I came across 64748 Fizz Traveller for Pocket PC when a few months ago I posted a rant about another travel application that I have been using for years. I was a bit disappointed to find out the developer of that other application had moved to a subscription model where users pay for all features on a yearly basis – even if the feature does not require access to an external server, like a World Clock for example.
After reading my comments on why I think this business model is not good enough for the end user, the folks behind Fizz Software sent me Fizz Traveller for Pocket PC for review.
This application is very clever, with an interesting animated menu system (yes, I know, we don’t live of the menu system alone, but it is still interesting) and good balance of functionality and size.
Fizz Traveller, as the name says, is a travel application that helps its user by offering a single point where to find useful information while on the road.
Users will be happy to find a fully customisable clock which can be changed to show the time in any of six user-selectable cities. The customisation includes full themes, control of background images, clock styles, colours and other details.
The Pocket PC can also be used as a colourful desk clock while on its cradle: simply tap the clock face and it will go full screen.
The default clock, with an alternative skin: different colours, clock style and images
Five day forecast shown from the clock function
It also allows user-defined cities to be entered on the database, and it includes a Lookup feature that will look for information on places not in the database – I have used it to find the data about a mid-sized city in Brazil, and it not only found the correct information on location and time zone, and it also found the correct weather information for that city.
The clock function shows the clock with current time and weather conditions, and users can select the cities by using the touch screen or the Pocket PC buttons.
Selecting citiyes: lookup function helps finding cities not in the local database
The function can be easily selected by tapping the menu View, which opens a strip with all other features of the program: Home, World Times, Alarms, Itinerary, Conversion, Weather, and Options.
Once one of these features is selected, the screen will change and the menu will be updated for this new function.
A strip shows all the functions available
I think the most useful feature is the World Times. Half of the screen is used to show a world map with the current day/night cycle, while the bottom half of the screen is used to show the six selected cities, including date, time and weather.
The World Times function: lost of different cities, and current information
The alarms feature needs no explanation – it allows the user to create a list of alarms, including a name, time, date, and city. This last bit is important because it allows you to create alarms for the local time, even before you are in that time zone. It also has repeat and snooze functions.
Alarm settings are powerful
I wasn’t impressed with the itinerary function. Its name doesn’t seem to reflect its true functionality, which is more like a task manager, including start date, time and completion status. It can be useful, but I would leave this to the built-in Windows Mobile Tasks program.
The conversion is a good feature. The user can select between different types of conversion, including Currency, Temperature, Length, Weight, Area, Volume, Speed, Power and Torque. At last I’ve found a program to convert horsepower (which I am used to) to Kilowatts.
Currency rates can be updated on demand or automatically. The options include daily and weekly updates. The user can also initiate a manual update at any time, while connected to GPRS, CDMA, Wi-Fi or ActiveSync.
Conversion is easy, and covers different types, including currency
The last feature is the Weather panel. Like the clock it shows a city, with the five day forecast. It also gives access to a more detailed 48 hour forecast, a weather map and satellite imagery. Users can pan and zoom these maps with on-screen controls.
The options include the ability to set the weather update, with cycles of 2, 4, 6 12, 24, 48, and weekly updates.
Weather: five day and 48 hour forecast
Weather: weather forecast and satellite image
The Today plug-in shows one city at a time, including current date/time and weather information, and can cycle through five day and 48 hour forecast details with a simple tap on the screen. Two arrows allows the cycle through the six selected cities.
Today plug-in provides quick access to functions and information
I am happy with this software replacing my previous preferred option. It provides me with the information I wanted, in a way that does not interfere with the use of my mobile device.