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SilverScreen 2.5 Review
By Davy Fields
Anyone whoís ever picked up a Palm knows how underwhelming the application launcher is. Even on a richly colored Palm, the drab blues make up the only colorful and interesting part of the user interface. Using the memory card is a burden, as is trying to delete, beam, or get any useful information on your applications. Many people who mistakenly purchase Pocket PCís purchase them merely on appearance.
Thankfully, Pocket Sensei created SilverScreen, the complete Palm OS launcher out there today. It combines the features of dozens of applications all into one neat $20 package. SilverScreen allows you rename, get information, and even rename applications. Running programs off the memory card is accomplished with ease, and everything (including databases) can be quickly beamed.
Best of all, the themes are fun, interesting, and great looking, on everything from a Palm III to a Sony NR70. All in all, this is one of the best programs on the market today.
You'll also find the ticker preferences in there. The ticker is a little bar that scrolls like a "stock ticker" across the bottom and shows you your to-do list and Date Book information for the day, and can scroll at different speeds. It's an extremely cool feature, just by itself.
Categorizing is hardly an exciting feature, but the tool bar makes it easy to arrange things on the fly. The fonts of the application, tool bar, and even the side scroll bar can be configured. SilverScreen ships with four interesting designs, and you can add your own using Font Bucket.
The scroll bar change is a very nice feature. Itís a small change, but aesthetically to eliminate it removes all traces of a regular Palm on your handheld. SilverScreen transforms it entirely into something much better.
Another thing you can configure is the program's names in the browser, as well as the ability to hide them (which another application that will remain nameless charges money for), and change their icon.
Pocketsensei.com also contains lots of free icons, so you've got a wide variety of customization available. Finally, you can configure the two dots on the side of the tool bars to go to apps, turn on the backlight, lock the palm, you name it, it does it.
There's also a recent apps/favorite apps button at the top right of the screen. If you don't like the icon view, you can easily switch over to a list view instead by hitting a green arrow. Simply put, there's a lot you can configure.
That brings me to the four icons in the tools section. The info one allows you to see information on your handheld, such as OS version, processor, power source, user name and last HotSync. It displays info about a program if you drag an application icon to the info tool, and it will allow you to change the name and icon there, as well as display miscellaneous info on the app.
Next is the categorization icon I already mentioned.
The beam tool allows you to beam anything, including databases, and although I really wish it allowed you to beam stuff off the memory card, it's great the way it is.
Finally, there's the industry standard trash can, and it works more like a regular trash can, where you can drag stuff in, and empty or save the stuff later.
The Down Side
One other thing is the tickerís lack of customization. I use my To-Do list by the date-due only, and not priority, but the Ticker insists on showing the priority and not the date. Considering all that Pocket Sensei has added, I think itís a safe bet theyíll add it one day. But, considering how fast the overall package is, it's not much of an issue.
Update: Pocket Sensei has released SilverScreen 2.6, which has high resolution support for the first time. Hi-Res It!, included with the SilverScreen download, lets 320 by 320 graphics be used by the launcher interface. It also has improved Jog Dial support.
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