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Hello! And a little question about backup apps.

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by Dunnett, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. Dunnett

    Dunnett Lurker
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    Hello Android Forums!

    New purchaser of a SGII which is my first Android experience. The main thing I'm hoping to get out of Android is a good platform for calendar and organisation applications, budget, shoppings lists, diary, that sort of thing.

    My question is, once my calendar and budget are in an app how can I make sure that if I lose my phone for whatever reason I don't loose all of my details. I've been considering using Google Calendar, but I would like the flexibility of being able to use 3rd party apps and not having to worry about whether my data is backed up.

    Options I can see are Google, using only programs that have backup features (limiting), using another program that will backup other apps (possibly doesn't exist) or just sticking with pen and paper. ;)

    Any wisdom from existing Android users?
     

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  2. itsallgood

    itsallgood Android Expert
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    Welcome to Android. You will love the experience, once you learn the OS. As far as backing up your contents, look for apps that specify that. Some back up to a server on a website. Others back your contents up to either your internal phone memory or SD card. As far as backing up your apps, there are apps for that. (Do they really work, I don’t know.) On some phones they will, others if locked down, might not. For what you are going to use your cell phone for, I’d highly recommend backing up everything you can. From Home screen set up and settings, contacts, e-mails, text messages, photo’s and video’s. It is a real pain to have to go through the set up/customization process all over again, if you have to reset your phone or setting up a new phone. (Been there, done that.)

    I use these things to back up data. “SMS backup” – backs up every text I send/receive to my g-mail acct. “ADW Launcher” – I can restore my home screen set up, with short cuts, apps and places where my widgets were. (As well as all launcher settings.) “AppSaver” – backs up all apps that can be backed up. “Google Calendar” – Sync’s all calendar events to my gmail acct. All my contacts are backed up to gmail acct. I use “Colornote” which I can back up all my notes. “Handcent” has settings to back up customization settings.
     
  3. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    Third party apps can be set to use Google Calendar, so you can still back up your calendar to Google even using a third party app.
     
  4. Dunnett

    Dunnett Lurker
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    Thank you AFers. I was worried about using a smallish app and having the business go under, but it's a good point if the data is stored on the phone AND a server if either goes down you have a time period to find another backup.

    I can't see Google going down anytime soon, but I'd really like to find some discussions (or have one here!) about other ways of keeping all your data, passwords, documents, appls, contacts together in a way that can be transferred from phone to phone, backed up..

    If I keep everything on my gmail account and it get hacked, then I'm not much good to anyone. Biometrics? Just going with the flow and sticking my head in the sand. :p

    Keywords? Thoughts?
     
  5. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    You could make a separate Gmail account for use as your phone's calendar, and use it for nothing else but contacts and calendar and market. That would lessen the probability of it getting hacked (since you're not getting emails on it, using it for anything else or you dont even have to tell anyone it exists).

    Another option is either My Backup Pro, or Titanium Backup, from the market.
     
  6. monsieurms

    monsieurms Newbie
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    I'm recently converting to Android....and the thing I immediately most miss is a complete backup solution. I used to use Resco Explorer on Palm. It would back the entire phone. Push a button--restore. Just like you had it.

    Is there anything that does that? The things I read are somewhat conflicting, and I have not rooted the phone (not that that sounds like something I'm going to do..)
     
  7. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    Titanium Backup or MyBackup Pro
     
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  8. regression

    regression Android Expert
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    Backups on Android is one of the few areas I think Android has fallen way short. If you are rooted, then you are good. You can backup all apps and their data (with apps like Titanium Backup / MyBackup Pro) or you can make a clockworkmod recovery image (like doing a Norton Ghost backup).

    If you are not rooted, you have piecemeal your backup plan. Basically, you have to go through each app and see if you can save its data (either online or to your SD card). If not, then you are SOL. For example, I tried Pulse News. But (at least at the time I tried it) there was no way to backup your news feeds. So if I had to hard reset or if I lost my phone, I have to start at square one to add all my news feeds back. Very frustrating.

