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TinySheet 4 Review
By Ed Hardy
TinySheet 4 is the latest version of iambic's spreadsheet app. It has over 110 functions and a new charting tool. It has two way synchronization with Microsoft Excel on Windows PCs.
TinySheet has some fairly extensive formatting abilities. It has four different font sizes and you can change the foreground text color and background color for any cell. There are several options for displaying dates and times. Of course, you can select the number of decimal places, currency, the thousands separator and other options. You can control the borders for each side and top and bottom for each cell. Naturally, you can group cells together and apply formats to the groups so you don't have to spend hours formatting but it's nice that you can have such fine control of individual cells.
Naturally, you don't just want to display data with a spreadsheet, you also need to perform arithmatic functions on it. TinySheet has 113 built-in functions. This includes everything from the ultra-basic SUM to statistical, financial, and logical functions. I'm not going to list all 113; I'll just say that unless the function you want is particularly obscure, TinySheet probably has it.
As an example of some of what is possible, when testing the app, I wrote a checkbook register to test some of the functions. This included using an IF statement to check to see of each entry had been checked off as being credited to my account so I had not just a current total but the total that my bank knows about, too. Not an amazing spreadsheet but it still takes the place of the third-party check-register app I had been using.
Fortunately, TinySheet has built-in support for the hi-res screen on the Sony N series. This means that these handhelds can display four times as much data as a unit with a 160 by 160 screen. Be sure to click on the image at right to see how much can be packed into an N series screen. Though as you can see, the hi-res screen still can't completely overcome the smallness issue: the font needs to be small in order to get the maximum amount of text.
This is so useful that I'm tempted to say that if you mostly use your handheld as a portable spreadsheet machine, an upgrade to a Sony N series would be worth it.
As long as I'm on the subject of Sony, I ought to mention that there's also support for the Jog Dial.
Again, iambic has tried to make this as Excel-like as possible. Just select a range of values, choose 'Chart' from a drop down menu, go through a short wizard to pick the type and subtype, and your chart gets created. You can even assign a chart to a table cell. This puts a small graphic in the cell which, when clicked on, makes the chart appear.
Syncing with Excel
I almost forgot to mention, the charts created with TinyChart also get synchronized with the charts in Excel.
They have made some serious improvements in scrolling speed. If you have a really huge spreadsheet, you can scroll close to 400 rows down in five seconds.
So I have to say, iambic has done a great job of translating Excel into a Palm version. It is easy to use, especially if you are familiar with Excel, and quite powerful.
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