1. rjsdavis's Avatar
    Hello there

    My son's Motion handset failure has got me thinking about handset back-ups. I can see that my Motion is backing up regularly (via Google's Android back-up feature) to Google Drive somewhere. However, this has me thinking about what's backed up, and what isn't.

    I'm assuming that this Google Back-Up is *not* an image copy back-up. By this I mean, where a totally full back-up is made, and in the event of total handset failure or loss of my own handset, I could get myself a new replacement Motion handset, and restore it to exactly "as it was" before the previous handset failed at the time of the most recent back-up.

    So, my question is, is it possible to achieve this? Just like we can with our computers using software like Acronis True Image etc?

    I don't mind at all, if the software is PC based, and I have to manage the entire back-up / restoration process from my computer. I'd far rather have the back-up images locally on one of my local drives, than it hanging about in some cloud space anyway! The back-up/restore process of BB10 used to be pretty good and comprehensive. Have we completely lost this?
    04-01-21 09:00 AM
  2. conite's Avatar
    Hello there

    My son's Motion handset failure has got me thinking about handset back-ups. I can see that my Motion is backing up regularly (via Google's Android back-up feature) to Google Drive somewhere. However, this has me thinking about what's backed up, and what isn't.

    I'm assuming that this Google Back-Up is *not* an image copy back-up. By this I mean, where a totally full back-up is made, and in the event of total handset failure or loss of my own handset, I could get myself a new replacement Motion handset, and restore it to exactly "as it was" before the previous handset failed at the time of the most recent back-up.

    So, my question is, is it possible to achieve this? Just like we can with our computers using software like Acronis True Image etc?

    I don't mind at all, if the software is PC based, and I have to manage the entire back-up / restoration process from my computer. I'd far rather have the back-up images locally on one of my local drives, than it hanging about in some cloud space anyway! The back-up/restore process of BB10 used to be pretty good and comprehensive. Have we completely lost this?
    Google backup and clouds syncing is all we have.

    I've certainly never needed anything more. I can be up and running in a matter of an hour on any new device without losing a thing or skipping a beat.
    04-01-21 09:08 AM
  3. rjsdavis's Avatar
    Google backup and clouds syncing is all we have.

    I've certainly never needed anything more. I can be up and running in a matter of an hour on any new device without losing a thing or skipping a beat.
    Thanks Conite.

    Perhaps a better question might be - what does Google Backup /restore not backup? (So that I can think about backing it up separately if need be...)
    04-01-21 09:35 AM
  4. conite's Avatar
    Thanks Conite.

    Perhaps a better question might be - what does Google Backup /restore not backup? (So that I can think about backing it up separately if need be...)
    Google saves your sms, phone logs, app data, contacts, and device settings. Anything else like Keep, Photos, email/calendar etc should be synced already.

    You'll just have to see yourself what stuff you have that you don't have associated with something cloud-based.
    04-01-21 09:41 AM
  5. Dunt Dunt Dunt's Avatar
    Thanks Conite.

    Perhaps a better question might be - what does Google Backup /restore not backup? (So that I can think about backing it up separately if need be...)
    Apps including BlackBerry's would need to be backup.... if they have that option - Password Keep has it's own.

    Most apps that require a server logon will keep your data in the cloud, so next time you install the app and login it's all there.

    And as Conite mentioned, your email, contacts and calendar should be already synced to the cloud as well.

    No fully sure about pictures.... I always used the Photo's app to keep those backed up. But I also used OneDrive for documents as well, so no sure if Google Backup gets any documents you have saved.... I'd assume that it does. (but doesn't hurt to have backups of your backups... )
    04-01-21 02:03 PM
  6. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    Google saves your sms,
    I know it does that if you are using the stock Google "Messages" app for texting, but that isn't necessarily the case if you are using some other third-party app for SMS. Just wanted to point that out since so many people seem to want to keep years-old SMS messages (you really should archive and delete those - SMS databases aren't designed to be very big, and tend to fail or get corrupted if they're too big).

