When I recently updated my iPad 2 to iOS 5, something went wrong and I lost the backup of my iPad 2 – which meant I had lost all my pictures and notes from the iPad 2. Of course, iOS 5 lets you backup everything to the cloud now, but I’m still a bit upset about my data loss, and I want more than one backup of some of my data on my mobile devices. I was very interested to learn of the SuperHero Backup and Charger for iPhone that backs up your contacts and photos on your iPhone or iPod touch as it charges. I was pleased to be selected to review it when iomega offered one to The Gadgeteer.
The SuperHero looks like a typical iPhone charging dock. It’s made of brushed aluminum instead of plastic, though. It has an iomega logo on the front, and the top has silk-screened instructions reminding you to turn on and unlock your iPhone before plugging it in. (The photo shows the top before the printed protective sticky label was removed. There’s also a protective cover on the docking connector.)
A power adapter and a 4GB SD card are supplied with the SuperHero. You can replace the SD card with a larger capacity, if needed.
Both the SD card and the power adapter plug in to the back of the SuperHero.
I was pleased to see that my iPhone 4 would fit into the charger without having to remove the Bumper case. The charger should work for most Apple mobile devices that use the docking connector, but the backup function will work only with the latest generation iPod touch and the iPhone 4, 3G, and 3GS. (I would imagine it should work with the iPhone 4S, too, but I’d contact iomega to confirm this if I had a 4S.)
Before you can backup your data, you must install the free iomega SuperHero Backup app from the iTunes App store. You have a few setup options with the app. You can select to backup your contacts, and you can even have them encrypted and protected by a specified password. You can backup photos, but you must enable location services for the SuperHero Backup app to backup photos.
You can specify a backup name, and the backup set on the SD card is in a folder with the backup name. You should be able to backup multiple iPhones onto the same SD card, assuming there’s enough space on the card.
I had denied location services when I first started the app, so I went to setup, enabled location services, then started up the app again and turned on photo backup before plugging my iPhone into the SuperHero dock.
You’re given a 25 second warning before backup starts. You can cancel it if you don’t want to do a backup every time you charge the phone. Once the backup started, I could see it was backing up my contacts. When it backed up my pictures, it only backed up two of them. They were two images that I had downloaded for use as backgrounds. For some reason, it didn’t backup any of the pictures I had taken with my iPhone.
At least my photos get automagically transferred to my computer with Photo Stream and iCloud, so I’m not too worried about the pictures.
The SuperHero Backup and Charger for iPhone looks nice sitting on my desk. It’s nice to have a way to charge my phone without having to plug it into my computer or leave it in my bedroom in the charger I have on my night table. I also like having another backup of my contacts, because those things took a long time to type in and I wouldn’t want to do it again. It would be a great backup method for people who haven’t updated their devices to iOS 5 or who don’t want to use iCloud. The dock is even small enough that I could throw it in my gear bag when I travel so I’ll have an extra charger and a backup – just in case!