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AvantGo 3.3

Contact Info:
info@avantgo.com
URL: www.avantgo.com

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The Pros:
  • Free!
  • Allows large amounts of Web content to be easily stored on a Palm
  • Contains an adequate manual Web browser with support for cookies

The Cons:
  • Limited to 2 Megs of Channel content to be downloaded
  • No online bookmarks
  • Lack of support for frames and image maps

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AvantGo 3.3 Review
By Ed Hardy
4/26/2000


The Palm has always lacked a Web browser that did everything a full-featured browser ought to do. Until now. The latest version of AvantGo has gone a long way towards making it the single Web browser you need on your Palm. It now boasts an adequate browser for manually surfing at the Web while the automatic downloading of Web content is still the best in the business.

AvantGo was originally designed to do one thing and do it well: allowing a user to select from preformatted "channels" on the company's Web site (www.avantgo.com) and downloading these channels onto the user's palmtop for reading offline when a HotSync is performed. The channels include everything from the New York Times to Palm Infocenter. If you aren't using AvantGo, you are really missing out on one of the great features of your Palm.

As good as the off-line browsing of channels is, there are still times when you need to manually browse through a site or two. This latest version has vastly improved AvantGo's usability as an on-line Web browser. To do this, the user interface has been slightly redesigned. The most obvious change they made is the addition, at the top of each page, of a small icon that looks like a folder. Clicking on this opens a page where you can type in your URLs (see picture). There is also a drop-down box that is a history of URLs that you have typed in recently and another with handy shortcuts for frequently used elements in URLs like "www." and ".com".

After typing in your URL, simply press the OK button at the bottom of the page to be taken to the site you have requested. Naturally, this requires a live connection of some kind to the Internet.

AvantGo also has decent capabilities for displaying sites, within limits. It will allow you to use sites that require cookies and you can choose whether to display graphics or tables. But there are a few frustrating limitations like AvantGo's total failure when dealing with frames or image maps.

No product is perfect and AvantGo is no exception. There is no process for notifying users about the latest version, even though when you create a user account you there is an option to be reminded of updates. It is possible many of you are still using vision 3.1 because you simply didn't know that 3.3 was available. Also, you can't add or use bookmarks with AvantGo. You could substitute bookmarks by making a channel for each site you frequent, but that can become tedious. And the process for upgrading isn't terribly intuitive. You need to visit the AvantGo Web site, click on "Sign Me Up", then work your way through the process like you are a new user until you can download the software and drop out.

AvantGo is really what having a Palm is all about. It allows you to easily download a large amount of information into a very small space and access that information when it is most convenient for you. It is one of the few indispensable third-party apps that all Palm users should have and the improved manual browsing features in version 3.3 are welcome enhancements to an already solid product. AvantGo, Inc. recently received $31 million in venture capital which they will certainly use some of to create an even better piece of software to make your life easier.

Editor's Comments: On the wireless web, you could call me a frequent flyer. I regularly use my Vx equipped with an OmniSky wireless modem to surf the 'net. Prior to AvantGo 3.3 most of it has been with Proxiweb. 3.3 drastically improved the overall speed of the browser and added a nice status bar at the top that lets you know how many bytes have been downloaded. Finally you can cut and paste in the open URL dialogue and you can use the date book and address hard keys for the forward and back functions. The online web improvements to AvantGo are excellent, but I'll still keep Proxiweb around when I need to use bookmarks. -Ryan

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Avantgo 3.3

AndyT @ 4/26/2000 4:01:34 AM #
Agree with all your comments. But it should also be mentioned that because Avantgo 3.3 allows secure connections to websites, this means that for the first time users can use this browser to view (and Send, Delete, Etc.) their Hotmail account on their Palm devices. One word of caution however, this does not seem to work with all ISPs. If it won't work for you, try using a different ISP.
RE: Avantgo 3.3
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/26/2000 2:54:04 PM #
Uummm, ProxiWeb supports SSL. i do not use Hotmail, so i don't know if there if ProxiWeb can be used to check/send Hotmail accounts, but i have used ProxiWeb to access other web sites using SSL.
RE: Avantgo 3.3
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/4/2001 4:49:54 PM #
Browse-it also supports SSL, and is a free browser too. It also allows bookmarks.