    Even apps like MyBackup Pro which say they back up apps, if you aren't rooted, it doesn't work as you would expect. No data is saved (see example above). Also, if you are not rooted, the Market Links are not restored, thus you will never get updates to the apps unless you uninstall them and re-install them from the Market, which defeats the purpose of backing them up in the first place.



    As far as the OP's question, as chanchan05 said, all the 3rd party apps I have seen for calendar functions use your Google Calendar data, so you are good there. Unfortunately for the other functions (budgeting, lists, etc), you will have to look on an app by app basis to see if the apps you are interested in provide a backup / export feature.

    Also, as I say you can never have too many backups), weekly I will go to my Google Calendar from my computer and export my calendars to ics files (located under settings). That way if I loose my phone AND something happens to my Google data on their servers (it has happened to others before), I still have a copy of my calendars on my PC (and Dropbox).

    Hope that helped some.
     
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  9. monsieurms

    monsieurms Newbie
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    It did, thanks, although unfortunately it confirmed my worst fears.

    The truth is that these aren't phones any more. They are handheld computers! I used to backup my Treo regularly with Resco. I could create an entire new Treo as a copy to the a different machine with a push of the button.

    I am not rooted. I am not sure I want to be--looks complicated and risky. Maybe I haven't looked closely enough. Without that, the backups seem half-ass at best. I'm actually not concerned with main data like calendars and contacts. Those I sync to my desktop (using Companion Link, which is great!) and I backup my desktop too. If I ever lost them on the phone, I presume a sync would restore them to whatever new unit I bought with the same software combo (Companion Link and DejaOffice--well worth it!)

    That I suppose is the most important stuff. The rest is just saving time. But it's good to save time! I sure wouldn't want to have to set the phone again, all my settings, preferences, bookmarks, apps, preferences in apps, and so on. I used Astro to backup the apps.

    But I miss that push button restore functionality I had with Resco, and it makes me a little nervous not to have it.

    This is probably the major annoyance for me in switching to 'Droid. Still haven't found a useful Scrabble or Backgammon substitute (not interested in multi-player online games to be clear), and the eReader for Android app is just dreadful. Simply dreadful. They cobbled together outdated software, did just enough to make it work on Android. Its feature set is non-existent and it doesn't even take up the whole screen. PLUS it also manages not to hold the ebook in question after dismounting the SD Card whereas the Kindle app puts that book 1st in the home screen so you don't have to search for it. Oh yeah--no search either. :thinking:
     
  10. regression

    regression Android Expert
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    Well, check in the specific forum here for your phone. There is probably a sticky on how to root. When I did mine, it was only a couple steps to follow, pretty painless. However, I understand some people don't want to root. I also think that I should be able to completely backup my phone without rooting (thus voiding the warranty, I think). However, such is the state in the Android world right now....


    Just be aware that if you restore apps you backed up with Astro, the data within the apps won't be restored and the Market Link won't be restored. That means if there are updates to the app, you won't see them in the Android Market. Again, this makes backing up apps with Astro pretty useless, in my opinion.


    Which eReader are you using? I use the Kindle / Nook app for books I purchase through Amazon / B&N. For ePubs that do not have DRM, I use Moon+Reader. It has search functionality. I have not used eReaders on any other platform, so I don't know what, if anything is missing from Moon+Reader.
     
  11. monsieurms

    monsieurms Newbie
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    Darned straight. I'm surprised at some lapses. I waited awhile before upgrading, but maybe another year or two would help. :D
    I will look soon on rooting, but it does make me nervous--what with a brand new and pricey contract and a potential Sensation Brick in my palm. :) But that will have to wait a bit. I am still in the first days of changing from Palm to Treo and I'm attacking one problem at a time and at the same time trying to figure out where the hell things are. Yesterday, I was going into a meeting and couldn't figure out how to turn the phone off. I eventually found airplane mode. Still haven't found vibrate. ;) But I'm getting there! Root will be something I guess I have to look at because I sure can't live without good backups.

