Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Emergency alerts get a history list and reorganized settings
Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Ambient Display now has the date and an upcoming alarm
Android 8.1 feature spotlight: You can now restore backed up data after initial setup process
Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Power off and restart screens get a new coat of paint, and restart screen now says 'Restarting...'
Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Covering the proximity sensor no longer turns off Ambient Display
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Backing up and restoring data is something that Android hasn't always handled so well, but it's got a lot better in recent versions. Since Marshmallow, automatic app data backups have made switching between phones a whole lot easier, bringing all your apps and settings with you. This means that you can set up a new device and have it look identical to your old one, without having to go through the agony setting everything up again.
What hasn't been possible, though, is restoring data to a device after the initial setup is complete. That appears to have changed with the Android 8.1 Oreo developer preview, and also in 8.0 on the new Pixels, which share a bunch of features with the 8.1 build you'll get on OG Pixels and Nexuses.
The option appears at the top of the settings app, in the area where it usually offers suggestions (above left). This allows you to access the same restore process that you would usually trigger when you first set up a new device or start again after performing a factory reset. It shouldn't be something that is needed all that often, as most will remember to do so from the beginning, but there's been at least one occasion where I've accidentally forgotten to copy data across and have had to wipe the phone clean and start again. So this will surely be welcome for some.
- Henny Roggy