Upgrading

Calloway @ 4/26/2000 6:45:26 AM #
Concerning upgrading... I'm fairly certain that, unlike what was said in the review, a person with an account simply needs to go to "Edit" and then click on "Software Setup" on the left. Several download options are then available. Definitely simpler than going through the new account process.
RE: Upgrading
Vladimir Campos @ 4/26/2000 8:40:00 AM #
Hi Calloway,

The upgrade comment was very useful. I really didn't remember where I should go to download the software. I've looked all over the AvantGo website and didn't find any download link. Then I decided to come here (Palm Infocenter) and reading your comment I cold find out how to download the AvantGo software.

Thanks,
Vladimir
info@palmbr.com
http://www.palmbr.com" CLASS=NEWS TARGET=_NEW>http://www.palmbr.com

RE: Upgrading
ed@palminfocenter.com @ 4/26/2000 9:11:10 AM #
Calloway, you are absolutely correct. Thank you for pointing this out.

I probably should have added to the review a paragraph about how I don't much like the way the AvantGo Web site is organized. Some items that I think are very important and that should have large prominent links on the home page are hidden off on sub-pages. Ryan had to point out the user guide to me and I'm not surprised I couldn't find this link to upgrade my software. AvantGo recently reorganized their site so that it is much better but there is still some room for improvement.

RE: Upgrading
Kris @ 4/26/2000 10:17:59 AM #
The problem still remains that the download does not identify the version of the software you are downloading. The don't even have some sort of version number in the file name!!!

500K is too big

Michael @ 4/26/2000 9:03:52 AM #
I use Pendragon Browser for offline browsing. It offers quite the same funktionality as Avantgo (cookie,picture,forms support) but needs only 60K of RAM. It prepares and updates the channels via the users desktop..
RE: 500K is too big
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/26/2000 8:59:52 PM #
avantgo does color pixs
does pendragon do color?
RE: 500K is too big
George Gray @ 4/28/2000 5:27:50 PM #
The pendragon browser does not do color nor is it very useful. Yeah, it's small, but is clumsy. AvantoGo is better, but, it too, is rather clumsy. Still looking for a good offline browser...

It worked with Hotmail

Vladimir Campos @ 4/27/2000 12:22:15 AM #
Hi,

I've download it, and the first thing I did was try it with Hotmail. I could "sign in", "read e-mail"; "delete e-mail" and "send e-mail"... Everything worked very well!!!!

Vladimir
info@palmbr.com
www.palmbr.com

RE: It worked with Hotmail
Ed @ 4/27/2000 9:02:09 AM #
I just tried it and it worked for some of my ISPs but not for others. Apparently the Secure Socket Layer causes problems on some providers. I know it works for Freei so if you are a subscriber to that service and have a HotMail account, you can use it from your Palm via AvantGo 3.3.

Apparently, MS has created a "mobile" version of HotMail because I wasn't brought up in the regular version of HotMail's pages but on a page that had been optimized for a small screen, which is great. I'd guess they created if for their PocketPC users but HotMail was able to detect that I was a Palm user and automatically served me the correct page. I was able to read, send, and delete e-mail, too.

RE: It worked with Hotmail
Ray @ 4/27/2000 2:53:57 PM #
Just a matter of time before the other free email services like Yahoo Mail, have a mobile editions on their sites.

Glad to see Hotmail is there!

RE: It worked with Hotmail
Vladimir Campos @ 4/28/2000 8:21:40 AM #
Hi,

Even before the 3.3 AvantGo version, Yahoo had announced that they'll releasing a mobile version of Yahoo Mail. There is already a version of Yahoo Mail for Palm VII users. I have on my Plam IIIx a mobile version of Yahoo Messenger and it works very-very-very well. ICQ in the other hand, doesn't work at all :((((

