In a world of Windows Mobile applications that constantly try to pack more and more functionality into broad spectrum cure-alls for the bits Microsoft overlooked, there are some software houses that still take the approach of keeping it simple and doing it well. Sprite Mobile is one such company who develop applications that try to fill the gaps. I recently reviewed their Backup application which added the facility to create a complete image of your WM device, enabling you to restore to previous known good configurations or even deploy the same image to several devices. In their latest offering they have given us the opportunity to archive communication records in the form of call logs and text messages. So is this another program that we will come to wonder how we lived without, or has Sprite gone overboard on the backup options this time? Read on to find out!
Here are the unique features of Sprite Archie:
Big button interface
Archiving can be scheduled
Archive SMS to email immediately or on a daily or weekly schedule
Export SMS or Call activity for a date range to file — text, csv or xml format
Customisable templates for emails
Supports all Windows Mobile phones running WM5 or WM6 (except Palm Treos)
Easily analyse your call activity
The setup procedure follows the usual installation process using a Windows exe file or a Windows Mobile cab file.
The trial installation offers a 9 day evaluation period.
The main control screen consists of three large buttons that allow you to enable or disable the call, text in and text out archiving.
Pressing the individual buttons allows the user to toggle each of the three logs individually The options are disabled, archive to file or archive to email.
From the application settings menu you can specify how you want your archiving to happen. You can set different preferences for each of text in, text out and call log.
In the Event Options screen you can select a destination for your archive to be sent to (though why 'None' is here when you can simply 'Disable' the event I'm not sure). The nice touch here is the ability to specify a file format for the output to be Plain Text, XML or CSV. This means you can manipulate the file on your PC afterwards.
As well as being able to create and store or send a daily backup, you can actually send or save the archive event by event. This allows for real-time archiving of each call, text in and text out as-it-happens.
The weekly scheduling can be set up using a familiar calendar interface, allowing you to specify a day and time.
The main screen shows the scheduling you have set up.
In the application menu you can specify an email account for Sprite Archie to use, a destination email address and display name. If you archive to a file, you can specify the location (thus allowing you to archive to a storage card) and you can also choose to append all events to a single file or create a new file for each event.
Using the template menu you can customise the file that gets sent to your archive.
In the immediate send templates you can decide what information you wish to include in your archive and specify the field names too.
In the scheduled send templates you can also specify the field length of the information you archive.
As well as a scheduled send, you can also perform an ad-hoc export of your communication log at any time.
As well as choosing what to archive, you can also choose to send to file or one-off email.
Again you can specify the output format and also a date range for data. Using all these options you can export exactly what you want in the format you want it.
You can also check your software version and register your purchase from the 'About' menu option.