10 days without backup on the iPhone

Apple iPhone crystal clear Acrylic Case Snap on design

It’s been 10 days since I last synced my iPhone with my iBook. This has caused me a lot of nervousness, especially when back in my Treo days, I used to back up daily to my SD (Secure Digital) card.

The iPhone doesn’t have an external memory expansion slot. All backups would have to be done via USB cable or over the air. Since I didn’t bring my iBook on my trip, I’m left with very little options.

Looking back at the data I have on the iPhone, most of it has a copy on my iBook. I’m not worried about my media files — music, movies and podcasts all have copies back home. This applies to all my third party applications downloaded from the Apple App Store.

My email is all backed up “in the cloud”. In my iPhone, I have set up Gmail, Yahoo Mail and my Outlook email in the Mail app. All three email services are hosted, so a copy of my email is on a server somewhere. My Calendar is also synced with my Outlook.

If I had Apple’s Mobile Me service, I would have been able to sync up my photos over the air as well. What I do is email the best of new photos to Flickr and Facebook so I have a couple of back up copies. Recovering these photos in event of a crash, though, will not be straightforward.

I use Zenbe Lists to manage my to do lists. Zenbe can be synced to a server as well.

For Notes, I use the built-in Notes app on my iPhone. I back up using a manual way, that is by emailing the notes to my Gmail.

Overall, I am quite surprised by how much data is already placed “in the cloud”, ie in a server somewhere on the Internet. All my important data is already periodically backed up, protecting me from a catastrophic crash.

The iPhone has been a rock solid performer so far. There have been several app crashes (notably the Mobile Safari web browser, which I use heavily) but thankfully no system crashes.

I’m sure I will feel very relieved when I finally get home and sync my iPhone in a couple of days. In the meantime, I’m not (too) worried about losing any valuable data.