WebIS FlexWallet 2006 Rev 2

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INTRODUCTION

    Recently I

reviewed


eWallet Pro 4.1
and found it to be a great
application.   As I mentioned in that

review, keeping an electronic wallet on your
handheld is very convenient and one of my favorite
uses of my Pocket PC. There are four primary
electronic wallet programs available for the Pocket
PC:

eWallet
,

CodeWallet
,

SplashID
and

FlexWallet
. I used SplashID before but found a
couple of annoying limitations that prompted me to
switch to eWallet.


   
Ilium Software
includes a conversion utility for eWallet enabling
you to import wallet files from other wallet
programs.  One program that you can import
files from is FlexWallet 2006.The question is, if
you are using FlexWallet should you move over to
eWallet?  Another question… if you do not
currently use a wallet program, which one should you
use?  Finally, since I am now using eWallet
does FlexWallet make me want to switch?

WHAT’S HOT

    FlexWallet was not always developed by
WebIS.  With the 2006 edition of FlexWallet, it
became part of the WebIS family of products. 
WebIS is well-respected in the Pocket PC community
for their excellent PIM replacement application

Pocket Informant
.  Since this is the first
time pocketnow.com has reviewed FlexWallet, here is
a list of the major features:

  • Easily search
    for text stored in any card
  • Quickly access
    frequently used cards using the Favorites and
    Recently Used Cards lists
  • Built in
    Password Generator
  • Choose from
    over 190 attractive and consistently themed
    icons to identify your cards and categories
  • Secure
    encryption of all your information using
    redundant 128-bit algorithms
  • Full featured
    desktop edition for easily entering and editing
    data
  • Card Level
    Synching for multiple wallets

SETUP

    The setup process is pretty
straightfoward.  FlexWallet 2006 comes as an .exe file that will
install the desktop and Pocket PC versions of the application.

I
encountered this error message when I tried to
install FlexWallet using the combined desktop /
Pocket PC installer.  I was able to get around
this by downloading the .CAB file directly from the
WebIS site.  I’m not sure if this is an issue
with the application or something on my handheld.

PROGRAM FEATURES

    Although FlexWallet 2006 comes with a
full-featured desktop version, I am going to focus
on the handheld application.  The desktop
version includes all of the features of the PocketPC
version with a standard Windows interface.

    

When
you first run FlexWallet, you are walked through the
process of setting up a new wallet.  You can
choose a name for your wallet and where to store it
on your device.

    

    You
can then choose the type of password you would like
either Alphanumeric or Numeric.  Obviously
numeric is easier to enter so I used that. 
This is a great feature and it would be easy to
input an alphanumeric password using a device with a
built-in thumbboard.

   

The
program will ask you to input your password one more
time as a confirmation.

     

You
are now presented with your new wallet.  There
are 2 views available: a List View and a Tree View. 
Both are easy to read although the List View would
be easier to use with your finge
r.

    

    To
begin the process of creating a new card simply
tap-and-hold on the category you would like it to be
stored in.  You will then choose a template for
the new card.  There is a great selection of
templates to choose from and I think you will find
one for just about any use.  If you don’t you
can always create your own or use the "Generic"
templates that are included.

    

I
decided to create a card using the "Finance: Credit
Card" template.  In these screenshots you can
see the various fields that are available for you to
populate.

    

    On
the settings tab of the new card are options to
change the text and background colors.  You can
decide to make a card a favorite (more on that
later) and finally you can choose an icon for the
card.  I have to compliment WebIS on the
icons… there is just a HUGE selection of icons
available and they are all 3-D and nicely designed. 
There are many more icons available in FlexWallet
than in eWallet.  You can also create custom
icons.

 


After creating your card you can then see it in the
List View or Tree View under the category you stored
it in.


    Creating a new category is easy.  Just
tap-and-hold on the name of your wallet or go to the
menu and select Edit > New Category.  Either
way the screen above will be shown.  Here you
can specify a name for the category, the default
card template (optional) and an icon.


Another option on the main menu is "Find". 
Here you can search for text contained within a card
and even specify to match case.  I searched for
the word "Test" and FlexWallet found the card with
the word in it easily.

    


    Selecting Menu > Options will bring you to this
screen.  From here you can select the path of
custom icons which is nice if you want to store them
on a card.  There is also an option to use
Windows Mobile 5.0 soft keys instead of the Classic
Menubar.  Obviously on pre-WM5 devices you will
get the Classic Menubar.

