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.NET Compact Framework Pocket Guide

What's New in Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition?

by Wei-Meng Lee, author of .NET Compact Framework Pocket Guide
06/01/2004

At the recent Mobile Developer Conference 2004 in San Francisco, Microsoft announced the new Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition (SE), an update to its Windows Mobile platform. The SE is an enhanced version of the Windows Mobile 2003 platform (also commonly known as Pocket PC 2003).

In this article, we'll take a look at the major improvements to the SE, which are:

  • Support of VGA resolution for Pocket PC devices. The SE now supports up to 640 by 480 resolution. The current version of Pocket PC 2003 only supports 320 by 240.

  • Support of QVGA (Quad-VGA) resolution for Smartphones. The Smartphone SE now supports a resolution of 320 by 240, which is what Pocket PCs today are capable of displaying. The current Smartphone in the market only supports a resolution of 176 by 220.

  • Dual-display mode for Pocket PCs: Portrait and Landscape mode. The SE allows the Pocket PC display orientation to be switched on the fly. As such, applications need to be modified if they want to take advantage of this feature. Smartphones, however, do not support dual-display mode.

  • The SE now supports a new form factor (square): 240 by 240 and 480 by 480 (for VGA screens). This new form factor is suitable for vendors who want to incorporate a hardware keyboard to the device. The current aspect ratio of 320 by 240 makes it too clumsy to add a hardware keyboard. The HP iPAQ 4355 is a good example (see Figure 1).

Figure 1
Figure 1. The HP iPAQ 4355: adding a hardware keyboard lengthens the device.

To summarize, the Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition supports the following modes, resolutions, and DPI implementations:

Pocket PC

  • Portrait / Landscape QVGA (240 by 320, 96 DPI)
  • Portrait / Landscape VGA (480 by 640, 192 DPI)
  • Square screen (240 by 240, 96 DPI)
  • Square screen VGA (480 by 480, 192 DPI)

Smartphone

  • Portrait (176 by 220, 96 DPI)
  • Portrait QVGA (240 by 320, 192 DPI)

You may not yet be able to get a device that runs the SE, but you can download the:

  • Emulator Images for Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition software for Pocket PC
  • Emulator Images for Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition software for Smartphone
  • The emulator packages ship with 12 new emulator images for Pocket PC and two emulator images for Smartphone. You can invoke these emulators from within Visual Studio .NET 2003 (see Figure 2).

    Figure 2
    Figure 2. Using the emulators within Visual Studio .NET 2003.

    Form Factor and Screen Resolutions

    The different form factors for Pocket PCs and Smartphone are shown below (images for the Phone Editions are not shown, since they are also identical to the Pocket PCs).

    Square Form Factor

    • VGA Square Pocket PC 2003 (480 by 480)
    • VGA Square Pocket PC 2003 Phone Edition (480 by 480)
    • Square Pocket PC 2003 (240 by 240)
    • Square Pocket PC 2003 Phone Edition (240 by 240)

    Square Form Factor

    Landscape Form Factor

    • VGA Landscape Pocket PC 2003 (640 by 480)
    • VGA Landscape Pocket PC 2003 Phone Edition (640 by 480)
    • Landscape QVGA Pocket PC 2003 (320 by 240)
    • Landscape QVGA Pocket PC 2003 Phone Edition (320 by 240)

    Landscape Form Factor

    Portrait Form Factor

    • VGA Pocket PC 2003 (640 by 480)
    • VGA Pocket PC 2003 Phone Edition (640 by 480)
    • QVGA Pocket PC 2003 (320 by 240)
    • QVGA Pocket PC 2003 Phone Edition (320 by 240)

    Portrait Form Factor

    Smartphones

    • QVGA Smartphone 2003 (320 by 240)
    • Smartphone 2003 (176 by 220)

    Smartphones

    Note: Although the emulator images come with emulators in landscape and portrait modes, they are identical. That is, you can still change the orientation of the screen in a landscape mode emulator to portrait mode, and vice versa. But having emulators in different orientation modes will definitely help during application development, especially UI design.

    Pages: 1, 2, 3

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