Review: Handy Safe


Author: Handy Safe

Version Reviewed: 1.1

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Only a fool would keep his VISA card's PIN in his wallet (granted, a geek may do so, and store it HEX, but that's besides the point). However, Epocware, one of Symbian's most respected software developers, has provided a means of storing your most personal information on your Nokia 7650 in neat application called Handy Safe.

Handy Safe is, according to Epocware, a further development of Code Vault for the Nokia 9200 series. Using 448-bit encryption (called Blowfish), your data is well safe from the prying eyes of nosey parkers (who don't live long, for, according to the fable told me by my sister when she was 6, forty days and they are gone).

Creating and Reading Entries

When you create a new list entry, you are asked to select the type of entry. There are plenty of different built in types of data you can store, such as American Express, Bank Account, Email Account, Software Serial Numbers, ISP settings and so on. These all come with their own icons and editable fields, as well as the facility to add fields. Also numbered among these types is 'General Purpose' which is pretty much blank, who's fields are simply numbered 1 to 10, for you to edit.

Handy Safe allows you to store your entries in folders. This means you don't have just one bigass list, just lots of potential little ones. This means you can keep your Business and Personal data separate (for example) or, if you're like me, folders for E-Shopping, Internet Services, Personal and Purchases.

As far as looks go, Handy Safe is very nice. However, it has a drawback may not be Epocware's fault, but I would have liked Epocware to have worked around it. The problem is that you could potentially have many tens of entries in a given folder and have to scroll through them all to find the last entry. There is no search facility, and one like the 7650's Contacts list would have been nice.


You are able to configure aspects of Handy Safe's security using the Settings menu. Here you can;

  • Set your Password
    Your password is Alphanumeric. You need to make note of this since when you enter your password, you do not easily have the option of changing to number input mode. This can make getting into the application a little tedious, unless you just enter the numbers and stuff what comes up on the screen.
  • Autolock
    If you leave Handy Safe running for longer than the amount of time you specify here, it will automatically lock itself. This is quite handy, but you only have four options; Off, 5 Minutes, 15 Minutes and 1 Hour. This is probably enough for most people, but others may want a little more configrability.
  • Lock in Background
    Finally, you can tell Handy Safe to lock itself whenever it gets put into the background. This means that you may be looking at some personal information (for example, your inside leg measurement) and receive a call. Once you take the call, Handy Safe will be put into the background and it will lock, requiring you to re-enter your password.

I'm not too sure how I feel about the I've Forgotten my Password option which is available when you start Handy Safe. If you select this, it will wipe your data (though it does prompt first). Make of that what you will, for there are (in my opinion) for and against such a feature. It probably needs to be there, but it's a little too accessible for my liking.....


Conclusion It is Epocware's intention to make the data from this application sync with the desktop, but this is currently unavailable (as you can see on their web site, in faint print). Until then, you run the risk of losing important personal data (unless you manually enter it elsewhere also).

All in all, this is an admirable attempt at providing a secure location for the kind of information that one could easily find scribbled on a piece of paper in someone's inside pocket.

It looks good, plays good and plays safe (which is what you're really looking for if you're using it). The UI could do with some nice tweaks, and this is what drops it short of my full marks.

You may balk at the price, but remember that you're keeping important information safe, and these guys know about making important information safe.

It gets 4/5 from me. Will I register it? I should think so.

Vital Stats
  • Name Handy Safe
  • Developer Epocware
  • Cost $19.95
  • Trial Period 30 Days
  • Download/Purchase Handango
  • Installer (.SIS) Size 65kb
  • Installed Size 138kb
  • Data Size (approx) 5Kb containing 4 folders + 16 entries; size will vary with use

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