Storage

How to use G Cloud, a complete Android backup solution

If you're looking for a way to get a more complete Android backup solution than is offered by Google, Jack Wallen thinks G Cloud Backup is the answer.

gcloudhero.jpg
Image: Jack Wallen

Android does an outstanding job of backing up certain bits of data. Typically, your documents, contacts, pictures, videos, music, and browser data are always safe, thanks to Google.

However, there are three specific elements that Google doesn't bother with: Call log, Messages, and System Settings. What would you say if you could find a single backup solution that would take care of all those pieces of the puzzle at once?

You'd jump on it, that's what you'd do.

And so, I present to you G Cloud Backup. With this solution, you can back up:

  • Contacts
  • Call log
  • Messages
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • WhatsApp data (if applicable)
  • Music
  • Documents
  • Calendars
  • System Settings
  • Browser data

You want those important business call logs and messages saved, right? All of this is done from within a single app and a single account. That's right, I said account—you do have to sign up for a G Cloud Backup account. You get 1 GB of backup storage for free; if you need more, G Cloud will give you unlimited storage for $3.34/month USD for a yearly subscription. Once you've created your account (which can be done from either within the app or on the G Cloud Backup site) and backed up your device, you can access your data from within the app or the website. You can also associate multiple devices to your account and select which account to view from the web interface.

Let's install G Cloud Backup and see how it is used.

SEE: Data Backup Policy (Tech Pro Research)

Installing G Cloud Backup

  1. Open the Google Play Store on your Android device.
  2. Search for G Cloud Backup.
  3. Locate and tap the entry by Genie9 LTD.
  4. Tap Install.
  5. If prompted, tap Accept.
  6. Allow the installation to complete.

You'll find the launcher on your home screen, or in your App Drawer, or in both places. Tap the launcher to fire up G Cloud Backup, swipe through the welcome screen, and either create an account or log into your account. You are ready to go.

Using G Cloud Backup

One of the first things you must do is give G Cloud Backup permission to access certain apps and services on your device. It is a very lengthy permissions listing, but it's nothing really out of the ordinary for what this app does:

  • In-app purchases
  • Device & app history
  • Read your web bookmarks and history
  • Find accounts on the device
  • Read your own contact card
  • Read calendar events plus confidential information
  • Add or modify calendar events and send email to guests without owners' knowledge
  • Find accounts on the device
  • Read your contacts
  • Modify your contacts
  • Precise location (GPS and network-based)
  • Read your text messages (SMS or MMS)
  • Receive text messages (SMS)
  • Send SMS messages
  • Edit your text messages (SMS or MMS)
  • Read call log
  • Read phone status and identity
  • Write call log
  • Read the contents of your USB storage
  • Modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
  • View Wi-Fi connections
  • Read phone status and identity
  • Receive data from internet
  • View network connections
  • Read battery statistics
  • Connect and disconnect from Wi-Fi
  • Disable your screen lock
  • Full network access
  • Close other apps
  • Run at startup
  • Set wallpaper
  • Prevent device from sleeping
  • Modify system settings
  • Write web bookmarks and history

After you accept the permissions, you'll see the Data Configuration screen (Figure A). This is where you decide what you want backed up (you can revisit this page at any time from the main window).

Figure A

Figure A

The G Cloud Data configuration window.

Select all of the items you want to back up and then tap the save button (the red circle at the bottom right of the screen).

Your backup is ready to go, but it won't automatically back up because, out of the box, G Cloud is set to only back up when charging and connected to Wi-Fi. If you'd rather have your device backing up more regularly, you can change that by tapping the gear icon near the top right (in the main window) and then tapping Auto Upload (under GENERAL). In the resulting screen (Figure B), you can customize when G Cloud is backed up.

Figure B

Figure B

Setting a regular schedule for G Cloud Backup.

You can even opt to set a regular schedule for G Cloud. To do this, tap On Schedule and then select a time, repetition, and battery level before tapping SAVE.

You can also opt to manually back up your data. To do so, tap the Backup Now button from the main window.

Restoring data using G Cloud Backup

If you've lost your data or migrated to a different device, here's how you restore your data.

  1. Open G Cloud Backup.
  2. Log into your account (if necessary).
  3. Tap the Restore button from the main window.
  4. Tap the device to be restored.
  5. Tap what you want restored (Figure C).
  6. Tap the backup date you wish to restore from.
  7. Tap Restore.
  8. Confirm restoration by tapping OK.

Figure C

Figure C

Restoring to your device is incredibly simple.

The G Cloud Backup restoration is as seamless and reliable as any I've tested.

The missing link

Although Google does an outstanding job of backing up all that data on your device, it does miss a few crucial pieces. If you need to ensure those missing links are included in your device's disaster recovery, give G Cloud Backup a try and see if it doesn't fill in the blanks.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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