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30 June 2011

Android : A Guide to the full backup

Three programs to perform a full backup of all data, settings and contacs



Introduction

With many devices that are still receiving the official update to Android 2.1 and a small number that is already ready to upgrade to version 2.2 (Froyo), more and more users are asking themselves about how to make a backup of important data, before with the system update.

Today we will see some of the methods for saving and restoring applications, settings, text messages and contacts. Many programs require that voted for this purpose is carried out on the root device. The reason lies in the fact that some data, such as those relating to applications, folders are stored in internal, not accessible without this type of permit.

Specifically, we analyze the operation of three of the most popular programs available on the Android Market Italian at this moment: Sprite Backup, Backup MyBackup Pro and Titanium. The first two can be used on any device, while the third requires that the smartphone must be "root" and that has BusyBox installed in the system.


1. Sprite Backup

Sprite Backup is one of the applications easier to use. At startup, the user can choose whether to proceed with the recovery, with the backup or schedule it to run automatically on a daily, weekly or monthly.

You will have 4 possible destinations for saving data:

  • Device (internal memory)
  • Storage Card (microSD card)
  • Box.net (online service - free with 1GB limit of 25MB per file)
  • Dropbox (online service - 2 GB free)

After you have made your choice, you can assign a name to select a backup or overwrite old archive. Finally, you can choose what to include in the new rescue between: data from calendar, photo, application settings, system settings, MMS, SMS, Music, Recent Calls, Contacts, Bookmarks and Videos. Then start saving the data to the destination indicated above.

Recovery operations will follow the same path already seen for backup. You will be asked the source of the files between the views shortly before 4 destinations and you can then proceed with the recovery of the selected data.

Since this is a program designed for less advanced users, the settings screen is very intuitive and quite thin. From here we can set up accounts for Box.net and Dropbox, enable online backups only through Wi-Fi network, enable or disable the encryption of data and set the self-elimination of backups older than a few days.

Sprite Backup by Sprite Mobile is sold at a cost of $ 4.95, equivalent to about 4 euros, and is available at this time, on the Android Market Italian, version 2.0.



2. MyBackup Pro

One of the peculiarities of MyBackup Pro, in addition to its intuitive interface, is the ability to run on both devices and on those stocks, "root". In the second case, the user will be able to save some data system is not accessible without such permission.

Going to the backup, you have the ability to choose between Applications and Data

In the first case, you can select which programs to save the complete list of those installed on your smartphone. If the device has root permissions, in addition to the rescue of the APK, will also save the application data and its link with the Android Market. This will allow, during recovery operations, to tell the system to the presence of a new program installed, making it appear in the Market for updates.

In the second case, you can choose whether the backup must be done locally, the microSD card, or online. You can choose to include in the rescue: Contacts, Call List, Favorites, SMS, MMS, Settings, Home Android, Alarm, Dictionaries, calendar, music playlist and data related to some of the programs supported.

In this case, you can schedule an automatic backup every day or week, with the ability to store up to 30 online and unlimited locally.

In this case, the options are very limited and cover only the recovery settings and the ability to enable the functions related to root permissions.

MyBackup Pro is available on the Android Market Italian at a price of $ 4.99, equivalent to about 4 euros, but there is a free trial period of 30 days to try the product before purchasing.


3. Titanium Backup

Titanium Backup is, without doubt, the most powerful of the three analyzed and only works on devices with BusyBox root permissions and installed in the system.

The interface is not intuitive right immediately betrays the target to which the application is intended, or more advanced users who feel the need to control every aspect of your smartphone.

From the Backup / Restore, select an application from those that appear in the list, you will access a pop-up menu through which perform operations such as backup, restore, delete, start, block, data cleaning and removal. An icon marked with a yellow smiley face topped by an M indicates that the backup is present and that this includes the link with the Android Market.

To perform operations on multiple applications at once, we encounter the Batch screen, from which you can choose to:

  • Check all backups
  • Backup of all user applications
  • Backup of all system data
  • Backup of all user applications + system data
  • Force restoration of your backup
  • Rifai backups older (> 3 days)
  • Redo up for new versions of applications
  • Backup of all new applications & new releases
  • Restore applications with missing data
  • Restore missing applications + all the system data
  • Restore the new versions of the user applications
  • Restore all data applications
  • A backed-up user install apps
  • A user-install all apps
  • Delete backups of uninstalled applications
  • Delete all backups

As seen previously for the two programs, Titanium also allows you to plan the rescue operation allowing to set the days and hours that will run the automated backup.

From the Preferences screen, you can enable automatic saving of TB data on the memory card, change the destination folder for backup, set the number of files that are stored for each application and the level of compression that will be used.

The application is completely free, but some secondary functions are enabled only for users who have made a donation to the author of at least $ 3.99, equivalent to just over 3 euros.


Conclusions

There are many alternatives available on the Android Market, but most are devoted to the rescue of specific data such as text messages, contacts and browser bookmarks. They are, however, few applications, such as those analyzed, which can operate simultaneously on several fronts and, unfortunately, are almost all paid.

In order to protect themselves from the loss of important data, the user can back up data with one of the programs that we talked about in this brief guide, upgrade to a newer version of Android, and proceed to reinstall your application to restore operations. You should keep in mind that, without a device "root", you can not back up data such as specific settings for each application and links the Android Market.

For further information, please visit our forums and ask questions in the telephony, which will try to answer.

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