Trans­fer every­thing from an old phone to a new one

MICHAEL SI­MON and DEREK WAL­TER’s guide will get you up and run­ning in next to no time

Android Advisor - - Contents -

Mov­ing to a new phone can be a pain. An­droid might have the edge over iOS when it comes to tight in­te­gra­tion with cloud ser­vices, but Google still has a way to go when it comes to ef­fort­lessly trans­fer­ring all your data off your old phone and onto the new one.

But it has got bet­ter. You’ll need to rely heav­ily on Google’s ser­vices, of course, but mov­ing your per­sonal info has never been eas­ier. It’ll still take a some vig­i­lance and a lit­tle work, but you don’t need to be an An­droid whiz any­more to en­sure your data is ready to move the next time a catas­tro­phe hits your phone. Note, the phone we use in this tu­to­rial is run­ning An­droid Nougat.

Know your backup op­tions

Be­fore you can do any­thing, you’ll need to make sure your old phone is signed in to your Google ac­count. It al­most cer­tainly is, but head over to the Google tab in Set­tings to make sure.

Then, you’ll need to find your phone’s backup set­tings. On Pixel and Nexus de­vices there’s a Backup & re­set op­tion un­der the Per­sonal tab in Set­tings, but the lo­ca­tion varies on other phones. The eas­i­est way to find it is to type backup into the set­tings search bar.

Once you’re there, you’ll see a cou­ple op­tions. On Pixel and Nexus phones, there’s a Back up to Google Drive switch that will en­able sev­eral types of con­tent to be backed up, in­clud­ing in­stalled apps and ac­com­pa­ny­ing data, call his­tory, de­vice set­tings, cal­en­dar en­tries, con­tacts, pho­tos and videos, and, ex­clu­sive to Pixel phones, SMS mes­sages. It will be backed up au­to­mat­i­cally overnight, so once you switch it on, you won’t have to give it an­other thought.

On other phones, you’ll see a Back up my data tog­gle. Turn­ing it blue will en­sure that your ap­pli­ca­tion data, Wi-Fi pass­words, and var­i­ous phone set­tings are sent to Google servers and at the ready when you sign in to a new phone. This way you won’t have to re-en­ter pass­words to net­works you’ve al­ready saved. Yes, that means Google prob­a­bly has all the world’s Wi-Fi pass­words. But that’s a story for an­other day.

You’ll also see a sec­ond tog­gle called Au­to­matic re­store. Turn­ing that one on will re­store the data and set­tings if you de­cide to re­in­stall a pre­vi­ously deleted app.

Since back­ups work through Google Drive, if you head over to the app, you’ll see a Back­ups op­tion in the side­bar. In­side you’ll see a list of any de­vice that has been backed up, with your cur­rent phone oc­cu­py­ing the top slot (prob­a­bly with a name like SM-G955U or 2PZC5). Tap it and you’ll be able to see when the last backup took place and which apps were in­cluded in it.

Mail, cal­en­dar, and con­tacts

If you don’t want to use Google Drive back­ups, you can still make sure your most im­por­tant things make it over when you power on your new phone.

Mail, of course, is the eas­i­est. If you use Gmail, you need only sign in to your Google ac­count to bring over all of your mes­sages. And your other ac­counts, whether Out­look, iCloud, or Hot­mail, will be just as easy. Sim­ply down­load your favourite app, type in your user­name and pass­word, and you’ll be on your way. Ad­di­tion­ally, there are nu­mer­ous apps

such as New­ton and Blue Mail that will keep mul­ti­ple ac­counts synced with a sin­gle lo­gin.

For peo­ple and ap­point­ments, Google has you cov­ered here, too. Even with­out a proper Google Drive backup, any en­tries in­putted into Cal­en­dar on your phone will au­to­mat­i­cally ap­pear on your new phone as soon as you open the app. The same is true with Con­tacts. Whether you’re open­ing the app it­self or us­ing the Phone app, your con­tact list will be fully synced with your new phone, no mat­ter which phone you’re switch­ing from or to.

Pho­tos and mu­sic

Pho­tos are rapidly be­com­ing the one thing that ab­so­lutely needs to be trans­ferred from one phone to the next, and Google has built a fan­tas­tic way to do it

in its Pho­tos app. Avail­able for all phones, it’s far and away the best photo man­age­ment op­tion, back­ups aside, so if you’re not reg­u­larly us­ing it, you should be. To make sure it’s back­ing up every­thing, head over to the Set­tings in the side­bar and tap Back up & sync. Make sure the tog­gle is blue and the backup ac­count is the same as the one you use for every­thing else.

Google lets you back up as many high-qual­ity pho­tos as you’d like, and it won’t count against your Google Drive stor­age. If that’s not enough res­o­lu­tion for you, you can opt to back up the full-sized orig­i­nal pho­tos to your Google Drive, but it’ll cost you. While Google gives Pixel users un­lim­ited back­ups of their orig­i­nal pho­tos, any­one else will have to use their al­lot­ted Google Drive space, so you might have to bump up your stor­age to ac­com­mo­date the ex­tra gi­ga­bytes. Google Drive users only get 15GB free, so if your camera roll is big­ger than that, you can pay £1.59 a month for 100GB or £7.99 a month for 1TB of stor­age. But which­ever size you choose, all of your pho­tos will ap­pear when you open the Google Pho­tos app on your new phone.

When it comes to mu­sic, there are two ways to do it. If you al­ready sub­scribe to a stream­ing ser­vice like Spo­tify, Google Play Mu­sic, or Ap­ple Mu­sic, just head over to the app in your new phone and sign in to ac­cess all of your songs.

