With the Protect service now available, Blackberry users can finally feel at par with iOS and Android users. Blackberry Protect works well, and is a must have app on any Blackberry smartphone. However, we wouldnï¿½t recommend you give up the desktop backup software altogether.
While the Apple iPhone users had the MobileMe service and Android users could back up contacts and other data to their Google account, Blackberry smartphones were conspicuously missing out on such a service. For a smartphone family that is targeted at the corporate users, the fact that this feature was not available was a bit of a surprise.
However, the wrongs have been corrected. The Blackberry Protect service, after a long period of testing, has finally been rolled out to the users. Let us see how good it actually is, since there is a lot resting on this app, as far as data backup and restore features are concerned. We tested this app on the Blackberry Bold 9780.
How to get it?
Well, there are two ways. Either download from the Blackberry App World, or wait for the Blackberry Protect logo to show up on your home screen, taking you automatically to the download page. The download size is just above 2 MB, which isn’t much if you use the Wi-Fi or 3G to download, but will take a while on a GPRS/EDGE network.
Once downloaded, the Protect logo, which aptly looks like a shield, will be placed either on the menu list, or in the applications folder. You can place it anywhere you want to, anyway.
Typical Blackberry’s look and feel here, with the dark blue and black interface. On the first screen are the basic details the account you have linked this to (essentially, your Blackberry account), the date of the last backup was done on, the next backup scheduled date (depending on the duration you select), whether to back up only using a Wi-Fi network and whether to allow backup while on roaming.
Below this information are three icons, which are backup, restore and status messages regarding the service.
The Blackberry Protect service can backup contacts, calendars, tasks, memos, browser bookmarks and text messages. However, these can be configured according to your requirement, as to whether you need to backup any of these or not. Once everything is configured, click on backup, and the service will create a backup of everything you have selected, on to the server. The app will how the progress of the backup, and usually takes about 2 minutes to 10 minutes, depending on the amount of data which is being sent to the server (on the GPRS/EDGE network).
Once this is done, you can head off to the URL http://www.blackberry.com/protect and access the account there. Weirdly, you will not see a list of your contacts there, or access your messages and documents. Backup data from an Android phone to the Google account, and you can see contacts, messages and documents whenever accessed.
What the web service also offers is features like “ring misplaced phone”, detect lost phone and even send SMS to Blackberry device. The ring feature, when activated there, will turn your Blackberry’s profile to Loud, and emit a loud ring till you cancel the command from the phone. This is useful, if you have misplaced a phone under a tower of files, or in a bag full of stuff! The locate feature utilizes GPS to track a lost phone. However, a couple of issues here: one, the GPS feature on the phone has to remain switched on and two, it doesn’t work if the lost phone is currently inside a building. The third feature of sending a display message to the Blackberry works well, but cannot really see the point of that service, unless you want to send messages to either yourself, or threaten someone who has stolen your phone!
Finally, Blackberry phones get an integrated backup and restore service. Much awaited, much tested, and thankfully, works very well. However, while an online backup and restore service is welcome, it should just act as a second layer of data backup. We suggest you use the desktop software regularly to backup contacts etc. just to be on the safe side.
Online backup service, restore from backup, auto-backup, access via app and web browser, ring lost phone feature, detect stolen phone via GPS, send display message to BB device, works with all Blackberry smartphones
Contact: Research In Motion