BIZ USERS: YOUR FUTURE BLACKBERRY JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT SAFER

INTERNET NEWS,
JULY 26, 2010 (GLOBE & MAIL TECHNOLOGY NEWS) Iain Marlow - There’s a new BlackBerry app coming out that is as unsexy and practical as the BlackBerry itself: BlackBerry Protect, which allows you to re-locate the crucial smart phone or, failing that, to protect or self-destruct the information you’ve left on it.

It works like this. Say you lose your BlackBerry in your house and don’t remember where you put it: this app is for that. It allows you to log into the app’s Web portal and set off a “loud ring” function so you can find it again -- and simultaneously alarm your spouse or your pet or your kid or whoever happens to be sitting on it or near it.

But let’s say you lose it outside somewhere, or forget it at work but think you may have left it on the streetcar: this app is for that, as well! Simply log in again and trigger its locating function, which will use the device’s GPS to show you where you left it. (Granted, this doesn’t really help if someone has nabbed it and is driving away; or if it leads you to a hefty, mean-looking dude, tapping ineptly with his ham-fisted meat paws at what is now definitely his Bold 9700, but still...)

In that case simply use the app’s web portal to wipe the BlackBerry’s hard drive (this would cause a twinge of pain, Globe Tech HQ concedes, but most of the valuable contacts are likely synchronized with Microsoft Outlook), so the burly guy can't threaten your friends.

If your phone’s not yet that far gone, and may simply have been misplaced, you can update your home screen to say “Hey, This is Iain’s phone. Please call him at so and so a number if you've found this and for some reason don’t want to walk away with a $500 phone...”

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is also a neat back-up function, which automatically backs up your contacts and text messages every so often. (You can tell I use a BlackBerry because I use the word 'neat.')

Frankly, there are so few interesting BlackBerry apps out there that when one finally comes along, us corporate types squinting at Research In Motion’s wonky, stalling OS must by necessity throw up our arms and cry, “Hooray!” BlackBerry Protect seems to be one such app, that, when out of its preliminary Beta trial phase, may become a must-have or pre-installed application for RIM’s top-shelf smart phones.

It's not exactly sexy. It's really just kind of practical. This is RIM, after all.

THE AUTHOR:
Iain Marlow E-mail this writer

Iain Marlow is a reporter with the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business, covering telecommunications. Previously, he worked at the Toronto Star. He has a journalism and human rights degree from Carleton University in Ottawa and a masters in international politics from London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. Follow me on Twitter: @iainmarlow


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