There are several electronic wallet applications available for the Pocket PC. Previously, I reviewed eWallet Pro 4.1 and
FlexWallet 2006 and found both to be great applications. For the final chapter in my trilogy of electronic wallet reviews I present Episode III: CodeWallet Pro 2006. I have previously used CodeWallet back when I had an iPAQ 3970 and was quite happy with it. After the iPAQ I switched over to the dark side and used a Palm T|2 and T|3. Since Developer One does not produce a version of CodeWallet for PalmOS, I switched to SplashID. When I came back to the light side I still used SplashID, but I have found it to be limited in quite a few ways.
The basic questions from the
previous review remain: Which electronic wallet application should you use? Should you switch from the wallet application you are currently using to CodeWallet? Finally, since I am currently using eWallet, does CodeWallet offer a compelling reason to switch?
Developer One is probably best known for their PIM replacement application
Agenda Fusion. I find it interesting that both WebIS, makers of Pocket Informant and Developer One, makers of Agenda Fusion are also competing against each other not only in the PIM replacement category but also in the electronic wallet category.
The last time pocketnow.com
reviewed CodeWallet was way back in December of 2000 when the application was at version 3.0. Most electronic wallet applications sport basically the same features, but let's take a look at CodeWallet's major new features in this new version:
Professionalprinting in the desktop edition
Desktopedition supports installation to and running from a USB flash drive
The setup process is pretty normal for a Pocket PC device. CodeWallet comes as 2 .exe files... one that will install the desktop application and another to install the Pocket PC application.
I found this window that pops up during the installation process to be somewhat odd. Windows Mobile 5 already makes you confirm that you want to install the application so this window is kind of useless and simply adds another screen tap to the installation process.
After the application is installed, you can choose which language you would like to use with the program. CodeWallet currently supports 19 langagues.
Although CodeWallet 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. Of note is the ability to run the desktop edition from a USB flash drive, which is very cool. Another unique feature is the ability to print professional looking documents from the desktop edition.
When you first run CodeWallet, the program tells you the password for the sample wallet, which you must then enter on the next screen. CodeWallet also allows alphanumeric passwords, which is a very nice feature.
You are now presented with the sample wallet. The wallet is presented as a tree list view. The small icon next to the name of the wallet expands or collapses all of the trees.
To begin the process of creating a new card you can tap-and-hold on the category you would like it to be stored in or single tap on the category and then click menu to select New Card.
You will then choose a type for the new card. There are plenty of types included in CodeWallet and Developer One also maintains a webpage of user-created forms.
To be consistent with my last review, I decided to create a card using the "Credit Card" form. In these screenshots you can see the various fields that are available for you to populate. Basically, all three wallet applications include similar fields.
The menu function while you are in a card brings up several options. Most people will immediately use the Customize option to change the icon associated with the card or the text and colors. There is a nice selection of icons included in CodeWallet and you can always import your own.
Also on the card menu is the unique option to attach files. If selected you are presented with a screen that allows you to add or remove files. Each card can have up to 10 files attached.
Once you have added a file, it will appear in the card. Clicking on the file name in the card will launch the associated application to view or play the file. You can attach any type of file you wish, but keep in mind that CodeWallet copies the file into the wallet file, which will increase the size of the wallet file.
When you create a new folder in your wallet you are presented with this screen. You can specify a name for the folder, a folder icon and the default card form. You can also choose to place the folder at the main level instead of within another folder.
The left soft button on WM5 devices allows you to initiate a search for a file. I typed in "master" and CodeWallet created a new folder called "Search Results — 'master'." The match to the search was shown within this folder.
The right soft button usually activates the menu. Selecting Options from the main menu gives you several more items to customize.
You can change the display options from this screen. The security options screen offers you the ability to choose the automatic shut down timeout period.
If you are using a pre-WM5 device you can use the traditional menubar. Even if you are using a WM5 device, you can choose to use the traditional menubar instead of soft buttons.
CodeWallet allows you to export your wallet file. You can choose which items to export, what format to export them to and where to output. You can also decide whether you want to include passwords and attachments in the export.
You can also import a file into CodeWallet. The imported files must be in a tab-delineated .txt file. CodeWallet will then ask if you want to add each card contained within the .txt file to your wallet.
Once the import is complete, the imported cards appear within a new folder labeled with "Imported" and the date of the import. The other screenshot shows you the format that must be used to create a file that can be imported.
Developer One has very strong support options. On their website there are forums, FAQs and a form to fill out with any additional questions. Both the Pocket PC and desktop applications come with help files. Another nice feature is the Synchronization wizard which walks you through setting up syncing from within the desktop application.
CodeWallet Pro 2006 requires:
Microsoft WindowsMobile Powered Pocket PC 2003/2003SE/2005 or Pocket PC 2003/2003SE/2005 Phone Edition
Approximately 3.55MB offree storage space (can be installed to a storage card)
Additional storagespace is required by the wallet file and these files will grow significantly if you place attachments in them
It is important to note that CodeWallet 2006 is NOT compatible with Pocket PC 2002 or 2000 devices.
BUGS AND WISHES
I did not encounter any bugs or crashes using the program. It is stable and reasonably fast, although FlexWallet seemed faster to me.
One thing that CodeWallet is sorely missing is a password generator. Both eWallet and FlexWallet have one and they are quite useful. I am not sure why this feature was not included since the competition has it. It is good that you can import tab-delineated .txt files, however those are the only types of files that you can import. It would be nice if someone else included an import utility such as the one in eWallet. I also wish that they would get rid of the extra confirmation screen during the install process... it is really unnecessary.
On the security front, CodeWallet uses 128-bit RC4 encryption. eWallet uses 256-bit and FlexWallet also uses 128-bit. I'm sure that either encryption method is adequate, but those who are paranoid about security may prefer the stronger encryption of eWallet.
CodeWallet can be purchased as:
Pocket PC only — $29.95 (there is currently a $5.00 discount making the price $24.95)
Desktop only — $29.95 (there is currently a $5.00 discount making the price $24.95)
Pocket PC and Desktop combo — $44.95
- Lots of card templates
- Lots of icons
- Alphanumeric passwords
- Find function
- Ability to attach files to a card
- Ability to import and export the wallet file
- No import or conversion utility from other wallet programs
- Large storage memory requirement
- No password generator
- Much more expensive than other wallet applications
At the beginning of the review, I asked three questions. The first was, "Which wallet program should you use?" Due to the higher price of CodeWallet, I would suggest trying both eWallet and FlexWallet instead. These other wallet applications have more features at a lower price.
The second question was, "Should you switch from the wallet application you are currently using to CodeWallet?" If you are currently using a previous version of CodeWallet, this is a good upgrade. You could also take your existing CodeWallet file and import it into eWallet using their unique import utility. Users of other wallet programs should probably look elsewhere.
The final question I asked was, "Since I am currently using eWallet, does CodeWallet offer a compelling reason to switch?" The answer here is a definite "no." eWallet has more features than CodeWallet and imported my SplashID wallet pretty successfully. I would have to re-create the cards to move to CodeWallet because the import function is not nearly as comprehensive as eWallet's import utility. I just do not see any reason for me to switch to CodeWallet.
Although I found several areas that were lacking, CodeWallet is still a very good application. If eWallet and FlexWallet were more expensive and included less features CodeWallet would look much better. Unfortunately, it seems that CodeWallet has fallen behind in the electronic wallet category.