Introduction

First, Picsel Viewer is one of the best programs for Palm OS. It is not only a browser but a viewer for MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, PDF files, HTML files, images and TXT-files. It is not buyable or downloadable but integrated in some CLIEs from Sony. This year a Chinese company released a smartphone with Picsel Browser, it seems to be the same. As it’s Chinese the whole program is in Chinese language, but there are English language packs availible. Someone put Picsel Browser onto a download site and it worked on almost all PalmOne’s devices !! You have to find both the program and the language packs by yourself – we cannot give any links. It is used as a native PDF viewer – at the moment the only one for Palm OS – but not so often as a web browser. Is that a mistake?

I don’t review Picsel Viewer but Picsel Browser (I don’t know the difference between them). Picsel Viewer was pre-installed on some Sony CLIEs, and Picsel Browser was in a Chinese smartphone.

Getting started

It’s not easy to install Picsel Browser – you can neither install it using HotSync nor from a card with the launcher nor from a card with Filez. The only file manager (and launcher) that can copy it into RAM is “ZLauncher” (and perhaps “McFile”). So I used ZLauncher. The files you need are:

  • BrowserHelpPages
  • EnglishLanguage Pack
  • PCRP
  • PicselBrowser
  • PicselBrowserCore
  • SMPT

into my RAM. Then I tapped on the “Picsel Browser” icon in the launcher. It showed the startup screen:
startscreen1 Web Browsing on a Palm   Picsel Browser review
and then the menu:

menu Web Browsing on a Palm   Picsel Browser review
Browsing the web

For browsing the web, you have to tap on the world icon, then you can enter the URL:

url Web Browsing on a Palm   Picsel Browser review

With my wireless broadband connection, it isn’t as fast as a desktop browser, but much faster than WebPro or many other ones. After a few seconds it displays the page in real desktop layout, like it would look on your computer. But if the whole page shall fit the screen, the font has to be *very* small. To zoom, you must tap twice somewhere on the screen, then hold the stylus and pull it up for zooming in – and down for zooming out. To follow a link, you have to tap it twice. You can fill in forms, too, but in multiline-text forms, it only supports 80 letters, so there is no use for web mail, blogs or forums. Unfortuanely you cannot download any files to your card, but you can open and view files which are supported by Picsel Browser – it can display MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF. Perhaps it is more a viewer than browser (although the name) – it displays the page (viewing) correctly, but browsing capabilities like downloads, forms etc. aren’t very good.

Now two pictures of 1src.com. One contains almost the whole site (zoom out), another one is zoomed in much:

1src%20 %20webcontent Web Browsing on a Palm   Picsel Browser review

1srcwebcontentzoom Web Browsing on a Palm   Picsel Browser review

Like other browsers, Picsel Browser can reload pages (see menu picture), but there is no “Back”-button. Use the “navigation panel” (see menu picture) for getting back.

Most pages are displayed correctly, but on some pages it has problems with tables:
winfuture Web Browsing on a Palm   Picsel Browser review

The German site “Winfuture” (like it should be displayed):

winfuture2 Web Browsing on a Palm   Picsel Browser review
Small screen rendering

It’s nice to see pages like on desktop, but desktop browsers show them in 800 and more pixels width, but a Palm has only 320 or 480 (landscape). That means scrolling left and right, up and down (zoomed in), or zooming out so that the fonts are so small that you can’t read anything. But if you switch to small screen rendering, it renders the page that it fits the screen width and you only have to scroll up and down:

full Web Browsing on a Palm   Picsel Browser reviewText without small-screen-rendering


small Web Browsing on a Palm   Picsel Browser reviewText with small screen rendering

Offline files

All file types it supports can be read both online and offline (from card), the most important might be PDF and MS Word. At the moment Picsel Browser is the only app for Palm OS that offers you native PDF support (but there might be some other solutions in the future – update 21.12.2006: now there is also PalmPDF and PDFToGo) and that is very important today. Files can be both in the RAM and on a flash card. To open an offline file, it shows an open dialog which is very similar to the Windows Explorer:

filemanager Web Browsing on a Palm   Picsel Browser review
Most MS Word, Excel (and of course HTML) and other files are displayed very clear like on a computer.

