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You’ve used their software many times. In fact, you’d be lost without it. But how many of us actually know about the software developers and their company who have spent so countless resources to bring us such great software? Do you know the people behind SBSH’s PocketBreeze? Or Spb Backup for that matter? To be honest, I myself did not know much about these developers before I started this site. And since Eten Blog dot Com is focusing on the community in 2008, we decided, what better way to foster a closer community than to introduce the people who have brought us such great software.

This is the first time that Eten Blog dot Com present’s to you the Developer Series 2008. In this series, we’ve got with us 5 great companies (we’ll let them introduce themselves in a short while) whose brains we will pick so that we can show you another side of them that you never saw and hopefully, get the inside scoop on what they’ll be up to this year.

With us today, we have Alex Kac from WebIs. You’ll be more familiar with their Pocket Informant and FlexMail software which is on our list of Recommended Software. We also have Amit Regev from SBSH. Those unaware, SBSH has just released some major upgrades to their popular products like PhoneWeaver and PocketWeather (both of which we have reviewed). And when it comes to keeping your data secured, no one does it better than Ilium Software’s eWallet and we’re glad to have Ellen Craw with us. DinarSoft is another company that has many users of its products, most notably MemMaid (how can we live without it?). Last, and definitely not least, we have Victoria representing Spb, a company that brought you great software like Insight and Pocket Plus.

For this series, each representative will be represented by their company’s name. So you will see my questions and replies as Eten Blog, Alex Kac’s will be WebIs, Amit’s will be SBSH, Ellen’s will be Ilium, Victoria’s will be Spb and DinarSoft’s will be DinarSoft.

Eten Blog: Welcome! And thank you so much for wanting to be a part of this series. I am sure our readers will be glad to hear from you. Before we get into details, why don’t each of you introduce yourself and the company you represent?

WebIs: Hello Tariq and thank you for having me on this series. My name is Alex Kac and I’m the owner, founder, and CEO of Web IS, Inc. We’re a mobile software services company specializing in productivity software for mobile professionals. Our vision is to really enable our customers to communicate better and do more with their lives with the help of their mobile devices.

SBSH: SBSH Mobile Software is a software company specializing in development for mobile devices such as Windows Mobile Standard/Classic/Pro. We also have a smaller division targeted to the Symbian platform that we are working hard to expand these days. I’m Amit Regev and I am the company’s CEO and founder, so I’ve been around from day one back in 2002 when the company was still a sole project.

As part of my position I try to dictate the company’s path and target the different divisions to move forward based on this path, track as many of the different company’s projects and synchronize between the different tasks that are in the works in order to lead the company to our goals in the best possible way.

Additionally, a very important part of the position is to create a positive working environment for the SBSH team and make sure the team members are satisfied with the way things are progressing for each in person and as a group.

Eten Blog: Wow 2002. It sure sounds like a long time ago but when you think about it, Windows Mobile is not exactly that old to begin with. So Ellen, what’s your story?

Ilium: Well Tariq, I was one of the original founders of Ilium Software, back in 1997. Our mission is to write and sell software that makes people’s mobile devices more useful and their lives simpler. We make programs that are easy to learn, easy to use, robust and dependable. We also are very committed to providing excellent support to our customers. Our technical support and customer service is in-house, not outsourced, and our support people are very very knowledgeable about our products and technology. We’re one of the few software companies that are so committed to support that we provide it by phone - tollfree in the U.S. - as well as by email.

DinarSoft: DinarSoft Corporation started back in 2002 developing software the mobile device to both consumers and enterprises. The company has been famous for developing easy-to-use software. The company’s growth is tremendous because of our customers support.

Spb: Hi, I am Victoria, I work at Spb Software House (www.spbsoftwarehouse.com), and I am in charge of Public Relations there. The company stands for Windows Mobile software :) There are not that many companies, that design and develop mobile software for a living, and even fewer, if any, that are completely focused on the Windows Mobile platform. We are an expert here, and we want to bring the best of software to WM users, be it in terms of graphics, usability, or functionality. It is Spb’s mission to make the experience of using WM devices richer, fuller, flawless.

Eten Blog: Wow that sounds noble. And we the consumers will be the ones to reap the benefits of all these great companies. But enough about corporate for the time being. Let’s discuss something more personal if you don’t mind: What kind of Windows Mobile device do you use and how long have you been using it? Any plans to switch to something else soon?

WebIs: Let’s see now, I have used so many devices…but today I use a Motorola Q9h. I’m still mostly a PPC guy, but I’ve found now with Pocket Informant 8 and FlexMail 4 on that device, along with eWallet 6 and Opera that I rarely ever feel the need for a PPC. The phone dialing aspect and connectivity is just better user interface wise.

