Sunday, October 25, 2009

SplashID 5.1 for iPhone OS Review

SplashData’s SplashID is an application that enabled you to securely record usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information in an encrypted database. SplashID works on the iPhone and iPod touch (OS 2.1 required, OS 3.0 is supported).

SplashID can be used as a standalone application on your iPhone or iPod touch (collectively referred to as an iPhone from here). You will, however, find SplashID becomes much more effective when you also purchase the desktop version of SplashID for Mac OS X or Windows machines.

SplashID on Your iPhone

When you launch SplashID on your iPhone for the first time, the Quick Start Guide is run. I really like this approach because it gives new users to a good overview of the application and what it can do without making the user read the 16 page user guide (unless they really want to). Sample records provided by SplashData help reinforce the concepts presented in the quick start guide. After spending a few minutes playing with the sample records for a few minutes, most people will probably delete them.

The List View screen, the default view for SplashID, has a pair of toolbars that you will want to familiarize yourself with it. Along the top of the screen, SplashData gives you a toolbar to manage your data: Search, filter by categories, and filter by record category. Along the bottom of the screen, are buttons for configuring SplashID, locking the application, and synchronizing the your iPhone with your computer over a Wi-Fi network.

I found that when I entered a small amount of records into SplashID, flicking my way down the list of records was OK. Later on, as I continued to use SplashID and add more records, I found that searching was a lot faster at finding my data.

When you tap on a record in List View, the data for that record will be displayed on the Record Info screen. By default, SplashID will display the data for your record with the contents of the Password field blocked out with star icons. SplashID also allows you to selectively turn on field content blocking, referred to as masking, for each of the other record detail fields. You would use this feature if you wanted to block out not only the contents of the Password field, but also the contents of the Username or any other field in the record. Tap a masked field to view it contents; tap the field again to mask it again.

Along side field masking in the Record Info screen, SplashID also allows you to apply your own custom field labels and password generation - a really nice feature if you work with a system the requires you to frequently generate secure passwords.

If you chose to purchase a copy of the SplashID desktop application, you will gain the ability to sync your iPhone with your PC. To synchronize your iPhone with SplashID on your computer, you must connect the machine to the same Wi-Fi network that your iPhone is connected to. Then you will be able to start up SlashID on the computer and the iPhone, pair them up, and then perform the sync. The pairing process only takes a few minutes to setup and the data synchronization is zippy. (There is no option to sync your iPhone to your computer with the iPhone data cable.)

Pricing and Availability

SplashID 5.1 for iPhone and iPod touch is available now for $9.99 from the Apple iTunes App Store. SplashID Desktop 5.1, $19.95, is available for direct purchase from the SplashData online store.

In addition to the iPhone edition of SplashID, SplashData also has versions available for BlackBerry, Palm OS, Windows Mobile, and Android smartphones. A version of SplashID is planned for Palm webOS with a free beta version available from the Palm App Catalog. There is also a corporate and government edition of SplashID available. For more information, visit the SplashData website.

[Photo courtesy of MobileAppleMe.net...]

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

SplashData File Magic 2.0 Review

Have you ever felt constrained by the types of data you can sync to your iPhone or iPod touch? Apple’s iPhone 3.0 software can read Microsoft Office files and Adobe Acrobat documents that have been sent as email attachments, but there is no easy way to get commonly used documents on to your device. Wouldn’t it be cool if all it took to sync documents with your iPhone was to simply drag and drop the files into a window? If that seems like something you want, then you need SplashData’s File Magic!



File Magic is a two-piece solution. File Magic, the desktop application, is a drag-and-drop file transfer tool. The desktop application looks for the File Magic application on your iPhone and then establishes a Wi-Fi link between the two. With File Magic it easy to quickly load documents on your iPhone so you don’t have to waste anymore time emailing documents to yourself. In addition to Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat files that I have already mentioned, File Magic also supports: plain text files (.txt), web pages (.htm, .html), non-DRM music files (.mp3, .aac, .wav), images (.jpg, .gif, .png, .tif) and MPEG-4 videos (.m4v).



