iPhone app hands-on: SplashID password manager

iPhone app hands-on: SplashID password manager

We previously reported the debut of the first known Palm OS Apps ported to the iPhone SplashID, SplashShopper and SplashMoney which collectively are a series of popular Palm OS applications. Today we are going to take a closer look at one of these - SplashID, a secure password manager.

The iPhone version of SplashID bears stark resemblance to versions for other handheld devices. It offers deep customization through support of unlimited record types. You can design and create your own record types with full control over the record fields and their content. You can also use the application to store user names, passwords, banking information (i.e. accounts, credit cards, etc.), software licenses and registrations, insurance, medical information, etc. Sample records are included.

Security features include random-generated passwords and 256-bit Blowfish encryption for the SplashID database. Data stored in some of the records can be tapped to activate other functions: URLs offer quick access to web logins, for instance. If you have the Desktop version of the application and use the feature there, SplashID mobile will auto-fill in the website logins for you.

One feature that we hoped to see on the iPhone that never existed on the Palm devices was the ability to dial phone numbers stored in the database. Unfortunately, uf you tap a phone number in the iPhone version of SplashID, an "unsupported URL" message appears. We were assured, however, that this bug would be fixed in a future release of SplashID.

The interface is very usable. A search feature helps you to find what you need quickly without wading through the typical iPhone navigation screens one at a time.

The tools menu has some important features, but the most important one is the "Sync" selection. If you own the Desktop edition of SplashID you can sync your records back and forth via Wi-Fi. However, you need to own the correct version of the desktop application. One version does not support the Sync feature. We ran into problems downloading the correct version at first, but after working with the vendor, the procedure went smoothly. The developer is also offering upgrade paths to the new version of the desktop for free for existing Palm Desktop owners. Find it here.

Overall, the port from the Palm to the iPhone is practically transparent after some interface adjustments.

The developer of SplashID, like many others, expressed frustration that Apple was not pushing updates quickly enough. Our complaint about dialing functionality was purportedly resolved in a version created over a week ago, but not yet pushed out by Apple.

Priced at $9.99 through the AppStore, SlashData pairs with a companion application available for Mac OS X that retails for $19.95.

 

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