Backups are a critical aspect of today's business world. We spend thousands of dollars ensuring our servers are backed up. Hundreds of dollars should also be spent to make sure our personal desktops are backed up (of course, we all know how that goes). As for mobile devices, many users don't even both or consider it.
Thankfully, with the Android platform, you get an automatic backup of contacts and apps (if you associate the device with your Gmail account). But what about SMS, call logs, bookmarks, non-Google calendars, and more? When you need to back those items up, it's time to look beyond the built-in Android backup. For that, you should turn to an app like Super Backup.
Here are some features you can expect to see with Super Backup:
- Backup apps to SD card
- Backup contacts, SMS, call logs, bookmarks, and calendars to SD card
- Restore contacts, SMS, call logs, bookmarks, and calendars from SD card
- Can select SMS conversations to backup
- Delete the backup data on SD card
- Schedule automatic backups
- Auto upload scheduled backup files to your Gmail
- Show last backup count and time
- User can change backup folder path in Settings
Any mobile business user would be remiss to turn their backs on a free app with that feature list. But first, let's see how Super Backup is used before you decide to jump right in and start backing up.
The installation of Super Backup is super easy (you knew that was coming). Just follow these steps:
- Open the Google Play Store on your Android phone
- Search for “super backup” (no quotes)
- Locate the entry for Super Backup : SMS & Contacts
- Tap Install
- Tap Accept
Once the installation is complete, you'll find the launcher for Super Backup in your app drawer and/or your home screen. Tap it to launch the application.
One of the first steps you must take is to set up the location of your backup. Hopefully, you have an SD card in your phone to back up to. In order to set this option, tap on the wrench icon on the main page (Figure A). Tap the backup path entry, select External Storage Card, and then tap OK. Super Backup will now be set to backup to your external memory (this is much safer than backing up to the internal memory, should the phone die).
Super Backup running on a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto X.
The next step is to begin backing up the various components. Each section allows you to run different tasks. For example:
- Apps Backup allows you to pick which apps to backup (Figure B)
- SMS Backup allows you to backup/restore conversations, view the backups, send the backups to email, delete backups, and delete all messages
- Contacts Backup allows you to backup, restore, view, send to email, and delete backups/all contacts
- Call Logs Backup allows you to backup, restore, view, send to email, and delete backups/all call logs
- Calendars Backup allows you to backup, restore, send to email, delete backups/all calendars
- Bookmarks Backup allows you to backup, restore, view backups, send to email, delete backups/all bookmarks
Backing up apps with Super Backup.
The backup process is quite simple. You select what you want to backup and then tap the backup button associated with that item. In the case of apps, of course, you'll have to select which apps to backup. After you tap the backup button, you'll be prompted to give the backup file a name. By default, the name will look like:
item_date.vcfwhere item is either apps, SMS, call logs, etc and date is a string of characters representing the date.
After you've given the backup a name (or are okay with the default), tap OK to begin the backup process. Depending on how large your backup is, this can take some time. When the backup completes, you'll be asked if you want to send the backup via email. You can either do that now or skip it (and do it later or not at all).
One of the really nice features of Super Backup is the ability to set up regularly scheduled backups for SMS, contacts, and call logs. Here's how:
- From the main window, tap the wrench icon
- Tap Schedule Settings
- Tap the item you want to set the schedule for
- Select the frequency of the scheduled backup (Figure C)
Select how often you want the scheduled backup to run.
That's it. The scheduled backup will automatically run. You can also set up a maximum number of backup files to keep, plus auto-upload the backups to your Gmail account. When you select to auto-upload to Gmail, you'll be prompted to allow Super Backup access to your Gmail account.
If you're looking for an easy way to back up various aspects of your Android phone, look no further than Super Backup. Between the built-in tool and this free app, you can rest assured that your smartphone data will be backed up.
What backup tool(s) do you use on your mobile device? Share you experience in the discussion thread below.
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 getjackd.net.