As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been looking at backing up contacts by SMS.
I’m doing this partly because it’s something I would find useful myself – I want to be able to get the information off my phone to somewhere else when I may not have the option of cables or another Bluetooth device – but also because it’s a focus to do some non-Java work (which occupies my daytime).
And I know that there are certainly more technologically sophisticated options available, particularly on my Nokia N95, but the good thing about SMS is that it provides a lowest common denominator across a range of models (so other people could use it too); the downside, of course, is that it restricts you to one contact per SMS, and there is a cost per message, but most networks bundle a certain number of free text messages per month. I’m focusing specifically on mobile (smart)phones for now because that seems to be the one piece of kit people keep with them most of the time.
So far I haven’t found an easy to use solution that just works. The boys at Soocial set high expectations at the Future of Web Apps and I’m eagerly awaiting their app. In the meantime, the options as far as I can tell are to backup via your PC (using Bluetooth/IR/cable) or use one of the many services like Yahoo! Mobile and Mobyko that claim to do this for you. I’m with Orange, and they have a service that allows you to synchronise by SyncML but I’ve been having problems setting it up.
So I would really like to get your views on this? Is it a problem that needs to be solved? Or has it been done already?
And are there any features that you have been looking for, but not found yet, such as getting the number for a mutual friend of someone you already have in your phone book (without ringing round until you find someone who has it).
Is a phone backup service something you would — or actually do — pay for?
Please share your experiences, and views.