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By Ezra Brook
March 28, 2012

HTC to Shut Down HTCSense.com, Phone Online Data Backup Service, on April 30, 2012

HTC shutting down online backup service ahead of revamp – Grab your data while you can

Taiwanese phone maker HTC has announced that it will shut down its phone online backup and storage service at HTCSense.com. The reason why the company decided to shut down this service is due to a planned overhauling of entire service, including adding new, and better services.

If you are an HTCSense.com user, does this mean that your data is gone? No, you can download them from the website in a .zip file before April 30, 2012 and move all your data somewhere else. However, after April 30, 2012, all data will be deleted from the servers permanently. So, you have about a month to take action.

But, this sudden shut down brings a big question! What is HTC planning to do next? According to TechCrunch, “Quite a bit, if the company’s string of parnterships are any indication. HTC realizes it’s time to go big, and key deals with cloud-loving companies like Dropbox (file storage), Dashwire (mobile data backup) and Intertrust/SyncTV (streaming video service) all point to the possibility of a much more robust HTCSense cloud service coming down the pipeline.”

HTCsense.com has been providing phone online data backup service since October 2010. In fact, HTC was ahead of its time when compared to the recently launched similar service from Apple’s iCloud. HTC users were able to back up their contacts, messages, call history, geo-tagged photos, and more online.

It is very disappointing when an online backup service (whether phone based or otherwise) goes out of service, as all users’ data vanish along with peace of mind and trust. Backing up phone data online gives users the peace of mind, but when we hear companies decide to discontinue the service all of a sudden, it is a bit annoying.

The company has indicated that they needed to purge out all users data in order to “improve” customers’ experience. So, it sounds that there is a possibility that they might resurrect the HTCSense.com site or some other similar or totally different service in the future. But, the company is not giving any details.

It is very disappointing that HTC has not provided a user interface, automated data migration tool. Instead, it is asking all users to download their data. In the meantime, HTC is suggesting that users visit the old Android Market, now called “Google Play”, and search for an extra application with which they can backup their data.

In response to this shut down, HTC representative, Jeff Gordon, has been quoted as saying:
“This is in response to customer feedback, and HTC is working to improve our services to provide a more enhanced customer experience. What that enhanced customer experience looks like is yet to be announced.”

HTC has posted the following at its website:

Dear HTCSense.com customer,

HTCSense.com is undergoing a renovation to improve the services and value we deliver to customers like you.

Until the new services are ready, features previously available on HTCSense.com will be shutting down. If you have been using HTCSense.com to sync your Contacts, Messages, Footprints or Call History, you can download your data through April 30, 2012. After April 30, your data will no longer be accessible and will be deleted.

Download your .zip file by following these steps:

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

If you would like phone location or backup services for your device, please visit Google Play (formerly Android Market) and download an application that best meets your needs.

If you need additional assistance, please contact HTC Customer Service.

We apologize for any inconvenience. You’ll be among the first to know when the new and improved services are ready.

Thank you,
HTC

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