March 26, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
HTCSense.com was supposed to be a big value-added feature for HTC. When announced in September 2010, the website was pitched as an automatic back-up for contacts, call logs, text messages, and geo-tagged photos. It even offered a hub for downloading ringtones, wallpapers, and widgets to better customize phones.
But HTCSense.com never really lived up to the hype, but some users did embrace the website. Those users will have to seek the same comforts elsewhere because the website is deleting data as it seeks to start over with a “renovation to improve the services and value we deliver to customers.”
A message to registered HTCsense.com users says that users will have until April 30, 2012 to download all of their existing data from the website. Contacts, Messages, Footprints, and Call History will no longer be accessible after that date, and the information will be deleted. To save the data, users must follow these steps as outlined by HTC in an email sent to registered accounts.
- Visit http://htcsense.com
- Log in with your HTCSense.com username and password
- Click the ‘Download’ button in the Account Overview section
- A .zip file containing your data will download to your computer for easy viewing
Google already backs-up your contact data. You can enable that in the Settings > Accounts & Sync section. HTC recommends that users find an app in Google Play that best suits their needs for replacing these features, but doesn’t offer any suggestions. For what it’s worth, I can offer a few.
SMS Backup+ forwards text messages to a Gmail account under a specific label, so users can view them online or restore to the device later. SMS Backup and Restore offers the option to store the messages in XML and automatically schedule backups or only archive select threads. (GoSMS and other texting clients have the feature built-in as well.)
Call Logs Backup & Restore is a handy app if you just need to do exactly what the app’s name says. It schedules automatic backups in XML to the SD card and then restores to the device.
Trip Journal is similar to Footprints because it lets users save photos with geo-location info embedded. It also lets users add notes and serves as a travel journal. Geotag Photos does something similar, and offers a desktop component. Many camera apps provide an option to store location as well (check settings of your current camera). And if you want automatic backups, you can use Google+ Instant Upload or Dropbox.