With Key Lime Pie, Android 5.0, right around the corner, everyone with an Internet connection is laying out what they hope to see in the next big update to hit Android. I have my own wants for Key Lime Pie, like a final solution to Android’s terrible backup situation.
Every time I bring this up, I hear the same thing over and over again.
“Android has a backup function built-in! When you sign into your Google account, all your apps download, and your wallpaper is there. And there’s Picasa. And there’s Play Music. And there’s Google contacts. If that’s not good enough, use a third-party app. Or root and use an even more in-depth third-party app.”
I love and greatly appreciate what third-party developers have done for Android, and the problems they’ve come up with solutions for. But there are still areas where Google needs to step up. The backup and restore functions already available in Android are shoddy at best. Picture syncing is great, but app data is absent. My setting usually load correctly, now where are my text messages and call history?
There are times when I hate to compare Android to iOS, but there’s too much Google could learn from Apple in this instance. If you’ve never used the backup and restore function in iOS, you don’t know what you’re missing. Just like with Android, when you boot up a fresh iOS device or new install, you’re prompted to sign into some accounts, and asked whether or not you want to sync and backup your phone with Apple’s servers. If you choose yes, and restore a previous backup, everything, and I do mean everything, is ready to go within a relatively short time.
What kind of stuff is restored after using an iOS backup? Game progress, app installs, emails, text messages, account sign-ins, pictures, settings and much more. As I touched on earlier, Google has a solution to backup some of these things, but they still aren’t as easy and fluid as they should be. Motorola, who is owned by Google, has released their own migration assistant service because Google’s solution doesn’t cover all the bases.
You already get a set amount of storage with Google Drive when you sign up for a Google account. Throw a big backup file on there, and use things like Play Music and Picasa to sync across devices. That’s what they’re best at.
When Key Lime Pie is released this fall, I hope Google unveils a comprehensive backup and restore utility. I’d love to get a new Nexus phone, and after a few prompts, have it set up just the way I like it. That’s the first item on my Key Lime Pie wish-list. Now, on to item number two…