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March 10, 2006
Vol.28 Issue 10|
Page(s) 17 in print issue
Leave That Laptop At The Office
Circuit Systems’ Fone Folio 1.0.6 Lets Users View Documents On An Ordinary Cell Phone
Even as laptops get lighter and early adopters sport BlackBerrys and smartphones, not everyone wants to lug around an extra pound (or two or three or more) just to confirm that the departments latest Excel spreadsheet passes the sanity test. Sometimes, even the biggest workaholics like to go out—maybe see a movie or a baseball game without having to expose their PC to popcorn and foul balls. And wouldnt it be great if they could check that spreadsheet or the draft of a confidential demand letter quickly and discretely?
Circuit Systems Fone Folio 1.0.6
$5.99 per month service; volume discounts available
Provides users with a simple, safe, and cost-effective way to view important documents without having to lug around a laptop
Now that New Jersey-based Circuit Systems has released Fone Folio Version 1.0.6, one can. Fone Folio is a unique software-cum-service that enables users to upload Microsoft Office, Corel WordPerfect, and Quattro documents onto a regular Java- or WAP-enabled mobile phone—basically any cell phone that has been made within the last two years, says Circuit Systems President Peter Volpa.
Users download Fone Folio onto their PCs, indicate which documents they want sent to their cell phone, and Fone Folio uploads the documents onto its secure server. In the process, the documents are protected with 128-bit encryption and compressed before they can be downloaded onto cell phones—a process that takes maybe four seconds tops.
According to Volpa, the compressed files are not document-quality so that they can be made as small as possible. Because [mobile phone] providers charge by the amount of data you send, you try to limit it as much as you can. We keep all the basic text stuff like color, bold, italic, and underline, but not the particular font, he says.
Fone Folio works best with Java-enabled phones used by most U.S. carriers with the exception of Verizon Wireless and Alltel, both of which useQualcomms BREW. While Fone Folio works with the abovementioned carriers, Java-enabled phones can do more interactions, including image zooming and additional text attributes such as strikethrough and double underlining.
Fone Folio is a fantastic service and an interesting business model. Its a rapid way for quick access to documents that you otherwise wouldnt have access to, Chris Swenson, director of software industry analysis at NPD Group, says.
In future versions Swenson says he would like to see Fone Folio support PDF viewing capabilities, something that Volpa says is in the works in a future version of the software. In addition, Swenson adds that the ability to edit documents in future versions would be welcome.
by Robyn Weisman