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WinWAP 3.0 Pro

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WAP Browser for Windows 95/98/2000/Me/CE and Palm OS

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      26.05.2001 11:02
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      A BIT OF BACKGROUND =================== WAP - Wireless Application Protocol is basically a simplified version of the http (HyperText Transfer Protocol) protocol which is used to render pages like the page you are viewing here at Dooyoo right now. WAP was developed with Mobile Phones in mind and marketed as "The Mobile Internet", but for a number of reasons it never really took off, and with the advent of GPRS and 3G technologies it probably never will. I, and many others, feel that the main thing that held back WAP was the extortionate call charges. Unless you are lucky enough to get free WAP through a mobile network such as Genie, then you can expect to pay 10p per minute for WAP calls on your mobile phone - and this is way too much. The other reason that some cited was a lack of good content - although I would have to disagree with that. There is some good content out there, and that is the reason why you should be taking a look at WinWAP. So what is WinWAP? Well, WinWAP is, as far as I know, the first and only WAP browser written to run on PCs and PDAs. There are a number of WAP emulators out there that are written to run on your PC, but most of these are only available in developer kits from mobile phone companies such as Nokia and Ericsson and they tend to have nasty emulated interfaces that require you click on a 'virtual keypad' with you mouse in order to navigate the WAP pages. WinWAP isn't like that though. WinWAP is basically Internet Explorer for WAP pages and works entirely through the familiar keyboard and mouse interface that you would use with the 'real' Internet. THE MENUS ========= Upon first loading WinWAP, the first thing you'll notice is how friendly and familiar everything looks. It uses a pretty standard browser interface, with a drop down menu bar across the top. The menu bar has the following items on it: ·
      FILE · EDIT · VIEW · GO · BOOKMARKS · HELP All pretty standard stuff really. THE FILE MENU ------------- The file menu allows you open or re-open locations, print pages, or (and this is a rather nice function) send a link by e-mail. I find this option quite useful as (rather strangely perhaps!) most of my friends own WAP phones, and contrary to popular opinion there is some good WAP content out there. You just have to find it! THE EDIT MENU ------------- The edit menu allows you to configure the software according to your preferences and also contains an option to search the current page as well as containing the language selection options. And WinWAP does offer an impressive selection of languages. (More on that later). THE VIEW MENU ------------- This menu allows you to set the view size. This can be set to either default or full screen sizes, or alternatively you can emulate the display of the following phones: · Ericsson MC-218 · Ericsson RC20 · Nokia 7110/6210 · Motorola TIMEPORT Using the Full or Default views does give the most pleasing display as these views are very 'natural' and Internet Explorer like - allowing you to get the whole WAP page on screen at once. Owners of the listed phones may be more comfortable using the emulated view though. The view menu also allows you to reload the current page and to view the WAP source code, variables, and cookies. You can also gain access to a Debug console from this menu. THE GO MENU ----------- Simply contains forward and back navigation buttons that operate as in a standard web browser. Also allows you to go back to the home page or send a free SMS text message. (Although this feature has not yet been implemented, and so you will get a "Coming Soon" message if you attempt to use it) THE BOOKMARKS MENU ------------------ This manages all your WAP page bookmarks. You can either bookmark the current page or access a list of your current bookmarks from here. THE HELP MENU ------------- From here you can search or read the (very comprehensive) help files, register your copy of the program, check for updates, send feedback to SlobTrot, or visit their website or wapsite. THE TOOLBAR =========== The WinWAP toolbar is underneath the menu bar and features forward and back navigation buttons, a home button, reload and stop buttons, search and bookmark buttons, and a button to access that SMS feature. The toolbar performs pretty much as it does in a standard browser. Underneath this, you have the standard address entry field. Again, this performs in the same way as any other web browser, and you simply enter the WAP address in here. (E.g. wap.wpanel.com) There is an autocomplete function on this bar as well as a drop down menu of recently visited wapsites. PRESETS ======= WinWAP comes with a number of preset bookmarks as well as the homepage preset. The bookmarks cover a number of popular portals as well as some useful WAP search sites and the WinWAP home page. The home page is set to the WinWAP wapsite and this does contain a lot of useful information on how to get the best out of the software, such as what's new, help, tutorials etc. The site is displayable in the usual wide variety of languages supported by the software. USABILITY AND COMPATIBILITY =========================== Well, it's certainly very user friendly. Apart from the friendly IE type interface, you can also choose to have everything displayed in a number of languages. You can choose from: · Spanish · French · German · Italian · Suomi · Swedish · Russian · Polish · Lithuanian · Chinese So there's a wide range of users sup
      ported there. Pages usually render without any problems at all and almost instantaneously (as you would expect with such a simple protocol). The only page I have had problems with is the Freeserve WAP portal - although this is down to sloppy coding on the part of Freeserve and is not a bug in the WinWAP software. There are versions for every incarnation of Windows (including CE) as well as PalmOS. No Mac version though unfortunately, although SlobTrot may have plans to release one in the near future. COST ==== Home users can get a three thirty day evaluation, after which you have to register the software in order to be able to continue using it. It costs a very reasonable US$35 to obtain a serial number. That wouldn't buy you too many minutes of WAP access on your mobile! SO WHY WOULD I WANT THIS? ========================= Well, here's what WinWAP lists as the advantages/uses of this software: WinWAP is suitable for: - Professionals, and corporations, that use gateways in their internal LAN or need to connect to their phone operators Gateway with their laptop, and a GSM phone. Thus enabling them to use WAP services much more efficiently then with the microbrowsers of cellular phones, or pda's. - Persons who want to familiarize themselves with WAP without having to purchase an expensive WAP enabled phone - Developers who want to be able to test and preview their WAP services without the need of using a phone or heavy SDK's - Anyone wanting to use WAP services with their PC The main advantage that I can see is that WAP is very, very fast and can allow you to speed up tasks such as Internet Banking etc, as most banks now have WAP sites. Most big online retailers also have Wapsites too. I also use it to complete questionnaires on Instant Intelligence too (see separate op titled "Money for old WAP") Is it worth $35? we
      ll, if you don't have a WAP phone then yes I think it is. Otherwise, perhaps not. But you can still use it free for 30 days so you don't have anything to lose by downloading it and seeing what WAP has to offer you. The price quoted in pounds sterling is according to the current exchange rate on the universal currency converter. CONCLUSIONS =========== WinWAP is a well designed, easy to use, fast, and friendly piece of software that can open up WAP without the need for expensive phones, expensive call charges, or an entire WML SDK. It's well worth downloading and taking a look at - although maybe not worth $35 to the average web user. --------------------------------------------- Free Trial Download/ more info: http://www.winwap.org

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