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iPhone apps: Syphone

Updated 6/23/2010

As a commenter points out, Syphone doesn’t work with current or recent iPhone OS. Don’t waste your time.

Updated 2/21/2009

Syphone is a Mac freeware application that allows you to archive your iPhone SMS messages to your Mac hard drive. Here’s a screenshot from my messages with Google Local:

Syphone screenshot

If you’re using iPhone firmware 2.1+, you may get “No iPhones found!” in the drop down next to “iPhone” there near the top left. If so, go into Syphone’s Preferences and uncheck the box marked “Run helper app in the background.” Restart Syphone, and your iPhone and its messages should appear. You can change the colors, sort order, and export your messages to XML, PDF, or TXT.

Originally, I’d posted that I was unable to get the XML export to work. Ben commented that he was successful using XML export for one contact at a a time. This morning I tried again making sure I had one and only one contact selected. Success! Here’s a screen shot of the XML output:

Syphone XML output

Syphone XML output

Now I’m definitely tempted to study text messaging. Any workgroups out there who all use iPhones and want to be in a study of text messaging at work?

Syphone stores its database in /Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup.


15 Comments

  • Ben |

    Syphone is exactly what I’ve been looking for to archive my SMS. And free! My XML export works, you just can’t multi-select message participants.

  • inga |

    would you happen to know why it only has the earliest texts? i’m trying to get all the texts btwn me and my boyfriend, and i’ve only got the first month or so… there should be a year worth of texts. if i connect my iphone will it grab them?

  • Colin |

    Hi ! Would you mind sending me a sample syphone xml file ? I just want to study the structure of the xml files syphone produces.
    Thanks in advance !

  • nejad |

    It doesn’t work on OS 3 and changing preferences as suggested above makes no difference
    My conclusion: it’s waste of time

  • Arjan |

    I’ve got my text messages extracted with another program but now i’ve want to import them into syphone… (so i can make pdf’s with the nice text balloons)
    I’ve mae an xml file with the same text as your sample but it does not want to import it.. Malformed xml.. any Ideas?

    Associated iPhone Name
    Libby Hempill’s iPhone
    Associated iPhone Serial Number
    XXXXXSERIALNUMBERREMOVEDXXXXX
    Contact Display Name

    Contact Phone Number
    18005551212
    Messages

    Message Direction
    In
    Message Text
    Where you at?
    Time and Date
    2008-09-20T000:15:08Z

    Message Direction
    Out
    Message Text
    Mongolian BBQ
    Time and Date
    2008-09-20T000:15:26Z

  • Arjan |

    //
    //
    //
    //
    // Associated iPhone Name
    // Libby Hempill’s iPhone
    // Associated iPhone Serial Number
    // XXXXXSERIALNUMBERREMOVEDXXXXX
    // Contact Display Name
    //
    // Contact Phone Number
    // 18005551212
    // Messages
    //
    //
    // Message Direction
    // In
    // Message Text
    // Where you at?
    // Time and Date
    // 2008-09-20T000:15:08Z
    //
    //
    // Message Direction
    // Out
    // Message Text
    // Mongolian BBQ
    // Time and Date
    // 2008-09-20T000:15:26Z
    //
    //
    //

  • Arjan |

    Associated iPhone Name
    Libby Hempill’s iPhone
    Associated iPhone Serial Number
    84047M5MA4S
    Contact Display Name
    piet
    Contact Phone Number
    18005551212
    Messages

    Message Direction
    In
    Message Text
    Where you at?
    Time and Date
    2008-09-20T000:15:08Z

    Message Direction
    Out
    Message Text
    Mongolian BBQ
    Time and Date
    2008-09-20T000:15:26Z

  • libbyh |

    Hmm, sorry I don’t have better info, Arjan. I’m not using Syphone anymore. I did find a website that may be able to help you though. They claim you can convert your iPhone SMS to PDF through their site, though I’m wary of recommending you upload such info to a site without knowing if it’s trustworthy: http://insend.de/

  • Arjan |

    Hi Libby, Thanks for the reply..! (Nice new theme also! ;))

    I’ve made a replica xml file of the screenshot you’ve provided but it has no ending and that is probably the reason why syphone is refusing to import it.

    This is the xml code i’ve got so far, and then off course all the ( are <…
    Maybe you could see in the blink of an eye what is wrong?

    (?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?)
    (!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd&quotπŸ˜‰
    (plist version "1.0")
    (dict)
    (key)Associated iPhone Name(/key)
    (string)Libby Hempill's iPhone(/string)
    (key)Associated iPhone Serial Number(/key)
    (string)84047M5MA4S(/string)
    (key)Contact Display Name(/key)
    (string)piet(/string)
    (key)Contact Phone Number(/key)
    (string)18005551212(/string)
    (key)Messages(/key)
    (array)
    (dict)
    (key)Message Direction(/key)
    (string)In(/string)
    (key)Message Text(/key)
    (string)Where you at?(/string)
    (key)Time and Date(/key)
    (date)2008-09-20T000:15:08Z(/date)
    (/dict)
    (dict)
    (key)Message Direction(/key)
    (string)Out(/string)
    (key)Message Text(/key)
    (string)Mongolian BBQ(/string)
    (key)Time and Date(/key)
    (date)2008-09-20T000:15:26Z(/date)
    (/dict)
    (/array)
    (/dict)
    (/plist)
    (/xml)

So, what do you think ?

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