    Also, regarding third-party apps - MANY apps sync their app data to a hidden portion of the user's Google Drive, so your data will be restored automatically if you get a new phone or wipe your old one - but there are also many developers who have never implemented Drive data backups for whatever reason, and you need to check those apps individually and confirm how they store data if backing up that data is important to you.

    For example, the one app I used to use (that I cared about) that didn't back up data to drive was my car maintenance log app, and after several years of developer promises that never happened (and still haven't several more years later), I switched to a competing app that DID use Drive. I don't quite enjoy the new app as much as the old one, but I've done 2 phone upgrades since the switch and my data is right there on the new phones without any special work on my part, so it's worth it.

    Point being: you either need to find out how to back up your app data manually (and do so regularly and reliably), or switch to a similar app that already uses Drive to store your data so that it will automatically be cloud-synced for you.
    dmlis likes this.
    04-02-21 12:53 AM
  7. Ben xfg's Avatar
    I know it does that if you are using the stock Google "Messages" app for texting, but that isn't necessarily the case if you are using some other third-party app for SMS. Just wanted to point that out since so many people seem to want to keep years-old SMS messages (you really should archive and delete those - SMS databases aren't designed to be very big, and tend to fail or get corrupted if they're too big).
    It's not actually the Google "Messages" app that backs them up, it's the Google Backup function within Android that does this - regardless of which SMS app you're using.
    mh1983 likes this.
    04-02-21 07:01 AM
  8. SteinwayTransitCorp's Avatar
    Thanks Conite.

    Perhaps a better question might be - what does Google Backup /restore not backup? (So that I can think about backing it up separately if need be...)
    Things that are in the important category I back up to a SD card, that card is removed put in its case and away. yes it can be missing s few things but when required it makes the restore process much faster.
    04-02-21 08:01 AM
  9. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    It's not actually the Google "Messages" app that backs them up, it's the Google Backup function within Android that does this - regardless of which SMS app you're using.
    I'm not sure that that's true, though I am not a developer and I could be mistaken. But as I understand it, it's up to the dev of the SMS app to implement a backup, with a Drive backup being one of the options (which most developers utilize). Anything backed up to Drive will be restored, but if you are using an app that doesn't use Drive to back up its data, then it will be either up to the app (maybe you have to log in to another service from within the app to restore) or up to the user to manually backup and restore.

    Just because it SEEMS automatic doesn't mean that all third-party apps will work the same way.
    04-04-21 04:04 PM
  10. Ben xfg's Avatar
    I'm not sure that that's true, though I am not a developer and I could be mistaken. But as I understand it, it's up to the dev of the SMS app to implement a backup, with a Drive backup being one of the options (which most developers utilize). Anything backed up to Drive will be restored, but if you are using an app that doesn't use Drive to back up its data, then it will be either up to the app (maybe you have to log in to another service from within the app to restore) or up to the user to manually backup and restore.

    Just because it SEEMS automatic doesn't mean that all third-party apps will work the same way.
    SMS and call logs are stored within a system app (Phone and Messaging Storage I think it's called), and the SMS app really just accesses the messages from there. That's why you don't lose your messages if you delete the data or uninstall your phone or SMS app. The Google backup feature within the Android OS backs up the messages to Drive. Any other instant messenger would have their own respective backup method though.
    04-04-21 04:29 PM
  11. rjsdavis's Avatar
    I know it does that if you are using the stock Google "Messages" app for texting, but that isn't necessarily the case if you are using some other third-party app for SMS. Just wanted to point that out since so many people seem to want to keep years-old SMS messages (you really should archive and delete those - SMS databases aren't designed to be very big, and tend to fail or get corrupted if they're too big).

    Also, regarding third-party apps - MANY apps sync their app data to a hidden portion of the user's Google Drive, so your data will be restored automatically if you get a new phone or wipe your old one - but there are also many developers who have never implemented Drive data backups for whatever reason, and you need to check those apps individually and confirm how they store data if backing up that data is important to you.

