I was made aware of a backup-utility app, named iBye (sorry, Jailbroken phones only), that would help users backup/restore their iPhone data.

Whenever there is a new iOS update, I wait forever to upgrade. Not because I don’t want to try out the new release and its fixes & upgrades, but because it takes for-freaking-ever to backup, restore, and customize a jailbroken phone to the set-up you previously had. I’m not kidding! Sometimes it would take over a week with custom themes and folders, and other tweaks that jailbreaking one’s iDevice provides.

I already have PkgBackup, which I like, but I haven’t tried it since it’s recent major upgrades. Before, all it would backup was the list of apps you had installed, so when you restored, it was download them all over again. No settings or data saved, though. And if you wanted to backup your Springboard layout, you needed to purchase accompanying app SBOrganizer, which I now do have.

The new and improved PkgBackup now backs up your SpringBoard layout and Categories (Cydia app, not iOS native folders, unfortunately) . I can’t decide if it backs up actual app data, unless I’m misunderstanding how it works. (And if I am, I would love to be corrected!) PkgBackup allows you to schedule a time for backup (as much as daily!). Bottom line is I won’t really know how much gets backed up until I next upgrade. That’ll be whenever the next untethered JB is, FYI.

But this post isn’t about PkgBackup, really. It’s about iBye and what I thought was a good purchase.

iBye stood out to me initially because you had a choice to backup your apps (not just settings?) to your device, your own FTP server, or soon, Dropbox. I wanted to backup to my server, badly!

So my understanding of iBye was that it actually backs up my Cydia/jailbreaking data, and not just the list of things I had installed. There is a restore option as well. So, I could backup to my own personal server (of which, I have many) and then, after I upgrade, re-download iBye & let it do the rest? Now, I think I still have to do the folder thing myself (really wish someone would solidly develop something to take care of folder backup as well), but if everything else is preserved, I can handle some folder work with the help of 5-icon dock and MultiIconMover; 2 great free apps/tweaks.

So, I bought iBye, filled out the in-app info so that it would backup my apps to this very website, but all I got was errors and crashes. Very disappointing. The app would sometimes tell me that my FTP credentials were incorrect, but they weren’t. I use them frequently on my desktop PC & via FTPontheGo app in the App Store. Other times, it would appear that all was working well, and then out of nowhere, the app would just crash back to SpringBoard.

The main reason I bought this was the feature of using FTP to backup, so I was quite frustrated after trying several of my servers to backup. I took a look around the web & some prominent iPhone communities and saw others were having the same issue I was. So, I decided to contact the dev and see if he was aware of this issue/bug.

*crickets* No answer.

I figured it was no big deal because the dev is constantly working on new apps, updates and releases (like adding Dropbox to iBye), so I figured he was busy. But at the same time, a paying customer should be able to receive some type of support for what they buy, right?

I waited a couple of weeks, saw there was an update to the app. I thought, “Yes! This must be the fix to the FTP issue!” So I installed the update and gave it another shot. Same results. No backup to my server. Tried to contact the dev again, and once more, no answer.

At this point I’m pretty pissed off. No one has any answers, and the dev isn’t offering any support. What can I do? Well, I have a voice with this blog, so I’m going to bitch about it right here! Are you guys the lucky ones?!

If you are jailbroken and considering iBye, hold off for now if you were thinking about the backup to FTP or remote server option. This app isn’t there yet, and there’s no guarantee that it will be. I’ll reserve final judgment until after the Dropbox backup is implemented, but it’s not looking great. I will update and let everyone know how that goes. If this posts saves even 1 person from buying an app that doesn’t live up to expectations, then mission accomplished! If you produce an app that isn’t free, some sort of support should be offered to paying customers when there is no return/refund policy. It’s a matter of principle.

At this point, I’d have to recommend PkgBackup instead. Reliable app that actually works (already uses Dropbox) and the dev responds to user support requests. I know this because I’ve contacted them before šŸ˜‰

Thanks for letting me vent a little! BTW, hope everyone likes the snow effect on the blog. I like to turn that on every winter. šŸ™‚

UPDATE: A new update for iBye, including Dropbox as a storage option, is now live in the Cydia store. Installed and works without crash! Now, backup is extremely slow, but it finishes without issue, which is an improvement over previous versions of the app. I tried the FTP server backup option, again, and once more, it didn’t work. Not sure what the deal is here, but still very disappointing. So, if you want FTP backup, iBye isn’t the solution. Dropbox implementation, however, is functioning. I haven’t tried to restore using either iBye or PkgBackup, so my final answer won’t come until that occurs. Upcoming 4.3 iOS update perhaps? Stay tuned!