Resco Explorer 2008 v7.0
When it comes to ice cream, some names just stick in the mind like Ben & Jerries. When it comes to Windows Mobile applications it has to be said that Resco similarly stands out from the crowd. As one of the stock toolsets on most Windows Mobile devices, Resco have decided that it is time for a re-vamp of their classic file management program Resco Explorer. Claiming many new features and improved performance, will the new version live up to its claims? Read the review to find out!
Along side the existing set of features you have come to expect from Resco Explorer, the new incarnation offers the following improvements:
- Touch control support
- Side letter navigation bar
- File search filter
- Virtual folder – quick access to documents, pictures, audio files…
- Customizable toolbar
- Large toolbar buttons optimized for touch mode
- File search filter
- AES Zip encryption
- FTP module completely rebuilt, secure FTP added
- Settings dialog reorganized
- Added Details View mode
- Favorites redesigned
- Quick search
- Significant speed increase in Registry module
- Increased speed in loading folder items
You can be selective about which modules you install and optionally add the Registry, FTP and Today plugins. There are also two optional desktop modules that add enhanced features to your PC. The option to add only part of the suite means that you can save valuable space by omitting those parts that you may not have use for.
The main Explorer application requires 1462 kb of space whilst the add-ins require much less, the FTP Add-in needing only 141kb.
The Registry add-in and Today plugin require 171kb and 192 kb respectively. As with previous versions you have the option to install the modules to either device or storage memory, though installing to your card memory means that you lose the application should you swap cards.
A Soft reset is required after installation to activate the software and registration can be done easily by entering your product code. A direct link to Handango is offered should you need to purchase a code.
As with previous versions, Resco offer the option to encrypt data on your PC. Quite why this single tool option is seen as a complement to the mobile device is a little hard to see.
The ‘Send to’ menu still offers the mini browser for your mobile device.
Resco Explorer 2008 offers all the same comprehensive file manipulation tools that existed in previous versions, those which we have come to expect from an application seeking to offer more than Windows Mobile already does. There is the option to change the skin on the application to something they call an ‘iphone’ skin (watch out for the lawsuits that follow!) but this seems to do little more than add stripes to the browser window, with a slight ‘glassy’ look to them. The overall look and feel of the application therefore remains very firmly rooted in the Pocket PC interface era and feels somewhat dated. The benefit though means that users right back to Pocket PC 2000 can still use this latest version.
The newly added ability to change the folder view to either large details or large icons, now makes the interface much more ‘thumb friendly’.
Two other new features are to be able to show large buttons on the tool bar and also a side letter navigation which makes finding files in long lists much easier.
The complete suite offers five separate modules: The Today plugin, File Explorer, Resco Registry, Resco Update and System Info.
The spyglass icon on the top left of the Today plugin gives access to the plugin settings Here you can add, remove or change the default actions of the plugin icons. The today plugin is really a set of shortcuts to system information and Resco Explorer settings. Over and above the battery, memory and storage space you can choose to add shortcuts to other applications and documents. Whilst this is useful I can’t help feeling it is straying out of the realms of file manager and into that of app launcher.
As well as the shortcut icons there is a task manager that allows the quick switching of applications or the ability to close one or all of those that are running.
The System Info module is essentially a summary screen of information that can be found elsewhere in your device settings. Each of the reports will link you to the Windows Mobile settings for that particular report, so really what you are getting is a pretty shortcut to something you already have. I can’t say that I am a big fan of applications that use existing functions, paint it a different colour and claim it as their own. Windows Mobile isn’t exactly a labyrinth of settings to need to quickly access this kind of information and I have never really understood why anyone might need to know exactly how much RAM they have free at any time ‘at-a-glance’.
The registry add-in is a small but effective editing application in its own right and it allows the user to search, add, modify, copy, import, export and delete registry entries. One thing I found useful was the ability to add registry entries to a favourites list, making them easier to go back to if you should wish to change them on a regular basis. There is an option to export registry entries, however an entire registry export (effectively a backup) is not possible.
A useful little application that is also installed is the Resco Update. This allows you to keep track of any improvements or fixes that Resco may have made to software that you own licenses to. You can also see their catalogue of other products that may be of interest to you.
Explorer itself takes the appearance of the familiar file browser with file information displayed at the bottom. The right hand image shows the main window with the ‘skin’ applied and the search filter box.
The menu bar at the bottom gives you access to all the most common file tasks and the context menu for each item allows you to operate a range of functions for that file.
The familiar folder and file properties summary is still there, allowing you to change the attributes of the item.
In the root folder view you can now see the new Virtual Folders icon along with the familiar Resco resources such as FTP, Recycle Bin and My Network. The Virtual Folders show you a summarised list of all files with the specific attributes of that folder.
Changing the properties of a virtual folder allows you to change the file extensions that appear in that folder.
The FTP connection supports the storage of multiple sessions and connects quickly and easily, here allowing me to modify the details of my web site.