+ Thursday January 30th, 2020

Android Developers backstage

In a week where Podcasts are big news, it looks like we may have dug up some big news out of a podcast. Speaking on Google’s Android Developer Backstage Podcast Chris Tate, an Android Framework Engineer at Google, ‘let slip’ – somewhat tongue in cheek – about the incoming feature.

As part of his rather detailed and very interesting discussion of how the Android App backup system – that was included as part of Android 6.0 – works, he mentioned that in an “upcoming release” (of Android) users will be able to manually initiate a backup of all of their app data.

It’s safe to assume this will take the form of an option somewhere in the settings menu, and if we had to guess we’d say it will be nestled in the Backup & reset menu. In his brief discussion of the incoming feature he gave the use case of you’re setting up a new phone and want to make sure that the current state of all of your (compatible) apps on your current device will be ready for a restore on your new device.

There’s a fairly large caveat in there, and that is you app has to 1. have been built to target the Android 6.0 APIs (API Level 23 for those interested) and 2. the developer hasn’t chosen to disable the functionality.

Unfortunately, it’s still a bit hit and miss which apps have been updated to target the required API’s and as such are even included in the backup. Have restored several Android 6.0 and a few Android N Dev Preview devices I can attest to how delightful it is to find an app fully setup with all of your settings and preferences tweaked just as you like them.

While there’s no guarantee that this new features coming to Android N it’s unlikely the team behind the developer focused podcast would have teased it if it’s not imminent.

Have you restored a device from Android 6.0? How did you find the app data restore? Let us know below.

Source: Android Developers Backstage.

Duncan Jaffrey   Associate

Duncan Jaffrey

Duncan has been interested in technology since coding "Mary had a little Lamb" in Basic on his ZX Spectrum. A fan of all things Android, most days you'll find Duncan trawling the web for Android news or quietly editing away on Map Maker.

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A little confused. App data backup has been around since the early days. Although, it’s always been an API, so, it’s up to the app to use it. Think the API is this android.app.backup.BackupAgent. It’s been a bit of a hit and miss for me though, it didn’t always restore all my data when I factory reset my phone.

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And this points out another failing of the Google Play store. If doesn’t indicate which VERY IMPORTANT features an app implements (VR, Android Wear, In App Purchases”, Trial, blah blah) or allows you to only search for apps that match your required features.

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