Moborobo is an all-in-one PC manager that’s been around for several months now for your Android phone and/or tablet. Now I know a lot of seasoned Android users might not find a lot of use for it, but I know there are a lot of you that’s either new to Android or recently migrated to Android from iOS. I think Moborobo might just be the right application for those users especially if you’re used to syncing your phone with your desktop. Moborobo will allow you to backup your phone/tablet’s contacts, apps, text messages, music, wallpapers, and videos. It also gives you a file manager, the ability to install or delete apps, make ringtones, and install various wallpapers. That is certainly a lot of features, so how well does Moborobo do at getting the job done? Hit the break to find out.
The first thing you need to know about Moborobo is that it’s Free and it’s fairly easy to install. I should also mention that it’s in Beta so there could be some bugs, but overall I didn’t find anything too crazy. I did have a little trouble setting it up on an older Windows XP machine, but I didn’t have issues with newer Windows Vista or Windows 7 machines. The layout and UI is very easy to understand so you shouldn’t have too much of a problem navigating around without too much instruction.
Upon opening the software for the first time, you will have a choice of connecting your phone via USB or WiFi. USB is recommended for obvious reasons of speed and reliability. If you’re phone was never connected via USB before, it will need to install the driver.
I had no issues in using a Galaxy S III, but at first it wasn’t reading my phone. I quickly went to the help area and I realized USB Debugging needed to be turned on. This is something that probably should have been mentioned beforehand, but hopefully it will save you a few minutes by knowing about his up front. You can access Debugging from the Settings/Developers Options. Just make sure USB Debugging is checked. Once I turned Debugging on, it quickly connected.
Upon connecting, it takes a minute or so to read your phone and you will find yourself at the main Home section.
At the top you will notice tabs that you can easily navigate to with a click. The Home area is what we will talk about now, but later we will discuss the Data tab, as well as Apps, Tunes, Images, Videos, and Themes tabs.
As you can see, there is an image of my phone with whatever the phone is currently displaying. If I flick through the screens on my phone, the Moborobo software will refresh and always show what my phone is showing. You can even bring it to full screen mode. Probably the coolest thing here is that you can take a screenshot of your device. This is really nice for those of you that have phones below Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (about 85% of Android users) and aren’t rooted.
You will also notice a graphical view of your storage and how much is allocated to Music, Video, and Other along with what free space you have. It should be noted that I actually had one album on the device, but it showed 0 bytes. This might be a bug based on the fact that it’s Beta or it also might mean that the amount was too small to register.
You do have the option of selecting either the device storage or SD card. In this example, I didn’t have an SD card installed so it didn’t show it as an option to choose.
You can also click on the File Manager which opens a pop up with all your files sorted by folders.
It’s much like Windows Explorer so you should feel right at home. You can easily delete files, upload files from your PC to your device, download files from your device to your PC, or create new folders. You basically have full control. This kind of functionality is easily obtained from Android apps such as Astro or File Expert, but again, a lot of newbies feel more comfortable doing things such as this with a desktop.
Going back to the Home tab, you will also notice statistics for how many contacts you have, messages, Apps, Images, Music, and Videos. You will notice that for music it has the number 1 below it, which probably represents 1 album, but I’m a little surprised it didn’t show the number of songs, which was actually 11. So for whatever reason there seems to be an issue with the software properly showing you how much music you have, but overall not too big of a deal. This might not be an issue for bigger collections.
The remaining option left on the Home tab is the backup/restore function, which is one of the major features of Moborobo.
Moborobo allows you to backup just about everything from your device so in the event something happens to your phone, you will have everything saved on your desktop. Again this is something that can be done with Android apps like MyBackup or Titanium, but if users fail to move those backups from their SD cards to their desktops, they are useless in the event you lose your phone. Some apps do allow for cloud back up, but you also might have to pay for that storage.