Vladimir.
info@palmbr.com
www.palmbr.com

RE: It worked with Hotmail
Mark @ 4/29/2000 10:00:55 AM #
I'm not familiar with how AvantoGo works with Hotmail. Is a modem required? Could someone enlighten me?
RE: It worked with Hotmail
Ed @ 4/29/2000 5:51:39 PM #
We're discussing using the manual browsing features of AvantGo to visit HotMail so, yes, you need a modem. But it does raise an interesting thought. Could someone write an AvantGo channel that could let you send/receive e-mail during a HotSynch? You could download your incoming mail then use the forms manager to write e-mail that would be sent the next time you HotSynch.
RE: It worked with Hotmail
Mark @ 4/30/2000 11:37:51 AM #
Yeah Ed, since I don't have a modem the Hot Sync method is what I was looking for. I think I read that Palm and Yahoo have plans to offer this type of service (Hot Sync email) for YahooMail by the end of the year.
AvantGo 3.3 & Hotmail - The best part is.....
Vladimir Campos @ 4/30/2000 3:40:03 PM #
I've done another test.
Part 1 - Using a desktop browser I've sended an e-mail with an attached JPG colored file to my Hotmail account.
Part 2 - I've entered my Hotmail account using AvantGo and, just like it happens in the desktop Hotmail Messages, I could see the attached image bellow the written part of the e-mail message. Of course the image became grayscale.... but with only 3kb.

Linux Syncing with Gnome Pilot

subversive @ 4/28/2000 4:16:27 PM #
I upgraded to 3.3 and now syncing under Linux using
gnome-pilot no longers works (the MAL portion.) Anyone
else have this problem or know of a solution?
RE: Linux Syncing with Gnome Pilot
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/1/2000 11:34:14 PM #
You need the latest version of MalSync to use avantgo 3.3
on linux. I don't think gnome pilot has been ported
to it yet. Go to http://www.tomw.org/malsync.html

Tom
" CLASS=NEWS TARGET=_NEW>http://www.tomw.org/malsync.html

Tom

Hmmm...

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2000 8:07:26 PM #
They still haven't added a general copy/cut/paste feature so I can save articles I like.
They said they would eventually... hmm.
RE: Hmmm...
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/1/2000 4:20:33 PM #
ditto
RE: Hmmm...
Me Too @ 7/29/2000 1:57:49 PM #
Agree completely
RE: Hmmm...
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2000 5:13:55 PM #
Even worse, you can't delete AvantGo files on your Palm from your Palm. You must delete the channel on the website first and wait for the effects on your next hotsynch.

Hmmmm...

Slower Screen Refresh?

Mark @ 5/1/2000 8:18:34 AM #
Is it just me, or does the screen seem to refresh slower under v3.3? I don't remember being able to watch the screen fill line by line when I "paged down" in v3.1

Accessing A: Drive

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/3/2000 8:15:37 PM #
With the additional of SSL, the software now accesses my A: drive when I sync. Apparently it's going to be fixed in a newer build... but when? And are they going to post some notice of this?

Modems

Jim Poole @ 5/6/2000 3:17:16 AM #
I would love to surf the WWW but is seems that Palm stopped making a modem for my PILOT 5000. WHY!!!
I can't find it anywhere. While I as search through the WWW, I came across a news letter stating that all Pilots will be able to surf the web by the end of the year (using a clipon modem probably similar to the V); as per CEO of Palm.
Does anyone know where I can get a modem?
My Pilot has been updated to 2 MB RAM and 3.3 OS. I works great!
Thanks
RE: Modems
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/22/2000 1:48:04 PM #
OfficeMax in kansas City is selling the Palm Modem for $49. Try an OfficeMax were you live.

How secure are Proxiweb and Avantgo?

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/11/2000 1:22:49 PM #
These two Palm web browsers say they support secure
communications, and reformat web page data for the Palm device.

But I thought the link between secure web site and my Palm was secure???? That means no one can read my data?

But then, how can these proxy servers reformat secure data? It must be decrypted first. Reformatted, then re-encrypted to the Palm. I thought secure data streams could not be "broken"???!!!! If Avantgo and Proxiweb reformat the data, that means secure data is exposed on the servers!!! This indicates secure transactions on the web are a sham.

I have tried contacting the companies about this. But they never answer. I guess they are caught!

