Reviewed by: Howard Carson, September 2006
Published by: SplashData
Requires: Palm OS 4.0 or later including the Treo 600, Treo 650, Treo 700p; 1.4MB free memory (can be run from memory card); Supported Palm OS devices: Sony CLIE TG Series, Sony CLIE T Series, Sony CLIE SL Series, Palm m505, Sony CLIE SJ Series, Sony CLIE NZ Series, Sony CLIE NX Series, Sony CLIE NR Series, Sony CLIE N Series, Palm Z22, Palm Treo 650, Palm Tungsten E2, Samsung SPH-i500, Palm Tungsten C, Palm Tungsten W, Palm Zire 71, Palm LifeDrive, Palm m125, Palm Treo 700p, Palm Tungsten T3, Palm Tungsten E, Sony CLIE UX50 Series, Samsung SGH-i530, Sony CLIE N760C, Sony CLIE T415, TRGpro, Palm Tungsten T5, Sony CLIE VZ90, Sony CLIE TJ25, Palm m515, Palm m130, Palm m100, Palm Tungsten T, Garmin iQue 3200, Sony CLIE TJ35, Tapwave Zodiac, Handspring Treo 90, Sony CLIE TH55, Palm Zire 72, Garmin iQue 3600, Palm Zire 31, Palm Treo 600, Palm Tungsten T2, Palm TX, Sony CLIE TJ27, Sony CLIE TJ37, Sony CLIE UX40, Tapwave Zodiac 2
SplashTravel is a travel utility designed to provide vacationers, business travelers and casual explorers with a set of utilities for use while roaming around away from home. The software consists of 15 tools which help travelers deal with packing, time management, shopping, dining, expenses, currency exchange, and financial calculations. The individual tools are all accessible from the main screen—the SplashTravel Home Page—which includes animated icons and a bottom ticker which provides a continuous crawl containing selected information.
I used SplashTravel for this PDA software review on my trusty Treo 650 to prepare for and help manage a four day business trip. I also used SplashTravel as my main software utility for morning wake-ups, augmenting appointment alarms, and for general preparation and utility use throughout the trip. Since I was out-of-country, the currency converter, clothing size charts and metric to imperial converter also came in very handy.
SplashTravel consists of 15 main components:
- Luggage — packing checklists featuring a master category and item list, a personal list to which categories and items from the master list can added or removed. You can add new categories and list items or edit existing ones.
Times & Dates
- Calendar — provides in one screen the current month display, the current day, the day and week of the year. The display can be switched to any year from 1904 to 2031.
- Date Calculator — set two different dates and the module calculates the difference, number of workdays, number of weeks and number of months in the range.
- Alarms — nine separate daily alarms can be set.
- Clocks — displays the local time in large numbers in the upper part of the screen, local date, and four other times/dates below which you can choose from a scrollable list of cities around the world. Provides five different time & date displays in one screen.
- Stopwatch — master time display at the top of the screen marks time to the hundredth of a second. Set five separate splits which are displayed separately on lines below the master time.
- Timer — set any interval up to 99:99:59 then count down to an alarm. Useful for power naps, exercise/workouts, time limited events.
- Time Calculators — set a master time in any city and the time & date in five other cities is automatically calculated and displayed.
- Currency Converter — you can set any four separate currencies then enter a monetary value. All major and a number of minor currencies are provided. Exchange rates are displayed along with currency totals and there's also an export rate calculator.
- Expenses — a basic expense list which maintains a running total in each of the categories. Choose a different currency from a drop list at the bottom of the screen and an automatic converter will display a second, separate expense total.
- Check Split— enter the meal or entertainment total, the tax, tip, the number of people and the split is evenly calculated. We missed it initially, but the handy, percentage based integrated tip calculator works well.
- Unit Converter — converts metric to imperial and imperial to metric for area, distance, length, temperature, speed, volume and weight.
- Codes & Domains — a simple chart of country dialing codes, internet domains and US area codes.
- Clothing Sizes — a size chart, selectable for men, women or children, divided into six clothing and footwear categories. Shows the relative sizes in US, European, British and Japanese sizing.
- World Map — displays the day/night meridian line so you can track the sunset. If you tap a city, its local time will be displayed
The bottom line with these sorts of products is always how well they meet your needs and how easy they are to use. SplashTravel met most of my needs on this trip. The Check Split module made splitting several restaurant bills quite easy, in particular with a group that included a notably, um, careful individual. (Ed. Note: We initially thought the Check Split module lacked a tip calculator because, well, we weren't using it properly, but several readers pointed out the error in the original review and THAT's the reason for this note added the day after publication.The tip calculator works perfectly well by the way, and we should have recognized it straight away. As usual, our Kickstartnews review readers often have sharp eyes. There's no specific mention of a tip calculator in the help system). The Expense module is simple but well thought out and provides a running total in an alternate currency as well as the currency you're using. You'd be surprised at how much more efficient your spending becomes when you're always aware of how much you're really spending in at-home currency. I use a lot of alarms throughout the day and I don't use hotel wake-up call services, so the Alarm module came in handy (in addition to the alarm settings I use on my Tissot T-Touch as a backup—I'm certifiably paranoid, obviously). SplashTravel picks up the system time from the Treo, so as long as the phone is turned on the system time is absolutely accurate. Because I'm a careful traveler and because I travel relatively light doesn't mean that there aren't lots of packed items to track, so the Packing List also comes in handy whenever you're leaving a hotel.
Cons: In this day and age of stringent security precautions, we can hope for a luggage/packing list which includes detailed checklists of everything that the airlines are forcing into checked baggage. The default set of check lists is short so you initially have to add quite a few categories and list items manually. It would also be nice to see SplashData add an airline ticket info section and a general notes section in order to store ticket numbers, passport information, contact numbers, and so on. We'd also like to see some components of SplashData's excellent SplashID utility or even a lite version of SplashWallet used to encrypt and password protect SplashTravel.
Pros: If you're looking for a mobile travel helper without the overburden (and significantly higher cost) of something massive like WorldMate, SplashTravel fits the bill. Even with our improvement suggestions, SplashTravel will still be much smaller and much easier to use than WorldMate. Navigation between SplashTravel modules is easy using either the back button which takes you back to the launch screen or by tapping the module entries in the menus. For my business trip/review/product test, I deliberately dumped my usual travel organization method and used SplashTravel exclusively. It worked quite well. My next trip will be a mid-October jaunt to London, England and I plan on using SplashTravel again. I'm looking forward to future versions. Recommended.
KSN Product Rating:
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