    But let's say I root, I use Titanium or My Backup (both of which looked robust) based on the earlier recommendation. One difference here is that these new phones are enormous. If I'm backing up all apps, data and things I may not have enough room on my SD card. I don't want to back up online. So, I guess I have to flip a big blank SD card in just to make a backup? It would be nice if something existed to do it via a sync to the hard drive of my desktop. That would seem to be a viable solution, but I gather it doesn't exist either.


    I have a lot of legacy ebooks in *.prc and *.pdb format. The former read just fine (non-secure) in Kindle for Android. The latter open in eReader app for Android, but the secure books certainly don't work with Kindle for Android. (Have to test it..sometimes in the past the old Mobipocket reader would open *.pdbs if made in a certain way and if NON-secure).

    eReader app for android is a clumsy mess, with the developers tossing together already long-in-tooth software and doing zip, zero to make it a really attractive app. They did the minimum work necessary. The display doesn't even fill the screen, the book still being formatted as if I were using a smaller device. Bleh.

    eReading is important to me. I may eventually have to squirrel myself away for a couple of days and convert them all in Calibre to prc or ePub. But man, that's going to be a lot of work, with inevitable anomalies.
     
  12. regression

    regression Android Expert
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    I know the backup sizes will very by app... but I use Titanium Backup and the backup size for all my apps is 225 megs. Titanium says I have 240 apps, but that is misleading. It counts system apps as well. I have about 100 apps I installed. I have a 16 gig SD card, so space isn't a problem for me. I do have my backs synced to Dropbox (but you may not want to do that if you don't want online backups). You could run Titanium and then connect your phone to your computer via the USB cable and copy over the folder Titanium backs up to.

    I also use MyBackup Pro, and when I backup my user apps (no system apps), the backup size is a little over a gig. Big difference than Titanium. Maybe Titanium does more compression???

    EDIT: I forgot I have multiple backups in the MyBackup Pro folder. I was counting the size of all of them. One of my backups is about 250 megs.

    If those two backups fail, I use a program called ShareMyApps. It can email you a list of your installed apps. The list contains the name (and optional version number) of each app. The list is actually a list of links to the Market. So worse case scenario, I will go to the latest email I have from the app and click each app and install it.

    About once a week or so I will copy my entire SD card from my phone to my computer to have a backup.

    As you can tell, I am a bit OCD when it comes to backing up.....




    With the eBooks, I can't help you much as I have only very little experience with them. I have heard people say good things about Calibre. I have also heard people spend an entire weekend converting all their files using Calibre to ePub. It sounded like a lot of work, but that might be the road you have to go down.
     
  13. monsieurms

    monsieurms Newbie
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    I'm more than a little OCD myself about backups, which is what is making me nervous. I'm using a 32gb card, but between mp3s, apps and ebooks there is not a whole lot of room left. Are you saying Titanium will do a backup directly to the HDD of my desktop if connected via USB---or just that after the backup concludes, I manually copy it--(which I've been doing for my card anyway.....)
     
  14. regression

    regression Android Expert
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    With Titanium, you have to backup to your SD card first, then copy that to your computer. I haven't see any backup program that backs up straight to your computer.
     
  15. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    1. No problems with SD cards. For your SGS2, the entire internal SD card can be just copied and pasted to a defined folder on your desktop. What you should worry about backing up is the internal memory (I think its somewhere around 2 or 3gb in the SGS2). That's what you backup with Titanium and/or MyBackup Pro. Once that is backed up, you can just copy the backup to your PC.

    2. Rooting is fairly easy depending on the method. I was surprised at the ease actually. I plugged in my phone to PC, clicked on root. Waited for like 30secs, then it said successful, please reboot. And I finally was able to make a good backup. My phone is about 2 months old.
     
  16. monsieurms

    monsieurms Newbie
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    Well, I may have to give that a whirl! Thanks.
     

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