May 19, 2004

Palm News: BlackBerry Palms & BackupBuddy 2 Beta

Good news from PalmInfocenter:

Back in December I posted on the Palm/BlackBerry joint venture. Yesterday, PalmInfocenter reported that "PalmSource and Research In Motion (RIM) have completed their distribution agreement to make BlackBerry Connect available to Palm OS licensees. Together, BlackBerry Connect and Palm OS will extend email and corporate data connectivity to Palm Powered smart mobile devices, facilitating workforce productivity while away from the office. [...] PalmSource is expected to make the Palm OS Mail Client that supports BlackBerry Connect available to Palm OS licensees in the second half of 2004, as previously announced." Wireless Palms, particularly Palm OS-based smartphones (like the Treo 600) would hopefully be able to enjoy the best of both worlds when this is released.

However, there's another option well worth considering. I've previously posted on Good Technology's GoodLink technology, and it should definitely be considered in any wireless e-mail project vetting.

Next, BackupBuddy, the best Palm backup program available (in my humble opinion) is getting a major upgrade. BackupBuddy 2 Public Beta is now available for free trial download. There are many new features, particularly the addition of many new restore options: "This updated version of the award-winning BackupBuddy program offers an unprecedented level of protection for your valuable data by maintaining a complete history of your device's files and settings. You can restore an individual database from a backup created a few days ago, return your handheld to the state it was in a week ago before problems set in (but with your newest personal information manager entries intact), or copy the entire contents of a broken/stolen handheld to a replacement unit. You can even restore a mix of files: copy the latest data files from your applications, while restoring your system settings from last month, and reinstalling a program you deleted months ago."

I've heartily recommended BackupBuddy to all Palm OS PDA users as the backup solution for a number of years now, and it looks like this adds new flexibility. For example, what do you do when you install a new Palm program on Monday, and it crashes your Palm on Friday? In the interim you've probably added new calendar, address, to do, and memo entries. Unless you sync daily with a program like Outlook, you'd lose the new entries when you restore from Monday's backup. This new BackupBuddy version appears to address this problem.

However, I'm including a strong caution with this post: This beta version expires on June 15th, and it may still contain bugs. Backup programs need to be rock solid, and therefore I don't recommend anyone install or use the beta as their primary backup solution. It's best to wait until the final release is ready, and even then wait at least a month or two before switching to it (so they have a chance to correct any newly reported problems). The primary purpose of this post is to inform Palm users that a major BackupBuddy upgrade should be available soon, and it looks to be a compelling upgrade. I've found BackupBuddy to be a reliable and solid full Palm backup solution, which the basic Palm software has been lacking. Thus I'm cautiously optimistic that the new version will retain the reliability of its predecessors while providing even more flexibility in restoration options.

Topic(s):   Mobile Tech & Gadgets
Posted by Jeff Beard