Simple Android Backup brings backups to non-rooted phones

Android is a great platform for modifying, and various phones have their own enthusiast communities. Not everyone wants to modify their gear, fearing voided warranties or future issues that may arise. Backing a phone up makes some sense; much like a Restore Point in Windows, it'll provide some security if anything goes wrong. The only downside is that backing a phone up does require root access... at least, that used to be the case.

Simple Android Backup was created by an XDA forum member in an attempt to bring backups to non-rooted Android devices. The program uses the tried-and-true ADB Backup methods and is at a point the developer considers to be an open beta. Testing has only been done with the developer's personal ZTE Skate handset, so complete compatibility cannot be guaranteed.

There have been manual guides pre-dating both programs, if you'd like to do it this way. Some phones are incompatible with both programs: HTC's One series and Sony's 2011 handsets don't play too nicely with ADB Backup.


The reminder that this program is still an open beta is worth reading.

Superuser functionality is required for some functions, so you can't do absolutely everything with a device that isn't rooted. My Galaxy Ace is trapped on 2.3, so I could not test the program for myself. Even so, it's hard to ignore the awesome potential for owners of the Nexus 4 and other current high-end Android smartphones.

For many Android phones, modification is limited by the locked bootloader. The bootloader must be unlocked to be able to do more with a phone, and it can cause the loss of all phone content. Backing up first could preserve the data, even if you'd have to root the phone to restore this older information again.

Simple Android Backup utilizes Python and works on both Linux and Windows. It might even work on OS X, according to a post he made on /r/Android. The source code is also provided for anyone willing to tinker with it. If SAB doesn't work, Ultimate Backup Tool might also be worth a look if your phone runs Android 4.1+.

Source: XDA-Developers and Reddit

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For app you use Titanium and for backing up your rom I use TWRP. Perfect backups all the time on my S3.

This new app is worth looking at for sure..

I've used Titanium for a while, and wish they would make more sensible one button uses. As is, you have to manually jump through a bunch of things to restore your phone to current settings, otherwise it restores every app you've ever backed up, even ones not currently installed.

Clockworkmod gives a perfect state of backup be requires some effort including root.

If you don't root, I'd just factory restore then use Titanium for apps, doesn't take that long to get back to where you were.

Titanium also can give you trouble if you've uninstalled "bloatware" that was part of the system, when you factory reset and it's not there, you can have system errors.

In other words, this is a GOOD THING.

I might have to look into this. I setup Titanium Backup and did my first restore last night. My results were not as good as I was hoping... Titanium Backup is a beast and it looks like i need to re-read the manual to make sure I have it setup correctly.

Apple has consumer level backup solutions figured out. Google needs to step up to the plate and offer a better solution than one that just re-downloads all your apps and sets your wallpaper back to what it was.

Shadrack said,

Apple has consumer level backup solutions figured out. Google needs to step up to the plate and offer a better solution than one that just re-downloads all your apps and sets your wallpaper back to what it was.

Google has it set to restore certain settings, including wallpaper. I use TB to backup/restore my apps no problems...but I only use it for Apps.

I'm sure TB would work if I used it correctly. Idk what I did wrong though . I ran a "Save all apps + app data" and then I did a create "update.zip". Then I tried to move the update.zip to my new phone. I ran the update.zip in ClockworkRecovery and it crunched on it for awhile. All that it seemed to do was restore all my apps though . None of my app data made it. Also on my "sdcard" partition (my N4 doesn't have a real sdcard) I had a bunch of files in "media" and that didn't make it either... Same with my DCIM folder.

When I booted my phone it just had all my apps. My home screen was blank. blah, whatever, i thought (i'll just setup everything again).

This morning I wake up, and now all my icons are back where they were on my home screen but I have no widgets. App data is still missing, except that it did restore my SMS messages. Lol, I may need some hand-holding for a proper TB setup. I'm super anal about having a good backup and I want to make sure I know the process inside and out.

I have restored my apps loads of times with TB but I have always found the best method is rather than installing them from an update.zip, to install the new OS and then restore them manually through the UI of the application, as long as you have the pro version, and a rooted phone with busybox it's pretty fast.

Shadrack said,
<snip>

Never used the update.zip. Its a pretty new feature and I tried to create one, but in the end...it was faster to run a batch job to backup all my apps/data and the restore. Started to make a update.zip and the progress barely moved after 5 minutes or so. Always get be data back by doing a batch restore apps+data.

I use the apex launcher and when it is restored, my home screen/icons are all there. Widgets disappear tho but I only use a weather/clock widget so it is easily replaced.

Ive seen issues arise such as, Backups made on Samsung roms dont restore well on AOSP and vice versa, notifications didtn work for me in that scenario. Also, going between android versions culd have issues. System apps are never good to backup/restore. WHe switching roms/devices, white apps is safest, and installing from market, then only restoring data is safest.

Yeah. Backing up your android device is a bitc*. I want them to include a utility or something in key lime pie to make it easier.

Yeah for sure. I think everyone who has run the "restore from my google account" when setting up Android has been disappointed with the result.

2 features that need to be built into android which shouldn't be that hard:

1. full phone backup and restore function
2. A way to locate your phone if its been lost or misplaced