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Support Complete Backup Possible without Root?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by NAZology, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. NAZology

    NAZology Newbie
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    I am going to be switching from one Galaxy Nexus to another. I keep my phones pretty basic with a handful of standard apps, and backgrounds. My button and apps set up is all that really matters. I can easily just manually update everything on the new phone, but just curious if there is there a way I can do this through software?

    My phone is stock. I've read about rooting and using apps like titanium etc. I am pretty sure its not possible to do a complete backup without root but I figured I'd ask.
     

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  2. PhilosoRaptor

    PhilosoRaptor Android Enthusiast
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    Yeah, I wish this was possible too. I'm about to exchange my Nexus for another one today and wanted to backup my app data without rooting. I'm amazed that Google hasn't found a way to do this seamlessly (without root) yet :(.
     
  3. eagle17

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    not sure about this but what about backing up the system with ODIN? or does that not back up user data?

    [HOW-TO]Create Custom ODIN Images for Backup/Restore - xda-developers

    first thing I found looks like you do need root though...

    I am not sure if there is a reliable way to do this at this point... google backup or vzw backup will only get you so far... will not save home screens and app data...
     
  4. nj02vette

    nj02vette Android Expert
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    You assume that Google can't figure it out, or did you consider that Google doesn't want you too?

    Apparently, they are concerned with app and data piracy, so they haven't implemented it yet. It's ashame, because that's the #1 reason why people want root access, just to backup thier stuff.
     
    Lohung likes this.
  5. bob01000

    bob01000 Member
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    Winodows and Apple Mac both provide "transfer wizards" for moving settings, data and files over to new machine.
    BLACKBERRIES do this! It doesn't harm Google in the least to develop this. WE don't need copies of the OS. WE just need all settings and data backed up -including email account settings.

    I'm amazed this isn't offered yet. Rooting isn't even necessary if they did it right! They can copy the way RIM did it for the blackberry!
     
  6. darkuni

    darkuni Android Enthusiast
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    Good apps will allow you to export your data or back it up on the cloud (or both).

    App settings are often stored in SQLite databases or other areas of the phone for safety reasons. ROOT access is required to do write access those areas.

    I think backing up of this data isn't the issue - the phone's system is Read Only by nature.

    But how do you RESTORE it? Would you want ANY app to be able to write to the SYSTEM level folders?

    What you're saying is Google should allow this; and they do. If you're a user with appropriate permissions (which is ROOT). The last thing you want is apps having free reign over system folders.

    So while you can READ just about anywhere (backup) you can't WRITE (restore) without proper access (Root).

    I feel pretty good about this arrangement. If I want access to these areas, get root access - all is well.

    Just my .02 on the subject.
     
  7. binary visions

    binary visions Android Expert
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    This is a bigger project than you guys would believe it to be.

    Keep in mind, Blackberry has been doing this juuuuust a tiny bit longer than Google and had longer to develop the infrastructure. Additionally, Blackberries have been built since forever to lean heavily on desktop software for various tasks.

    Google is not, by and large, a desktop software company. Android is not, generally speaking, an OS that lends itself to desktop tethering. On top of that, all of the manufacturer customizations add an almost unlimited number of variables into the equation.

    This means that Google would have to:

    A) develop software in a realm that it is not as expert in as other companies
    B) built an application from the ground up that has not been needed before since Android doesn't require desktop tethering of any kind (unlike Blackberry & iPhone)
    C) deal with the crazy variables introduced by third party modifications, or decide to develop this application to only cater to the comparatively small audience of Nexus users.

    Not saying there aren't better ways to handle it than Google's approach of basically, "you're on your own" - but it is a pretty big project to wrap their arms around, and problem C above means that it's going to take some serious changes in order to deal with it.
     
  8. Mr. Poppalopolis

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    I would think this is definitely a part of the reason it's not supported, and also explains/coincides with the fact that you NEED root access to backup and restore apps. Adding this could potentially compromise security. Also, I doubt piracy has much to do with it. If they were concerned about piracy, they wouldn't allow the installation of third party apps.

    But if Google found a way to allow backup and restore without root that would be really great. Maybe they could at least add an adb or stock recovery option to do something like a NANDroid backup.

    Didn't see that before. Look basically like what I said about an adb option. Probably not as simple as a lot of people would like but it works (I assume).
     
  9. val88

    val88 Android Enthusiast
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    Yeah, people are just thinking about "omg why can't I just back everything up". They are not thinking about implications of an act like that. If a full image can be done easily it implies that all of your information (call logs, account passwords, google wallet info etc.) could be obtained, replicated on some other piece of hardware and abused remotely.

    I do a lot of things in my enterprise application that I wish I didn't have to so that it would be easier for my users. But data security and such requires that certain things like login IDs/passwords and authentication and auto time outs are there.
     
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