Mobile backup services help users save, sort data

As mobile phones users store more on their devices, they increasingly need ways to back up the data

If you've ever wished you could easily search through your cell phone voicemail messages or save all of your text messages, SkyDeck has a solution.

It's one of several offerings on the market designed to help mobile users either back up data they store on their phones or more easily sort through phone information.

The full suite of mobile storage features from SkyDeck are already available on BlackBerry and Android phones and last week the company started offering the service to Windows Mobile users.

SkyDeck "mirrors everything" that customers do on their cell phones, said Jason Devitt, president and CEO of the company. Voicemail messages, text messages, call records and contacts are all backed up online.

A user can opt for a feature of the service that transcribes each voicemail so they can search through the messages for specific words.

SkyDeck customers are typically "people who live and die by their phone," Devitt said. Real estate agents, sales people and lawyers are common customers, he said.

A salesperson can use the service to more easily track follow-up calls to clients, for example. With a full call record accessible through a Web interface, a salesperson can check the last time a customer was called. The user can also add notes to each call record.

Users can also respond to phone calls from the Web interface using a built-in voice over Internet Protocol client. To a recipient, the call appears to originate from the SkyDeck user's cell-phone number. Users can also respond to text messages from the online interface.

SkyDeck first launched the service in January. While some of the basic components like the voicemail backup are available on most phones, the full array of features are available once users download a small client to their BlackBerry, Android or now Windows Mobile phones.

For US$29.95 a month, users get unlimited voicemail transcriptions and calling from the Web client. A cheaper $9.95 monthly subscription charges users for each transcribed voicemail and outgoing call.

Microsoft and Apple also both have mobile backup services, but neither are geared for such heavy users.

Microsoft's free MyPhone offering only backs up data once a day and is really designed as a backup and restore service in case users lose their phones or replace them. Plus, it only works on certain Windows Mobile phones.

Apple's MobileMe service is limited to the iPhone and is really designed to synch e-mail, contacts and calendar items among a user's computer and iPhone.

FusionOne has a phone backup service, primarily aimed at consumers and offered through carrier-branded services like Verizon's Mobile Backup.

But it also has an offering that lets users backup applications that they've downloaded to their phones in order to transfer the applications to a new phone. That could become more popular as people increasingly download applications to phones.

It's a sticky issue because of copyright rules that could prevent users from legally transferring applications to new phones, said Alex Chow, senior product marketing manager for FusionOne.

The company is busy signing deals with content providers to legally facilitate that transfer. Key to the service is that FusionOne also checks the capabilities of a user's new phone, making sure to download the version of the application that will work best on that phone.

That's important for users who might upgrade to a touch screen phone from one without a touch screen, for example. For now, Alltel is the only operator offering FusionOne's application transfer service, to users of phones that use Qualcomm's Brew application platform.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobile applicationsbackupSkyDeckvoicemail

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?