The
security options tab offers you the ability to
choose the automatic shut down timeout period among
other options.

    

    I
mentioned the "Favorite" setting for a card earlier. 
When you launch FlexWallet and there is already a
wallet loaded you can select to view Recently Viewed
Cards, Favorite Cards or Categories and Cards which
takes you to the List or Tree View.

Once
you make certain changes such as switching between
the soft buttons and Classic Menubar using the
options, FlexWallet will ask you to restart the
application.


    Finally, FlexWallet also includes an excellent
password generator.  You can specify upper and
lowercase characters, numbers and special characters
among others.  You can also decide how long you
want the password to be.


HELP SUPPORT

    WebIS is well known for
their excellent support.  On their website
there are very active forums which are frequented by
the programmers who develop the applications.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS


    Here are the system requirements:

  • Microsoft Windows
    Mobile Powered Pocket PC 2003/2003SE/5.0 or
    Pocket PC 2003/2003SE/5.0 Phone Edition
  • Approximately 1.58MB of
    free storage space (can be installed to a
    storage card)
  • Additional storage
    space is required by the wallet file

    It is
important to note that FlexWallet 2006 is NOT
compatible with Pocket PC 2002 or 2000 devices. 
You will need to use FlexWallet 2005 if you own a
Pocket PC 2002 or 2000 device.

BUGS AND WISHES

   
Besides the installation issue, which may not be
FlexWallet’s fault, I did not encounter any bugs or
crashes using the program.  It seems to be
stable and pretty fast.

   
One thing that FlexWallet is sorely missing is an
importer from other wallet programs or even an Excel
spreadsheet import function.  This is where
eWallet leaps ahead of FlexWallet.  I
understand the programming complexity of creating a
converter from other wallet applications, but I
cannot see why it is not possible to import from an
Excel file.  Most of the other wallet programs
will export to an Excel file.  I think more
people would switch over to FlexWallet if an import
tool was available.  There is however, an
import tool to convert a FlexWallet 2005 file to a
FlexWallet 2006 file.

PURCHASING

   
You can purchase FlexWallet 2006 from the WebIS.  Their software is also available at
the leading mobile software sites.  FlexWallet
comes in several versions:

*If you purchase through the above affiliate links, use code PNWS75025 to receive an additional $5.00 off. Offer is valid until July 31, 2006.

PROS

  • Very easy
    to use
  • Stable and
    fast
  • Lots of
    card templates
  • Loads of
    icons
  • Password
    generator
  • Find
    function

CONS

  • No import
    or conversion utility from other wallet programs
Value
Ease
of Use
Features

Overall

What do these ratings mean?


OVERALL IMPRESSION

    At the beginning of the review, I asked
three questions.  The first was, "If you are
using FlexWallet should you switch to eWallet?" 
The answer here is definitely no.  FlexWallet
is every bit as good as eWallet and in some areas
such as selection of icons, it is better.  So,
if you are currently using FlexWallet you should
continue to do so.

   
The second question was, "If you do not currently
use a wallet program, which one should you use?" 
In my opinion, if you are new to wallet programs you
should try both eWallet and FlexWallet and see which
you prefer.  The functionality is so very
similar it is really a draw.  If you are really
into icons, FlexWallet is the better choice. 
eWallet has stronger encryption though which is very
important.  FlexWallet uses 128-bit encryption
while eWallet uses 256-bit encryption.  Someone
decrypting either one is highly unlikely, but I
always feel better with stronger encryption. 
The lesser encryption cost FlexWallet 1/2 a point in
my Features rating. 

   
The final question I asked was, "Since I am now
using eWallet does FlexWallet make me want to
switch?"  The biggest advantage that eWallet
has over FlexWallet is the conversion / import
utility.  It doesn’t work perfectly, but it
still saved me hours of typing when I switched from
SplashID.  Since FlexWallet does not offer a
similar tool, I will not be switching over from
eWallet simply because I do not want to re-type all
of my cards.  If FlexWallet offered an import
utility I would consider switching over.  The
lack of an import utility cost FlexWallet 1 point in
my Features rating.

   
Overall, FlexWallet is an excellent application and
so is eWallet.  If you are a new wallet user
you won’t go wrong either way.  If you use a
different wallet program and want to switch, eWallet
is definitely the way to go.  But what about
CodeWallet?  I have a copy of that to review as
well and will report my findings in the next few
weeks.


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