Moborobo Desktop 2.0.7 is of particular interest to Android smartphones, for which there isn't an official management app, whereas iPhone owners already have iTunes. However, those who are running both Android and iOS handsets may welcome the ability to manage both, and transfer data between the two, within a single easy-to-use Windows app.
Many phone manufacturers provide desktop software for their Android handsets, but not all are particularly useful. Moborobo is a universal product, which is handy if, like us, you get through a lot of smartphones. You'll find a supported device list at http://www.moborobo.com/supporteddevices.html. Our Sony Xperia P isn't listed, but worked fine with Moborobo. Your smartphone is connected to the PC via Wi-Fi or USB (you'll need to enable USB debugging for the latter).
Moborobo: full screen
The Home screen offers a quick overview of your smartphone. There's information regarding the amount of storage in use, broken down into contacts, messages, apps, images, music and video. If you have an SD card installed, a slider lets you view the same information for that storage medium.
Also on the Home screen is what appears to be a stock image of your handset model. It isn't. There's a clue in the time and date shown onscreen that Moborobo is providing a mirror to your smartphone's display. You can view this in full-screen mode and enable an auto-refresh function, then take screenshots directly within the software.
If your handset doesn't have a built-in screenshot facility (many do, even if you aren't aware of it - our Xperia P takes a screenshot when we simultanously hold down the power and volume-down buttons, for example), this could be useful for many reasons, least of all troubleshooting. But note that you'll need to tell Moborobo to save the captured images to disk before you begin. Unfortunately, the auto-refresh rate isn't fast enough to enable sufficiently smooth action for screen recordings.
Also on the Home screen are links to Backup/Restore, Phone Cleanup and File Manager functions. The more personal data we store on devices that are easily lost, stolen or damaged, the more important having in place a proper backup strategy becomes. You can choose to back up all or any of the following: contacts, notes, call logs, images, wallpapers, themes, media, ringtones, apps and app data. Even if your handset never leaves your side, the Restore feature may be able to help you quickly set up a familiar environment when migrating to a new smartphone.
Phone Cleanup in essence scans your cached files and offers to remove the junk to improve performance. Moborobo didn't detect any remnants of app installation files on our Xperia P, so we couldn't test the efficacy of this function.
The File Manager lets you browse in thumbnail or list view all the files stored on your handset, then select items to either download to the PC or upload to Moborobo. Double-clicking a file automatically copies it to the PC; you can also delete and rename files.
Tabs running along the top of the Home screen offer access to Data, Apps, Tunes, Images, Videos and Themes. Within Data you can view, edit and back up your contacts, messages and call logs. A potentially handy function is the ability to send and receive text messages within Moborobo, although, as we discovered, it isn't seamless. Whereas received text messages appear in an instant, a reply we drafted within the program was marked not sent in Android's own Messaging app, despite appearing to have gone through.
The Apps tab not only lets you view and manage the apps already installed on your device, but offers a link to Moborobo's own app store. You can see what other users have just downloaded, view the most popular apps and, as in Google Play, check out the editor's picks, featured and latest apps. If you're unable to access Google Play on your device, or simply prefer to browse apps on the larger screen of your PC, this is potentially useful for Android users (iOS owners can download apps only from Apple's App Store). However, we prefer Google Play, which has a far greater range of apps (entering the search term Facebook returned only Spacebook, for example), plus essential user reviews.
The Tunes tab lets you browse and play music stored on your smartphone, including ringtones and notification tones. You can also download a selection of PandaApp ringtones. It's a similar story in the Images and Videos tabs, with downloadable PandaApp wallpapers and MMOSITE video streaming. The final tab, Themes, lets you download to your device a variety of themes, although you'll first need to install the MoboLauncher app on your handset.
Moborobo Desktop 2.0.7: Specs
- Windows XP/Vista/7/8
- Windows XP/Vista/7/8
If you regularly plug your phone(s) into your home or office PC and would find a desktop management program beneficial, Moborobo Desktop is a universal solution that's particularly useful for its ability to back up all types of smartphone data, across both Android and iOS. Not all its features will be regularly or even ever used, and not all are without fault. We also find it a little odd that this Windows-only app doesn't support Microsoft's own Windows Phone, and that it supports iOS but not OS X.