Right on top of releasing Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5 yesterday Microsoft has also finalized their MyPhone software which has been in beta for the last few months.
I guess you could call it a RTP (Release to Phone)!
Some of the highlights for this final version include the ability to
- Back up your phone automatically
- With the My Phone service, information on your Windows® phone is backed-up to a password-protected web site hosted by Microsoft. If you lose your phone or upgrade to a new phone, you can restore your information easily.
- Share photos on your favorite social networking sites
- Microsoft My Phone makes it easy to share photos taken with your phone. From your My Phone web account or directly from your Windows® phone, you can share photos to Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, and Windows Live.
- Access your contacts, text messages and more online for free
- From the web you can organize contacts and appointments on your phone, and search through your old text messages. Changes appear on your phone the next time you sync.
- Locate your lost phone
- The My Phone service can show you the last known location of your phone on a map (based on where it last synced or shared photos using My Phone). User activation required.
(info from My Phone More Info page).
They do offer some premium features.
You can ring your phone loudly even if it is set to vibrate or silent mode. I just rang my phone and despite it being in vibrate mode it also rang to get my attention! I know a few people that could use that for misplaced phones around the house. :-)
You can also lock your phone down so no one but you can unlock it and thus keep others from using your minutes and/or data plan. You can even put a message on the phones screen to tell whoever might have found it how to get it back to you. Emergency calls can still be made however. When you recover your phone you enter the PIN you selected as you remotely locked the phone via the web interface and the phone automatically reboots before it can be used.
The last premium feature is to erase your phone. Use with caution obviously! This action will reset it to the factory settings, wipe all data off the phone and also wipe out any storage cards you might have in it.
Of course if you have been synching with the web you can restore that data back to the phone as well after the phone is recovered. By the way, for the purposes of this review I will not be testing the Erase My Phone feature :-)
All of these features are activated by using “invisible” text messages to communicate with the phone and the installed My Phone software.
Some screenshots from the web interface:
Premium Features. They are offering a free trial of these that last for one week.
Archive any data from your phone to the web for long term storage. It is removed from your phone but remains available online.
Share Pictures with flickr, Facebook, My Space and Windows Live. Maybe someone can figure out how to use some of the Twitter connected photo sharing sites like Twitpic. That would be sweet.
200MB of Online Storage. This includes anything in your archive so eventually you might have to move that stuff to a local hard drive for permanent long term storage.
The final caveat I will add is that this service does not work on all cell phones. As stated at the My Phone website:
My Phone works on most phones that run the Windows Mobile 6+ operating system. This includes phones from many different manufacturers and mobile operators. To check which version of Windows Mobile your phone is using, click Start > Settings > About on your phone.
Enjoy and let me know what you think of the service.