Since Pocket PC-based handhelds store the majority of their users personal data in volatile memory, which is wiped clean when the battery fully discharges, battery monitors can be valuable utility. Particularly for mobile professionals, who may be traveling away from their desks and their power cradle as much as 20% of the time and for those who commonly enter information into their device with the stylus and synchronize with their PC intermittently. The same concerns over lost data due to power loss holds true for Palm-based devices, but the issue is not as obvious because Palms tend to have longer battery life. It is, however, becoming an increasing issue for Palm-based devices as battery taxing technologies such as color screens, faster processors and WiFi WAN connectivity, become part of the standard feature set, and as entertainment applications such as gaming and integrated components such as digital cameras increase their usage and battery drain beyond just the personal information management applications. Battery life, however, is still a greater issues with Pocket PC devices since a base device without the additional capabilities such as a camera, GPS receiver or GPRS connectivity is likely to drain dry hours before most Palm devices are fully depleted under the same usage conditions. There are several sites where battery monitors for Pocket PCs can be downloaded. Two of the best are Download.com where a number of free, but capable monitors can be had, and Handango.com which has a variety of utilities to choose from, most priced under $10. Both of these sites display user ratings to guide you to which utilities are the most capable or accurate.
A few of the highest rated utilities that contain battery monitors include:
- Battery Pack 2003 version 5 by Omega One Software
- iPAQPanel 2003 by RhinoCode
- iStatus System Monitor for Pocket PC 2000 by PPPCLINK