Eten Blog: Nice. What about you Amit? Do you change devices as often?

SBSH: I’m currently temporary back to my HTC 3600 which I got about 9 months ago. I’m usually switching between the HTC and my Treo 750. I really enjoy the built-in GPS offered by the HTC, while the structured keyboard offered by the latter is great for email management and therefore makes the best choice when traveling.

I find the Treo’s hardware and material selection to be the best in the market today, even when it comes to simple things such as holding the device in your palm, making it a real joy to use.

Eten Blog: Oh yeah. I remember the good old days when I too had a full QWERTY keyboard when I was using a HTC Universal. Made data entry so much easier. But that’s not to say I do not like my current Glofiish X500.

How about you Ellen? What do you carry?

Ilium: I personally use an HP 110, and like it very much. It does what I want - runs programs, provides wireless internet, and fits in my purse - without the overhead of some of the more complicated devices.

Eten Blog: That’s great and I think one thing many people don’t realize today. Get a device that does what you need, not just because it’s the latest in the market. How about DinarSoft?

DinarSoft: We have many devices; however, the most loved device is the new HTC Tytn II.

Eten Blog: I see. It does seem to be a popular device with so many features. Victoria, what’s yours?

Spb: I personally use an HTC touch and have been using it for about six months. It’s neat :) But I am thinking of trying out a WM Smartphone, Motorola Q, perhaps. And I am a girl who has always liked flips, so I am anxiously anticipating a WM6, or maybe WM7-based flip phone.

Eten Blog: Nice choice. I love what HTC has done with the Touch. It’s really a user-friendly phone.

I am curious and I am sure many readers are as well. How was 2007 for you? Let’s mix it up a bit and start with DinarSoft this time shall we?

DinarSoft: 2007 was an excellent year for us at DinarSoft. Major upgrades for two flagship products of ours (HandySwitcher and MemMaid). HandySwitcher and TapText also won the best software award from PocketPC Magazine in their respective categories.

MemMaid received many awards (Best software from Handango, and a top 10 award from ClintoFitchDotCom to name a few).

Eten Blog: Congratulations to you. It’s always nice to be appreciated with these awards. How about you Victoria? How as 2007 for Spb?

Spb: Oh, 2007 was exciting. We really fought hard for our audience, virtually listened in to every user and strived to really make irresistible software, to simply be the best. And we kept gaining the market share throughout the year; we are the absolute number one WM software vendor in terms of software sales, according the world’s largest mobile content portal, Handango.com. Spb Software got exceptionally high marks from the experts: Spb was announced the Developer of the Year by Handango.com, and got two more awards from them, for two products, no one has ever gotten three awards from Handango in one year! We also scored with the Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine, with its independent experts granting the unbelievable 11 Best Software Awards winner titles to Spb products. We also won the Best Software for PDA’s Award from the Shareware Industry Awards. So, 2007 was a good year :)

Eten Blog: Wow it definitely sounds like a good year for Spb. 11 awards for Best Software? That’s unbelievable.

Spb: It sure is, isn’t it?

Eten Blog: It definitely is. How about you Amit?

SBSH: 2007 was a development year for us and we’ve been focused on some really large projects during this year. Some of which have just been released in the past two months and some are in final development stages these days and will soon be announced! We’ve managed to maintain the company’s growth during 2007, but invested huge resources in future development which we hope will allow us to increase our growth rate by much during 2008!

This upcoming year is definitely going to be an exciting year for our team and for our community with lots of new things that are due to release really soon now!

Eten Blog: Looks like you were preparing in 2007 for 2008. I can’t wait to see what else you have in store. How about you Alex? What was 2007 like for you?

WebIs: It was a tough year because we wanted to do so much. We’re bringing Pocket Informant to the Smartphones and BlackBerry. We’re working on FlexMail 4, and FlexWallet for BlackBerry. For the first time in 7 years we had no major upgrades.

Eten Blog: I see. Well Pocket Informant was just released in the New Year and that’s been pretty awesome. And what about you Ellen?

Ilium: 2007 was very good, both on the business side and in terms of our development. We released major upgrades to both eWallet and ListPro.

Eten Blog: We’ve come to end of the first part of our series but do stay tuned as I have another 3 parts to share with you over the next 3 Saturdays of this month. There are some really juice details in there that you wouldn’t want to miss. So if you have not already done so, I would highly recommend you subscribe to this site via RSS. Or you can do it via email if you prefer.

