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It can be a tedious chore, but if
you use mobile devices at your organization, it is likely there is valuable
data stored on them. And unlike a desktop computer, it is pretty easy to
misplace or drop (and subsequently destroy) a smartphone or a tablet.
Fortunately, backing up your contacts, photos, and apps is easier than ever.
In this three-part series, we'll
walk you through backing up your mobile device. Last week, we covered Windows
Phones and Windows 8 tablets. This week, we'll cover how to back up your
Android phone or tablet.
With Google's mobile operating
system, Android, you can link your phone or tablet data with your personal Google
account. Google's backup program includes your Android settings (such as your
WiFi networks and passwords), your Google application settings (such as your
browser bookmarks), and the apps you install from Google Play (formally known
as the Android App Market).
Backing up your phone or
tablet information to your Google account is a snap on phones running
Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean): Go to Settings
> Personal > Backup & Reset.
If your phone is running Android 4.0
(Ice Cream Sandwich): Go to Settings > Privacy on your phone and
check the boxes that say "Back up my settings" and "Automatic
restore." Be sure to specify which Google account you want to back up your
There are many third-party apps available for Android that
can help you back up other settings and files that might not be covered by the
For example, you might want to save your text messages or alarm
clock settings. We recommend the popular MyBackup
Pro app. This app is a little bit on the pricey side ($4.99), but it might
be worth it in the long run.
MyBackup Pro will back up your phone or tablet data to a microSD card and/or
MyBackup Pro's servers. It includes:
MyBackup Pro also offers a 30-day trial of the app if
you want to give it a spin before purchasing.
Symantec also has an app for Android devices called Norton Mobile Security.
Like security software on your PC, Norton Mobile for Android protects your
device against malware and viruses. It also lets you remotely locate and back up
contacts from your Android phone or tablet.
Google has quite a few apps and services for backing up your
photos, music, and other files to the cloud. For music, you can use the aptly
Music service, which allows you to upload your music library in bulk.
documents, you can download the Google
Drive app and store your files in the cloud.
You can upload your phone or
tablet's photos to Google
Picasa directly from the Gallery app in Android.
Lastly, if you use Google Chrome on your
desktop, your bookmarks will be automatically synced with your Google Chrome
browser in devices running Android 4.1 and up.
To learn more about disaster planning, visit our Disaster Planning resources page where you will
find The Resilient Organization, TechSoup's disaster recovery guide, helpful
articles, and products related to backup.
For more on mobile apps, visit TechSoup's App It Up page.
Image: Google's Nexus 10 tablet