Review – Chapura Pocket Mirror Pro for Windows Mobile

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Pocket Mirror has been a popular Outlook synchronization tool for some time on the PalmOS, but now it’s become available on Windows Mobile devices. Pocket Mirror Pro for Windows Mobile 1.0 supports all forms of Windows Mobile PocketPC and Windows Mobile Smartphone devices.

The main purpose of Pocket Mirror is to improve the way that Outlook folders on the desktop PC sync over to the Windows Mobile PIM applications such as Contacts. By default, ActiveSync only synchronizes a limited set of standard folders, dumping the contents of custom folders into an ‘unfiled’ category, thus expecting the user to organize them manually. If Outlook on the desktop has a Contacts folder labeled “Left-handed Plumbers,” then all the left-handed plumbers contained therein would be categorized as being ‘unfiled.’

Pocket Mirror allows you to synchronize entire folders from Outlook to the Windows Mobile PIM applications, keeping your organizational structure intact, and preventing any need for reorganization on the user’s time. Therefore, all your left-handed plumber contacts would remain conveniently contained in a single folder named Left-handed Plumbers, just as on the desktop.

The program itself is effectively invisible. There’s no software to install on the handheld or smartphone, and there’s no bulky desktop component. All there is is a conduit sitting on the desktop between ActiveSync and Microsoft Outlook. The only time that you interact with it directly is when you change the sync settings for contacts, tasks, or calender entries.

Even then the program is minimalist–all you do is adjust the settings to taste, whether it’s changing the Outlook folder, or renaming a folder on the handheld. For a conduit though, minimalist isn’t a bad thing at all. In ordinary day-to-day syncing, you’ll never even notice it’s there, which is the hallmark of really efficient sync software.

 

Conclusion

I’m not a huge user of Outlook, so I’ve never had trouble with the default sync capabilities. In truth, Outlook is little more to me than a convenient way to backup my PIM data on sync. But for those who use Outlook more heavily, Pocket Mirror would be practically a neccessity. Unfortunately, most users will never get a chance to use it. Pocket Mirror Pro is priced at $50 per license, an exhorbitant price for software in most people’s eyes. This is a real shame–though there are a multitude of other, similar programs available, Pocket Mirror has a simplicity to it that would make it perfect for average use. While the cost isn’t as much of an issue to corporate buyers, individuals would be sorely pressed to pay $50 for a single piece of software. One solution would be to have two-tier pricing: a low price, perhaps around $20, for private users, and a higher price for companies. Chapura does make a lower priced Pocket Mirror Standard edition for the Palm OS, priced at $30, but no equivalent is available for Windows Mobile.

In the end, Pocket Mirror remains a great program for serious Outlook users, even if it does command a price so steep that you’ll need Sherpa guides.

Pros:

  • Simple and effective functionality
  • User transparent

Cons:

  • Very high price

Bottom Line:

A wonderful program, but at a price that puts it out of reach for most users.

Product Link: http://www.chapura.com/pmp_wm.php

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