RIM announces BlackBerry Protect, free remote backup, restore, and locate service

BlackBerry ProtectRIM today announced the beta availability of their upcoming remote backup, restore, and locate service, BlackBerry Protect. Best feature? It’s free.

The service will remain in beta stage until later this year, but CrackBerry have had a quick preview, and are (predictably) impressed. The main features include:

  • Remote Device Management: Locate on map; Activate lound ringer; Lock / password change; Lost and Found screen; Device wipe
  • OTA Backup and Restore: Contacts and Calendar; Memos and Tasks; Browser bookmarks; Text messages
  • Administration: Based on new BlackBerry user account system (BlackBerry ID); Web-based end user portal; operator call center access

Clearly, this is an appealing service, and one that many users will appreciate — especially if you’ve ever lost your phone.

What’s interesting is that Apple still charges customers $99 per year for their equivalent service. Hey, Steve, now is probably a good time to start considering dropping that fee…