I hate to be a downer around this time of year, but there's one thing I have to bring up. Whether we think about it or not, identity theft runs rampant as we are out and about shopping for the Holidays. While some of these thefts are well beyond our control, others are as simple as misplacing vital information. The next thing you know, your credit card or bank account statement is mailed to you in an envelope thicker than your Mom's gravy. Now you're stuck with a bill and stuck on the phone with your bank or credit card company, trying to figure this out. My philosophy? Prevention over apprehension.
There are a number of solutions in the world of BlackBerry, and I have reviewed a few of them in the past. I've been waiting (like some of you) for this application to finally hit the BlackBerry; Introducing eWallet for BlackBerry.
This secure application is brought to you by Ilium Software and Web Information Solutions, Inc. You may recognize WebIS from their BlackBerry application FlexWallet. eWallet for BlackBerry is a mash up the best of FlexWallet and enhancements from eWallet from other platforms. If you're using FlexWallet or new to the whole wallet experience, why not have a look at eWallet for BlackBerry?
FlexWallet becomes eWallet, increased security for all
Whether you head to Ilium or WebIS, you will see eWallet on either site. eWallet offers secure storage for your personal information, utilizing government-level (FIPS) 256-bit AES encryption. The storage and organization of said information is managed accordingly:
Wallets: these are files in which your information is stored- you can manage multiple wallets in eWallet. Don't forget to create passwords for your Wallets.
Categories: just like in your actual wallet, you carry various types of cards. eWallet does the same. Create categories to separate passwords, credit cards, banking info, logins and more.
Cards: delve further into a category and you will find cards. You may have one Credit Card category, but within it, you may have a card for Visa, one for American Express and another for Master Card.
When you first open eWallet, you can choose to view the sample wallet. I highly recommend this, as you can view the various options available, as well as important how-to's. Since you can personalize each card, you can take a look at the possible background and text colour combinations, as well as card corners (rounded or squared) and borders. Each card in eWallet will display as an actual card. For those who use FlexWallet, rest assured that you can also choose to view cards in "Flex View". Once you are finished looking at the sample wallet, let's go ahead and create one.
Quit looking at my wallet, get your own.
Wallets can be named and have passwords assigned to them. If you can't think of a decent password at the moment, eWallet comes loaded with a password generator. I'm jumping ahead a bit, but the password generator is amazingly easy to use. You can choose password length, characters to choose from. Click generate and presto! Press the menu button and click ‘Copy and Close'. Now, when you are changing the password for your wallet or creating a new password for a card entry, click paste and you're done!
Open your new wallet and you will see four categories before you; Recent, Favorite, Business and Personal. The first two categories will show which cards you have recently and frequently viewed. These two categories can also be hidden. The last two categories will store your cards and can be edited or deleted. More categories can be created, should the need arise. I found that keeping the categories to a minimum kept me from scrolling too much. The wallet's view is set to Tree view by default, but this can be changed to either large or small icon views. Tree view worked best for me, as I could see every card on one page.
Creating a new card is easy, as eWallet offers a large number of templates to choose from. These templates cover a variety of topics, including insurance policies, internet settings and prescriptions. It also offers a General Purpose template as well. Each template has its own set of predefined fields. The fields can be renamed if necessary, adding to the personalization options. Cards (and categories) can be further personalized, and organized, by using icons. Though eWallet may now offer as many icons as other similar applications, they are beautifully designed. Besides making your cards look perfect, shiny and new, you can also choose to have password shown or hidden when viewing a card. If you are using eWallet to store websites and logins, I would choose to view such cards in Flex View. In Flex View, you can move the cursor onto the URL entry, open the menu and choose to go to the website listed. Card view doesn't allow for this.
Card shortcuts can be created as well, but I can't seem to grasp the concept. I find it easier to copy and paste the card into another Category.
You could choose to use eWallet on the BlackBerry alone or use the Windows PC companion and sync item level information. Unlike Windows Mobile and iPhone/iPod Touch devices that use SyncPro, BlackBerry makes use of the BlackBerry Desktop Manager to sync your wallets. When I tried to download the necessary software directly from Ilium's site an error occurred; ‘The setup files are corrupted. Please obtain a new copy of the program.'
Going through my Wallet
eWallet does an impressive job at helping me manage and organize my personal information. I found the application responds quickly to commands and is easy to master. I would like to see integration of shortcut keys. So far, I can only use the keys to alphabetically jump between card templates. I have found one template that was useless; the Picture Card template. I'm guessing the platform doesn't support picture cards. Basically, it's now a dumbed down version of the General Purpose template, as I can only enter the Name of the card and general notes. One feature I didn't find useful was the ability to enlarge the font on a highlighted field. If I move my cursor onto a field and select Enlarge from the menu, the field entry greatly increases in size, as seen below. Unless you, or the person looking over your shoulder, has poor vision I don't see the point in this feature.
It's hard to call it a first time entry, when FlexWallet has been out, but eWallet so far started off its BlackBerry life nicely. In future versions, I'm hoping to see shortcuts keys being taken into consideration. eWallet offers an extensive array of personalization options. I'm glad to see that they have included a password generator which should, in my opinion, be mandatory for all similar applications. Inputting information is fast and simple and, though not necessary, can be organized by card and text colour. Both BlackBerry-only and BlackBerry/PC versions are available at the CrackBerry Store.
For the BlackBerry only version priced at $19.95, click here.
For the BlackBerry Professional (Berry/PC) version priced at $29.95, click here.