You can tell Moborobo what you want backed up by simply clicking on the items you want backed up. You have your choice of Contacts, Messages, Call Logs, Images, Wallpapers, Themes, Media, and missing from the screenshot: Ringtones and Apps. Also under Apps, is an option to back up App Data, but you need to be rooted in order for this to happen. This means you can save all game progress and restore it to another device. After you have selected the categories you want backed up, all you have to do is click back up.
All Backups are saved in whatever location you wish, but a default location was already set at Documents/Moborobo/Backups. Each backup gets a different folder and the folder title is based on the date and time.
So in this example, I have two backups, one was done on August 3, 2012 at 23:28.08 and the other was on August 4, 2012 at 15:59.40. This makes it very convenient to find what you’re looking for. Within these folders you will find the categories that were backed up by folder.
Of course backups would be worthless unless you had the ability to restore, and of course Moborobo has you covered. You can restore any of your previous backups and you can also select whatever you want restored. For example, if you only want to restore your call logs, you can do just that.
All you have to do is click the restore tab from the backup/restore popup and you will see a full list of your backups. You can clearly see the two backups that I mentioned above. Depending on what you actually backed up, you can then select the items you want to restore. It couldn’t be any simpler.
If you are new to Android and you were using an iPhone, you can easily move your contacts over by simply connecting your iPhone and exporting your contacts. Then import those contacts to your Android phone. You can see more on this at the Moborobo website.
Now we will move on to the Data screen, which contains your contacts, SMS text messages, and call logs. For contacts, you can import, export, manually add, or delete.
You also have access to all your SMS text messages and you can even send text message from the interface.
Last but not least, you can see your complete call log.
Moving on to the Apps tab, Moborobo makes it really easy for you to install or uninstall applications.
One feature that’s very nice with this section is that for each app, it shows you the permissions that are required so if you ever have a question on a particular app, you can easily find it here.
Under Web Resources, you can search for apps or even get recommendations.
Unfortunately you won’t find every app available on the Google Play Store, so I really wouldn’t recommend this feature. Also, I found it to take a little too long to download and install any apps that were found. Android already has the ability to browse all Play Store apps from your phone, tablet or Web so this doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Next up is the Tunes section, which allows you to upload or download music from/to your desktop. You can also make a ringtone from any of your songs.
You will notice I only have one album on the phone as I store all my music on Google Music. You simply click on Add and you can easily select the songs you want from your desktop and they will be downloaded to your device. As you navigate the music that is on your device, you can click on “Apply as Ringtone” for any song and it will simply make that your new ringtone for your phone. Unfortunately you can’t edit out the portion of the song that you want, but it’s something quick and simple for the average consumer. There is also a Ringtone Center that is “under construction.” It’s possible that area might give us the ability to edit portions of songs in the future.
Next up is the Images tab, which gives you complete control of all your pictures and wallpapers.
By right clicking on any image you can edit (simple cropping and rotating), delete, apply as wallpaper, or export. The one thing that the Images tab does have that is fairly nifty is a Wallpaper Center.
This allows you to browse various wallpapers and download them to your device. You can also apply them as your default wallpaper directly from this tab.
The Videos tab is an area I didn’t get too much into. I don’t normally keep videos on my phone and as far as the Web Resources section, it said it was under construction so I expect some sort of service for loading web-based videos on your devices to be launched soon.
The last section is Themes. In order for this to work, you will have to install the Mobo Launcher on your device. It’s available in the Play Store, but you can install it from this software. Then if you go to Web Resources, you can pick custom themes to install.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, Moborobo is probably not for seasoned veterans of Android. It’s meant for migrated iOS users or beginner level Android users. It works fairly well, but since it’s in Beta, there are some occasional bugs like freeze ups. I also felt that the software moved a little slow between screens. Overall Moborobo is a well thought out piece of software and the fact that it’s Free is surprising. With that said, if you’ve been looking for an all-in-one package for your Android device, you have nothing to lose by giving Moborobo a try.