It’s great to be able to carry all your personal information around at all time on your mobile phone. However, the problem with handheld devices has always been that accessing and working with this data is a very fiddly affair on the small screen. Thankfully, there are a number of services around that allow you to retrieve and manage your mobile phone data from a PC, making it much easier to use this information, as well as safeguarding private details.
One of the most popular mobile backup services is ZYB, which is free to use and works with a wide range of devices, including Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Siemens and Motorola (Windows Mobile users will need to pay for a third party client to use it). ZYB allows you to store your phone’s contacts, SMS messages, pictures and calendar events online. By syncing your Internet-enabled phone over the air, each time you add or edit data on your handset or on ZYB, your ZYB account is copied onto your phone, and vice versa. One of ZYB’s strong points is it social networking approach. You can easily tag photos of people and share content with friends. ZYB also includes a Twitter-style feature ‘Shouts’. Shouts are short messages that you post to your profile. Your buddies can subscribe to your Shouts and everytime you post a new one they will get a text message on their phone.
If you’re using Windows Mobile I suggest you try the equally excellent, Dashwire. The service works in a similar way to ZYB, i.e. it utilises your phone’s wireless Internet connection to sync data over the air. The ‘My Dashwire’page on your PC allows you to view text messages, reply to, delete and forward them. A great idea for those times when you don’t have your mobile to hand and want to keep up an SMS conversation. Like ZYB, Dashwire offers a way to share your pictures in the form of a kind-of photo blog, known as a shared page. Anyone can view this page, or you can tweak the privacy settings to only grant access to people you want to see your snaps.
A third mobile backup service you may want to try if you get no joy with the two mentioned above, is MightyPhone. One of the longest-running services of its kind, MightyPhone is available for a number of BREW-enabled phones, including LG, Samsung and Motorola devices. It provides wireless syncing with Outlook, Outlook Express and Lotus Notes, as well as customisable alerts, so that when your schedule or contacts change on your PC, you’ll know about it on your phone straight away.