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picKeyGuard: The Treo Keyguard Replacement Tool

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed a terrific Treo wallpaper randomizer application called Visual Arts (latest version now also works with the Treo 680, 700p and 650!) which allows me to customize and display a different image every time that I launch the main Phone application.  It works extremely well and I’m absolutely delighted with it.

  Treo PicKeyGuard

During subsequent conversations with Danny its developer, I learned of another application that he had released a while back which could replace the background, font, text and colour of the standard Keyguard on my Treo (above left).  It was an interesting program but not exactly what I was looking for as I again wanted access to an entire image folder on my SD card which could be used to ramdomly show me a different picture every time that I accessed KeyGuard (at least a few dozen times daily).  I quickly sketched what I imagined this new functionality could look like (above right) and I asked him whether he thought that he could build it.

The answer came back just a few days later with a resounding “Yes!” as I installed the first version of picKeyGuard on my Treo… 

With support for all PalmOS Treo smartphones (Treo 600/650/700p/680) picKeyGuard now provides you with three alternative Keyguard display options – all with random images of your choice (family, art, architecture, etc).

1. Standard

  Treo PicKeyGuard

The ‘Standard’ option above keeps the existing small Keyguard display but adds an image at random from your selected picture folder in the remaining space.

2. 3/4 Screen

  Treo PicKeyGuard

The ‘3/4 Screen’ option (my favourite) consists of a top and bottom frame in which you can add any text of your choice at the top (with a maximum of 20 characters) and date/time at the bottom.  Additionally, you can choose from four font types (Standard, Bold, Large and LargeBold) as well as select your preferred text and background colour from a palette of over 200 colours.

3. Full Screen

  Treo PicKeyGuard

The ‘Full Screen’ option allows your images to take up the entire screen and you can choose to display the date/time at the top, bottom or even not to display it at all leaving only a full screen image as your active Keyguard.

Considering the number of times that I unlock the Keyguard on my Treo on a daily basis picKeyGuard is now somewhat unintentionally set to become my most frequently used application – one that still provides me with the useful date and time but also adds customization with my favourite colours and images.  It may seemingly be a small thing but I have found it to make a huge difference and much more attractive solution to cut the unconscious boredom of seeing the same old standard Keyguard day in and day out…

Future picKeyGuard developments could include the option to add a random ‘Quote Of The Day’ instead of the fixed text in my favourite 3/4 Screen mode or alternatively details of my next appointment for example.  Additionally, an option to retrieve images from Flickr or another online image database would prove extremely interesting as well.

Treonauts always find the best replacement tools

Posted by Andrew on March 8, 2007 at 09:18 AM

Treo Software | Photo , Treo Software | Utilities

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by Matt | Mar 8, 2007 10:17:35 AM

I just want something that will act like a keyguard and screenguard while I've got Kinoma playing full screen. I use my 700p all the time to occupy my kids with movies I've got in Kinoma, but they always manage to hit a key (usually the menu key) or touch the screen, invariably pausing the movie or skipping to the next one. Something that would lock out the interface to children but could easily be unlocked by adults (say, pushing the center button three times to unlock) would be a wonderful thing.

by John Prichard | Mar 8, 2007 12:03:06 PM

You didn't say whether picKeyGuard would randomly fetch from a folder on the "Card" and whether the pictures can be bigger (i.e. picKeyGuard will autoscale to fit).

by Chris Perkins | Mar 8, 2007 1:57:43 PM

I just downloaded it but it resets my Treo 680 every time I try to unlock it :( I fear that's more money lost to seemingly good sounding programs :(

by danny | Mar 8, 2007 4:43:04 PM

are you using external jpg pictures other than the ones taken from the treo camera?

any other software that might conflict with keyguard that you have installed?

we always recommend you to try before you decide to purchase.

by Calfire | Mar 9, 2007 12:04:20 AM

I also just purchased it and was having trouble with the program rebooting my 700p. contacted tech support it was recommended that i create a new file on my card and link the pickeyguard to it. after i did that and placed some pictures on it works great. hope this helps.

by BenJoeM | Mar 9, 2007 12:43:06 AM

To much work for the resets. I am not going to customize my treo so I can have a customization program working.

Had to do a warm reset just to get rid of it.

by Andrew | Mar 9, 2007 5:26:58 AM

BenJoeM - a soft reset is a perfectly normal behaviour for any application that touches upon 'system' functionality.

I have had zero problems using it with my Treo 680 and as others have pointed out I know that Danny is extremely responsive to any issues when they come up.

Cheers, A.

by TazUk | Mar 9, 2007 5:50:00 AM

@Andrew, it might be better to use the phrase "With support for all PalmOS Treo smartphones" in the future as there are two flavours of Treo's and the software isn't interchangeable ;o)

by Michele Concina | Mar 9, 2007 10:34:02 AM

This is a new software category: the trapware. I installed it in my 680 (thanks to your enthusiastic review); it doesn't work, and reboots my Treo every time, so I want to get rid of it. But I discovered picKeyGuard "only can be deleted in the Pro version". So it gets in for free, but wants money to get out. Well, I'll wait till my next hard reset. But this is the last time I try any software on your recommendation.

by Alex Herrero | Mar 9, 2007 12:24:39 PM

Weird... I'm using it in my Arctic 680 and it works perfect! But, of course, I disabled "keyguard" on Butler... ;)

by danny | Mar 9, 2007 1:12:58 PM

to remove pickeyguard you must disable it first then delet it. if you cant then do a soft reset so that the palmOS can unlock it then try deleting again.

by rix | Mar 9, 2007 2:28:01 PM

I never had so many resets since I installed this SW. It's not Trapware for me 'cause with the demo model I saw what I was in for.Glad I didn't waste my money on this one. Saving it for the next one...

by Michele Concina | Mar 11, 2007 3:32:33 AM

Thanks to Danny for the suggestion to soft reset first, than delete. It worked, allowing me to get rid of this pesky app.

by Borszczuk | Mar 12, 2007 7:45:38 AM

In case one lacks just a watch instead of fancy pictures: http://www.freewarepalm.com/clock/sontime.shtml

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