RIP, Dashwire, you mobile phone dashboard, you

A blast from the past shrivels up and dies, but reincarnation is already at hand.


Dashwire's online mobile backup portal.

(Credit: Dashwire)

I was speed-walking out from the press room at a crowded CTIA 2007, when I heard a voice shout my name.

It was Ford Davidson, the founder and CEO behind Dashwire, a brand-new Seattle-based startup, jogging after me. I was exhausted and overwhelmed from a day of mobile app pitches and ready to shuck off my heavy backpack and close out the day.

Instead, Davidson persuaded me to stall 10 minutes, and there, squatting on the tamped-down carpet of San Francisco's Moscone Center, he showed me one of the most useful and original apps I'd seen that show.

At its inception, Dashwire was an online dashboard organizing much of the contents of your mobile phone, with a companion app for Microsoft's original Windows Mobile operating system. It looked sharp; using the hip design cues of the day, you could rearrange modules to your liking, and interact with them, sending things like texts and e-mail from the dashboard instead of from your phone.

Over the years, Dashwire as I knew it grew and morphed, and today, finally expired, confirmed in an e-mail (reproduced below) that flitted into my inbox a few minutes ago.

Not every bright, well-executed idea turns into a blockbuster. Dashwire was doomed to fail as a standalone device and app once carriers and manufacturers steadily developed their own online backup for contacts, texts, and photos.

Don't feel too bad--the company lives on in HTC, which bought Dashwire this past August. If you see any new cloud services in the HTC Sense skin for Android, you can guess where they came from.

Thank you for being a Dashwire customer during our early years of providing service to Windows Mobile devices. You were an early adopter, helping to usher in the market wave of cloud services.

Several years ago, we transitioned away from actively investing in the Dashwire solution, and instead refocused our efforts on launching products and services with some of the biggest providers in the mobile industry. The Dashwire solution remained running, and some of you have continued to use the service.

Today we are announcing that we will finally be shutting down the Dashwire service effective February 15, 2012. In the event you want to visit the site and download any of your old media items that were uploaded from your phone, please visit the site by February 15th. We will be shutting down the servers, and erasing all user data.

Thanks, Your friends at Dashwire

Dashwire 2.0 beta

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