Dashwire Beta

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INTRODUCTION

    What if you could remotely access your mobile phone from the web? You could view and edit your contacts, favorites, photos, videos, and even view and send SMS. Your phone would also be always backed up. Dashwire purports to allow for this functionality. Is this a new way of interacting with our mobile phones? Read on to find out!

WHAT’S HOT

    Here are the key features of Dashwire:

  • Backup of contacts, photos, video, call logs, etc.
  • Share photos and video with others over the web
  • Contact management
  • Send SMS messages from the web
  • Listen to voicemail

SETUP


    After signing up for the service on the Dashwire web site,
you will be directed to the Windows Mobile client application. You can install the client
application from your mobile browser, restart the phone, and begin wirelessly syncing your phone with the
Dashwire service. Installing the client will allow you to select the items you want to sync with Dashwire.
Once installed, the mobile client will keep all of your phone data synced with the online
service. You shouldn’t need to use the mobile client again unless you want to change the items being synced with
Dashwire or switch from automatic to manual syncing.


PRODUCT FEATURES

    Dashwire has been busy developing a user-friendly web
interface that lets you do more with your mobile data by placing it where
it’s always accessible. The web UI is very straight-forward and you can
begin using it with no trouble at all.

(all images link to higher resolution)


Your Dashwire account presents you with an overview of the information on
your phone.


The photos on your phone are automatically synced with Dashwire. From Dashwire
you can share them through other social networks on the web or make them publicly
available directly from Dashwire.


    A public page for your account allows friends to view your photos and videos or
subscribe to an RSS feed for them. Friends can post comments for each item as well.
Sharing photos and videos is optional, allowing you to disable the feature
altogether or you can specify individual photos and videos to share.


Dashwire will keep a record of all your text messages and allow you to interact
with them from the Dashwire web interface.


Within Dashwire you can text message your contacts directly.

   

    Since Dashwire transfers your call history, you can reference an old
call to create a new contact, send a text message or use Skype to return the call.

    Dashwire will also store ringtones, web site bookmarks,
videos, and speed dial settings. If you have a CallWave account, Dashwire
will integrate with the CallWave service to show your voicemail messages.

    If you are using Dashwire and change phones, you should be
able to easily move all your information in Dashwire to the new phone. You
would still need to install any applications and adjust other settings, but
using Dashwire would provide a nice start. I was able to perform a hard reset on
my phone and have Dashwire successfully restore the information.

HELP SUPPORT


    Feedback can be submitted through the Dashwire online service.
I had one occasion to contact Dashwire during my evaluation of the service and
found their support to be very prompt and helpful. I would expect online help, FAQs,
etc. to come as the service rolls out in the future, but they are not available currently.


SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

    The Dashwire web service will run in any web browser. There is no client software to install.

    The mobile client is available for Windows Mobile 5 and 6 devices. Installation
requires 0.7 MB of device storage memory (it will not install on a storage card). Symbian support
should be added in the future.

BUGS AND WISHES


   
After first syncing with Dashwire, I noticed the online listing of my contacts
contained a lot of entries without a name listed under the icon. These were
all the entries for businesses that lacked a first and last name for the contact.
I noticed that editing contacts doesn’t provide a field for company name, so
Dashwire is assuming contact entries are always for an individual. Trying to
search on these business contacts will fail.

    Though Dashwire syncs quite a bit of information, I would like
to also sync e-mail messages and files to Dashwire. Ideally, I’d like to specify
a set of e-mail accounts, files and folders to sync with Dashwire so I could access
them online.

    If a call history entry has only a phone number for one of the
entries, it would be nice to have a menu option for the item to perform a
reverse lookup on the number.

    Dashwire allows you to share photos on Facebook or Flickr.
I would like to see Dashwire allow you to post videos on YouTube or other
online video services as well.

    Currently, one of the best parts of Dashwire is that since
it’s still in beta, the company is slowly rolling out new tweaks and features
all the time. What’s missing or broken today may be available tomorrow.

PURCHASING

    Dashwire
is currently in open beta and available free of charge via their website. Dashwire is being marketed
as a free service, so I would expect it to remain free of charge in the future. However,
the service needs to be paid for by someone, so I suspect there may be premium features
that are fee-based in the future or the service will become ad-supported. We’ll have to
wait and see how that all plays out.


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