Sunday, October 1, 2006

Oh, SplashShopper


By Heather Wardell

SplashShopper is more than a shopping list. It's billed as a "smart list manager" and that's an accurate description. The program allows you to create a variety of lists, such as movies you want to watch or a list of items at your favorite takeout restaurant, as well as the expected grocery list.

Here again, SplashData has made the program very customizable. Figure A shows the sample Books list in the process of being edited. Being able to replace the default names (such as replacing Store with Author) makes it much clearer later on when you're adding or updating list items.


The strong customizability of SplashShopper makes it very comfortable to use. (click for larger image)

I keep nearly all of my lists in the Palm Memo pad, but SplashShopper just might make me change this long-term habit. It's quick and easy to add a new list, or to add new items to the list, but it's really what you can do with the list after the items have been added that makes this program stellar.

You can choose a group of items and add them to a Quicklist. Once added, you can choose that Quicklist whenever you want and have the items in the list automatically marked as needed. Imagine having a list of "Travel Preparation" and choosing the "Summer Trip" Quicklist and knowing that everything you need for a summer vacation is on the list.

Where appropriate, you can add the price of your list items, so that you can tell how much money you're going to spend when you buy those items (or how much they were worth when you did buy them, as in a home inventory list). Even better, you can assign items to multiple stores and put in a price for each store. The program will show you which store has the best price for each item on the list. This is marvelous for saving money on groceries.

Also perfect for grocery shopping is the No Stylus Mode. It allows you to use your handheld's hardware buttons to scroll through the list, choose items, and mark them as complete or not complete. The only problem I had with this mode is that the pictures of the buttons in SplashShopper do not correspond with the actual buttons on my Zire 72, and it took me a while to figure out which button I was to use for which feature. Once I got it, though, it was a great improvement over my usual method of using a fingernail to mark off items (hopefully without accidentally marking off the items around the one I'm aiming for).

SplashShopper doesn't permit you to do imports from other programs such as HandyShopper or PDA Cookbook on the handheld, but that feature is available on the desktop and works well.

SplashShopper is a really solid program, which does exactly what I expect it to do and adds more functionality than I expected. I rate it a five.


We've got some more Splash products in for review. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for yet more reviews that make a splash.