Hi all, A few days ago I reset my Nokia 8 in order to try and fix a uSD card write problem, which appears to have been successful 🤞 What I did Prior to the reset I used Google's cloud backup service, Whatsapp backup to Google drive and also ADB backup to try and make sure that all of my data etc was backed up before I did the reset.
A few days ago I reset my Nokia 8 in order to try and fix a uSD card write problem, which appears to have been successful 🤞
Prior to the reset I used Google's cloud backup service, Whatsapp backup to Google drive and also ADB backup to try and make sure that all of my data etc was backed up before I did the reset.
However, after reset when I tried to restore everything I discovered lots of things didn't come back, and these weren't errors, these are "working as intended"! 😡
Google's cloud backup covered the following things: https://support.google.com/android/answer/2819582
*I missed this, and it became important later...
I did already know that Google backup would not backup my apps which were not from the Play Store, which is why I also used ADB backup. For ADB backup, I used -apk -shared -all -nosystem. Why -nosystem? Well, I was a bit concerned that this would conflict with the Google backup of system app settings. What I did not realise is that apps which used to be in Play Store but have been removed or declared incompatible now (for whatever reason) are not restored - annoying! 😡
What went wrong with ADB backup? Well, the restore didn't seem to work properly, it kept hanging on the last app (I left it overnight more than once). The result was that no apps were restored at all, and it appeared that no settings were restored but later when I installed these apps some of their settings did come back, so it appears that the settings were restored.
This also meant that ADB did not restore any of my shared storage 😲 I used Android Backup Extractor to open up the backup file and see what was in there and found various apps (but not all that I expected to see, see * note above) and some of my shared storage, but not all 😕 This meant that I lost various things like my Downloads folder as well as custom ringtones, wallpapers, etc. Thankfully it did backup my photos and videos, although most I already had backed up anyway. Still, I was pretty annoyed about this and I don't know what went wrong - did the backup not complete or was -nosystem responsible for this?
Whatsapp backup to Google drive worked flawlessly on restore - for once I've no complaints about a Facebook product!
Back to that * - it turns out that this is very important! Many apps don't allow their settings to be backed up, including Firefox which I am mightily peeved about, because although normal Firefox can sync tabs and other info to the cloud-based Firefox account, I'd been using the new Fenix browser which didn't yet have sync-tabs enabled. So, this meant that my long list of tabs and collections (a bit like bookmarks, but not bookmarks, tbh I don't see the point of them) are now lost and no way to recover them 😟 I am a chronic tab-hoarder so maybe there is a silver lining with this! 😆
Another significant app which I hadn't appreciated would not back up is andOTP which I use for one-time-passwords. This meant that I did actually need those recovery codes! Now, where did I put them... hmmm! So, far, I've been able to recover all but one of my online accounts and I'm waiting for support with the final one. At least, that I can remember!
Various other apps didn't have their settings backed up including K9-Mail, so now I've got to go through the pain of setting up my IMAP accounts again, using app passwords, etc. 😒 And Antennapod so my podcast subscription list was lost, I now need to recreate it and redownload the one's I've not listened too yet.
Well, I suppose I could have used another third-party backup solution. I had read about Helium and Titanium backup as being the only ones really worth considering. Helium is apparently a front-end for ADB, so I thought there's no need to use it, just use ADB. Titanium is only really any use with root access AFAIK, so I ignored it as I don't have root access (you may be surprised to learn!). TWRP backup is only possible if TWRP is installed and to do this requires an unlocked bootloader, which wipes the phone, so I would need a backup before I did this, so this wasn't an option either.
After my failed attempts to restore I did install Helium to see if it could help me open my ADB backup (it couldn't, FYI), but it is Helium that made me realise that some apps don't allow backup of their settings or APKs. Included in that list are:
That's a lot of apps which don't back up their settings to Google or ADB! Most of them I'm not bothered about but a few posed me some problems.
So, the second part of the subject of my post - we need Nokia Suite back! Seriously, anyone coming from a Nokia Symbian phone, or even a Windows phone, must be like me, completely shocked and confused about the horrendous state of Android backups. As far as I remember Nokia Suite would keep a backup of everything and everything could be restored. The same was similar for Windows phone, but not quite. IIRC backups were only available via the cloud and not everything was backed up, so in fact it may be more like Android, with the difference actually being in how I used the phone and ecosystem - with Windows Phone I used mainly the Nokia/MS ecosystem whereas I stay as far detached from the Google ecosystem as possible! 😆
So, providing a comprehensive backup and restore option for its Android phones is a great opportunity for HMD to differentiate. This isn't a new idea, I think it's one that has been repeated time and time again on these forums (Vanilla and Freshdesk versions!), I hope that HMD will finally take note and provide something like this - they will find lots of willing volunteers here to test it! 😃
What are your experiences with backup on Android? I hope you had more success than I did! 😆
EDIT: I forgot to mention that I used SMS Backup and Restore for my messages because nothing else backs up MMSes.