If you want to update the firmware of your Android phone, it’s important to back up your contacts and apps. Everything else is individual, like sms messages, calendar and notes. In fact, you have the option of syncing your contacts, calendar and notes to Google already, so you don’t have to worry about that. Still, things can go wrong if you rely too much on Google for syncing everything – and then again, what about backing up and restoring apps?
Here are a few ways to go about backing up your Android phone before you press the panic button.
Back up your precious contacts. These could be just your SIM contacts, Google contacts, or even Facebook and what have you. Click on your Contacts button, press the menu button (left of the ‘home button’ on the Galaxy Note), click on More/Import-export/export to SD card. Confirm with an ‘Yes’.
This is optional. If your messages are important, you can make use of many SMS backup apps on Google Play, the Android Marketplace. If you ask us, there’s one that does the job pretty well: SMS Backup & Restore Pro. And it’s free.
All the effort you’ve taken in installing and uninstalling apps will be for nothing if you don’t keep a list of the apps installed (or forget to backup the apps), to restore after the firmware upgrade. There are several apps on the market that can do this, but the one I really like for its user interface and simplicity is ES File Explorer. Just open the app and follow this route after pressing the menu button: Manager/App Manager and press the ‘Multi-select button’ located at the top of file explorer. Now, select all the apps you want and press the menu button again. This time, you will click ‘Backup’. This will install all the apps (the .apk files needed to install and reinstall apps) to your SD card’s Backup folder.
However, the application data and phone settings require a backup, too. Your phone has this feature built-in. Just follow this path: Settings/Privacy settings. Say ‘yes’ to Back up my data and Automatic Restore by thumbing your checkmark to each of these settings.
It’s important to pause the power management tools embedded in the Android phone or the external apps you’ve downloaded. For example, if you were doing over-the-air software update and the new file is over 300MB, it will take more than an hour to download all of it. If you have Wi-Fi managed in your power management tool, it will disable Wi-Fi the moment the screen goes off. Similarly, anti-virus tools tend to interfere with software downloads and installation, so it’s better to uninstall them before you begin your software installation. You can do that by going over to Location and Security/Device administration and putting a checkmark to all the ones marked out there.
~Zahid H Javali