The systems built in to Android devices to help secure and backup your data are, quite frankly, pretty poor. If you have ever got a second Android device and wanted to transfer your old data across, you will have probably noticed that the current ‘Backup & Restore’ facility offered on a fresh system boot is pretty vague. It never actually specifies what sort of data is going to be restored and the option only ever appears during the system setup. The trouble is the current system often restores lots of old app data that you don’t want. It’s not exactly brimming with user options.
Now it seems that Google might be improving their cross-device app restoration facility. This report comes from website Android Police, who have “received information” regarding Google’s plans. Of course, this isn’t exactly confirmed and could prove to be wrong – so take it with a pinch of salt.
Apparently the new process to restore data will be a part of an app downloadable from the Play Store. Users will be able to choose from backups across all their other devices (smartphones, tablets, etc) and then customise which apps are brought across. This new system will allow you to differentiate between your tablet and smartphone apps. You will then also apparently be able to add on extra apps if needs be.
At the moment Android Police are unsure what the definition of ‘data’ in this case exactly is. Restoring app data on Android is never a sure thing – data could mean save files or conversation logs, depending on the app, but Android is never clear what it’ll actually restore. And, as the current information stands, it doesn’t look like that’s going to change.
Apparently this feature is in early development, though, so it’s best to remain hopeful that it’ll continue to be expanded. Of course, Google still have quite a way to go if they want their Android systems to be truly powerful in the backup and restore department.
For example, at the moment users will have to download different third-party applications if they want to backup certain data. SMS messages, perhaps one of the most important components of the smartphone, will not be backed up unless you use a third-party facility. A technology savvy user might know this, but those less advanced might struggle to understand why such data isn’t being brought across.
Additionally, it would be good to see the facility clearly outline exactly what data is being carried over. Blanketing ‘app data’ under one umbrella isn’t helpful and, frankly, right now it isn’t clear what data is being backed up to your Google account or when it is happening. Having one, unified built-in app that clearly displays this information and allows you to customise it will go a long way.
Until then, we’ll have to see what comes of this rumoured upgrade to the Backup & Restore facility. Fingers crossed that it offers much more functionality than it currently does, but we can only go off rumours for now.
Google Rumoured to be Improving Android Backup
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