If you have an Android phone and are signed into a Google account (who isn’t?), the system will back up account settings, app data, contacts, browser bookmarks, calendar, photos and videos. It does not back up text messages, call logs, and a few other things.
To get a full backup of everything, you need a backup app. There is some overlap between Android backup and these backup apps, both back up contacts for example, but it is useful to have extra backups and you can store backups outside of Google just in case you lose your account for some reason.
Here are two popular backup apps that are very different and there is a clear winner. I tried them on a Samsung Galaxy S4, but they will work on most Android phones and tablets.
Easy Backup & Restore
This claims to be the easiest data backup tool for Android. Without trying them all it is impossible to confirm this, but it certainly is easy and straightforward to use.
It backs up SMS and MMS messages, call logs, calendar, browser bookmarks, the user dictionary and contacts. It backs up to an SD card if you have one, Gmail, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive or Box. These are very common services and you are likely to have at least one and probably two or three.
After connecting your Google Drive (basically giving it permission to save files to it), for example, and selecting the folder to save backups to, you can start backing up. Backups can be manual or scheduled, and you can repeat backups every 2 to 60 days at whatever time you choose. You can specify how long to keep old backups.
Backups can be encrypted and they are saved as zip archives, so the amount of data transferred and the storage required for them is minimal. It is impossible to give a figure because it depends on the number of text messages you send, multimedia messages and calls. It will probably be under a megabyte for many people.
Backups jobs, such as those saved to Google Drive, can be viewed. They can be opened too, and you can browse the contents. You can view text messages, call logs and so on. This is excellent. A backup can be restored and to do this, Easy Backup is set as the default SMS/MMS app. You can switch back to whatever app you were using before though.
Easy Backup & Restore really is easy and it is free if you don’t mind adverts.
Super Backup: SMS & Contacts
Super Backup’s screen display is unexciting and there is a column of grey backup buttons on the home screen. As well as being dull, there does not appear to be a restore option. If you select a backup, this actually leads to another menu of grey buttons and there are options for backup, restore, view backups, send to cloud, delete backups and so on.
The app backs up contacts, SMS messages, call logs, bookmarks, and calendars. It saves them to the phone’s storage, such as an SD card, and it can also upload them to Google Drive or Gmail. It actually saves the backup to memory and then the usual sharing options are displayed, so you could send it to Dropbox and other locations too.
A major irritation of this app is that each item, contacts, SMS, and so on, is a separate backup. To back up everything you would need to perform multiple backups, one for each item. This is a pain and is not very friendly.
Automatic backups can be scheduled and this is less irritating because once set up, you don’t need to take any further actions. Each item, SMS, contacts and so on, has its own schedule, so you could set contacts to back up every week and SMS messages to back up every day, for example. You can choose how many backups to keep.
The fine degree of control over each backed up item is more of an irritation than a feature. The backup is saved as an XML file and these can be quite large. Restoring requires the app to be set as the default SMS app, but the normal default can be set afterwards.
Easy Backup is the better app and it backs up everything to a compressed space-saving zip file that is automatically named. Backing up is easy and it take just a few taps. Super Backup is works OK, but it could be a lot simpler and it should zip files to save space. Get Easy Backup.
Title: Easy Backup & Restore
|Title: Super Backup: SMS & Contacts
Developer: MobileIdea Studio
Size: Not specified
Version: Not specified
Android: Not specified
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Created: 19 March 2015