Microsoft My Phone service helps you find your missing phone and much more

Summary:I sync my PIM data (Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, and Email) with my work Exchange account, but have to manually manage my other data. Microsoft launched a new service with the Windows Mobile 6.5 update that is available for an Windows Mobile 6.0, 6.1, or 6.5 device. My Phone lets you synchronize your contacts, appointments, text messages, photos, videos, songs, favorites, and documents between your phone and their servers. If you use Exchange, then that specific data will not be backed up with this service. Most of the services are free, but there are some premium features available as well.

I sync my PIM data (Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, and Email) with my work Exchange account, but have to manually manage my other data. Microsoft launched a new service with the Windows Mobile 6.5 update that is available for an Windows Mobile 6.0, 6.1, or 6.5 device. My Phone lets you synchronize your contacts, appointments, text messages, photos, videos, songs, favorites, and documents between your phone and their servers. If you use Exchange, then that specific data will not be backed up with this service. Most of the services are free, but there are some premium features available as well.

Free services

You can sync up to 200 MB of data for free and then easily restore that data if you need to recover it on your phone. You can now also publish photos to Windows Live, Facebook, MySpace, and Flickr accounts. You can also go online and map the last known location of your phone when it was last synced.

Premium services

There are some very cool premium features that you can actually try out for free until 30 November 2009. After that date, seven-day access to the premium package will be available for $4.99.

Premium services include the ability to immediately locate the phone’s current location on a map (in the U.S. only); remotely lock a phone and post an “if found” message to its screen; loudly ring the phone even if it is set to vibrate or silent mode; and ultimately, if needed, completely erase the phone to protect personal data from falling into the wrong hands.

My wife will be very glad to find this out since she is always misplacing her phone and the ability to have it ring even when in silent mode will be worth the price of the premium service from time-to-time.

How does it work?

After installing the My Phone utility on your compatible Windows Mobile device you simply launch it and then accept the terms and service to setup your service. You can simply select Sync from the left soft key to start the sync up or tap on the left soft key, Menu, to manage your sync options (includes storage card sync), sync schedule (manual, daily, weekly), share photos via share or social networks, and manage your account. After everything is setup you simply tap Sync to backup your data.

It is an easy application/service to use and appears to work very well. I tried out the find my phone application by making my phone sound when it was on silent. You set this up and then go to the online site and choose to Find My Phone. The first time you will need to setup your phone with a phone number and text message confirmation. The site states the premium features will send 12 non-visible text messages to your phone.

The ringer was quite loud on the Pharos Traveler 137 and rings for 60 seconds. My free trial shows I get three ring my phone attempts, three locate my phone on a map events, one lock my phone event, and one erase my phone event. It also states that the premium package is free until Tuesday, 13 October and not the date shown in the Microsoft press release.

Topics: Microsoft, Mobility, Telcos

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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