Also, the developers in this series are open to questions from you, the readers. So if there is something that you’ve always wanted to ask them but never had the chance to, feel free to leave a comment below (you’ll be increasing your chances of winning some cash at the same time too Wink). While I can’t guarantee that all questions will be answered, the developers will try their best to do so. So hurry, the comments will close when there is a substantial number of questions posed.

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21 Comments

Comment by PJMDS
2008-02-02 13:27:35

:shock: Very nice surprise, I wasn’t expecting such direct contact with developers, we got here a fantastic opportunity to know more about software and to learn with those who make our favorite programs :)

I’m also one software developer but just starting, can only do simple programs in C# but they run without problems one my ppc , I’m very interested to know what language they advise any one like me to start with, I often wonder if C++ is a better choice or not.

Also I want to know what books, sites, software can better help new windows mobile developers.

I only know one software company that has developer tools, it’s resco http://www.resco.net/developer , do they plan to have something similar or not.

For now those are my questions, I will think of more.

Best regards and congratulations for the nice work Tariq :)

Comment by Tariq Bamadhaj
2008-02-02 13:31:23

Hi PJMDS

Well I did mention that February was going to be a special month. There’s quite a few more specials coming as well this month so do check back often.

I didn’t know you were a developer. Good luck with that. And thanks for the compliments.

 
 
Comment by maceyr
2008-02-02 15:48:48

Wow! What a great idea! This is an excellent and refreshing way to get a better perspective of the people behind these great programs and the format is so well presented that it feels like I’m sitting nearby listening to the conversation. I hope there’s more of this coming.

I am a very happy customer of iLauncher, especially the newest version and just “discovering” (pun intended ;) ) all the cool software out there for the Windows Mobile Pro platform to load on my Treo 750. There’s so much that I feel like I’m a kid in a candy store (okay, I am).

My question and it’s really more of a request than question is why there isn’t a QWERTY hard button launcher program where you can press and hold on a QWERTY key and be able to launch a program or task or whatever? There is such an app on the Palm OS side (Standalone’s TypeRight) but I’m surprised there isn’t one for the Windows Mobile side. If there’s something like MagiKBLite available that can allow me to use the QWERTY key to toggle amongst the upper/lower and options keys, I would think that creating such an app would be a no brainer.

Also, another request would be a better mobile blogging app similar to what DragonEdit offers on the Palm OS where I can tap to input most basic html coding and characters. Just some suggestions.

Thanks!

Comment by Tariq Bamadhaj
2008-02-04 10:08:56

Hi May C

I am glad that you are enjoying this series. Make sure you come back for Part II, III and IV.

With regards to mobile blogging, have you tried moBlog?

Comment by spmwinkel Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-04 10:34:09

I believe I’ve also tried MoBlog in the past, but it added a small line at the end of a post, saying that the post was written with MoBlog (please correct me if I’m mixing up programs!)

I’m currently using Pocket Sharp MT which doesn’t add any advertisement, and is simply free.

It was quite a challenge to set it up with Wordpress though!
I think I’ll write a blog post about it, so feel free to check my blog in a while for how to set up Pocket Sharp MT for blogging from your PPC to Wordpress. Sorry for plugging my blog here, Tariq!

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Tariq Bamadhaj
2008-02-04 10:41:23

Hi spmwinkel

I think you can remove that ad by going into the options settings but I will have to check it up.

I look forward to your entry.

As for blog plugging, no worries about it. I am not like other sites where I do not permit linking to other outside entries. As long as they are valid and part of the conversation, it’s all good. Let me know when it’s up, it might just be in next week’s Link Love.

 
Comment by spmwinkel Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-04 11:05:51

Hi Tariq,

I just posted the PocketSharp MT instructions here:
http://spmwinkel.wordpress.com/2008/02/04/blogging-on-windows-mobile-pocket-sharpmt/

If you found a way to remove the add in MoBlog, feel free to correct me in the comments of my post, I wouldn’t want to be unnecessarily discrediting MoBlog if it does the same as Pocket SharpMT!

Thank you!

Comment by Tariq Bamadhaj
2008-02-04 11:22:07

Hi spmwinkel

I just checked moBlog and I think I got it mixed up with something else. So yeah, I think you are right and no correction necessary :D
I will be sure to check it out. Thanks for the heads up.

 
 
 
 
 
Comment by spmwinkel Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-03 10:56:23

This is awesome, you picked some very good people to talk with - I wonder how many more there are for you to pick from (I’m thinking some game developers, Astraware for example - they’re nice).

