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Cloud-based Backup on Android

One of the many new features that people running the latest version of Android on smart-phones can enjoy is Google's cloud based backup. Many sites list this feature as "untested" because they might be afraid of shortcomings. I've had the opportunity to experience the backup and restore personally, so here is my review.
* The way I managed to test this was by starting out on a T-Mobile build Nexus One manually updated to Froyo (FRF50) and then swapping out to an AT&T device and waiting for the official Froyo release (FRF85B) a few weeks later. The time in between I was back on Eclair (Android 2.1) which royally sucked. I did create an alternate gmail account to avoid risks of overwriting my previous backup.

Basically

I am extremely happy with the results. There are no details of what will be backed up and what it won't, so I set my hopes low. Yesterday I did tweet that it remembered EVERYTHING- this however, is an overstatement.

It remembered:

One of the biggest hassles to repeat would be re-downloading all the apps I had accumulated over the time I've had the phone. Google remembered all of them and instantly started downloading them after I logged in with my Google account. Score!

It also remembered the list of Wifi networks I had connected to in the past and the passwords, so no problems there.

It remembered the bookmarks I had stored for the browser.

Surprisingly, upon logging in I got my old wallpaper image back too.

Naturally it perfectly stored my contacts, Picasa albums, calendar items and emails because that was all part of Google's cloud anyway. The only thing that was lost here are the defaults for phone or email.

However, it didn't remember:

The part I was kind of hoping for after initially seeing such good results is that it would remember the settings for everything too, but no. Starting each app was like starting it for the first time. I had to re-log into each service that required it after accepting the terms of service. Bummer.

Besides the background image, it didn't restore anything from the home screens. No icon or widget placements or anything. Not so much of a big deal.

Lots of the basic phone settings seems to have gone as well. Alarm clock times, date and time settings, ring-tones, keyboard settings and such all had to be re-calibrated. This was quite a hassle too, because I didn't particularly remember what I had before.

Conclusion:

If you have no choice it's a real life saver, but I would NOT recommend it if you do have a choice. Don't just reset your user data so you friend can borrow your phone for a day thinking you can just restore everything when you get it back.

If you have any experiences, concerns or questions, hit up the comment section below!



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Comment by Ralph van den Berg

Posted on 30 June, 2010
I don't expect so many examples or experiences because Froyo has only just been officially releases this week.

Comment by Antonius L. Zubeck

Posted on 30 June, 2010
As far as I know it does keep some settings for apps. I think you can check or uncheck that it will save settings on your SD and you have the option to "auto restore" when you reinstall apps.

Comment by Marion Jude

Posted on 2 July, 2010
That's cool. Another example of how Google wants to go unwired (a.k.a. wireless). They're working on a cloud music service too so you'll never really have to connect your phone via USB to your computer anymore.

Comment by Ralph van den Berg

Posted on 5 July, 2010
A semi-related note to those updating to Froyo (Android 2.2)- some apps like Swype may stop working after the update, you just need to re-install to fix any problems.

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