    For example, the one app I used to use (that I cared about) that didn't back up data to drive was my car maintenance log app, and after several years of developer promises that never happened (and still haven't several more years later), I switched to a competing app that DID use Drive. I don't quite enjoy the new app as much as the old one, but I've done 2 phone upgrades since the switch and my data is right there on the new phones without any special work on my part, so it's worth it.

    Point being: you either need to find out how to back up your app data manually (and do so regularly and reliably), or switch to a similar app that already uses Drive to store your data so that it will automatically be cloud-synced for you.
    Thank you to all the replies from Conite / Dunt / Troy / Ben / Steinway - to save myself replying to them individually, I've replied here...

    Thanks to all, but this still isn't quite what I mean at all.

    What I'm looking to do, is find a back-up solution, ideally an image copy back-up solution, that connects to the phone, takes an entire image snapshot of the phone (like copying a CD or DVD), and places that back-up somewhere (like my computer).

    Therefore, in the event that my phone is lost, stolen, smashed or drowned, I can simply lay my hands on another BB Motion, and copy the image back onto the new handset so that it was exactly like it was before.... in exactly the same way that we can all image copy back-up our computer drives, sector by sector, onto another drive for an image copy.

    This nonsense about hoping or checking that each individual app makes some sort of secret back-up to Google Drive is such a backward step in backing up terms! I can't be the only one that thinks this?

    Core to my back-up priorities are:

    1 - That in the event that my Motion is smashed, when I restore the new handset, BB Hub is restored in full, with all accounts, emails, drafts, messages, SMS, and any other social media feeds are restored as they are now.

    2 - Phone records are restored

    3 - Locker files are restored

    This is it really. Contacts and Calendar are synced with Outlook anyway, so this is easy enough to restore. Google Photo's are auto-backed up. WhatsApp is already auto-backed up, all of the other apps are simply re-downloadable, so whilst hassle, not the end of the world - but if I had made an image back-up of my entire phone, which is what I actually want to do, it would simply be fully restored to the last restore point anway...

    Surely this can be done in this day and age? We used to do it all the time with BB10, and pretty easily.
    04-04-21 06:43 PM
  12. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    There's no one app that does this on Android, but that's by design. Unlike BB, or Apple, Android phones (aside from the Pixel) are made by other manufacturers who are free to make changes to the OS - and most make extensive changes. As such, you cannot restore an image made on one Android model onto a different Android model, and the lack of that ability makes such backups of very limited use. Instead, Android is designed where your apps and your data are saved - because THOSE can be restored on most any Android phone - but not the OS or the OS settings themselves. SOME of those settings will be restored by Google (or, in the case of some manufacturers, by their own restore processes) when you log in on the new phone, but not everything will be. This prevents conflicts between incompatible devices and also prevents bad settings from being restored onto a working device that ends up "breaking" the new device too. That last issue has long been a problem for BB's backup: it's easy to restore an image with a problem onto a new device, so that you end up with the same problem on the new one that you had on the old one.

    The point is: Android is not BB - it's different, and there are important reasons that it's different, and so you have to make adjustments. They aren't difficult adjustments by any means, but trying to use old methods that worked on other platforms will not get you anywhere, because Android's situation is different, and so the backup and restore functions are different. There's really no way around that.
    04-05-21 12:03 AM
  13. Dunt Dunt Dunt's Avatar
    Samsung does this for their devices (Smart Switch on Windows)... other OEMs might as well. But TCL didn't offer something like that for the Motion, and in general it's not part of the Android World.

    Android Backup is pretty good at getting most of what you want.... but along with it you'll need to know what apps don't work with it. Like TCL's Locker App isn't going to carry over data. Good to enable Google Photos as well, and to only use Email solutions that offer two-way syncing. Been nice if HUB had a backup option for settings and for Icon layouts. They did add a backup option for Password Keeper... which is better than it was.

    But don't fool yourself... BB10 backup and restore was no guarantee. I had it fail to do a full restores on a number of occasions. Mostly when the OS moved forward.... which doesn't happen anymore.
    04-05-21 01:22 PM

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