SMS Backup Breaks Ground on Windows Phone
Many smartphone users tend to rely heavily on SMS backup and restore features; such tools allow them to switch phones, ROMs or just hard reset without so much as a hiccup. On platforms like Windows Mobile this operation was performed very easily through commonly available backup tools; the same can be said currently for Android. Those running the latest Apple product are certainly not left out of this feature group, although often restore functionality, outside of system backup, will require a jailbreak. Up until recently however, Microsoft’s latest contribution to the smartphone ecosystem lacked the ability to restore SMS outside of a full system restore. This has, of late, changed through the work of several developers on XDA who continue to break down the automated backup features already built into Windows Phone 7. With the release of SMSBackup this process of extraction, backup and restoration, has been simplified for all users.
XDA Member shinichi_wtn, the creator of SMSBackup, automated this infiltration of the Zune backup procedure and extract the archived messages from CommsBackup.xml. His application also offers features beyond basic backup and restore, such as filtering by date, contact, or keyword. This allows users to restore a specified array of messages as opposed to every single one of them. Also included within the application is the ability to upload this SMS backup to Skydrive or push to IsolateStorage.
On Windows Mobile and Android, some users would continuously port all their texts messages from ROM to ROM. With users often carrying over tens of thousands of messages with each restoration, they would commonly endure the dreaded rethread and impacts upon system performance. This could be mitigated on Windows Mobile by disabling threading or on Android by using a third party SMS client to limit thread size. However on Windows Phone 7, the lack of custom ROMs and selective restoration tools generally left this capability unavailable. All that being said, Windows Phone 7 does not seem to demonstrate any sort of system slowdown with a heavily loaded messaging application.
Keep in mind that this tool is not yet perfect, as it bears quite a few bugs that need to be worked out, but core functionality is available for those with compatible devices. Sadly only Gen 1 Samsung and Interop Unlocked HTC devices stand as compatible phones. We shall have to follow this tool set, along with the unlock status of other devices, to see if we can one day arrive at a more seamless solution like what we can currently find on the other mobile platforms.