For as long as I’ve been an BlackBerry fan, I am sad to admit I’ve also been a Mac user. When I first heard of BlackBerry Protect I couldn’t help but think how similar it sounds to Apple’s MobileMe service. BlackBerry Protect will be available “later this year” from RIM, and will allow users to remotely backup and restore data, as well remotely track your BlackBerry, and lock or remote wipe if needed. The goal of BlackBerry Protect is to make your device and its content secure and easier to switch from one device to another. Sadly BlackBerry Protect is in a very limited beta, and will be available later this year for the general public.
Key features of BlackBerry Protect include:
- Remote Device Management:
- Protect important information on a lost BlackBerry smartphone by remotely wiping or locking the device from your desktop
- Remotely add contact information to the home screen of a locked BlackBerry smartphone so it can be returned if found
- See your BlackBerry smartphone’s location and pinpoint the current whereabouts of a lost or stolen device with cell tower and GPS device tracking
- Find a nearby misplaced BlackBerry smartphone by remotely activating a loud ringer
- Over the Air (OTA) Backup and Restore:
- Back up data from your BlackBerry smartphone (including Contacts and Calendar; Memos and Tasks; Browser Bookmarks and Text Messages) over Wi-Fi
- Restore your data to a new BlackBerry smartphone, or simply switch from one BlackBerry smartphone to another
Keep on reading to find out more details about BlackBerry Protect…
Let’s take a look at how BlackBerry Protect works for you.
When you first open up the app from your BlackBerry smartphone, this is what you will see. It’s got that BlackBerry 6 (OS 6.0) feeling to do. Right from the home screen of this application it displays your BlackBerry ID (which you may already have from App World 2.0) along with when your device was last backed up, when your next backup will take place, and a couple options – backup only via Wi-Fi and roaming options. Below are the three icons Backup Now, Restore from Backup, or the Message Inbox (for BlackBerry Protect).
It’s very easy to do a backup when you want, or even do a restore when you want. BlackBerry Protect will be great for those who like to backup before every app install. Backing up data is fast and effective. The device I tested the backup function on didn’t have a ton of data, but it took under 30 seconds to back it up. Restoring is extremely simple as well. All you have to do is press the restore button and select which one you want to restore.
The options menu on device is pretty straight forward. In the options you can set when you would like BlackBerry Protect to backup your data (Daily, Weekly, Monthly), set to only backup over Wi-Fi, or to allow when roaming, as well select what data you want the app to backup (contacts, calendars, tasks, memos, browser bookmarks, and text messages).
This is the home screen from the web based panel. This admin panel will allow you to remotely track your device in case of lost or stolen, as well play a loud ring to get attention, or display an on screen message. The web panel will also allow you to lock the device, or remotely wipe it. All with a simple click of a button.
What I found really handy was the web based admin panel will let you start a backup with a simple click. So just in case your device isn’t right in front of you it’s backed up.
So that was a quick look at RIM’s upcoming consumer security software for BlackBerry. Sadly I wasn’t able to test this app on my personal device, because I am on BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Server). BlackBerry Protect doesn’t like to play nice with enterprise software, therefore I would have had to wipe my device and start with the basics. I was hoping for BBSync’s very own App Reviewer, Susan to way in on her thoughts with BlackBerry Protect, but her device (Bold 9650) isn’t supported as of yet. Speaking of which, currently RIM only supports the following devices for the limited BlackBerry Protect beta:
- BlackBerry Storm 9500 with 5.0 OS software
- BlackBerry Storm 9530 with 5.0 OS software
- BlackBerry Storm2 9550 with 5.0 OS software
- BlackBerry Bold 9000 with 5.0 OS software
- BlackBerry Bold 9700 with 5.0 OS software
- BlackBerry Tour 9630 with 4.7.1 or 5.0 OS software
- BlackBerry Curve 8520 with 5.0 OS software
- BlackBerry Curve 8900 with 4.6.1 or 5.0 OS software
We hope to see the list grow as new devices come out.
This sums up the preview of BlackBerry Protect and we’d like to know your thoughts of it, we hope you’re looking forward to it as we are. This is the introduction screen to BlackBerry Protect by RIM.
Post your thoughts and first impressions, we’d really like to know what the community thinks.