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Software Review: FREE BlackBerry Wallet Application

By Ryan Blundell on 27 May 2008 09:56 am EDT
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BlackBerry Wallet

What’s in your wallet?

Have too many passwords and gift cards than you can handle? Find that your MemoPad isn’t secure enough to hold your logins for work? Love to have credit card info handy for online shopping without sitting on a thick wallet? What you need is a secure database at your fingertips.

Welcome to a short series of reviews regarding secured applications on your BlackBerry. A while ago, I covered Ascendo DataVault, which I guess should be considered the first in the series. This time I will be looking at RIM’s free BlackBerry Wallet and see how it stacks up to its elder, Password Keeper.

BlackBerry Wallet sprung up on BlackBerry’s mobile site a short time back, catching the eye of Ronen. While the cost is right up my alley, I want to make sure that I wouldn’t rather *gulp* spend money on an effective application. Would this be a step up and even an all out replacement for Password Keeper, this Cryptic Crackhead is about to find out…

Despite the open wallet icon on your BlackBerry desktop, the application is secured by a password. You have ten chances to enter in the password correctly before you get locked out. It’s AES encrypted, so like Ascendo Data Vault, it’s one tough nut to crack!  You don’t have the option to increase or decrease the number of given attempts, as you can with Password Keeper. A bit of a downer, as I have my Password Keeper set to 3 attempts. There isn’t even an Options menu with BlackBerry Wallet. Pressing the menu button gives you a very limited selection, but does include an option to recommend it to all of your “Berry” good friends.

BlackBerry Wallet Main Screen
six categories to choose from

I enjoyed the layout of BlackBerry Wallet, as it vaguely resembled the Tree View of Ascendo DataVault. You are limited to six categories:

  • Owner Information
  • Credit Cards
  • Gift Cards
  • Login Credentials
  • Loyalty Card
  • Shipping Address

Clicking on each category will open up the tree to reveal each of your entries and prompt you to add more. You cannot switch the types of categories listed for another, like say delete Gift Cards and add Prescriptions. With the predetermined fields in each category, it’s difficult to tweak the fields to suit your needs. Not much wiggle room for personalization. With Password Keeper, you at least have a “notes” field to put in miscellaneous information. I find the Owner Information category a waste of space, I know who I am, and don’t feel it’s necessary to have an application to remind me of that.  If you have a bad memory, there are already numerous native applications you can input your contact info. Despite this, Wallet seems to be quite straight forward and offers a bit more organization than Password Keeper. I would personally use both in harmony, rather than deciding which one to delete off of my BlackBerry.

Opening up each Category reveals the previously mentioned predetermined fields. Now you don’t have to enter a value in each field. If all you need are the bare bones, that’s all you need to enter. As I attempted to enter more and more of my personal information, I came across another snag; certain fields (specifically the Account/Membership numbers, etc) fields do not allow alphanumeric values. Sigh, looks like those numbers will be kept in my Password Keeper.

BlackBerry Wallet Add Info
enter what you like


BlackBerry Wallet is useful if you’re buying online or over the phone and need to have your Credit Card information on you. If I’m at home, I would more likely be found with a BlackBerry, rather than my wallet sitting by my side. I pulled the following from the BlackBerry site:

Procedure - To use BlackBerry Wallet when making an online purchase, complete the following steps:

Note: Before you make a purchase, you have the option to accept the prompt to install the BlackBerry® Content Optimization Technology Program. This program improves browsing on supported online retailer's web sites.

  • Using a browser on your BlackBerry smartphone, visit a supported online retailer's web site and add items to your shopping cart.
  • When you are ready to begin the checkout process, press the Menu key. 
  • Click Open Wallet. 
  • Type your BlackBerry Wallet password. 
  • Highlight your login credentials. 
  • Click one of the following items: Edit / Yes / No
  • Click Login. 
  • Highlight a credit card. 
  • Click Yes. 
  • Click OK.

Additional Info - You can use the browser on your BlackBerry smartphone to visit supported web sites of online retailers and make purchases. When you visit an online retailer's web site for the first time, you receive a prompt to install BlackBerry Content Optimization Technology Program, a small application that improves your browsing experience. You can browse the web site and add items to your shopping card as you would on a web site that you visit using your computer.

When you are ready to begin the checkout process, you can conveniently access BlackBerry Wallet to choose the credit card, gift card, and loyalty card that you want to use to complete the transaction.

Final Thoughts

BlackBerry Wallet Recommendation
hmmmm…should I?

As I wouldn’t recommend BlackBerry Wallet as a stand alone application, it does make a great companion to Password Keeper. Though organized, it is just too limited as far as personalization goes. Ascendo DataVault offers numerous categories as BB Wallet offers only 6 (5 of which are actually useful).  For a free app I would recommend it, though again not on its own. Now there’s always room for growth and I look forward to RIM bringing BB Wallet up to its full potential.

Pros

  • neat, organized layout
  • secured information on hand
  • Shop online with Wallet

Cons

  • lack of personalization
  • lack of alphanumeric support
  • limited options

Download

5 comments

poseidon66`

When I press Menu key, Open Wallet, is not an option. VZW 8330. I think a lot of people had a problem downloading the app because we were VZW. Any thoughts.

David B

I have tried it on my Verizon 8830 and it works. I suspect the menu entry in browser does not appear unless you are on a site that supports Wallet. Either nobody does yet, or RIM is not telling, since there seems to be no list of supported sites. Wallet is likely "ahead of it's time", and won't be at all REALLY useful until there's a number of sites (frequented by berry users) that support it.

Anonymous

When I select that I accept the terms of the download the next page contains this error, what's going on?

camaro383

I just downloaded wallet on my 8310 at&t phone and the download was quick and directions were easy to follow. My berry rebooted and i got right into the app. more comments to come when i get a chance to play with the wallet app. some more.

MpPierce

I'm curious...you say that you'd keep both the Password and Wallet applications. Why? What's the purpose of keeping both applications in synch? What do you accomplish by having both that you can't do with either one on their own?

Thanks!