If you are like me, you probably ended up waiting a long time for the iPhone to be available on your carrier’s network. When the time came to upgrade to a new phone, you had no other choice but to dabble in the waters of Android. Now please do not misunderstand me, I actually looked forward to getting my hands on my Droid. In my particular case, I was traveling between the US, China, Malaysia and Europe during that time, so the iPhone really wasn’t an option anyway.
One issue I had from the outset was maintaining a backup of my data on the phone. I opted for MissingSync to keep my laptop and phone address books current. Unfortunately, when you snap a quick photo that you want to manipulate prior to tweeting or posting to Flickr or even Facebook, you are left with the lengthy process of a data sync. In order to speed up the process, I made special sync profiles, but even that became cumbersome. I mean, I could always just email the photo to myself edit it and then post it where I wanted, but let’s face it, it you’ve ever traveled internationally, even this can become a challenge.
Thankfully, I recently found AirDroid which is essentially a private web server for your android phone. Simply install the application from the Android Market and turn it on. After you enable your WiFi and start the service, it presents you with an IP address based URL that you enter into your favorite browser. Remember to include the :8888 which is the service port identifier on the address line and ensure that your device is connected to the charger. Airdroid generates a short random password every time you start the service; however, I recommend that you enter your own in the advanced settings that is at least 8 characters long and includes mixed case, digits and at least 1 symbol. Something like Ol1v3nt# is good, only choose your own because Olivent is the name of my consulting company.
In any event, once you connect your browser to the device, you can download everything from individual contacts, images, music, videos and even android applications to your PC/Mac/Lunix computer. One handy feature is the ability to interact with your text messaging service via this web interface. Ultimately, this is one of the handiest apps I’ve used on my droid in ages. Just remember to shut the service off as soon as you are done backing things up.