Electric Pocket Limited today announces the release of BugMe! Messenger 2.0. BugMe! Messenger is a note-taking, reminder and messaging application for Palm Powered(TM) handheld computers. BugMe! Messenger lets users take notes with their own handwriting by drawing directly on the screens of their Palm OS(R) devices. Notes can also be made from annotated digital photographs. Any BugMe! note can be used as alarmed reminders or sent as email messages to colleagues. Version 2.0 offers users of all Palm Powered handhelds the benefits of handwritten and photo messaging by providing a conduit that will automatically send BugMe! messages upon synchronization with the users' desktop PCs. Other key new features include support for Kodak's PalmPix digital camera and the capability for users to create "Buddy Lists" to simplify the task of selecting recipients for BugMe! messages.
BugMe! Messenger v. 2.0's new PC desktop conduit enables users of non-wireless handhelds to send and receive BugMe! notes when they perform a HotSync between their Palm Powered handhelds and desktop PCs. During HotSync, messages are automatically sent from the user's handheld with the PC's Internet connection. BugMe! notes can be sent to any email address, where they can be read without additional software. The BugMe! note appears as a small graphic in the message. The BugMe! Messenger conduit also checks for incoming messages addressed to the user and delivers them to his or her handheld. A notification of incoming messages is generated upon the completion of the HotSync process.
"BugMe! Messenger gives handheld users an effortless way to share information captured on the move," said Iain Barclay, co-founder and chief products officer of Electric Pocket. "Extending the benefits of BugMe! Messenger to users of all Palm Powered handhelds, regardless of whether they are equipped with wireless services, will greatly expand the potential market for sending and receiving short handwritten, graphic or photo messages via handheld devices. Users are able to capture notes when the idea strikes and share them quickly with friends, family and colleagues."
Earlier this year, Electric Pocket announced that BugMe! Messenger would support IDEO's eyemodule camera for Handspring Visor handheld computers. Now, with new integration with Kodak's PalmPix series cameras, Electric Pocket has greatly expanded the market for photo messaging services by opening up the application to users of the two major digital cameras for Palm Powered handhelds. Photographs can be imported directly into the BugMe! Messenger application at the time they are taken with either the PalmPix or eyemodule cameras, or the image files can be imported from the camera's database at a later time. The user can then annotate the photograph directly on the screen of his or her handheld and send it as an email message to any email address. BugMe! Messenger also enables users to send the original 640 x 480 jpeg image directly from their Palm Powered handheld.
Industry observers agree that wireless "photo messaging" provides a tremendous new opportunity in the handheld computing arena. As recently stated in IDG Executive Group's influential DEMOletter, "We think applications like BugMe! Messenger will help drive adoption of digital cameras and handhelds in any market where providing quick access to photos can be a critical resource. The insurance industry, law enforcement, as well as real estate are all great examples where this type of fast access to photos from the field is important."
BugMe! Messenger's photo messages are screen-sized renderings of digital images with optional handwritten annotation. While ideal for informal sharing of images from a mobile device, for both business and leisure, there are circumstances when it is necessary to send a higher quality image from a remote location. BugMe! Messenger v. 2.0 enables wireless handheld users to send 'full sized' jpeg photographs taken with a Kodak PalmPix or IDEO eyemodule camera directly from their handheld to any email address.
Electric Pocket's goal throughout the development of BugMe! Messenger has been to expand upon the simplicity and ease-of-use that makes the original BugMe! application one of the most popular Palm OS applications of all time. Continuing this tradition, BugMe! Messenger 2.0 extends this approach to sending messages by providing a simple method of selecting message recipients. BugMe! Messenger's new "buddy list" enables a user to select a recipient's email address from his or her handheld's address book or quickly choose from a list of previous contacts.
BugMe! Messenger is available in two editions, Personal and Business. BugMe! Messenger, Personal Edition, sells for $29.95 per user. The Business Edition is $29.95, plus $4.95 per month, and includes free upgrades and priority support. Both editions come with a free BugMe.net email address.
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