Bookmarks, settings, …

To create a bookmark, just tap on the icon in the menu (see menu picture above). To open saved bookmarks, there is another icon. Bookmarks can be both online and offline documents. When you open a bookmark it doesn’t jump to the last position but to the beginning.

Possible settings are: turn pictures on / off, font size, homepage, user agent, proxy server, cache clearing, history clearing, cookies on/off.

My results

On the one hand, it isn’t allowed to upload, download or use it if you don’t have a device with Picsel Browser in ROM, on the other hand it is a very good browser with singularly features, especially rendering pages and speed. And no other program can display native PDF files, no other browser show non-HTML documents without changing the app (except WebToGo IMHO) – you can return browsing when you have read the document. Other browsers would open DocumentsToGo and if you start them again they return to the start page and you have to find your last page again.

For me it isn’t the only browser on my Tungsten|C because I need downloads and it can’t download ZIP files e. g. Often I need to save the page offline (NetFront can) or write mails in the browser, and Picsel Browser can only write up to 80 letters. So read the next part of “Web Browsing on a Palm” maybe I’ll review NetFront then, and you know which second browser you need, too.

What do you think about Picsel’s work?

Related posts:

  1. Web Browsing on a Palm – NetFront Review
  2. Web Browsing on a Palm – Opera Review
  3. Web Browsing on a Palm – Opera Review
  4. Web Browsing on a Palm – Eudora Web Review
  5. Picsel ProView-Picsel Viewer available for purchase

15 Responses to “Web Browsing on a Palm – Picsel Browser review”

  1. Is good to know about this browser, but you can find it?

    Thank you, also I have a lifedrive, do you think it will work in my pda?

  2. Hi Julio,

    perhaps you can find some links in the comments of our old page:

    http://tamspalm.blogspot.com/2005/10/web-browsing-on-palm-picsel-browser.html#comments

    Alex

  3. Thank you!

  4. I have two problems
    1.- The words in the propierty are in japonese
    2.- No known as I could see the letter more big
    Thank you help me
    Avelino

  5. Hi,
    then you probably lack the english language translation files. Sorry, but I cant give them to you!
    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

  6. Thank you
    I requested return of money
    No function the program in the my LD
    Only I am using Blazer of Palm. Now, function very well.
    Aret

  7. Hi Avelino,
    thank you for sharing your experiences!

    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

  8. I just learned about the Picsel Browser from this blog. It’s been about a year and a half now since this entry. Do you have any updated information on it’s new releases and availability? It is the perfect program I need. I just want to look at html, txt, pdf, and doc files, I don’t need to edit them. I’m just upgraded to a treo 650. I have used cile’s in the past, but I haven’t seen it in the bundle. Any information or links?

  9. Hi,just wondering how to move Picesel Browser from my pc to my palm tx.I have bluetoothed all the files needed to my palm exept for picselbrowser itself which does not seem to turn up in my palm when i bluetooth it over.
    You say you use zlauncher but how?
    Thanks.Jim

  10. ZLauncher has its own file manager. Copy Picsel Browser to your SD card and then, using ZLauncher, into your Palm memory.

  11. Thanks,That did it.
    Jim

  12. Hi, thanks for your great website..i have a Treo 650 and copied the Picsel files onto my SD card using Card Export. I then used Resco Explorer to copy the files from the card to the Palm RAM, then when copied over opening each file which effectively installed them. I have a few errors occurring and have since uninstalled Picsel Browser. Can anyone do as i have and advise how they get it to run properly??(Post to this blog and email me would be much appreciated..i think it may work if done properly) Peter

  13. Hi,
    I am sorry – but I have no idea myself…

    All the best
    Tam Hanna

  14. pls send me a link to download picsel browser for my samsung IP830w. Thank u.

  15. Hi John,
    thank you so much for talking back!

    Unfortunately, we never distribute files…

    With best regards
    Tam Hanna

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