Microsoft recently released a new app for Windows Mobile phones called MyPhone. This enables you to be able to backup your phone data online while wirelessly syncing via your phone’s cellular network. While this may not seem like much of a feat, there are some added options to this service that may make it worthwhile for some.Main screen of Microsoft's MyPhone service
On the left of the MyPhone webpage there is a menu which shows you all ofthe sub folders within your phone that are being backed up. This includes your contacts, calendar, tasks, text messages, favorites,photos, videos, music and documents. This may be nice for some people who don’t have microSD cards to back up onto like I do. But even so,you can never have too many backups ;).
When checking all of the folders, I was able to determine that when you back up data it only backs up data on the device itself, not anything located on the microSDcard. This means any music, pictures, or videos saved on the SD card will not be backed up. And frankly, the 200MB limit doesn’t really quite cut it for someone who has an 8GB or 16GB SD card. It would be a good idea for Microsoft to offer couple of gigabytes of storage, even at a price premium.
Bear in mind that Google's Gmail comes with more than 7GB of space for a grand total of zero dollars, and you can buy more storage space. Microsoft sadly lags behind in this space.Overview of phones connected to MyPhone service - in our case, just the HTC Touch...
There is also the ability to manage multiple phones so that if you have multiple phones in your household that run on windows mobile you can manage their backups from one Microsoft Live account. Another interesting feature is social networking integration. Currently, they only support Facebook, Windows Live, Myspace, and Flickr. These 4, if you ask me, should be more than enough for most social networking sites and the only feature that this app appears to support is photo sharing.We have tested this option with facebook and it works almost instantaneously... and the great thing about this app is because its by Microsoft it integrates itself into the phone's operating system and allows you to use these sharing options whenever browsing any photo on your device using the standard album browsing. This can only be done through the pictures and videos options and not through TouchFlo3D if you have an HTC Device.Socialize your phone
The most exciting feature that people have been talking about is actually the lost phone feature. This enables you to do 4 things. First off, you can pull up a map of where your phone was last seen so that you can find it if you’ve lost it after a long night of debauchery. You can also choose to make your phone ring loudly for 60 seconds even if it has been set to silent or vibrate by you previously.
You can also remotely lock your phone and remotely erase your phone. This last feature may be the most useful for those who have very sensitive data on their phones, but it also comes as a warning because it also deletes all of the data off of your memory card as well. As a side note, this could also work fantastically if there were any sort of incriminating text messages or pictures on your phone and if it were to fall into the wrong hands the phone could be cleared the next time it were to communicate with the cellular network. These features are currently limited as free trials, which means that after a certain period of time these security features beyond the last known location will cost you some money.
At the time of writing this article, we did test the GPS accuracy and the GPS was indeed accurate to the point of even specifying which part of the house my phone was located in. There is no doubt that my phone was located within that circle… of course, not outside.
All in all, this program is quite an interesting suite of clearly well functioning software which we are glad to see added to the Windows Mobile software library. We are going to follow this service as it develops, as well as competitors in the field such as Apple's MobileMe, Google Sync and many more.
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