Version 3.1 is about to go public, this story provides details about some of the entries in the changelog.
+ improved SIM card write speed, only updated records are written
+ the .manifest file is now embedded into the program
+ notifications about missing readers can be optionally disabled
+ automatically enable and start the smart card service, if possible
+ detect ActivClient and let people disable it, for it renders the reader unusable
+ gracefully handle AT&T cards that have incomplete USIM phonebooks (no email file)
+ added support for PTT (push to talk) records available on some 3G cards
- fixed the problem of pasting contacts to FDN sections
- addressed issue of a limited number of contacts copied from Google
- Facebook deprecated their contacts API, so the feature is removed
Improved SIM card write speed is achieved by writing only records that were actually changed; whereas in the past - the entire file would be written, even if you changed just a letter in it. Due to the fact that SIM cards are not very fast storage devices, writing only the necessary minimum saves a lot of time.
SIM Manager became user friendlier by automatically fixing several common problems that usually prevent people from reading SIM cards.
- If the smart card service is stopped, instead of failing with "could not contact smart card service", SIM Manager will start the service. If it is disabled, it will try to enable it for you. This way most of the error messages are handled automagically.
- ActivClient is a known offender - this software will forcefully monopolize smart card readers in the system and prevent other applications (including SIM Manager) from accessing the hardware. Even if the system is properly configured, SIM Manager won't work, and this is ActivClient's fault. SIM Manager is now able to detect the presence of ActivClient and tell you about it if necessary - so you won't have to bang your head against the wall figuring out what is wrong.
- Windows 7 has a new feature - smart card plug and play, it causes a "new hardware found" balloon to appear every time a SIM card is plugged in. People mistakenly think there is a problem with their card reader. SIM Manager's installer offers an option to disable smart card plug and play (it is enabled by default), to prevent these notifications from showing up. This won't affect your ability to read smart cards, and it will eliminate the annoying notifications.
Other changes under the hood
- Facebook disabled the functionality that allowed us to retrieve contacts from Facebook accounts, so we had to disable this feature. Sadly, their forums and documentation indicate that this option is not in going to return in the future. We will compensate this by adding support for other online services in the next releases.
- In the meantime, we've dealt with some other SIM card types from mobile operators that did not thoroughly follow the specifications. Such cards would sometimes not be read correctly, because some files are missing. SIM Manager is now trained to handle such situations accordingly.
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