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Difference between SmartPhone and the PocketPC

Answers

  • Ok, so there are actually 4 types of devices under the Windows Mobile brand:
    - SmartPhone
    - Pocket PC
    - Pocket PC Phone Edition
    - Portable Media Center

    All of the device can be synchronized with data on your Windows PC (appointments, e-mail and contacts in Outlook, files ++)

    SmartPhones
    are basically advanced cell phones. Their main usage is making phone calls, but they also include applications like calendar, tasks, windows media player, solitaire ++. You can also connect the SmartPhone to the internet if you have a wireless data plan. This would allow you to do stuff like browse web pages and chat using instant messaging. SmartPhone Thoughts is a great web page for SmartPhone related information. Here's a picture of a typical SmartPhone.

    Pocket PCs are Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) devices. They are larger than Smartphones and are usually used as an advanced organizer with applications like calendar, tasks, Pocket Word and Pocket Excel. The Pocket PCs have a much bigger screen than SmartPhones, and the screen is also touch sensitive – so you use a pen and tap on the screen to utilize your Pocket PC. The Pocket PC is also great for stuff like listening to music, watching videos and playing games. Many Pocket PCs have wireless network capabilities which means that you can do stuff like surfing the web (with Pocket Internet Explorer) and instant messaging (Messenger) if you are near a wireless access point. PocketPC Thoughts is a great web page for Pocket PC related information. Here's a picture of a typical Pocket PC.

    The Pocket PC Phone Edition is just a Pocket PC that has an integrated cell phone. It can do all the same things as a normal Pocket PC, but in addition you can make/receive phone calls and connect to the internet if you have a wireless data plan. Here's a picture of a typical Pocket PC Phone Edition device.

    There are Smartphones and Pocket PC Phone Edition devices for all GSM standards and there are also devices for the CDMA cell phone network.

    The Portable Media Center is basically a portable music and video player. You can also wacth digital photos on it. Here's a picture of a portable Media Center device.

    Here’s a nice chart that compares functionality for the different devices:
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/devices/compare.mspx


    At PocketPC Magazine’s web page there’s a list comparing all the different Pocket PCs and Smartphones available:
    http://www.pocketpcmag.com/bg04/ppcs.asp


    If you are mainly going to use the phone functionality and want a really small device I would go for a Smartphone. If you do not need a new cell phone, but want to have data from your PC on the go or want to use more advanced applications than what's possible on a Smartphone (the screen size is quite limiting) then go for a Pocket PC. If you want both go for the Pocket PC Phone Edition Big Smile

    I hope this helps!

    Saturday, April 09, 2005 5:14 AM

All replies

  • Hi DevTest,
    I'm not really the guy who can fully answer your question as I have only a single (and current) experience with a smartphone application that I work on right now; but, let's see that togather!Big Smile

    A Pocket PC mainly has some differences in it's physical design. It's mainly larger and - of course - has a larger screen (IdeaSee that in numbers). It usually has a pointing tool (something like a light pen) that can be used as you use the mouse device left button, smartphones don't have that. Pocket PCs typically use faster processors and more amount of RAM. These may be not the only differences, but, they are the most effective, especially when it's related to developement. IdeaThis article should get you all or at least most of the picture.
    Speaking regarding my limited experience, I found that Pocket PC Programs are mainly much similar to PC ones than mobile programs. They can have buttons, tabs, and many familiar controls. In smartphone for example, you can only have 2 top level menus, and, only the right menu can have sub-menus. Your controls are limited to ListView, TreeView, Label, TextBox (Yes, it can hold multiple lines), ComboBox, CheckBox (No radio buttons, however, you can still use Combo instead), PictureBox and ImageList, Timer, Panel (Used instead of Tab control usually), Scrollers and finally a timer. To see this in action, check these great articles about IdeaSmartphone UI and IdeaPocket PC Development .

    Here you see, you can't have a Tab, Button, StatusBar, Common Dialogues that you have in Pocket PC. So, that gets you to simply figure the differences. In fact, you can get a snapshot of all that yourself if you try a new Pocket PC and Smartphone Projects and play with some of it's controls and class library (Looks same as Base .NET Fx library). Then you'll get the answer on your own. While Pocket PC projects have built-in support in VS.NET 2003 while you need to install Windows Mobile 2003 Based Mobiles SDK to work with Smartphone projects (You can also check some more developer resources to download).
    If you have access to VS.NET 2005 BETA, you'll be pleased to try the new controls in its buil-in smartphone projects that are part of many new advanrages in it. I can't tell so much about that as I just read about it (Never had access to VS.NET 2005 except in Middle-east Developers Conference MDC). By the way, thinking of smartphones as so-limited platform has another point of view, they are just designed to be as very light-weighted and helpfull as possible. Anyway, their hardware specifications are getting multiple times better so fast. Smile

    For more information I'd advice you to check Idea.NET Compact Framework FAQ and/or IdeaQuickStart Tutorials. You can get some helpful material from Microsoft WeRock247 as well. Tell me if you need more references (especially on smartphones, as I'm working with them right now) and I'll work on providing them if I manage to.
    Finally, sorry for too much talk that might haven't been all so worthy. Waiting for your response and your own experience.
    Most Regards,

