FlyZip XR

by PocketGoddess on March 18, 2003

FlyZip is actually a zip-type compression program for the Palm OS. It is OS5 compatible, in case even the 16MB of RAM you can get on a Tungsten T isn’t enough for you. It also works on older Palm OS devices as well. It takes up only 37K of RAM and it does some amazing things very quickly and easily. Just launch the program and you are presented with a list of applications that are eligible for zipping. Tap on an application name, tap “Zip” and the application is zipped more quickly than you can imagine. The Audible Player for the Tungsten T, which weighs in at 375K uncompressed, is only 216K after it is zipped, and it took less than two seconds. A handy counter at the top, right hand corner of the screen lets you know exactly how much free RAM you have. This is especially useful if you are trying to free a certain amount of space in order to install a new program, for example. Tapping on a file that is already zipped pops up a menu that allows you to unzip the file, beam it to another FlyZip user, delete it, or cancel.

Advanced Mode adds some interesting possibilities. Instead of simply compressing what you tap on, advanced mode gives you the option to password protect the files you zip. You can also create self-extracting zip files that will show up in your Palm OS launcher. You can tell which ones are compressed in the launcher because zipped applications will have the “Fly” icon instead of their normal icon. But you can tap on that icon to launch the application, and FlyZip will automatically unzip the application, run it, and then zip it up again when you exit the application. That’s a great step forward in useability. Instead of having to launch the FlyZip application and then scrolling through it to choose the application you want to launch, you can create a self-extracting file instead that you can use just as you would any other application on your Palm OS device.

You won’t have to wait around for a long time either– FlyZip is fast. Every application I zipped required only a very small delay of a second or two at most. Of course the larger the application, the longer it takes to zip– but even the 1.4MB TV Browser database took only nine seconds to zip on my Tungsten T. It’s been a great help to me, allowing me to zip applications that I don’t use frequently, or applications that I’ve loaded for testing prior to writing a review. It’s a clever concept that I had never thought of in relation to a Palm OS device– who would ever think you would need to zip files on a handheld? But it works very well and I can’t imagine being without it now.

FlyZip is a great utility that can help you cram even more into your device’s RAM, or else extend the life of an older 2MB or 8MB device. You can get a free trial of FlyZip XR 2.1 at the Fly Zip web site, and you can also purchase it for $19.95.

PocketGoddess rating for Fly Zip XR 2.1: 5 out of 5

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