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App Friday: Android backup apps

One of the great things about Android is that all of your phone numbers and app purchases are automatically backed up – they’re synced to your gmail account. This means that whenever an update to a newer version of Android is sent out to your phone, your contacts and apps will be saved. However things like photos, videos, MMS messages and MP3’s will normally be wiped by an update, that is unless you’ve backed them up to your phone’s microSD card or to a remote server.

The HTC Hero is due to receive its update to Android 2.1 over the next few days and Android phones running 2.1 (Nexus One, HTC Desire, HTC Legend) are due an update to 2.2/Froyo in the near future. To help prepare for Android updates we’ve done a round up of apps available on the Market that’ll help you get everything back on your phone after the updates.


MyBackUp is one of the most popular apps available on the Android Market. It allows you to easily back up data including SMS and MMS history, bookmarks, dictionary, calendar notes and alarm clocks.

You have the choice of choosing to back up data to either your SD card or to MyBackUps servers. You can also back up .apk installation files if you want to install apps you’ve downloaded directly to your new phone from the server or a card.

MyBackUp is free to use for the first 30 days, after which you’ll have to shell out $4.99 (£3.37). After 30 days the app will remain inactive until you upgrade, but everything you’ve uploaded will be available to download once you’ve got the full version.

Lookout Security

Lookout Security is a jack of all trades. As well as incorporating a virus scanner and a GPS phone locator, it also comes with a handy Data Backup feature. You can store up to 2GB worth of pictures and call histories to a remote server. There’s also the option to back up your contacts as well if you wish, but the gmail sync should sort that for you.

There’s currently no way to retrieve your pictures and call histories from the app itself. When you log in to the Lookout homepage on your dekstop computer there’s an option to restore everything to your new phone.


Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage services available on the web. You can also get it on your Android phone for free. Dropbox allows you to upload photos, videos MP3s and pretty much any file type from your Android phone to the cloud where you can transfer them to another computer or any other device.

To get files back on to your Android phone you simply fire up the app, go to each file and long click to bring up a menu where there’ll be an option to download. You get 2GB of storage as standard but can upgrade to 50GB and 100GB.

Seeing that there’s not that many phones out there that can store 50GB of stuff (let alone 100GB) we reckon you’re alright with the standard 2GB.


We’ve reviewed ZumoDrive for Android before here on Recombu, but we’re mentioning it here again because it’s a great backup service. Like Dropbox, ZumoDrive gives you the option to back up 2GB’s worth of pictures to the cloud and access them on any device.

When you first register an account with ZumoDrive you get to sit through a fun tutorial which shows you exactly how to use it. It’s got ninjas in it so you know it’s going to be good. Thing is if you have a lot of stuff you want to back up to the cloud you could always get a ZumoDrive account as well as a Dropbox one.

After you’ve uploaded a bunch of files to your ZumoDrive, you can retreive them by opening the app and scrolling through to the relevent files. Documents, Music and Pictures are all stored in the relevent folders. ZumoDrive also allows you to link folders on your desktop, so that each time you save something in a linked folder on your computer it automatically gets uploaded to the cloud where you can access it on your phone.


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