File Magic is easy to learn. After playing with the software for a few minutes I felt that I had a handle on all of the features. To help you get up and running quickly, SplashData has included a Quick Start Guide that is accessible right from the mobile application. If you want to see what File Magic is capable of before you purchase the software, or if you are the inquisitive type and want some additional information, SplashData also has a user’s guide available on their website. For most people, the on device guide will be all they will need to read.

There are two ways to get documents into your iPhone. The first is to synchronize File Magic running on your iPhone with your computer. The computer and the iPhone or iPod touch must both be on the same Wi-Fi network for this to work. You can also send or receive files directly into or out of your device when the person you want to share your document with is on the same Wi-Fi network and has a copy of File Magic installed. Since SplashData has their own application for managing the files you load on your device, you can send a document from the SplashData data store to anyone else by attaching the document to an email message and sending it to any valid email address.

File Magic makes the document transfer process so easy, that you have to wonder why Apple didn’t include this feature in their software from the get go.

There are two things that I did find annoying about the installation and use of File Magic. The ah-hoc networking between the iPhone and desktop application uses a networking service called Bonjour. If you are using a Mac, Bonjour is all ready installed on your computer. PC users, on the other hand, will have to install it. The thing that I didn’t like was that the File Magic installer couldn’t figure out if Bonjour was already installed on my Windows Vista PC. (SplashData does tell you how to manually check to see if Bonjour is already installed.) The other thing that I found annoying was in the photo browser; you can’t use the iPhone OS gestures to flick to the next or previous photos. To move forward and backward in the deck of photos that have been loaded into File Magic you must use the left and right arrow navigation buttons at the top right of the screen. Both of these issues can be addressed as software updates and shouldn’t cause any serious problems in the long run.

All-in-all, I thought that File Magic is the must have application for those people who like to take their important documents with them. The software is easy to use and the document transfer between the desktop computer and an iPhone or iPod touch worked without any issues during my testing.

File Magic will work with any iPhone or iPod touch that has iPhone OS 2.1 or later installed. The desktop application works with Mac OS X 10.4.11 and later, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. You can purchase File Magic for iPhone and iPod touch for $4.99 from the Apple iTunes App Store. For more information, or to download the free desktop application, please visit the SplashData website.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

iPhone OS 3.0, webOS 1.0.3 and New Apps

I'm a fan of both Apple and Palm. That is why I'm using a MacBook to write this blog and record my 1SRC Pre|Switcher podcasts. My phone of choice is the Palm Pre smart(er)phone.

This weekend looks like it is going to be a busy one. Just in the last few days, I've gotten my hands on new software for both my Apple iPod touch and my Palm Pre.

On Wednesday, Apple released the iPhone OS 3.0 update for existing iPhone and iPod touch devices. I also received copies of DataViz Documents To Go and SplashData File Magic. I'll have reviews of iPhone OS 3.0 and both both applications soon.

Palm Pre customers will also want to download and install the webOS 1.0.3 update to their phones using the Updates application. If you also use MotionApps Classic on your Pre to run all of your old Palm OS applications, you should read the Classic FAQ before performing the upgrade.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

SplashTravel Comes to iPhone/iPod touch

SplashData has recently released its popular SplashTravel suite to the App Store, but with all of the travel utilities combined under one icon. Until now, the suite has been available for Palm's Treo and Centro smartphones.

SplashTravel for iPhone and iPod touch offers:
  • Trip Organizer for Air, Hotel & Car reservations
  • Flight Tracker with gate, plane, and status info
  • Unit & Currency Converter
  • Tip Calculator
  • World Clock
  • Time Calculator
  • Packing List
  • Expense Report tool
  • lists of country codes, clothing size charts, etc.

