Thursday, September 9, 2010

Move Forward, Back Up

In today's mobile realm I see countless people making the switch from their old RAZR or Startac to the latest "Droid phone" and other various smartphones. While this change is a great move for most people I always advise to keep your mobile content in a safe place. With so many of today's phones not being able to withstand a beating that older phones once did I see more phone breaking down with various hardware/software issues. To keep from losing what's most important to you back up your data. It only takes minutes and saves you the frustration of asking your friends for their digits. This post is meant to document and show some of the most popular and effective tools do backing up.

Lookout Mobile Security
Lookout is a powerful backup and restore tool that is compatible with Blackberry, Android, and Windows Mobile devices. One of the greatest selling points of Lookout is how easy it is to go from sign up, to back up. A simple on-device registration will allow you to create your account and start backing up your content within seconds. Lookout gives you the option to backup not only contacts, but also photos taken on your mobile. Choosing this option initially take some time to upload to the cloud but is a great way to keep your memories safe. As a contact and photo backup tool, Lookout is great.
Beyond standard backup it will also keep tabs on where your device is using gps. This, like photo backup, is optional and requires gps to constantly run in the background (obviously). Two great pieces to this. One, this is a great way to find your device if ever it grows legs and walks away from your side. Just hop onto their site and locate your device to less than 100 meters. Awesome. Two, from your browse you can make your  device "scream". This is a great way to find your phone if you know you're near it, but can't locate it.

Pros: Lightweight in the background of your phone, free, works on popular platforms, ability to locate your device, no ads, easy to start
Cons: Does not backup applications

Formerly Dashwire, M:IQ is a great little app that does all the magic of backing up and restoring that you'd expect. M:IQ serves up to the usual Android, Blackberry, Symbian, and WinMo. Sign up is fairly regular, not as easy as Lookout, and backup is a cinch. Best Buy Mobile seems to have purchased Dashwire and now the browser dashboard is filled with suggestions for product to pair with your mobile. Example: scattered through you might see a bluetooth device and it's price which ultimately leads you to the Best Buy website. Not necessarily a bad thing as it's a great way to find a deal without looking for one, but also not a good thing at the same time. M:IQ will also allow you to receive and send texts right from the browser! This is such a great way to keep in touch while in class without getting spanked by the professor... *echm* anyways. That's a nice novelty built in to the app dashboard. Other than contacts and photos this little guy will also backup/restore you call logs and details. Very useful for some, not for every one. Best Buy Mobile's M:IQ is feature rich and a treasure chest to play with on the browser.

Pros: Feature-rich in the browser, true content backup
Cons: A bit heavy in the background

Google Sync
All hail to our Google overlords, eh? All kidding aside they offer a superb, yet simply contact backup solution. Google Sync plays well with Blackberry, Windows, Symbian, SyncML, and...iPhone. :) All that's needed is a gmail account, the application, and you're good to go. In case you were wondering it does, of course, support Android since it's fairly safe to say it's caked into the OS.

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