    Thursday, April 07, 2005 6:03 PM
  • What about making calls? Can you make gsm calls like on a smartphone?
    Friday, April 08, 2005 9:40 PM
  • Ok, so there are actually 4 types of devices under the Windows Mobile brand:
    - SmartPhone
    - Pocket PC
    - Pocket PC Phone Edition
    - Portable Media Center

    All of the device can be synchronized with data on your Windows PC (appointments, e-mail and contacts in Outlook, files ++)

    SmartPhones
    are basically advanced cell phones. Their main usage is making phone calls, but they also include applications like calendar, tasks, windows media player, solitaire ++. You can also connect the SmartPhone to the internet if you have a wireless data plan. This would allow you to do stuff like browse web pages and chat using instant messaging. SmartPhone Thoughts is a great web page for SmartPhone related information. Here's a picture of a typical SmartPhone.

    Pocket PCs are Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) devices. They are larger than Smartphones and are usually used as an advanced organizer with applications like calendar, tasks, Pocket Word and Pocket Excel. The Pocket PCs have a much bigger screen than SmartPhones, and the screen is also touch sensitive – so you use a pen and tap on the screen to utilize your Pocket PC. The Pocket PC is also great for stuff like listening to music, watching videos and playing games. Many Pocket PCs have wireless network capabilities which means that you can do stuff like surfing the web (with Pocket Internet Explorer) and instant messaging (Messenger) if you are near a wireless access point. PocketPC Thoughts is a great web page for Pocket PC related information. Here's a picture of a typical Pocket PC.

    The Pocket PC Phone Edition is just a Pocket PC that has an integrated cell phone. It can do all the same things as a normal Pocket PC, but in addition you can make/receive phone calls and connect to the internet if you have a wireless data plan. Here's a picture of a typical Pocket PC Phone Edition device.

    There are Smartphones and Pocket PC Phone Edition devices for all GSM standards and there are also devices for the CDMA cell phone network.

    The Portable Media Center is basically a portable music and video player. You can also wacth digital photos on it. Here's a picture of a portable Media Center device.

    Here’s a nice chart that compares functionality for the different devices:
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/devices/compare.mspx


    At PocketPC Magazine’s web page there’s a list comparing all the different Pocket PCs and Smartphones available:
    http://www.pocketpcmag.com/bg04/ppcs.asp


    If you are mainly going to use the phone functionality and want a really small device I would go for a Smartphone. If you do not need a new cell phone, but want to have data from your PC on the go or want to use more advanced applications than what's possible on a Smartphone (the screen size is quite limiting) then go for a Pocket PC. If you want both go for the Pocket PC Phone Edition Big Smile

    I hope this helps!

    Saturday, April 09, 2005 5:14 AM
  • I appreciate, very informative Smile
    Saturday, April 09, 2005 12:38 PM
  • yes.. really good explanation.. thanks Big Smile
    Sunday, April 10, 2005 5:01 AM
  • What GPS-Enabled smartphones are available?
    Thanks,
    Laura
    Monday, October 10, 2005 9:23 PM
  • Hi,

    If I want to develop for the Pocket PC Phone Edition, which SDK do I use? Windows Mobile 5.0 SDK for Pocket PC, or Windows Mobile 5.0 SDK for Smartphone?

    My guess is WM5.0 SDK for Pocket PC, but the reason I'm confused is because I'm planning to get an HP iPAQ hw6950, which on HP's website says it runs WM5.0 for Pocket PC Phone Edition, but the dealer that I'm buying it from categorizes the device as a Smartphone (!!!). That's why I'm confused.

    This is makes a big difference for me because I'm planning to use the GPS Intermediate Driver in WM5, but that's only supported on Pocket PC, not Smartphones :(

    Thanks in advance,

    Diego
    Monday, November 20, 2006 4:40 PM
  • To develop for Pocket PC (including Phone Edition) you need Windows Mobile 5.0 SDK for Pocket PC.

    It's common to call pretty much anything with ability to run applications and phone hardware a "smart phone' including Windows Mobile, Symbian, Palm OS, Linux and RIM devices. This term itself is not very clear and does not necessarily mean what “smart phone” device is running Windows Mobile for SmartPhone.

    Monday, November 20, 2006 4:56 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the quick reply!
    Monday, November 20, 2006 7:38 PM
  • A quick question then, since there are 2 different SDKs, does that mean that a software developed for Pocket PC will not work on a Smart Phone (Assuming that we use all the controls that the Smart Phone supports) and vice versa?

     

    How hard would it be to port from one platform to another?

    Tuesday, November 28, 2006 7:44 AM
  • Yes - you need PPC and SP SDKs.

    You can write portable code keeping in mind the differences between the platforms - it is not hard.

    Manav

    Tuesday, November 28, 2006 8:26 AM
  •  Adapterboy wrote:

    A quick question then, since there are 2 different SDKs, does that mean that a software developed for Pocket PC will not work on a Smart Phone (Assuming that we use all the controls that the Smart Phone supports) and vice versa?

     

    How hard would it be to port from one platform to another?

    a majority of the differences I've experienced are in styling/appearance, and of course user input. the code itself is pretty portable, but your implementation of the GUI may not be.

    Tuesday, November 28, 2006 12:50 PM