We’ve all heard horror stories about people not keeping a safe backup of their information. Whole internet companies have gone up in smoke for not backing up their data. And we’ve all gotten the email from the friend who lost their phone and needs us to send them our number again.
Backups are like insurance. We all know we should set it up, but often we don’t until it’s too late. Not so long ago a friend of mine was installing a time capsule. When asked how it worked he said, “Great, if only I set it up BEFORE my hard drive crashed.”
Fortunately, backing up your phone contacts, as well as your calendar, has never been easier. It can all be done with Syncfriend, a free online tool for backing up the information most dear to you.
Syncfriend is a one stop shop for backing up and syncing phone and Microsoft Outlook contacts. What that means is you can have multiple phones, as well as your Outlook account, and keep all the information stored and synchronized in a central location. Hundreds of phone types are supported across all service providers as well as international boundaries. So let’s say for instance you get caught up in the iPhone craze. A few months down the line you become disillusioned and switch back to a regular flip phone. Then out of the blue you win the raffle at the county fair and get a brand new Droid. By syncing each of these phones with Syncfriend you won’t have to worry about losing track of your contacts. They’re all updated from a central location online. There’s also a plug in to sync from Outlook as well.
The core backup functionality of Syncfriend is enough to make it worth signing up for. They didn’t stop there though. It’s also a self updating phonebook. The way it works is once you’ve synced your own phone, all your friends are stored online. From there you have the ability to invite them to sync their phone with Syncfriend as well. Once they’ve backed up their phone, each person’s data will reflect any changes that are made. So if your contact information changes, they will automatically see that update without having to manually change it. Another great feature is that it automagically removes identical duplicates. Similarly, is a De-Duper tool (still in private beta testing), that will help merge close, but not exact, contacts.
The last two aspects of Syncfriend are their Calendar Sync, and the Web SMS tool. Calendar sync does exactly what it says it does; it backs up and syncs your calendars. Many smart phones have calendars, as does Outlook. This is just as easy as syncing your phone contacts. In both cases the information is accessible and editable online. So you can update your calendar on your phone, Outlook, or on Syncfriend’s interface, and the changes will be propagated out. The Web SMS tool is currently in private beta, but is a tool that allows you to send text messages from the website. There are many online ways of sending text messages. The neat thing about sending them through Syncfriend is that the messages will appear to the user as if they were sent from your phone. In a sense, they were sent from your phone, as Syncfriend acts as an online extension of it.
Syncfriend is a niche tool built with a solid framework. Its core service of backing up your contacts is free to use and requires a nominal amount of setup. The fact that they aren’t associated with any cell phone providers means that they’ll work to maintain compatibility across all platforms. The integration with Outlook including Outlook Calendar makes it useful for all your critical information.
Keeping track of one’s phone contacts as well as one’s schedule can be tricky. With multiple contact and calendar options, across multiple devices and applications, they can easily become scattered. And losing one’s phone is a risk we all take every time we leave the house. With Syncfriend contacts and calendars are kept safe, so you will never have to regret neglecting to do so.
04 Oct 2012: After four years Syncfriend made the tough decision to shut down their service. They were on the cutting edge of technology providing a tool that was both needed and useful. Unfortunately, Google, Apple, and Microsoft agreed with them and now provide similar products. We leave the article below as a tribute to their great effort and wish them the best in future endeavors.