Clip Service.
Thanks to HandStory for picking us as one of their Featured Clips. -Ed
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