As a BES user there have been many benefits that BES people take for granted. Unfortunately the BES is not a solution for everyone, there are IT requirements that must be considered when deploying a BES. Although with the launch of BES Express and Google extending Apps support for BESx the entry bar has been lowered, operating a BES Express still requires some tech knowhow and some people just don't have the time or desire to become a BES Admin.
What is nice is that RIM has slowly begun extending the wireless sync experience on BIS to become closer to what the BES user's experience is similar to. A while back we saw BIS updated to offer wireless calendar sync for Google and Live users. I'm certain Adam and many others applauded this new feature because it made the need to use "Google Sync" tool obsolete. This tool was terrible and I hope to never see it again.
Another great feature of BES is is data backup. The BlackBerry automatically backups over the air (OTA) and therefore does away with the need to do manual backups with the Desktop Manager software. Backups you don't have to think about are the best kind. And now with BlackBerry Protect the OTA backup comes to the BIS user. So without further delay lets look at this new product.
What is BlackBerry Protect?
BlackBerry Protect automatically backs up important data from your BlackBerry device. If your device is ever lost or stolen, you can use BlackBerry Protect to recover your data and remotely lock your device or delete data from your device.
Remote Backup and Restore
Back up your data automatically and restore it to any BlackBerry device. With BlackBerry Protect, you can back up:
- Browser Bookmarks
- Text Messages
Upgrade to a New Device
- To upgrade to a new device simply use the BlackBerry Protect application to perform a backup on your old device and then use BlackBerry Protect on your new device to restore your old data.
Find Your Device
Lost your device? Not sure where you left it? From the BlackBerry Protect web site, you can:
- See your device's current location on a map
- Make your device ring
- Display a message for anyone who finds your device to see
Protect your Data
Prevent your personal information from falling into the wrong hands. Use BlackBerry Protect to:
- Remotely lock your device
- Remotely set or change your device's password
- Remotely wipe all data from your device
I really like BlackBerry Protect as it brings more parity with the iPhone platform. iPhone has MobileMe and although MobileMe has the photo backup ability, MobileMe also costs $99/year where BlackBerry Protect is free.
The little things in life really impress me - I get excited about cup holder placement in a new car; so the remote backup feature gets my nerd-hairs standing up on the back of my neck.
Let's say my wife's BlackBerry backs up every Sunday but on Tuesday she entered a new address book entry for a new business contact and loses the BlackBerry later that evening. I can simply trigger a remote backup and THEN wipe and lock the device. When we get her a replacement device we can restore from the backup we created AFTER she lost the device and carry on from that point in time forward, not from the Sunday backup.
Like I said it's all about the subtle little things that really get my nerd-on. You can manage multiple BlackBerry smartphones from one BlackBerry ID account.
What things that I don't like about BlackBerry Protect?
I don't think the backup is complete enough. I'd like to see more items included in the backup process:
- Profile settings, fonts, icon location
- key to truly pick up where you left off
- Phone Call Logs
- not mission critical but helps create a complete restore
- Password Keeper
- don't use it myself as I use LastPass, but if I did my life would come to a complete and total end if I lost this data
- One-Touch Speed Dials
- this is not necessarily the same as your address book
- Custom Auto-Text
- a very popular BlackBerry feature - raise your hand if you have an auto-text BB to BlackBerry
- Browser History
- like the phone cal logs, not vital but a 'restore' should be a restore
These items are all included in a BES backup, I'm not sure if this is just a work-in-progress or a half way product that will tease you into wanting a BES.
"Hey Mr. User if you'd like a true backup you will need to buy a BES."
That would be a little to much like an Apple play and I don't really see RIM doing that. I'm going to believe that it's a work-in-progress with more functionalityto come down the pike.
The only true downside to this product is that if you're are a BES user or your BlackBerry has every been on a BES and the IT policy still exists on the device, BlackBerry Protect will not load at all. So you have control over your backups, those will still live with your IT department. In my feedback to the program I've asked that they try to allow BlackBerry Protect to BES users as I beleive that the "Locate My BlackBerry" feature would be nice.
BlackBerry Protect is available for download in the BlackBerry App World test center.