You don't have to settle for whatever programs happen to be bundled with your handheld. Palm platform owners have an especially wide range of palm-sized software to choose from. Tetris and solitaire may be at the top of the download list, but there's also an abundance of freeware and shareware programs with redeeming business value. CNET's popular Download.com features a Palm OS section.
Eudora (www.eudora.com) offers a free Internet Suite for Palm that includes the Eudora e-mail client for Palm, EudoraWeb browser and Eudora Mail Conduit for synchronizing with your Windows desktop e-mail. Action Names ($20) from iambic Software (www.iambic.com) enhances Palm's built-in personal-information management system. A demo is available for download.
Pocket PC options are more limited, but there are still some third-party programs available. The clearinghouses for downloads are at PocketGear.com and Handango.com. ListPro ($25), a customizable list application, is available from Ilium Software (www.iliumsoft.com). At Handango, $50 will get you the Pocket PC Power Collection from Developer One (www.developerone.com). The suite includes RapidCalc calculator, ScreenSnap image capture and TaskPro Navigator for controlling your applications.