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TimeCapsule = iPhone’s First Backup App

TimeCapsule iPhone backup app TimeCapsule iPhone backup app

Yup, as of today we have the first backup application for the iPhone available – TimeCapsule.  Talk about your most wanted, and needed, applications!

It’s a very early release, but in my initial testing tonight most of it works well.  Timecapsule also offers specific, limited backup options right now – not a full system backup.  It does a short laundry list of some important items, and you need to select each individually right now – you can’t say ‘Backup’ and just let it go off and get everything it can.

Right now, it offers to backup: the Address Book, Installer sources, Maps bookmarks, Maps cache, Phone call history (Recents), Notes, Safari bookmarks and history, SMS database.

I’ve done some very quick testing on the first version released that works with the iPhone’s latest 1.1.4 firmware, and got these results:

Notes: Works so far.  Created 2 notes – backed them up, deleted and restored successfully – deleted notes, rebooted, restored successfully

SMS:  – Works so far.  Backed up, cleared AT&T conversation, restored and got it back

Installer: Fails so far.  Deleted 2 sources from Installer – tried restoring – did not work

Maps Bookmarks – works so far.  Backed up Maps bookmarks – then deleted two, restored OK

Call History – works so far.  Backed up Phone Recents call history – deleted it all – restored OK

Safari Bookmarks / History – works so far.  Backed up Safari bookmarks and history – went to setings and cleared history – launched Safari, confirmed all gone – restored successfully

Contacts – Fails so far.  Backed up, deleted 3 contacts – restored, but the 3 deleted did not come back.

So two main items are *not* working as yet – Contacts and Installer sources.  I’m talking to the developer about this, and he is working on it and producing updates very quickly so far.

TimeCapsule is easy and intuitive to work with.  To restore for instance, TimeCapsule2you just browse to the category you’re interested in – the SMS database for example – and if you’ve ever done a backup it will be listed there.  Tap on the  backup entry and you’ll be prompted to confirm you want to restore it.

There are lots of obvious ways in which this program could improve – offering a full system backup option, being able to multiple select or select all when choosing what to backup, automatic backup of all or certain items on a schedule, and lots more.  But … it is very good to see *any* backup app right now, so kudos to peeInMyPantz for his work on this.  Yes, that is the developer’s rather memorable handle 🙂

TimeCapsule is available on Installer now.  To get it, you’ll need to add this source:


I’ll try to update this post, or a new one, as the app is further tested and developed.

Warning: Once again, please note – this is a very early release, is not fully tested, and should not be relied on for any critical data at the moment of course.

UPDATE: My bad – Contacts restore does work, but it requires a respring to see the restored contacts, unlike all the other apps I tried restores with.  Good stuff though – only one problem child (Installer sources) left in my testing.

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  • peeInMyPantz

    thanx for the help… you’ve been very helpful to test out the program for me. Check out my update on using maps.. it’s pretty exciting

  • Brandon

    I assume you can offload these to a desktop for “real” backup?

  • peeInMyPantz

    these are saved in ~/Library/TimeCapsule

    you can backup those files…
    seems like you can backup maps and surf online as well.. think we can share maps on Installer.. to be restorable through TimeCapsule..

    still exploring the maps function

  • n0m0n

    VERY VERY nice.
    I have backed up my SMS log (nice little feature might be to be able to email the individual backups as well???)
    Anyway I have not been able to locate the folder that you described, “~/Library/TimeCapsule”.

    I tried in the Library, I tired in Var/root/Library (which turns into private).

    It is not on my 1.1.4.

    Any ideas?


  • n0m0n – this should be the right folder path for the backup files:

  • Sweet. I love being able to back up SMSs. Hopefully it’ll work better than Time Capsule for the Mac.

  • I hope we’ll see some added features in future versions as well …

  • alb_ur

    how to obtain a license number? I have donated, but still cannot receive a license. It wrote request failure

  • alb_ur – I suggest you go to the developer’s site at:
    HC is usually extremely responsive and helpful, and I imagine he will get you sorted out quite quickly …

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  • Leo

    I didn't find it! Do you know if it has been already released around the world?

    • You'll need to look at the developer's site for information – keep in mind this post was published nearly two years ago.

  • What is the URL of developers site and what is its price?

    • there are now other backup apps on the store – this article is likely pretty outdated by now. Check out the backup solutions on Cydia or Rock.

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