You're no dummy — you know just how fragile this digital life you've built can be — and so you take all manner of steps to protect yourself, using strong passwords, keeping on top of the latest software updates, and making backups of all your important data. And when it comes to Android, that's meant taking advantage of the system's native ability to save settings, apps, and personal info to Google Drive, ready to be restored when you need it. While that's been working just fine, it's taken until this week's release of Android Q Beta 1 to correct one glaring oversight, giving backup a new icon design that finally makes sense.
Google Photos' unlimited cloud backup is one of the best things Google's done with an app product in a while, if you ask me. Unlimited storage of intelligently compressed (or original quality for some phones) photos and videos means you can keep every moment your smartphone (or other camera) captures without ever [realistically] worrying about storage space. It's great. But other photo backup services do exist, and some people just don't like to use (or trust) the cloud for backing up their personal data.
So, do you use Google Photos cloud backup feature? If not, why not?
June didn't see any huge releases in terms of Android apps, though we did finally get a publicly-available version of the Kodi Media Center, and Photoshop for Android (yes, yet another version of Photoshop). There are also some new tools for cloud storage fans, and probably the best cooking app on the Play Store. We've got some notable extras (especially if you're a Stephen Colbert fan). Here in no particular order are the best seven new apps from June, along with some honorable mentions.
What's better than cloud back-up? Local back-up, I hear you say. But how about both? If your ears perked up, this StackSocial deal could be your answer. Included is a bundle of IDrive's (a company we've already featured in a deal or two around here) new Wi-Fi 1TB Hard Drive and one year access to their 10TB IDrive Pro Personal cloud backup service, for a total of $97 instead of $475 — that's a 79% discount.
The IDrive Wi-Fi 1TB Hard Drive usually costs $99.99 by itself. It's a 256-bit AES encrypted external hard drive that plugs into Windows and Mac computers through a USB interface, but also has built-in Wi-Fi (and a 3000mAh battery) to receive backups over your local network from your computers as well as your Android or iOS devices.
Normally the IDrive mobile backup service is $5 a year for unlimited data backups. (Not to be confused with the desktop version, which is considerably more expensive.) But today you can get a lifetime of backup service for just ten bucks. StackSocial is running the promotion, which will be available for another six days. If you find Google or Dropbox's backup plans too limiting, this might be worth a look.
The IDrive backup app doesn't upload each and every file on your phone, but it does grab photos, videos, music, and less tangible items like your contacts, SMS and call logs, and at least some app data.
What's SugarSync's biggest advantage over its competitors? Its logo. That's right, that green bird is just so darn cute, and it gives your app drawer an extra degree of spice the others just can't match. That's not to say the service is all fluff though. Version 4.1 of the SugarSync's Android app introduces a number of intriguing features. The most notable of these additions is the inclusion of offline folder syncing.
Now you can select entire folders and save them for offline access on your phone or tablet. If you need your files to be even more accessible, version 4.1 brings in the ability to create a homescreen shortcut to any folder you've saved to SugarSync.
Gaming on Android right now is booming, but it's still less than ideal. It's an attractive proposition to play games to go using a device you're already going to have with you, but very few of us keep our phones for as long as we would hold on to a Nintendo 3DS or even an old Game Boy. Sooner than later, we'll be upgrading to a new phone, but before that even happens, many of us will also pick up a new tablet that, if you're reading this blog, will likely ship with Android. What then do we do with those old games we've racked up high scores with on a previous device?
There's a certain comfort in keeping your video library privately tucked away on local storage. Few things are as personal as that video of grandma's surprise 60th birthday party, that time your little league team won its first game, and the day you got married (or the night that followed). There's also those couple dozen movies that you may or may not have ripped off DVDs that you may or may not own. But why have all of these videos if they're too inaccessible to watch? RealPlayer Cloud is the latest solution to this problem, an online service that lets you upload videos and stream them to your smartphone, tablet, computer, or TV.
SwiftKey users spend an ample amount of time customizing their experience, adding new words and phrases to the dictionary, and the like. However, switching devices can pose a problem: the process starts all over. Being a company that is always looking for a way to improve life for its user base, SwiftKey decided to do something about that. Enter SwiftKey Cloud Beta, a new backup and sync tool that will keep your user-defined dictionary in sync across all your devices.
The idea behind Cloud Beta is simple: keep users' data backed up in the cloud, and make it available across all of their devices.
Cloud backups are a dime a dozen these days, and if you use Dropbox, you already have access to its Camera Upload feature to instantly transfer your images. Still, if you prefer ImageShack for all your photo hosting needs, then Skypath is an app for you.
Holy notifications, Batman.
Basically, it allows you to upload all of your pictures to ImageShack, effectively creating a backup of said imagines in the cloud. You can then grab them them from virtually any device that has a web browser. The app also gives access to certain functions in your ImageShack account, like folder creation and deletion, as well as the ability to save images for offline viewing.