Recently, I was the beneficiary of a “sweet” deal from Resco. Resco Suite is comprised of many of the company’s apps for PalmOS (See Tam’s review). Since I already owned Resco Explorer 2007, Resco Viewer, and Resco Backup Pro, the suite didn’t really interest me until they decided that users who owned 3 or more Resco products could get a 70% discount on Resco Suite! I was sold so I now own the lot. My first idea was to use IDGuard instead of SplashID to keep all that information protected on my palm.

What about a desktop conduit? I should get this out of the way right at the beginning. SplashID has a desktop conduit and IDGuard doesn’t. I spoke to Jan Slodicka at Resco about what he thought the timetable for getting a desktop component for IDGuard would be. He thought that there could be a conduit in about 6 weeks. In my opinion, this is the major benefit of SplashID over IDGuard. Once IDGuard has a conduit, it will be hands down the best PalmOS Identity protection app out there.  IDGuard NOW has a backup conduit!

Importing records: The first hurdle was getting the data from SplashID into IDGuard. At first I had problems, the import feature in IDGuard choked when importing a vID export file from SplashID – it imported just 29 of over 300 records I had. On the Other hand the import of the SplashID pdb went fine (once I took the password off the SplashID database). Resco was great when it came to troubleshooting this and now the import works perfectly, vID or pdb file. For your own protection IDGuard can’t decrypt the SplashID database, you must know the password and remove it first.

Some benefits of IDGuard over SplashID:

  • Documents: Safe storage, safe processing
  • Audio/image attachments
  • Reminders

You can attach documents to a record. These documents can be in most formats you find on your device – doc/xls/ppt/pdf/images/html/zip/txt/audio/etc. When you attach a file IDGuard asks if you wish to delete the original. In this way you encrypt a file and delete the unencrypted version. You can open the document directly from IDGuard, with 2 caveats – 1) you need a reader for the type of document you are opening (e.g., Documents 2 Go for .doc files) and 2) the reader needs to be in RAM. By default I keep all my D2G applications on my card (you can move applications to the card from within D2G). When I tried to open a .doc file the screen blanked for a second then returned to the login screen of IDGuard. After I moved the application into RAM it opened beautifully. Depending on the application, IDGuard will either make a temporary file that is opened, then deleted when it is finished (as with images viewed with Resco Viewer), or the app will warn you that a file will be made in a certain directory on your card and you will be responsible for deleting it (if you view an image with Media).

I played an audio file (mp3) directly from IDGuard without any problems whatsoever. If you have a mic on your device you can also record your own audio attachments.

Another great feature is the reminders. You can set a reminder on records.

I found when I was recategorizing my records in IDGuard that it had so many fewer choices of icons than SplashID had. This can be somewhat frustrating in that I like to be able to quickly look at records and know what they are from their icon (especially if I’m in the icon view). When I imported my database over to IDGuard all my SplashID entries that had been marked with an icon of a PDA were now marked with a CD icon or a question mark. I prefer distinguishing my software serial number entries between PC software and PDA software. It is categorized that way and should be “iconized” that way. There is a smartphone icon, so I decided that was how I would differentiate. There should be a book icon, in my opinion. I guess I’d just like to see more of a selection.

Overall IDGuard is a superior piece of software. The ability to encrypt so many different kinds of documents/files and view them straight from within IDGuard is a tremendous advantage. Once the desktop component for IDGuard is out I’ll be taking SplashID off my device. Jan as Resco said they will be incorporating the encryption technology used in IDGuard into Explorer 2008 – I can’t wait! I also spoke to Nikolai Filipov at SplashData. Nikolai hadn’t even realized that Resco had released their IDGuard product until I had contacted him. Nikolai said in his email, “… it appears that their application is based on SplashID. SplashID has been the best-selling password manager for Palm OS for over 6 years.” SplashData even provided me with a reviewers guide and a serial number to help with my review. In going through both apps, I became more and more impressed with IDGuard’s abilities. At the same time It is evident that the SplashID interface /GUI has had more time to mature and has slightly more flexibility. Some graphical components are the same on both apps, lending some credence to the assertion by SplashData (for instance, the font selection dialogues are very similar in both apps – note that all skinning in these screen shots was done by SkinUI).

idg font view no datasid font view no data

A nice ability that SplashID has is to be able to change the background colors in the list view. Although this seems minor, it is extremely useful when you change to hires mode. In IDGuard, I can barely discern the background colors, which makes it easier for my eye to accidently slip from one row to the next. In SplashID I changed the color of the colorized rows in hires to a darker color, and that made all the difference in the world.

IDG list view no dataSplashID list view no data

The below screenshot show the SplashID choose color dialog:

SplashID color picker

To wrap it up I’ve made a chart showing the differences and similarities (I’ve highlighted in red the items I believe are the most important differences):

Feature SplashID IDGuard
GUI Customizable in different views – generally more flexible Customizable in different views
Encryption 256-bit Blowfish Industrial standard AES
Desktop Component Yes – Vista compatible Yes (edited)
Document processing No Yes – encryption of all types of documents
Attachments No (except notes) Yes – Attachments can be created also with built-in camera or audio recorder
Reminders No Yes
Customizable record templates and categories Yes Yes
Secure memos No Yes
Special data editors for address/ phone number/ e-mail No Yes
Data Sources (Databases) Yes – Synchronize multiple SplashID databases single data source on palm Yes – Multiple data sources on Palm
Backup/Restore Yes Yes
Export/Import/Send Yes Yes
Password generator Yes Yes
password strength meter Yes Yes
Auto-locking Yes – auto lockout after 10 failed attempts, Time to Auto Lock after exit is configurable at immediately, 1,2,3,4,5,10,15,20,25,30 minutes Yes – wait time gets longer after each failed attempt, Time to Auto Lock after exit is configurable at immediately, 1, 2, 5 minutes
Hint for Password Yes Yes
Web Auto Fill – one click to open a website on the desktop and login automatically Yes Yes
Custom icon support Yes No

Related posts:

  1. Ultrasoft’s DataShield – does it compare to IDGuard and SplashID
  2. IDGuard version 1.01 released
  3. Resco’s IDGuard has a desktop component!
  4. Resco releases IDGuard companion for Windows
  5. SplashID 4.03 review Brand New Ways to Protect Your Data

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