Smartphones and Smart Hal
Smart Hal is a screen reader for Windows Mobile 5 and Mobile 6 Smartphones. The first thing you might think is "Wonderful, I can access my phone!" The second thought you might have is, "What is the difference between a Smartphone and a cell phone?" This article will take you through what you'll find on a Smartphone and how Smart Hal works with these great features.
The most important feature of a Smartphone is that it is still essentially a cell phone giving you the capability to wander to cords free and make phone calls to whomever you feel. Your basics are covered, but they have been for years. What the Smartphone offers is a Windows platform to access many more features like your e-mail, calendar, tasks, and Internet. You connect your phone to your PC with a micro USB cable, and using Active Sync, you can sync your phone with all these dates, contacts, and e-mails you already have set up in Outlook. By the way, while your phone is syncing itself to your computer, it is also being charged.
Using Active Sync, you can also upload onto your phone third party software, like Smart Hal, or other great software like Live Search or Orb. You may think that phones like these are just for high-speed business people, and not something readily accessible to the public. Not true. All major carriers provide Smartphones and many of these phones will come free or very cheaply with a carrier contract. Some of the more popular phones include the Motorola Q or the Cingular 2125. A list of Smart Hal tested phones can be found at Smart Hal Compatible Smartphones.
Once Smart Hal is on your phone, you have easy access to the information you need most in a comfortable screen reader. Press home key + 9 and Smart Hal tells you the date and time. Press home key + right soft and get your battery and signal status. The program also uses parameter keys for volume and speed to quickly adjust for changing environments. Press home key + 2, for volume parameter, then press 9 for Smart Hal to adjust to the highest volume or you can still use your up and down navigational buttons to adjust step by step.
When making calls, you have simple and easy access to your stored phone numbers by typing in the contact's name you would like to search for and Smart Hal repeats the characters and the contacts as your choices are narrowed. During a call, you can set Smart Hal's volume to be quieter while you talk. To set this, go to the Smart Hal menu (home key + 1), then select Speech, then Volume During Call. When someone is calling you, you can press the left soft key to have Smart Hal read aloud who the caller is.
For those new to texting and typing on a phone key pad, Smart Hal can repeat the character after every press for multi-key and even has an indicator noise to notify you when the cursor has automatically moved. If you press and hold down the star key, a menu will appear to change your typing style, allowing you to type just numbers or use T9 predictive text.
New users of Dolphin screen readers can always find two very important features. First, is the 'Where Am I?' key which tells the user which application/screen they are in and where the focus is. For Smart Hal, this is home key + 7. The second feature is Application Notes. These specially written notes will describe the opened program to the user and special hot keys or other useful tips to the user. Application Notes can be found in the Smart Hal menu (home key + 1), Tools, then Show Application Notes.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Smartphones, Smart Hal, and what they can do. But armed with this basic knowledge, and a healthy appetite for technology, you should soon be texting and talking with the rest of the world.
For more information on Smart Hal visit http://www.yourdolphin.com/.