New Zealand based Sprite Software has been a presence in the handheld circles for years now. Their software has shown such a good technical level that Sprite Backup was part of a bundle offered with some HP iPAQ models.
Now, more than ever, users need a flexible backup solution. Yes, Windows Mobile 5.0 relies on Microsoft ActiveSync 4.1, and the built-in backup solution to a PC is no longer available in this combination, so users need third party software, such as Sprite Software's Sprite Backup.
Sprite Software is changing this landscape with the release of Sprite Backup 5, a full backup management solution for Windows Mobile devices, including options to automate backup operations, backup to a PC and even backup over networks.
What is new on Sprite Backup 5? For starters the Sprite Setup Wizard shows up just afters installation is completed, and helps novice users configure their Pocket PC and PC devices for a full backup strategy.
Next an old problem for users restoring backups to Pocket PCs which had Exchange ActiveSync set and cause duplicate or deleted messages is solved. Sprite Backup 5.0 will Backup and Restore all Mail and Messaging on your device including Microsoft Exchange mail and settings.
In terms of speed the new version sets some new benchmarks. It’s noticeable quicker than I remember on previous versions, even on SD card operations, or over a network to a PC.
In terms of security, Sprite Backup 5 now encrypts all backup files, requiring a password to create or restore the contents of those files. And files can have a note attached to them, making it easier to identify each when needed.
What features we find on Sprite Backup 5?
First there is a simple Basic Mode that allows backup and restore operations to be performed with a single tap. An Advanced Mode however will give full flexibility to the user, providing a wide range of configuration options.
Advanced Mode: menu options
The Backup to PC and Backup to Network are handy features. The Backup to PC can be initiated both from the Pocket PC and from the PC hosting ActiveSync and allows you to store the backup file on your computer, instead of using memory space on a SD card on your Pocket PC.
Backup in progress
The Backup to Network will allow a full backup operation to any computer running the Sprite Backup software and accessible via LAN or over wireless connections over the Internet. It is very handy to be able to backup from anywhere to your PC back at the office or home, so that your information is then securely stored on a hard drive. Just make sure you have the proper port open on your firewall for this to work.
Because of the size of some backup files I recommend you use a Wi-Fi connection or a very fast cellular service when doing Backup over Network. For example a 1.5MB backup operation over 3G UMTS (maximum speed 384Kbps) took approximately 3 minutes at an average speed of 7KB/second. A much larger 23MB backup over Wi-Fi (maximum speed 10Mbps) took only 1 minute and 15 seconds, reaching speeds of at 310KB/second. There is no comparison really, specially if you have to pay the cellular data!
Backup to network: configuration
At the end of the operation a report is shown, with detailed information about the backup or restore.
A file management system allows control of storage space used by limiting the file size for each backup and the number of backup files to be kept. It will also automaticaly name a file with the date and time if required.
And the most important feature for a good backup strategy: a scheduler. If you want to besafe, then you need to have a consistent operation. By scheduling a backup operation there is no way to forget to backup your Pocket PC – it will do it by itself.
You can’t be safer than this…
The new version of Sprite Backup 5.0 will sell for US$29.95 and existing customers of Sprite Backup Premium 3.1.4 are eligible for a US$14.95 rebate as a loyalty bonus from Sprite Software. Customers who purchased Sprite Backup Premium 3.1.4 can claim a rebate of US$14.95 through Sprite Backup's online support system.
File management will keep memory usage under control