MyPhoneExplorer - Part 1

Bottom line: It works as advertised!

At first glance the name MyPhoneExplorer was a little misleading as it seemed like a solution to look at the file system on your phone. Not so. It is a true 2 way synchronization tool. It is capable of talking over WIFI, Bluetooth or USB and can sync Contacts, Call Log, Calendar, Notes, Messages (email) and Files. I only tested Contacts and Calendar.

Initial setup was a little confusing as I never found a step by step install guide. But it was obvious that I needed to install the MyPhoneExplorer app on my Android and the MyPhoneExplorer program on my Windows systems.

Firing up the Android App left me under whelmed and a little confused. It did not provide a step by step guided setup. I explored the "Setup" section and was presented with a long list of somewhat unrelated topics. The "Calendars to sync" and "Contact-accounts to sync" looked promising. These 2 items allowed me to choose which Calendars and Address Books on my Android to expose to the PC side. A sensible model, but they were the 6th and 8th items down on a seemingly random ordered list.

I had similar teething problems with the PC program. Installation presented a surprise with the need for a Thunderbird addon. This was quickly and automatically installed, so no worries. I also assumed I would need to perform PC side configurations to select which Thunderbird Address Book and Lightning Calendar to map to the Android. Nope, not allowed. You had to establish a connection to the phone first before you could set configuration. Each phone is a "user" and my guess is the configuration is stored with the user object. An intrinsic step of creating a "user" is successfully connecting to the phone. It also included a sync. So my first sync downloaded all of my phone data into "myphonexplorer". I am not sure where the data went, but all was well as my phone data was preserved. But it was a little tense for a bit as I had visions of having to wipe my phone and restore it from my soon-to-be-abandoned Gmail account.

I used the WIFI connectivity for my first test with my laptop. It worked a charm since my laptop was on my local WIFI network (I forgot to plug in the network cable). This scheme did not work for my desktop as it uses a wired network connection. Let's try Bluetooth. Oops, no Bluetooth on my Desktop. USB cable it is. Both PCs have USB. And I use USB to transfer files to / from my phone storage card. This required a small amount of well documented magic: I had to turn on USB debugging mode on the Phone and install USB drivers on my PC. Since I had a HTC phone, the USB drivers where made available by installing HTC Sync Manager. And NO, HTC Sync Manager was not a viable solution as it seemed to only support file transfer.

At this point I created a new Thunderbird Address Book and Lightning Calendar and carefully performed a 1 way phone to PC sync followed by a 2 way sync. I then repeated this on the other PC. Success! I had transferred my Gmail info from my phone to my desktop and laptop. It also led to the realization that I did not need to start the MyPhoneExplorer App on the phone. Just plug in the USB cable and control everything from the PC program. The Calendar sync is a separate operation from the Address Book sync.

Next step will be to perform some burnin for a few days. The current goal is to understand how the product handles conflicts and user errors. A re-assuring feature is that by default the sync provides a list of detected changes and then asks you to confirm before proceeding (you can turn this off).

Hopefully my next post will be a celebration of removing my Gmail accounts from my phone.