Beyond the existing travel applications included in the suite, SplashData also added the powerful Trip Organizer and Home screen features to bring it all together in a cohesive user interface. I really like the idea of the trip organizer because when I travel for work, I always seem to forget something: black socks, a brown belt, toothpaste. I may have to book a trip to Florida just so I can test SplashTravel out!

For more details, visit the SplashData website or jump right over to the Apple App Store.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

SplashNotes for iPhone/iPod touch Review

SplashData SplashNotes is an outlining tool that helps you capture your ideas and transform them into bite size actionable tasks that, when put all together, produces a completed project or product. The SplashNotes manual describes this process as having four discrete phases: brainstorming, organizing, analyzing, and finishing. If you don't know what that means, don't worry. The SplashNotes user guide gives you good examples for all of the phases of idea and task organization.

When you launch the application, you start by using one of the predefined outlines or by creating one of your own. Think of an outline as the thing that will hold all of your tasks in a neat little container. I find it much easier if I create some general outlines and then start grouping ideas and tasks into the outline that best describes what it is I'm trying to capture. Since I use my iPod touch at home as well as work, I have outlines called Home and Work. For larger work projects, I create a new, separate outline just for that project.

Once you have a few outlines going, it is easy to move them around simply by tapping the Edit button that lives in the top left of the screen. When you tap the Edit button you get the familiar controls for deleting and moving list items. If you tap on an outline while in Edit mode, the Outline Info page appears. Here you can change the settings specific to that particular outline. For example, you can chose to have your items show up as a simple bullet list or a bullet lists with check boxes. There are two views when you have the check box view turned on. You can choose to have checked off items remain in your list (a good positive motivator) or choose to have finished items cleared from the list, allowing you to focus on the remaining items that you need to focus on. The Outline Info page is also where you can select from a number of preinstalled icons that will appear to in the main outline list view. The icon selection is large and the icons themselves are well drawn, meaning that there should be an icon that fits your needs and makes that application easy to look at while you work.

I found the controls for managing the tasks in my outlines to be easy to use and intuitive. When you are ready to add a new list item, simply tap the plus icon at the top of the screen and start typing. To create a new list item after you have started typing, just press the return key on the on-screen keyboard and keep typing. There are also on-screen controls for moving the current line item up and down the list as well as in and out denting. When you indent a task, the item above it becomes the parent and a list expand/collapse triangle appears to the left of the parent. There are also control buttons for deleting the current task and closing the on screen keyboard when you are done typing.

SplashData has built-in a nice quick start guide into their application. For new users, I strongly suggest reading the full user guide on your desktop computer. The full documentation delves into how to get the most from the software. If you are already familiar with outline tools, then the on-device quick start guide gives you all the important details for using SplashNotes right away. I have also found the quick start guide to be an efficient way to review the features of the software when I'm using SplashNotes on my iPod touch.

If you want even more control over your outlines, SplashData has two other tools for you. Mac OS X and Windows users can purchase the optional SplashNotes iPhone Desktop software. With iPhone Desktop, you can sync your iPhone or iPod touch with your Mac or Windows PC over Wi-Fi if both devices are on the same local area network (LAN). Once you have installed the software on your computer, syncing data is easy. Just open iPhone Desktop as the foreground application and then tap the Sync button on your iPhone/iPod touch. The data from your device will instantaneously synchronize between the two devices. I like the Wi-Fi sync feature because my iPod and MacBook where quick to sync the data and I wasn't required to carry an iPod sync cable with me everywhere I went.

Affectionatos of David Allen's Getting Things Done will be happy to learn that SplashNotes comes bundled with a pre-configured GTD outline. I have used Allen's processing workflow diagram for a few years and SplashNotes was very easy tool to integrate into my process for capturing and managing my "stuff."

