Several years ago when I got my first handheld and was experimenting with all of the new software options, Worldmate was one of the first applications I purchased. Since then Worldmate has grown-up and added many new features and supported platforms. This review covers the Palm OS version, but the functionality is the same across platforms.
Worldmate Pro consists of 10 screens. Each of the screens are associated with an icon toolbar on the bottom as well as the system menu (or Tabs). Instead of going through all of the menus and features we will focus on the big (best) features of the program. The first screen (Clocks) on Worldmate shows the time and weather for your current (home) city as well as four other selected cities. This weather is updated (5 day forecast) from The Weather Channel and has a database of over 38,000 world-wide locations. One great feature of both the Weather and Currencies system, is the included wireless update feature. If you have a cell-phone or connected PDA you can download updated weather or rates while you are on the road. If your device is not wireless ready then you can get updated weather and currency rates by HotSyncing with the Worldmate conduit.
Another nice feature on the Clocks screen is the Time Calculator (Time Calc). The Time Calc will allow you to plug in a time and see what time it will be in four other cities around the world. We find this feature useful if we are planning a meeting and want to find a good time that works in Austin, London and Tel Aviv.
The third screen shows the WorldMap, this feature has been in around since previous versions, but just recently started show day/night shading. This functionality is found in other programs and it is very useful to see where the sun is shining around the world.
The Currencies screen is a must for international travelers. This exchange rate calculator has three great features: first the wireless update feature (mentioned earlier), second the ability to view (a maximum of) 3 currencies at once and third the sum/total feature. The sum/total feature will allow you to add several entries. For example if you wanted to see how much it would cost to get a coffee, scone and bottle of water, it would show the overall total of the three items in the 3 currencies you have selected.
The fifth screen is the Itinerary tracking system. This newly added feature will allow you to track multiple trips on a day-by-day basis. This tracking system will track flights, car rentals, hotels, ships, trains and meetings. Once you have all of your information entered for a trip, you can export the information to your Datebook or view the itinerary inside of Worldmate Pro. The only disadvantages are that you can t download itineraries from the internet and there is not a way to print your itinerary (unless you export to your Datebook).
The sixth screen is the Tip/Tax Calculator. This simple to use calculator comes bundled with recommended tipping for multiple countries and locations, such as restaurants, bar/pubs, hotel porters, taxi drivers, concierge services, deliveries, and airports. One feature that would be nice to see is a bill-splitting feature.
The next three reference screens (Measurements, Area Codes and Clothing) are useful for people who travel as well general reference for those who don t. You can covert area, distance, length, temperature, speed, volume, weight and clothing sizes. The clothing calculator is very helpful if you are shopping and find clothes listed in European, UK or Japanese sizes. There is also an area codes database and international dialing prefixes to help you with using the phone while you are traveling.
The final (10th) screen is helpful for anyone who travels and forgets to pack something. The Packing List screen has a preset list of common items as well as the ability to create your own custom items. There are only two complaints about the Packing List: one is that it will not allow multiple trips (so you have to have one listing for all trips) and two there is no ability to print a packing list.
The program also comes with other features such as Get Atomic Time this will set your device to the correct Atomic time, by connecting wirelessly to the internet. You can also set custom alarms (with Snooze ability) this can be useful and take the place of your travel alarm clock. The temperatures can be displayed in either F (Fahrenheit) or C (Celsius) degrees.
Currently there are two versions of Worldmate: the Standard Edition (SE) and the Professional Edition (reviewed here). The SE version is slightly less expensive (at $24.95) and has a limited 250 cities, no itinerary tracking and no Tip/Tax calculator, but does come in multiple languages. This company has done a great job porting (developing) this application for other platforms and has provided common travel and reference features everyone can use.
Automatic updates of weather and exchange rates
Alarms work even if you exit the application
No easy upgrade for multiple platforms
File size is slightly large
No memory card support.
You can search for airport codes by using the Itinerary screen, use the Alarm feature to replace your travel alarm clock.
Pro is worth the investment for frequent travellers, especially those who spend any time in foreign countries. For everyone else, the toolset in the standard version should be enough and is certainly worth your time to download the trial.