SplashID – A Second Look

A while back I took a look at two electronic wallet programs that are available for the iPhone. Both  are applications I used on Windows mobile. Both come from reputable, long time, mobile application manufacturers. Both offer the flexibility to organize and protect a wide-range of information. Both protect your data with a high level of encryption.  Both cost the same. And both have been revised a number of times since their initial release. The two applications are SplashData’s SplashID and ilium Software’s eWallet. As I wrote in my initial post — With so much in common “Sounds like a toss-up right? Not so fast.”

In my initial evaluation of the applications I ultimately determined that, at least for me, eWallet  was my application of choice. The bottom line for me was that it just felt more polished and “Mac like” to me. While the bread and butter of programs like this is securing and accessing data, the interface makes a huge difference in the ease and “enjoyment” of doing so.  That ultimately determined the choice for me. I’ve used eWallet ever since.

That noted, why is it that I’m thinking of moving to SplashID?  Two main reasons — First, the application is now up to version 5 and is vastly improved. Second, there is a key feature that SplashID has that its competitor doesn’t —

…it syncs with PCs AND Macs!

I waited a year for eWallet  to offer a solution that allows me to sync with my Mac and I’m still waiting. Yes, it does sync with PCs but this still isn’t an option for those of us who use Macs. They do have a beta of a web-based solution but it is still in closed Beta.

Splash ID, on the other hand, offers a desktop application that not only syncs but syncs well. That makes a huge difference. Add to that the fact that both the iPhone and the idesktop applications recently underwent significant updates and the result, at least for me, is an application that is easier to use than before and, with the inclusion of the desktop application, easier than ever.

There, is, however, a cost involved. In order to have the ability to sync with your computer you need to not only purchase the application for $9.95 but the desktop version, as well at a cost of $19.95. Then again, for a just under $30 you now have the ability to input information on your computer and securely take it with you when you’re out and about. That, to my mind, makes it worth considering. More information can be found on the site.

The iPhone app is $9.99 and is available HERE.

Release notes on both the Desktop and iPhone applications…

SplashID 5.0 for iPhone, Mac & Windows – July 6, 2009

New Desktop Features:

  • Security Enhancements:
    • AES. This US government approved encryption standard has been added on top of the already powerful Blowfish algorithm.
    • Password Hint Question. Password hints can be a little too easy sometimes, so first you’ll have to answer one of the security questions of your choosing before the hint is revealed.
    • Password Strength Indicator. Added to the Set Password dialog and the Password Generator. Don’t feel bad if you like short passwords. We all do.
    • Clear Clipboard on Exit. This default option is found in the Options dialog. It plainly makes sense.
  • Browser Plug-In. SplashID in your browser! A search box and Web Login picker is added to Safari/Internet Explorer if you install it. This replicates the web autofill functionality from the SplashID desktop, but as an installed plugin for Internet Explorer (Windows) and Safari (Mac). Sorry, but Firefox and other browsers will not be supported at this time. To install the plugin, go to File > Plugin for Safari/Internet Explorer > Install.
  • Install to Removable Device. Now you can take SplashID on a thumb drive (or whatever) anywhere you go. Copies the application and database files to <Removable Disk>/SplashID folder.
  • Add Attachments. A new field has been added to the database so you can add a file (up to 1mb) to the record for association and safe keeping.
  • Add Icons. Just click Add Icons in the Icon Picker, so your record and type icons can be whatever you like. You will also notice we updated some of the old rickety icons.
  • Smart Types. In the lower left of the Detail View, you will find 3 Smart Types containing the latest 10: Most Viewed, Recently Modified, and Recently Viewed. These help you get to your most popular records faster.
  • Scrollable Detail Pane. If your Notes are longer than the provided space in the Detail Pane, you will have a scroll bar so you can view the full notes without having to open the Edit dialog.
  • Resizable Edit Dialog. You can now vertically resize the Edit Dialog so you can get more out of that notes field.
  • Better Keyboard Support. You can tab between windows and UI elements better now to avoid that annoying mouse click.
  • Enhanced Database Sync Logic. When using the database sync feature introduced in version 4, you should no longer have lost or duplicated records.
  • Drag and Drop Records into Types. Need to change the type assignment for a record? Select it, then click it, the drag it into the destination type (Panel View).
  • DeDupe Tool. Scans the database for records containing the same data and offers to delete them. Found in the File menu.
  • Event Viewer. Logs your activity in SplashID so we can provide you with the Smart Types. This may also be useful in technical support scenarios. Found in the View menu. The log file only contains record names – none of the other fields. You can file this file:
    • Mac OS: ~/Documents/SplashID/SplashIDLogFile.plist
    • Windows: C:\Users\<user>\Documents\SplashData\SplashID\Preferences\EventsLog.xml
  • Better Print support. For record list, text is wrapped, and there is an option to print notes. For individual records, nice new layout.
  • Minimize to System Tray. On Windows, you have the option of minimizing to the System Tray (bottom right) instead of the Task Bar. To enable this, go to Options > Minimize Options.
  • Sequential Backup System. Auto backup now saves multiple backup files so you don’t lose your data if you have a database meltdown, then quit SplashID and overwrite the backup file on exit (as in previous versions). Now backups have sequential filenames, Backup 0, Backup 1, Backup 2, Backup 3, etc. When Backup 9 is reached, the next save replaces Backup 0, so you don’t spiral into infinitely diminishing hard disk space.

New iPhone Features

  • Compatibility with SplashID 5 Desktop. Sync with all the cool features from the new desktop application above.
  • Manual IP Address Synchronization. Finally, you can enter your desktop IP address if you can’t discover it automatically for some reason.
  • Custom Icons. Take a photo or choose an existing one to make a custom icon for a record or type.
  • File Attachments. Take a photo or attach an existing one to a record for future reference. You can add any type of file on the desktop and if the iPhone can view it, you can view it in the SplashID record.
  • User Interface Overhaul. Too many improvements here to list, but you’ll see. You can also choose between different “Views” and “Themes” so you can really customize your SplashID experience.
  • Most Viewed Perspective. A new tab shows you the records that you view more often for quick access.

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.