The one thing that I didn't line about SplashNotes really had nothing to do with the program at all. I really prefer a physical keyboard over the iPhone's virtual keyboard. I dislike the on screen keyboard so much that I go out of my way to avoid using it. I would have been more open to doing more data entry on my iPod if I could use SplashNotes in landscape mode rather than portrait mode. Hopefully, Apple is suppose to be building in better support for portrait and landscape modes for more applications in their iPhone OS 3.0 software update, which is due out later this year.

I would have also liked it if there was a way to purchase a SplashNotes application bundle which includes the iPhone/iPod touch application along with my choice of SplashNotes iPhone Desktop for Mac OS X or Windows. Again, this seems to be a limitation of Apple's App Store software resulting in the need for two purchases: once for the iPhone/iPod software and then another for the desktop application from the SplashData website.

All in all, I found SplashNotes to be an intuitive tool that I was able to quickly adopt into my daily workflow. During my second week of evaluating the software, SplashNotes really allowed me to keep track of tasks during a very busy week of project deadlines, follow up action items from my various meetings, and making sure I made all of the week's softball practice pickups and drop offs. SplashNotes is an essential tool for anyone who wants to be in complete control of all their ideas and action items.

SplashNotes for the iPhone and iPod touch is available now for $4.99 from the Apple iTunes App Store. The optional SplashNotes iPhone Desktop, which also works with the first and second generation iPod touch, can be purchased from SplashData's online web store for $9.95.

For more information about SplashNotes Outliner, visit the SplashData website.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

SplashPhoto, SplashNotes Released for iPhone, iPod touch

SplashData, Inc, a leading provider of productivity software for smartphones, today announced its SplashPhoto and SplashNotes applications are available on the Apple App Store. SplashPhoto is a mobile photo album manager and SplashNotes is a note-taking and outlining application. Both work on iPod touch and iPhone and both offer wireless synchronization with Windows and Mac OS X desktop applications that are available separately.

"The innovative features of iPhone and iPod touch, like the Multi-Touch user interface and amazing display, have allowed us to create really practical apps that will be helpful to a wide range of users," said Morgan Slain, SplashData’s CEO. “We think SplashPhoto and SplashNotes are going to enable great communication and collaboration and we look forward to continuing to create mobile apps that make a difference."

SplashPhoto offers iPhone and iPod touch users a fast, easy-to-use photo organizer with two-way sync to a free PC or Mac OS X desktop version. This unique desktop application enables users to organize image collections into personalized categories and, upon synchronization, the images are arranged accordingly on the iPhone or iPod touch. There is no limit to the number of categories that users can create. SplashPhoto will also upload to, and download from, Flickr and Picasa collections, and photos taken with the iPhone are automatically geo-tagged so they can be mapped on Flickr and Picasa.

SplashNotes is a powerful notetaking and outlining application that syncs directly with companion Mac or Windows software which enables users to enter their outlines on a desktop computer and then synchronize the notes with the iPhone or iPod touch to take with them wherever they go. SplashNotes gives users the ability to create outlines of any size and complexity, attach notes and photos for quick recall, and display lists with checkboxes to turn outlines into task lists.

SplashPhoto and SplashNotes are available for $4.99 each from Apple’s App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore.

The desktop version of SplashNotes is available at SplashData.com for $9.95. The free SplashPhoto Desktop software is also available at splashdata.com.


I have been using SplashNotes on my iPod touch and syncing it with my MacBook for about two weeks now and I've really come to enjoy using the software on my iPod, Mac OS X, and Windows notebooks. People who are looking for a good task management tool are going to get a lot of value out of SplashNotes.

Look for my review of SplashNotes over the next few days.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Briefly Noted: iPhone Apps, Smartphone OCD

This is just a quick note to talk about what is on my mind right now.

iPhone and iPod touch Software
I just downloaded three interesting applications form the Apple iTunes App Store: SplashNotes Outliner (link), WootWatch (link), and Cellfire Mobile Coupons (link). I'll let you know which ones stay on my iPod touch and which ones get the bit bucket after I've had some time to play with them.

