Alright folks, here is your chance to get in on an amazing application that I personally feel everyone who has ever lost or had a BlackBerry stolen NEEDS to have. SmrtGuard has been in a closed beta for many months now and finally the application has been opened up to a public beta for all to sign up and utilize.
I have been using this application for the past few months now and while I thankfully have NEVER had to use it to its full potential, the portions of the service that I do use on a daily basis are amazing and have saved me on many, many occasions. Read on for more information on this great application and be sure to check out the public beta.
SmrtGuard is aimed at protecting your device and the information it holds. There are a great amount of applications out there designed for loss prevention and data back up, but from my usage so far none have given me the confidence that my device and data are protected in a way I can trust like SmrtGuard.
The UI for SmartGuard is simple and nicely laid out outlining all the functions available to the user from the get go and set up is a complete breeze.
Any of you out there been in a situation where you have lost information off of your device and then had the pain of not having it on hand when it was needed? All too many times for me, that address you copied and then deleted by mistake, that email that you totally forgot to save and was wiped out when your device did its set clean up, how about that number that called and you forgot to copy it down and now is no longer in your call logs? Ya, me too.
SmrtGuard offers user customizable back-up operations, you can select exactly what and when to back up, so the pain of having lost information will never be felt again. The best part about it is, after a back up is done you can from a PC log in directly to you SmrtGuard account and view all the information right from your PC and if need be you can also restore all that information back to your BlackBerry directly from your BlackBerry all through the UI on the device. Frakin' nice!!
Another great built-in feature of your online account for SmrtGuard . Web based tracking, so when you have SmrtGuard installed both GPS and Non GPS enabled devices can be tracked and found using your administration panel of the SmrtGuard site . Many uses for this as you can probably imagine. Lost your device, need to track your kids where abouts whatever the case may be. Also you may give permission to others to track your whereabouts as well through the "loved one" service, this is an awesome built in feature.
As you all can see from the picture as well, there are buttons that say "Self Destruct" and "Audio Ping", these are some of the features I never have to use, but I am glad to see they are there. Through my testing and usgage of SmrtGuard they do work great, should you ever need to use them.
Self destruct option is great, should you ever lose your device and need to ensure that none of the information on that device is readaable or obtainable. Just login to the admin panel and remotely wipe all your data from your device. Ensuring no personal information is available to whom ever got you BlackBerry, it's also password protected to ensure you are indeed the one requesting the wipe to be completed.
Audio ping is a cool feature as well, kinda wish they had this option for TV remotes, say you misplace your BlackBerry in your house you can send and audio ping to your device and have it make noise for 10 minutes allowing you locate your BlackBerry.
SmrtGuard also includes a function called "Personal Guardian". This service allows you to control through one touch services, who is contacted in case of an emergency. You can assign phone numbers and even have emails and text messages sent out form your device all with a customizable message.
I tested this out and from all my testing text messages went through, phone call was placed and email was recieved which was really satisfying to know in case anything should ever arise where the function is needed and it sure beats having a simple ICE (In Case Of Emergency) contact in your address book.
Final feature we'll cover for SmrtGuard is SIMGuardian, this function assumes your device has either been stolen or someone has gained unautorized use of your BlackBerry by swapping SIM cards. You can register authorized SIM cards on your devices so that if someone elses SIM card is placed into your BlackBerry you get notified about the swap.
Kind of funny, but I actually came across this feature, activated it and totally forgot about it until I took the SIM card out of my Storm and placed into my Bold. I was then sent a message notifying me about the SIM swap and that auto-tracking had been enabled, where I could login to my SmrtGuard Admin panel and track my device. Sweet!!
All in all, from my testing of SmrtGuard I am walking away pleased with this application. For the most part I have only used the backup and restore options for the services and stumbled across the other features by accident but in doing so I was able to confirm that the said features work great and well, that I hope I never have to use them but at least I have comfort in knowing that if/when I do, they do work.
You can check out the public beta of Smrt Guard now as they have recently gone live with it and it supports:
BlackBerry Curve 8900
BlackBerry Curve (83xx Series)
BlackBerry Pearl (81xx Series)
BlackBerry 88xx Series
All with a minimum requirement of BlackBerry OS 4.3.