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Old 09-07-2008, 08:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Long, detailed review of ToySoft's Profiler.

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Developer Website: Toysoft Development, Inc. - MP3 Ringtones, Voice recorder
Product Page: Toysoft Development Inc., call notes, Ring tones, profile, profiles, koolsounds, blackberry, Treo, picture id, AES
Version Reviewed: 1.0.5
Price: $9.95
Overall Rating: 7/10


Function

So, it’s the weekend and you add your new favorite song as your ringtone. Every time someone calls you, your loud, “in your face” ringtone turns the heads of everyone in the vicinity. Monday morning comes around and you stroll into the office, sit at your desk, and your BB rings …

… now, the new ringtone that was so much fun over the weekend, is now a major source of embarrassment. Quick mental note: “make sure to switch profiles tomorrow when you get to work!!!!”

This is where Profiler by ToySoft comes into play.

With Profiler, you can set up rules that automatically switch your BB profiles on certain days at certain times.

Key features include:

(1) Support for up to 16 scheduled profiles: You can create an “office” profile, a profile for your doctor appointments, a weekend profile, etc.

(2) Save active/inactive profiles: Rather than having to delete a profile that you presently no longer need, if you think that you might want to use that profile in the future, you can simply uncheck a box and mark that profile “inactive.”

(3) Set days of week: If you create an “office” profile, you would want that profile to be active, for example, Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. You would not want this profile active after 5pm, or on the weekend. No problem. When setting up the profile, you simply mark which days of the week you want the profile to be active, and set a start and end time for each day of the week.

(4) Custom profiles: This part is a little tricky to explain. Your BB comes with five standard, native profiles: Loud, Vibrate, Quiet, Normal, Phone Only, and Off. However, your BB also allows you to create custom profiles. Personally, I have created three custom profiles on my Pearl, and I use them frequently. When using ToySoft’s Profiler, it is very likely that you will want to use your custom profiles. This is possible, with a little bit of user effort.

Custom profiles appear on your BB after the “Off” standard profile. Let’s say you have three custom profiles called “Personal 1,” “Personal 2,” and “Personal 3.” In order to access those profiles in Profiler, you would hit the “Menu” key and select “Edit Custom Names.” Therein, you would change Custom 1, Custom 2, and Custom 3 to read “Personal 1,” “Personal 2,” and “Personal 3.” Now, when setting up a profile in Profiler, you will see your three custom profiles as available.

One caveat, though. When naming the Custom profiles in Profiler, you name them in the order they appear on your BB. So, “Custom 1” would be “Personal 1,” and so on. Let’s say that you later create a new profile on your BB called “My Favorite” (because this new profile has all your favorite songs). Well, when you create that profile on your BB, since the letter “m” comes before the letter “p,” those profiles will now appear in the order “My Favorite,” “Personal 1,” “Personal 2,” and “Personal 3.” Upon making that change, you will now need to go into Profiler and re-edit the Custom Names because now “Custom 1” would be “My Favorite” since that is the first custom profile to appear on your BB. While this can be a bit of a chore if you have a lot of profiles, chances are it will not take more than a few seconds to complete.

Although the above caveat may sound a bit annoying, it is not really the fault of the program. Rather, it is a limitation of the BB software. ToySoft explains it in their User Manual like this …

Quote:
Since Profiler cannot interface with the system Profile application the work around for custom profiles is to edit the custom names to match the Profile application. There are 10 custom names in Profiler that you can edit. Custom 1 should be the first custom profile name in the system Profile application, Custom 2 is the second and so on.
Appearance

The home screen icon is simply a speaker, practically identical to the native profile icon that would appear in the BB Dimension theme, except that Profiler has a red glow around the speaker.

The GUI of the program is neatly laid out and easy to use, and has been improved greatly since the time this program was in Beta.

(Please follow the link to the product page listed above for screen shots).

Limitations

If you’re like me, you probably have your keyboard set to lock upon holstering, or after a set period of inactivity. In fact, you might even have it password enabled.

Well, if you have your BB holstered or if the keyboard is locked at the time Profiler is scheduled to change your profile, the profile will not change. As with the custom profile issue above, this is not the fault of ToySoft but, rather, a limitation of RIM security. If your keyboard is locked or holstered, Profiler is not able to execute the commands necessary to change your profile.

However, ToySoft has come up with a clever way of trying to remedy this problem: if your BB is holstered or the keyboard is locked at the time the profile is set to change, you can set Profiler to vibrate your BB. When your BB vibrates, simply unholster it (or unlock the keyboard as the case may be), and Profiler will successfully change the profile.

Since neither the “custom profile” issue nor the “holster/keyboard lock” issue can be attributed to ToySoft, I, of course, do not fault this program for these limitations.

Another limitation is the "calendar integration." Let’s say that on Monday morning you have a doctor’s appointment from 9am to 10am, and that this appointment appears in your BB calendar. It would be great if you could simply “attach” a profile to this calendar entry, which would allow you to automatically change the profile to “Quiet” while you’re in the doctor’s office. One of the changes from version 1.0.3 to 1.0.5 is the addition of calendar integration. However, for me, use of this feature was more than a little tricky. It works by requiring the user to add "keywords" to the subject heading of the calendar entry. The code "s_" and "e_" precedes the name of the profile you want to attach to the calendar entry, with "s" noting the "starting" profile and "e" noting the "ending" profile. At the time of this review, you can only select the default profiles for this feature, and your custom profiles are not available. So, for the doctor's appointment used in my example, the subject for the calendar entry could be "Doctor's Appointment s_quiet e_loud." By entering these keywords, you have created a profile with Profiler that will start with the "Quiet" profile at the beginning of your appointment; and, at the end of your appointment, it will switch back to "Loud." Personally, I had some trouble getting this feature to work. I had to play with it for a while to get it working properly. Ultimately, I got it figured out. Nonetheless, it would be nice if this process were more automated, and didn't require the user to manually enter these keywords.

Conclusion

Profiler is a handy, relatively easy to use application that can be used to automatically change your BB profiles based upon a set of user selected rules. Although it has some limitations, ToySoft has done a good job of maximizing the potential of this program while working around the RIM software. With a little development and automation of the calendar integration feature, I think this has the potential to be an incredible application.

For now, the program is still a very useful utility. I highly recommend it, and give it an overall score of 7 out of 10.
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Old 09-07-2008, 08:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (BB 11020)

I have been using this app, as well and like it. I haven't yet used the calendar integration as I have a custom profile I use.

Another limitation of this program is that it requires "Keystroke injection" to be allowed in the firewall. If you are on a BES this is typically locked to deny and you would need this allowed on your BES. For this you have to talk to yoyr BES Admin. This probsably isn't a program most BES Admins would take the time for. So, BES users: do your research before purchasing.

However, the app fills the gap for automatic profile switching that the BB doesn't support natively.

I recommend this app.
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Old 09-07-2008, 09:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Very well written and seemingly even-handed review. Nice work.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Nice review.

The improvements/enhancements since the initial beta have been great. I am still using 1.0.3 so I haven't tested calendar/appointment functionality yet but it seems quite stable and bulletproof now.

Hats off to the developer for considering suggestions from users/testers.
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The very purpose of Automatic Profile switching is NOT solved when keyboard is locked,there is no point in using this software.

Even if it vibrates and alerts,instead we can switch the profile directly from the home screen,no need for this software.

Auto lock or some form of keylock is a must application now-a-days,then "Profiler" is absolutely useless software as it cannot switch profiles in keylocked status,

Alas,I've wasted my money!
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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That's what the trial version is for, so you can test these things before you spend your money.
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