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