I was quite surprised to hear Amit say that 2007 was a development year, so many things happened! But it’s always good to hear that new things are on the pipeline and I look forward to testing them. :)

Now that I’m thinking about it, there’s quite some interaction between some of the companies here! PocketBreeze recognizes the extra stuff from PocketInformant, WebIS kinda partnered (or whatever it should be called ;) ) with Ilium for the Wallet program, etc. And whenever something goes wrong, Memmaid cleans it up.
I didn’t mention Spb here but whenever they see a gap in the software market they simply fill it themselves!

Thumbs up to all, and be sure to stay creative in 2008! :mrgreen:

Comment by Tariq Bamadhaj
2008-02-04 10:07:54

Hi spmwinkel

I have been working with these developers for a while to organize prize giveaways and doing reviews so I felt pretty comfortable with them. The game developers side is an interesting angle which I will definitely consider.

 
 
Comment by maceyr
2008-02-04 14:45:26

I also really love SharpMT and moblog looks interesting too. Will have to do a bit more looking into moblog. Mobiblogr is out there too but the premium version is required if you want to publish to self hosted blogs and I couldn’t find much to justify for the price.

http://www.mobiblogr.com

I am still looking out for something out for something that is like DragonEdit where I can just tap to insert the image or formatting tags.

Thanks for sharing!

Comment by Tariq Bamadhaj
2008-02-04 15:23:15

Hi May C

I wish you luck in finding something that comes close. If you do, feel free to share with us. I will most certainly be interested in it.

 
 
Comment by melvynadam
2008-02-04 15:20:02

Amazing piece Tariq. I’ve had personal contact with one of these developers and indirect contact with some of the others. The discussion here was great and gave an impression of the people as individuals. A thoroughly interesting read.

Comment by Tariq Bamadhaj
2008-02-04 15:23:51

Thanks melvynadam

There are still 3 more parts to go for this series so do check back to see the rest of it.

 
 
Comment by maceyr
2008-02-04 18:06:31

Or, maybe the developers reading this post will consider creating such an app.

SharpMT is great but one annoying thing I’ve found is that whenever I type with the Treo 750 keyboard that the virtual keyboard will pop up and I have to tap it to close it. So far, I am preferring it to moblog since I am doing a lot of copy and paste from a text editor (I’m composing it from there) and pasting it into the blogging client. Moblog, right now doesn’t support the tap and hold pop up menu which I need to do the copy and paste. Maybe they’ll support it in a future update.

Comment by Tariq Bamadhaj
2008-02-05 17:51:02

Hi May

That’s a pretty good idea. I have not seen a major developer looking into this. Who knows, your comment might just spur them to do so.

Right now, I am using Word Mobile to do my drafting and then transfer them to my laptop which I use for posting. A bit troublesome I do admit but I do prefer the online editor which provides me a lot more options.

 
 
2008-02-05 09:01:05

[…] finally, getting back to mobile, Tariq at Eten Blog dot Com is publishing a very in-depth interview he did with representatives of a few of the major mobile […]

 
2008-02-06 16:57:44

[…] Some of the developers are from WebIs, SBSH, DinarSoft and Spb. You can follow the series starting here. There will be 4 more part to complete the series. tariqbamadhaj will publish the new part every […]

 
Comment by maceyr
2008-02-06 18:45:05

Just wanted to update that Randy of SharpMT has noted that to disable the virtual keyboard pop up I just needed to uncheck the “Auto-Show SIP” found under: Tools. Options. Server. Scroll down to the very bottom and you’ll see it. So, it’s near perfect. I am asking Randy to provide a way to show the web rendered page so that while I’m doing the draft that I can view it before publishing and also a formatting toolbar rather than tapping on the Format and then selecting the “bold” “italic”, etc.

As I’ve mentioned already, what I REALLY want is a QWERTY button launcher program so that I can press and hold on any QWERTY key and launch whatever app I want, or contact, similar to Standalone’s TypeRight. That would be the “ultimate” app that I need.

 
Comment by spmwinkel Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-07 01:26:14

Just in case Randy checks back here - if you consider a new update for Pocket SharpMT, I would really like a toolbar with some buttons (cut, copy, past, insert image, insert URL) as well! Great idea :cool:

 
Comment by maceyr
2008-02-07 10:34:40

Apparently, in an older version of PocketSharpMT, there was a toolbar but he decided to remove it and leave it the way we see now. In his own words, he was “done” with it and thus why he put up the source code so that others can continue development. Regardless, it’s a very good program. I am using it for mobile blogging and it works very well.

 

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