More Smartphones
Many of my readers know I suffer from smartphone OCD. It has been about five months since I purchased my BlackBerry Curve. I'm starting to get that itch to smartphone again. This time I'm looking at the Palm Treo Pro (Sprint edition) or the T-Mobile G1. I like the looks of the Treo Pro body design, 320x320 display, and built in Wi-Fi. But...I haven't had a chance to play with the G1 yet. And let's not forget that DataViz Documents To Go is now available for Android phones, whcih includes the G1.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mac OS X Editions of SplashMoney, SplashID

Los Gatos, CA (MobilityNewswire) April 22, 2008 -- SplashData, Inc., the leading provider of productivity software for smartphones, today announced Mac OS X versions of its popular SplashMoney personal finance application and SplashID 4 secure password manager. Both applications synchronize with their respective mobile applications. The company also announced a standalone version of SplashMoney for Mac OS X for users that do not have a compatible mobile device.










With SplashMoney, Mac users now have access to a complete personal financial manager that enables them to securely record transactions, track account balances, generate reports and budgets, and manage finances while on the go. SplashMoney features wireless access to online bank accounts - an ideal feature for laptops and smartphones, a streamlined user interface, charting of financial data, the ability to assign icons to transactions, transaction filtering, and bank account reconciliation.

SplashMoney supports most account types, including checking, savings, credit card, cash, asset, liability, and money market accounts.

Mac users of SplashID have been anxiously waiting for the release of SplashID 4, which includes substantial updates such as Web Auto-Fill, a feature that simplifies entering user names and passwords by using a web browser to go directly to a site and then retrieving the username and password directly from SplashID to auto-fill in the record. Other key features in SplashID 4 include improved ways to view and find information, such as the new Panel and Tree views, and an Auto Search feature that retrieves records simply by entering a few letters in the Find box.

Advanced users of SplashID 4 can use the new Database Sync feature to select multiple databases to synchronize with on the Mac desktop and easily share data with other users, even across a network.

The security of personal financial data on mobile devices is of chief concern to many, and SplashData has incorporated secure password protection in both SplashMoney and SplashID using 256-bit Blowfish encryption to protect against malicious hacking or other threats.

The SplashMoney and SplashID versions that include both handheld and desktop applications are available now for $29.95 each at www.splashdata.com. They are also available as part of the SplashWallet Suite, which includes SplashID, SplashPhoto, SplashShopper, and SplashMoney, at a 50% discount. The desktop-only versions of SplashMoney and SplashID, available for both Windows and Mac, are available for $19.95. Full functioning 30-day trial versions are also available for download.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

SplashID 4 for Mac OS X









SplashData has released a Universal Binary version of SplashID 4 for Mac OS X. The announcement on the SplashData blog reads:

"We are very proud to be finally releasing the SplashID 4 upgrade for Mac OS. Thanks to all those Mac users who were patient and waited for this release - it was well worth it I think.

Here is a list of enhancements:

  • New desktop views - Panel View and Tree View
  • Tree View on the handheld application
  • Enhanced security - auto lock-out after 10 failed attempts, password strength meter, and password hint option
  • Web Auto-Fill - one click to open a website in Safari and login automatically
  • Synchronize multiple SplashID databases (with other version 4 database files only)
  • Enhanced Lookup feature instantly displays relevant results as you type
  • Email securely encrypted SplashID files to other users (from the handheld application too!)
  • Add additional standalone desktop users
  • Change the database and auto-backup file locations
  • Toolbars give you button features where they are needed the most
  • Updated icon set with enhanced high resolution graphics
  • Fully Leopard compatible
  • Universal Binary
  • Note: Requires 10.4 or later"

If you are running the beta version of SplashID 4, you will need to do some clean up work before you install the release version. Directions for removing the beta can be found on the SplashData blog.

SplashID 4 for Mac OS X costs $19.95 for new customers. Existing SplashID users can upgrade to the new version for $9.95. For more details, and how to purchase an full or upgrade license, visit the SplashData website.

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