I’m lucky, or unlucky, to change my Android handset fairly frequently. This isn’t as glamorous as it first seems, because it means three or four times a year I get to set up a handset as I want by installing my favourite applications, changing the layout, so on and so forth. It’s getting easier: my email, contacts and diary are saved to Gmail, everything I’ve downloaded is remembered by the Android Play Store and my bookmarks are backed up using Google Chrome. But what I find very helpful is the ability to transport my call log and text messages with me. I use two free utilities by developer Ritesh Sahu, Call Logs Backup & Restore and SMS Backup & Restore. Both of these apps have a donate version, too, costing £0.99 for Call Log Backup & Restore Pro and £1.49 for the SMS Backup & Restore Pro.
Whilst there are other call log and text message backup applications, I’ve continued using these two apps for a few reasons. The first is that these applications are very easy to use if all you want to to is backup and export your messages when switching devices. You can create a backup file and store this on either the internal or external storage, plus you can send the backup file via email or into your Dropbox account. This makes it very easy to switch handsets; after all, you’re going to set up Dropbox on your new device!
The second reason is that the data is saved in .XML format, which means I can easily import the data into other applications on my desktop machine. There are occasions when I or a client want to store text messages in a document or report. The ability to export the call log is especially useful if you need to invoice clients for your time. Ultimately, this is another reason why I like using Android handsets as it is easy to share information on the device with one or more sources elsewhere.
You can view stored backup files on the device as well, so if you want to restore data to the device, you do not have to do it blind.
Another reason why I’m a fan of Call Logs Backup & Restore and SMS Backup & Restore is that if you dig a little deeper under the surface, there are some powerful features such as scheduled backups of data and the ability to customize the data format, which can make it easier to process the data in a spreadsheet or similar.
Both of these applications run well on all sorts of devices, which is important as I will switch from flagship models to entry level handsets and back again.
Ritesh frequently releases updates to these two applications, introducing new features and improving existing ones as time goes on. Both Call Log Backup & Restore and SMS Backup & Restore are great examples of utility applications that may be useful to anybody when they are switching devices, but can be very handy for those of us who need to export call log or text message data to use elsewhere.
I’ve only noticed one glitch with the application on my HTC devices, which is when I restore the call log, the device does not recognize the numbers. The data is present but between the HTC and Call Logs Backup & Restore, it doesn’t cross refer names and numbers. I don’t find this to be a deal breaker but it’s something to be aware of.