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When setting up a phone for someone who's not especially tech-savvy (or simply doesn't care to learn about their phone), Android offers a nice amount of flexibility in terms of what you do or don't have to do. But just because the flexibility is there doesn't mean there aren't a few highly advisable, if technically totally optional, steps you can take to make that phone (and potentially the person using it) a lot less annoying. Here are 10 things we think will make any beginner's experience on an Android smartphone less frustrating, both for them and the person tasked with setting them up.
Google has recently tweaked how you get to your phone backups from the desktop version of Google Drive. Previously accessible from the navigation menu on the side, they've been relocated inside the "Storage" view that shows all your files by size.
Google has offered some rudimentary backup functionality in Android since the 2.0 days, but it improved backup functionality in 6.0 Marshmallow. However, you still have to trust that the Google Drive backups are happening as there are no user-facing controls. That's going to change in a future version of Android, though.
If you're one of the 1.5 billion WhatsApp users of the world, you'll know how important it is to back up your messages. Google Drive backups are conveniently built into the app but have always taken up valuable bytes of your storage quota. Starting later this year, WhatsApp is teaming up with Google to make backups entirely free.
There's one thing tinkerers everywhere can depend on: no matter how many times you do things right, every once in a while something goes wrong. When it comes to Android phones, that means it's good to keep backups if you plan on tweaking things at a root or ROM level. OnePlus seems to understand that, as the company has just added a local backups feature to its OnePlus Switch app.
One of the worst things that can happen to you in the modern era is to lose your phone. Sometimes we don't even consider how irreplaceable some of the data we carry with us is. Rather than wait for future regret, you can be proactive with Coolmuster Android Assistant, which lets you backup all your most precious data including SMS, contacts, apps, photos, and video.
We're all here because we use and like Android, but maybe you've been a little curious and you're thinking of trying out the new iPhone X for a bit. Well, make sure your iOS adventure doesn't last too long. It turns out Google won't keep your Android backups forever. In fact, it only gives you about two months.
Allo might not be a true replacement for those that used Hangouts until it has web or desktop clients, but development on Google's latest messaging solution still continues apace. Amit Fulay, the Head of Product at Google for Allo and Duo, tweeted earlier this morning that some new features were rolling out today. The update isn't out at the time of writing, but he claims it will include the ability to back up and restore chats, add incognito mode to group chats, and introduce link previews.
Android developers have been able to use Google Drive to back up and restore app and game data for their users for a couple of years now. Android devices too have been able to back up some data like installed apps, device settings, call history, and more to Google Drive and restore it to the same device after a hard reset or to a new one when you switch over.
However, these backups remained mostly hidden in Google Drive.
If you're into rooting these days, there's a good chance you've at least tried out FlashFire by well-known SuperSU developer Chainfire. It's one of the friendliest tools to use for flashing firmware images and mods, and it can even install official OTAs while keeping root intact. Today, Chainfire is releasing a new version of FlashFire with a pair of new features that will make it even more powerful: it can now create fastboot-flashable backups and there's a new option to preserve the existing recovery after installing OTAs and ZIPs.
FlashFire has long had the ability to create backups, but they could only be restored through a custom recovery or from FlashFire itself.