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Thursday, 13 August 2009

MyNotes and ActiveFile fix bugs, but users of Contacts Transfer be warned

MyNotes password protected notes for Symbian; ActiveFile Symbian file manager, SMS backup restore tool, fake SMS creator, task manager

Symbian's built-in Notes application does its job, but MyNotes does more. With MyNotes you can protect your notes with a password, encrypt them, and organise them into folders. MyNotes used to choke on passwords that contain a zero, but the latest update fixes this bug.

MyNotes is a mobile Java program, so it doesn't launch as fast as Symbian's built-in notes application. But that's a small price to pay for password protection, encryption, and filing your notes into folders.



A new beta test version of file manager ActiveFile appeared on the ActiveFile website, but was quickly removed. For details about ActiveFile, check this review.

What's new (according to the changelog)?

The beta test version comes as a single installer for all versions of Symbian S60, and numerous bugs were fixed.

What's new (according to my own test, which is far from complete)?

The SMS backup and restore function has improved. The "backup options" entry in the menu of the SMS backup tool works now, so you don't have to click all the way to the settings menu to change your SMS backup/restore settings. And the "ignore duplicate" setting (which you can set to yes or no) doesn't forget your choice anymore.

The "fake SMS" feature has a new bug. When I created fake messages with the beta test version, ActiveFile got the dates wrong. August 10 became July 9, September 11 became August 10, etcetera. If you want to set a certain date for your message, you'll have to increase the day and month by one. This means you can't fake an SMS for the last day of the month, because ActiveFile won't accept the 32nd of August. If you set the first day of the month (or the first month of the year) and hit "create," ActiveFile crashes without creating the message, since one minus one produces an invalid date. On the bright side, ActiveFile can fake outgoing messages in addition to inbound SMSs, a feature you won't find (yet) in Free-iSMS or Fake Messages.

What's not new?

SMS backup files can be stored on your phone's built-in memory or on your memory card, but ActiveFile won't let you choose in which folder you'd like the backup to be stored. It doesn't even tell you the location of the backup file, which makes it unnecessarily difficult to copy the backup to your computer, store it online, or send it to another Symbian phone to merge different messaging folders.

You can move, copy, and send the SMS backup files manually if you know where they are. If you choose to store SMS backups in "internal memory" the backup files are stored in C:\Data\Others. If you choose "memory card" the files end up in E:\Others.

A bug that has not been fixed, and which may cause very unpleasant surprises: when you delete SMS backups from within ActiveFile's SMS backup screen it will also delete phone book backups created by Contacts Transfer if they're on the same drive. To be on the safe site, tell ActiveFile and Contacts Transfer to use different drives to store their backups until ActiveFile is fixed.

Other bugs may have been repaired (or introduced), but I'll wait for future updates to look into that. For managing my files I still prefer X-plore, and KillMe and JBak TaskMan are better than ActiveFile's built-in task manager. What really sets ActiveFile apart from other file and task managers is its nondestructive SMS backup and restore option and the Fake Message creator. These features work, even though there is plenty of room for bug fixes and other improvements.

ActiveFile from Alie Tan
ActiveFile v1.43.1 beta at Mobile Castle

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