4.0 star rating

Dashwire Review

Pros: Easy to use; Elegant and customizable Web interface; Can send photos to social networking sites;
Cons: Doesnt automatically sync SIM contacts; Very slow uploads;
The Verdict: An easy and effective way to back up and remotely view all the data stored on your Windows Mobile phone.

REVIEW

SPECIFICATIONS

One of the overwhelming fears of smart phone owners is that, should you lose the device, all of your information stored on it—including pictures, text messages, favorites, e-mails, and contacts—will be lost for good. Dashwire’s Web-based service not only backs up all that content directly to a Web site, but also lets you access it from any computer and even share it with others. Available for Windows Mobile phones now and for Symbian devices later this summer, Dashwire’s upload speeds are a bit slow, but overall it’s an excellent free service.

Article Continued Below

Installation and Uploading Data

We downloaded and installed the client from m.dashwire.com to our HTC Excalibur running Windows Mobile 6.1 within 5 minutes. Once installed, we clicked Update from the menu, and the software began sending our phone’s contact, messaging, and multimedia files to our profile on Dashwire’s social networking site (my.dashwire.com). Uploading our phone’s data to the Web site took longer than we would have liked: Over AT&T’s EDGE network, it took about 15 minutes to upload four pictures, our whole call log, and text messages. It took us 12:13 to upload ten 3-MP photos from our HTC Touch Dual over a 3G connection, but that time should be considerably less for those who own camera phones with lower resolution.

Using the Web Site

The Dashwire home page is split into 11 sections (Bookmarks, Calls, Contacts, Conversations, Photos, Profile, Ringtones, Speed Dials, Messages, Videos, and Voicemail) and looks similar to iGoogle.com. Each section can be moved around the page, so you can customize it to your liking. Once online, our pictures and videos were sorted into their own respective galleries, and the Web site loaded each quickly in a tiled format. Thankfully, your information is kept private by default. If you want to take advantage of the social networking aspect of Dashwire, you can share your videos and photos, letting friends and family stay up to date on your social life.

Once our photos were stored on our Dashwire page, we sorted them into albums for Work and Fun by tagging them. Sharing photos was easy, too: simply click Share under a photo, then select whether you’d like to send it via MMS, e-mail, or to Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, FriendFeed, or Bebo. We also liked that the descriptions we added to each photo followed them across the Web to other social networking sites. 

One of the better aspects of Dashwire is that it expands the usability of your phone: In Text Messages, you can create and send a new SMS right from your Web browser. Bookmarks let you create new bookmarks and send them to your phone, perfect for longer Web addresses that are a pain to type on the handset itself.

We liked that we were able to update our Facebook and Twitter status messages directly from our Dashwire portal on our home PC. With Version 2.0 of the mobile software, you can do this directly from the phone, too, by updating your status message inside the Dashwire 2.0 application.

Contact Management

The only contacts that appear on the Web site are the ones stored directly on your phone and not on a SIM card. This can be remedied by going to SIM Manager in Windows Mobile 6.1 and saving SIM contacts directly to your phone, but we wish Dashwire pulled these automatically. However, we appreciated that we could enter contacts directly on the Web site, eliminating the pain of typing lots of contacts directly into a phone, particularly for those who don’t use Outlook on their desktop. This feature is also useful when you buy a new phone: you can send all your contacts and content directly to the new handset.

Dashwire on Your Phone

When you start the Dashwire application on your Windows Mobile device, it begins searching for updated data to upload to your personal Dashwire Web page. But on the handset itself, the only changes you’ll see are images or multimedia brought down from the site that you may have transferred from your PC. Other updates, like contacts, will be added or changed in the background. We didn’t like that we had to choose between keeping the current contacts on the phone and deleting them to be replaced by the contacts on Dashwire. Being able to simply add to our existing phone book would have been ideal.

After the initial sync between your phone and Dashwire, you can view your uploaded photos while syncing newer ones in the background—no need to wait for a sync to finish. You can add titles to your photos directly from the software, or send them off to a friend as an MMS.

Unfortunately, videos transfer from the Web site as photos, meaning you can’t play them. Also, the photo gallery in the mobile software displays only four images on the home screen; to see the rest, you’ll need to flip through horizontally using your navigation buttons.

Dashwire sync could stand some improvements. When we switched our handset to a HTC Touch Dual, all our photos were downloaded to the phone inside the Dashwire application, but they weren’t saved directly to the handset itself. That means you’ll need to launch Dashwire to view your photos, but fortunately shots that have already been synced are immediately available. Considering we could share photos from the Web site, we wish the software would let us send photos to Facebook or other social networks directly from our handset, like other applications including ShoZu.

Dashwire Verdict

Dashwire is an attractive and easy-to-use solution for backing up your Windows Mobile 6 or 6.1 phone—considering how well it ran on a 201-MHz phone with just 64MB of RAM. Unfortunately, the sync times for photos and video can take upwards of ten minutes even for just a few photos. Dashwire may want to consider an optional version that provides faster upload speeds at a cost. The company told us a beta solution for Symbian S60 devices will be available this summer and that BlackBerry support is in the works. Considering there aren’t any limits on how much you can store online, we can’t wait.

Tags: Dashwire, Cell Phone Apps, Software, reviews

Technical Specifications
Dashwire
http://www.dashwire.com


Software TypeCell Phone App; Web App
PlatformsWindows Mobile
Required ProcessorN/A
Software Required OS:Windows Mobile 5/6/6.1
Required RAMN/A
Disk Space322K
FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories eReaders Laptops Networking Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS AVADirect Averatec BeagleBone BenQ CTL Corp. CyberPowerPC Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Eurocom Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Google Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo Maingear MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Razer Sager Samsung Sony Sony PlayStation Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv Vizio VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1136 x 768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1792 x 768 1900x1080 1920x1080 1920x1200 2560 x 1440 2560 x 1600 2560 x 1700 2880 x 1620 2880 x 1880 3200 x 1800 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE