Reviews [<--] [-->]
Well, here we go for my second review (others will follow).
(a division of Parascript, LLC)
Company Web Site: http://www.ritemail.net
Version tested: HPC2000 Arm version 1.5.72 (released 05/09/2002)
Price: from $14.95 (for the Web edition) to $49.95 (for the Palm/Pocket PC/Windows bundle), else for the WindowsCE version only it will cost $29.95
Category: Email application and service
Pentium III - Windows 98SE
PDA: Jornada 720 US machine (but works also on PocketPC and Palm)
|What is riteMail ? riteMail is
certainly the most original email application that I have ever seen.
Original does not mean that the application is not powerful; on the
With riteMail you can send and receive handwritten email messages in
high-quality digital ink, using one of the available versions (riteMail
is platform independent, available for Palm OS, Pocket PC, Tablet PC, Windows, any
Java-enabled system - Windows, Macintosh, Unix, Linux and other
But what about the person I am corresponding with, if he does not have riteMail installed on his computer? No problem, you can use riteMail with any Java-enabled Web browser, and he can view and respond to messages using email clients that support HTML and Java (such as Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Netscape Mail, Eudora, etc.). The messages appear directly in the body of the email and he does not have to install any special software - he simply views and responds directly to your messages.
High-quality electronic ink: write in smooth, high-quality electronic ink in a variety of ink
colors, styles, and widths.
- riteShape(tm) technology: instantly draw perfect lines, ovals, rectangles, triangles,
arrows and other common figures; enables efficient and natural charting capabilities.
- Email to anywhere, from anywhere: view messages in body of regular emails for Outlook,
Outlook Express, Netscape Mail, Eudora, and other popular email programs and instantly
respond using riteMail Web Edition based on Java technology. riteMail supports all popular
email protocols, SMTP, POP3 and IMAP.
- Platform independent: available for Palm OS, Pocket PC, Windows, any Java-enabled
system - Windows, Macintosh, Unix, Linux and other platforms.
- Intuitive note-taker: take and store notes on your PDA, desktop, Tablet PC and other pen
computers. Easy user interface requires no learning or training.
- Language independent: instantly handwrite messages and notes in any language.
- Compact software: small memory footprint of the application allows efficient use of
riteMail on the PDA.
- Compact delivery medium: condensed, bandwidth friendly electronic ink (approximately
four times smaller than conventional compressed image formats) facilitates seamless
delivery of handwritten messages over wireless networks and their storage on the devices
- Availability: free 30-day trial versions of riteMail for all platforms are available.
|Documentation and help|
|A good step-by-step help is provided on-line directly on the riteMail
Web site at:
and in case support is needed, see:
|Working with the software|
|Once you have
downloaded and installed riteMail (desktop or handheld), you'll need
to register with the riteMail service. In case you do not want to use
one of these versions, you can simply use the Web version and send
emails without any external program.
Ok, now let's have some fun writing original emails and see how it works.
|The Web version|
This version is accessible from any Java-enabled browser at:
It can't be any easier, this applet opens in a new window and just three fields need to be completed (From, To and Subject). After that, you can start scribbling whatever you want in the message portion, using the available tools (pencil, pen, eraser, thickness and color). For mistakes, you can use clear, undo, eraser and remove strokes to correct it.
I have been very impressed (not really with a mouse on a PC, but on a PDA using the touch screen) by the responsiveness when writing. It is very pleasant, and you are not under the impression that you are scratching your screen each time you draw a line or a circle.
One of the main features of riteMail is the riteShape technology included with every version of riteMail. With riteShape enabled, you can instantly draw perfect lines, ovals, rectangles, triangles, arrows and other common figures.
I recommended not enabling this feature while you are writing text, but only when drawing figures, or the text may become unreadable.
Take a look at some riteShape samples here.
|The desktop part|
set some information like "First Name", "Last
Name", "Email Address" and the way messages should be
sent (see below "Send mail"), the desktop
version works in the same way as the Web one, except that it has more functions like printing, opening and saving files.
It is also possible to switch from the Inbox to the Notes screen.
The Inbox screen:
When using the Inbox screen, the software automatically checks the default mail client declared on your computer and retrieved all the messages recognized as riteMail messages, displaying them on a list that can be managed and the selected message displayed. You can then decide to reply or to save the message as a note.
The Notes screen:
The Notes screen may be used in two ways: to open all the messages that have been saved from the inbox, or simply as a note-taker, similar to a post-it. You are not forced to send a message in order to save it as a note.
In the options, you can select whichever you want to use as your default mail client or a custom SMTP server.
But one of the most important things to consider in the send mail options is the "use riteMail Service" check box. If you uncheck this box and send a message to someone that does not have riteMail installed on his machine, he won't be able to read it. The message he will have received will be text explaining that he needs to install the software in order to read the message. Instead, if the box is checked, the addressee will be able to read it in his mail client (in the example below, Outlook Express)
He can reply using the standard way (like a normal message, entering text with the keyboard, but in this case received message won't be display in the reply window) or can use the Web service. Sending the new or response message, first time users will be directed to the registration page. After registering, he will be able to send riteMail messages and will receive access to riteMail service for future correspondence.
When replying to riteMail messages, a dashed line appears above the message you are replying to. This Message Separator provides an expandable blank workspace for your response: it separates previous messages and replies from your new content.
|The device part|
version works exactly the same as the desktop version, except that the
default mail client is not used. It is then necessary to set in the
"Receiving" option the pop client.
After which, if you want you can create new folders to better organize your messages.
Now you can send and receive riteMail messages directly with your machine, very easily using the dial-up.
A received message:
I will not repeat all the functions described above, they are available in the CE version, including the riteShape technology.
Once you have prepared the reply and open the connection, just press the send button, that's all.
|I do not find missing functionalities. Or maybe the possibility to also enter some real text in order to have a mix of handwriting and real text.|
|In my humble opinion,
riteMail makes a lot of sense when used on a PDA, simply because it is
easier to handwrite with a pen instead of a mouse
(sure you can still use a tablet with your desktop, but...). I really
like it on my Jornada and on my Handspring Treo and I recommend it to
I have not encountered any technical problems with
|JJJJJ 5 "J" on 5 for its originality and professionalism.|