SMS Backup & Restore – July 2017
Almost five years ago I wrote about a pair of very handy applications, Call Logs and SMS Backup & Restore, I was using to transfer my call logs and text messages between different devices. Five years is an eternity in the Android world, but in this time the original application has been maintained, updated and now has a new developer, Carbonite. Let’s take a look at the application today.
The first thing to explain is that where there were two applications before, now there is only one. The developer, Ritesh, merged both applications in January 2016 following a switch to Carbonite as a developer. Today we only see SMS Backup & Restore, but the application includes the ability to backup the call log. This change makes it easier to backup both sets of data, but it’s optional. The application size is now around 23 MB plus whatever data it produces (more on this later).
To use, the new combined application is just as handy as the original applications, but today it includes more features. Users can manually backup their call and text messages and either save the backed up data on the device, or share it via the standard Android sharing function. However, the app’s greatest feature is the ability to automatically upload this data into either the user’s Dropbox or Google Drive account. Furthermore, either individual files can be saved or the one file can be appended with additional data. Appending the data results in one continuously updated file rather than many, and for me makes life much easier.
If you don’t want to use the append option, no problem! One worry with keeping individual backup files is that over time this will fill up your cloud storage account, but here SMS Backup & Restore has the ability to delete old versions of your backup file. You can also restrict how much space the application uses to store local data, so helping not run out of precious internal storage, too.
If you want to set up the application to work with either your Dropbox or Google Drive accounts, you’ll need to input the path to the backup folder rather than navigate to this, but fortunately the application has the ability to test a connection so you can spot a typographical error.
One of the application’s best features is the ability to automatically backup your data on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. You can set the backup to run at a convenient time and the application will respect Android’s advanced power saving technologies, meaning by default it won’t wake the device up. The developer has thoughtfully included the ability to force the smartphone awake: a nice feature, but probably unnecessary if it’s set to backup data in the small hours. I have SMS Backup & Restore set to perform a daily backup starting at 0200 in the morning but as you can see it delays the backup procedure for some time before running. I can also specify that the application will only backup my data over a Wi-Fi network, with or without charge. Every morning the application provides me with a notification telling me if the backup was successful or not, and how many messages and calls it has archived for me.
Obviously, SMS Backup & Restore includes the ability to restore data to a smartphone. Modern version of Android, from 5.0 Lollipop and upwards, need the app to be made the default for messages for the purposes of the restore. However, Carbonite have also included a transfer wizard to simplify moving your data from your old smartphone to your new smartphone. This features works brilliantly, and if you’ve ever experienced the trauma of losing a device (or it failing), this is exactly what you want to see.
It’s hard not to like this application even without a device failure or loss. Should the unthinkable happen, SMS Backup & Restore can be a great help. It’s one of my must-have applications, and if you are interested in trying the application, you can check it out below.