WorldMate 2005 Professional Edition v5 for Palm OS
Reviewed by: Mark Goldstein, September 2005
Published by: MobiMate
Requires: Versions available for Palm OS 4 or 5, Pocket PC 2002 or newer, Smartphone running Symbian or Windows Mobile and most other handheld operating systems; WiFi or wireless data connection
WorldMate 2005 Pro is a software traveling companion for handheld PDAs and Smartphones. Its primary functions provide up-to-the-minute travel, weather and time information along with planning, itinerary and a wide range of other utility functions and data particularly useful to business and vacation travelers. WorldMate 2005 Pro also makes use of wireless Internet connectivity through available WiFi and wireless cell phone/smartphone data connections to obtain regular information updates, color satellite maps, current currency conversion rates and a host of other data.
I used WorldMate 2005 Pro over a period of four weeks and two business trips. It was the first time I had ever used an organizer and information program to help me plan trips and provide local travel, hotel, flight and currency information. Although it took a few days to get fully used to the idea of having all of my functionally useful travel information and tools (including an alarm clock) located in one compact place, midway through the second day of the first of a pair of one week business trips, I found myself regularly using and being drawn to WorldMate. Nice job, MobiMate. I use a PalmOne Treo 650.
WorldMate 2005 Pro consists of a series of information and utility modules accessible through a common program interface. Here's what you get:
- Comprehensive Flight Schedules - 800+ airlines are covered. Daily and weekly schedules provided for any selected route. A dynamic connection engine provides the 50 fastest connections to your destination. Flight information is provided by OAG WorldWide, which is likely the best source anywhere in the world;
- Travel Itinerary Manager - Manages all details including flights, hotels and car rentals to business meetings, events and so on. Exports data to the device calendar. Provides on-the-spot information via the Quick View display and the handy event alarms. Enables itinerary exchange and desktop synchronization using the optional WorldMate Desktop Companion;
- World Clocks - View five world clocks. Full time-zone coverage and automatic daylight savings time calculations. Alarm function is tied to local clock wherever you are;
- Global Dialing Code Guide - Searchable lists of all international dialing codes, time-zones, US and Canadian area codes;
- Global Weather Forecasts - Five day forecasts provided for over 38,000 locations worldwide, and updated 4 times a day with data provided by The Weather Channel;
- Global Tax & Tip Calculator - Tax & tip information for over 30 countries and across 7 service categories including restaurants to taxis. Built in calculator is fast and easy to use;
- World Day/Night Map - View current day & night conditions on a world map. Includes a city locator and world clock display;
- Packing List Organizer - Lots of packing categories. Organize and pack everything efficiently and precisely using the list organizer feature. Lists are configurable and allow for full personalization;
- Currency Converter & Currency Rate Service - An advanced currency converter coupled with an online currency rate service. Supports three currencies concurrently, with rates provided for over 160 currencies. Includes a summation and side-by-side comparison feature. Updates anytime as long as a wireless Internet connection is available;
- Clothing Size Converter - Clothing size conversion tables across four regions: US, UK, EU and Japan. Six clothing categories so you can shop confidently;
- Real-Time Flight Status - Delays, gate, terminal information and more. The only service with this coverage, information is available for over 25 of the world's leading airlines including: Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air France, Alaska Airlines, America West Airlines, American Airlines, Ata Airlines,Inc. AVIATECA, British Airways, BWIA, West Indies Airways, Continental Airlines, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia, Icelandair, LACSA-Lineas Aereas Costarricenses, Lufthansa, German Airlines, Midwest Airlines, Northwest Airlines, SWISS, Taca International Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, Varig, Virgin Atlantic Airways;
- Size & Measurement - Global conversion tool for length, distance, weight, volume, temperature and pressure. Fast and accurate;
- Desktop Itinerary Synchronization - Create, edit and exchange an itinerary on your desktop PC, then synchronize it with or e-mail it to your handheld. You can edit an itinerary on the desktop and send it to one or more travelers. Exchange itineraries with travel companions. Import meetings and contacts from Microsoft Outlook. Full functuionality requires the optional WorldMate Desktop Companion;
- Global Weather Satellite Imagery - Animated, up-to-date weather satellite imagery available globally. Weather radar and precipitation maps for North America. All data provided by The Weather Channel.
Everything worked as expected. I love the tip calculator because it has eight different tip categories (restaurant, bar, hotel, taxi, etc.). I love the converter utility (MPH to KPH, gallons to liters, centimeters to inches, etc., etc.). I love the currency rate converter because I can get the latest rates while standing at the currency exchange kiosk (and ensure that I don't get ripped off yet again). I love the built-in alarm clock and the ability to sync to various atomic time clocks (so I always have the right time and can set an alarm for the exact time I want to wake up rather than relying on sometimes flaky hotel wake-up call systems). I love being able to check up-to-the-minute flight schedule information almost anywhere in the world, which makes it much easier to switch on the run when more advantageous flights appear. For business travelers, this is a real treat. You don't need to be near an airport (or a telephone for that matter) to get accurate flight information for any of the major carriers. I don't know of any other PDA software which does this.
Cons: The MobiMate online support web pages are really thin. There's no FAQ page and generally very little hard data online. Almost every search in the support area ends up at the "Send a Ticket" link. The number of airlines in the real-time flight information list is short, although it's growing and does include a lot of the major carriers.
Pros: If this isn't the best PDA traveling information companion, I don't know what is. Any late model handheld device (Palm OS, Pocket PC, Symbian-based Smartphone, Windows Mobile Smartphone, etc., etc.) will be vastly improved by WorldMate, especially if you do a lot of traveling. Crossing time zones? Driving? Flying? Train? Bus? Checking into a hotel or motel? Dining out? Planning a trip? Packing for a trip? Planning your itinerary? Need a versatile travel alarm? There's more and WorldMate Pro handles it all through an easy to use interface which presents clear and concise information that can be frequently updated, wirelessly, almost anywhere in the world. As long as your WiFi handheld or Smartphone can find a connection, anywhere you happen to be, you can update weather, time, flight schedules, get the latest currency conversion rates and so on. WorldMate Pro is a delightfully useful traveler's information, utility and productivity program. Highly recommended.
Feedback? Letters to the Editor? Send them here!