SMS Backup+ was a popular app back in the day, and for many, it's still indispensable. For the unfamiliar, it's an open source app that allows you to back up your SMS and MMS messages into a simple and intuitive conversation view in Gmail, so not only are they automatically stored elsewhere, you can quickly and easily sort through them.

Up until recently, the app looked a bit dated, with a decidedly Holo-esque aesthetic and no updates since 2015, but a new beta version (1.5.11-beta8) was just released with some UI modernization and other improvements. 

The full changelog for v1.5.11 wasn't posted to the Play Store—for whatever reason, it's only available in the updated app on launch and on the Github for the project—but we've included it just below.

== 1.5.11 (1555) tbd

* Modernized UI (Material/AppCompat)
* Simplify IMAP search logic to prevent timeouts
* Retry connection timeouts more aggressively
* Call logs: support rejected / voicemail
* Optionally trigger a backup after incoming/outgoing calls
* Use JobManager to run backups in the background (#572, #810, #822)
* Replaced WebView auth with browser (#767)
* Replaced pay-me with Play Billing Library
* Gradle build support (#638)
* Improve restore experience (#586)
* Fixed unquoted blank in local part of email address (#595)
* Updated Korean translation (#592)
* Updated notification images
* Rebased K9 to current head (https://github.com/k9mail/k-9/commit/eb31a0fa46877d28266d09e29dee9eb2e0f945fb)

There are a ton of minor improvements that should help with the reliability of the app, but the most noticeable change is pretty obvious.

 

v1.5.10 (left), v1.5.11-beta8 (right)

It isn't a drastic visual difference, nothing has moved much, but the updated colors and layout are a bit more modern and Material, even if the app is still asking for a hardware menu button for some inexplicable reason.

The last time SMS Backup+ saw a major update was in 2015, back when Lollipop was the new hotness. This beta represents the first update of any real significance for over two and a half years (since v1.5.9). Most of us probably assumed that the app would never see another. But with SMS Backup & Restore changing hands again, it's nice that alternative apps like SMS Backup+ are being updated to preserve consumer choice.

If you'd like to check out this latest update, you'll need to opt-in to the testing program and download the app on Google Play, or you can download and install this latest beta manually over at APK Mirror.

SMS Backup+
SMS Backup+
Developer: Jan Berkel
Price: Free+