RE: How secure are Proxiweb and Avantgo?
Belmerlin@yahoo.com @ 6/15/2000 5:28:52 PM #
Well I've taken a look at this, and I can only think of one solution: The data is sent through the proxy unmodified, then everything (reformating amd somesuch) is all handeled at the site itself. The main reason I think this is the case, is because no company would make themselves liable for information like that getting out that easily. I also had a thought regarding avantgo: Mabye it sends the data to the palm and the palm itself reformats it. When you take into account how much larger avantgo is than most other browsers out there, it makes sense that that's what all that extra code is for... unfortionatally, That's just a guess, I'd like to know the "offical" answer to that too. Of corse there is the age old theroy that went arround in the days of the phone crackers : "If you don't want someone else to be able to listen in, don't say anythign worth listening to" yeah, it causes a monor inconvience, but I'll tell you what, I know guys that can get "secure" data about 50 different ways, so no matter what you do there is some keyboard jockey out there that can steal your data and monkey with it all they want.

Motorola L-series & Palm V

Vernon @ 6/10/2000 6:29:01 PM #
I want to know how I can use my Motorola L7089 handset (which has a built-in modem) and my Palm V for wireless internet access.

Pls let me know how I need to configure my Palm.


Thanks in advance.

Verne

RE: Motorola L-series & Palm V
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2000 4:50:53 AM #
CHECKING EMAIL WITH PALM & MOBILE PHONE

THE PHONE MUST BE AN IR-CAPABLE PHONE
You must go the menu and "activate" the IR port. Since the IR port uses battery power, you may want to turn it off when you're not using it.

On the Palm Pilot side
(1) TELL THE PALM PILOT ABOUT YOUR PHYSICAL CONNECTION
If you installed the new OS, there are some changes here.
(a) Go to PREFS - CONNECTION. Add a new connection called "IR modem". Under "connection method", select "IrCOMM to Modem". Dialing is TouchTone and volume is whatever. Under "details", set speed to 57,600, flow control to automaic and init string to AT&FX4.
(2) TELL THE PALM PILOT ABOUT YOUR NETWORK CONNECTION
Go to PREFS and then NETWORK. Type in your ISP's phone number and your login id and password. You'll also be asked which "connection" (from above) you want associated with the network. Select your new "IR modem" entry.
From now on, when a program tries to make a TCP/IP connection, it will automatically dial out on your mobile phone using the infrared port.

RE: Motorola L-series & Palm V
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/15/2001 5:23:29 AM #
Hi,

I was able to connect my Nokia 8220 to my Palm V until recently, I got this error message: Error 5459 Unknown network error has occurred. I did not do anything different and am not sure why it happen. Can someone advise what is this error?

Many thanks.

Handspring Visor Deluxe & Motorola L series

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/3/2001 6:35:55 PM #
Can anyone let me know how to connect my Handspring Visor Deluxe to Motorola L Series 7089 Via IR port to connect to internet.
OS Running 3.1.

Thanks
Nick

Book hotels on your plam pilot download!!

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/27/2001 9:49:14 AM #
RE: Book hotels on your plam pilot download!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2002 8:39:09 PM #
IT's great!!

i just cant figure out how to delete files on my palm pilot

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 11:14:47 PM #
i am going nuts i cant figure out how to delete the files on my plam pilot. please tell me what I should do
RE: i just cant figure out how to delete files on my palm pilot
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/28/2002 11:36:07 PM #
Step by step:

1)Turn on the Palm device
2)Tap on the home icon with stylus.(Home is the little icon in the grafitti area that looks like a house.
3)Tap on the little bar on the top left hand side of the screen. This is the menu bar. (It should have a clock reading on it)
4)From the menu bar, there will be a dropdown, and one of the listed items will read "Delete"
5) Tap delete. The screen will say "Please Wait"
6)After a moment, a screen will appear listing all the items on the device. Pick the unwanted item, tap on "Delete" at the bottom of page, and voila.

How to sync my palm v using a proxy

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/23/2002 5:56:28 PM #
For some reason my palm stopped synchronizing with AvantGo. Now I get a message saying your proxy denied your request. What do I have to do to fix this problem.

Thanks Jorge

Palm IIIc

btaylor @ 10/16/2002 10:46:03 AM #
I am using a palm IIIc and I try sync to a server over ssl using a cert from verisign and utilizing IIS
5.0 and I try and I get unknown network error. But if I use avantgo ssl the device sync's up just fine. Anyone have any ideas?

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