But if you aren’t a streamer, Google Play Mu­sic will still help you get your groove on, let­ting you store up to 100,000 tracks for free. To get it to work, you’ll need to head over to the Google Play Mu­sic site, sign in with your Google ac­count, and in­stall

the Mu­sic Man­ager app on your PC. Af­ter you se­lect the source of your tunes, the app does much of the work, up­load­ing what­ever it finds and adding it to your mu­sic li­brary in the cloud. Big li­braries will take a lit­tle time, but for the most part the process is sim­ple and speedy. Then, when you sign into Play Mu­sic on your new phone, all your tracks will mag­i­cally ap­pear. You can choose to keep those songs in the cloud if you’re tight on stor­age, or down­load them to your new phone so you can rock out no mat­ter how spotty your sig­nal gets.

Pass­words and book­marks

If you use Chrome on your phone, you can also take your browser his­tory, pass­words, and book­marks to your new phone. First, head over to the Google tab in Set­tings (on pre-Marsh­mal­low phones it will be a sep­a­rate app called Google Set­tings), and scroll down to the Smart Lock for Pass­words op­tion.

This set­tings stores pass­words from sup­port­ing apps and Chrome sites to your Google ac­count. Switch it on, and the next time you sign into Chrome on your new phone you won’t have to re-en­ter the same pass­words over and over. It works on third-party apps, too, as long as the de­vel­op­ers have built-in sup­port. If you’re wor­ried about app pass­words be­ing stored in your Google ac­count, you can black­list any app from us­ing Smart Lock. Or you can forgo it all to­gether and down­load a pass­word man­ager. There are plenty of great ones out there, in­clud­ing Dash­lane, LastPass, and 1Pass­word, and they’ll all store your pass­words in an en­crypted locker. Most charge a fee, but it’s worth it.

For the rest of your web needs, head over to the Chrome set­tings. Tap on your ac­count name and then sync to see every­thing that you want to store in the cloud, in­clud­ing book­marks, his­tory, open tabs, and saved credit cards. Once you se­lect the ones you want, they will all be avail­able when you sign into Chrome on your new de­vice.

SMS and MMS mes­sages

This one is a lit­tle trick­ier than the oth­ers. If you own a Pixel phone on An­droid 7.1 or later, there is an op­tion for back­ing up your SMS mes­sages, though it will leave be­hind any pho­tos or videos. If you use Allo, you can turn on chat back­ups in the lat­est ver­sion of the app, and every­thing will be synced to your new de­vice, in­clud­ing me­dia. And, of course, if you use What­sApp, Tele­gram, Face­book Mes­sen­ger, or some other third-party ser­vice, you

only need to sign in to the ap­pro­pri­ate app to ac­cess your full chat his­tory.

But the most fool-proof way to move all of your mes­sages from An­droid Mes­sages or your textmes­sag­ing app of choice to a new phone is an over­the-top ser­vice. There are sev­eral in the Play Store – SMS Backup+ and SMS Backup & Re­store are two of the most pop­u­lar and high­est rated – and they act as a sort of mid­dle­man that col­lects your mes­sages un­til you’re ready to trans­fer them to a new app.

It’s not the speed­i­est process, so you’ll need to carve out some time to let it run if you have a lot of mes­sages, but it works quite well. In a re­cent test, we used SMS Backup+ to back up and re­store a batch of

more than 2,000 mes­sages on a test de­vice with­out a prob­lem. It’s baf­fling why Google hasn’t im­ple­mented a sim­i­lar sys­tem in An­droid, but for now, apps such as SMS Backup+ will cer­tainly do the trick.

One word of warn­ing, how­ever: Don’t wipe your old phone un­til you’re sure your mes­sages have ap­peared on your new one. This way you’ll be able to start over if some­thing goes awry dur­ing the trans­fer.

Some soft­ware to ease the move

Most An­droid phone mak­ers of­fer their own help­ing hands when it comes to mov­ing over your stuff. Granted, they’ll work best when chang­ing to the same brand, but they all do a fine job.

Sam­sung of­fers its own ser­vice called Smart Switch that’s now built right into Set­tings on the Gal­axy S8.

Turn it on and it will sync the same things Google does (con­tacts, cal­en­dar en­tries, and so on), plus your notes, alarms, mes­sages, and even your home screen lay­out to your new phone. It works with nonSam­sung phones as well, though it works best if you also use Sam­sung’s own Gal­axy apps.

LG also of­fers an app called Mo­bile Switch that lets you wire­lessly trans­fer your pho­tos, video, mu­sic, text mes­sages, and apps from one LG phone to an­other. In our ex­pe­ri­ence, the re­sults were pretty spotty, so you’ll prob­a­bly be bet­ter off us­ing the other meth­ods out­lined here.

The bot­tom line is, with the right com­bi­na­tion of apps and cloud ser­vices you don’t have to worry about leav­ing any­thing be­hind any­more when you get a new phone. No mat­ter if you want your mes­sages, mu­sic, or mail, your Google ac­count is the num­ber one tool in your arse­nal, and it’s quickly be­com­ing a one-stop shop for back­ing up and trans­fer­ring every­thing from one phone to an­other.

Sam­sung has its own backup sys­tem built into the Set­tings in the Gal­axy S8

SMS Backup Plus will move over all of your con­ver­sa­tions from your old phone to your new one

Google Play Mu­sic will let you store up to 100,000 songs in the cloud for free

Google Pho­tos is hands down the best way to back up your pic­tures

Your Google Drive is the gate­keeper for all your back­ups

On Pixel and Nexus phones, you can back up mostly every­thing to your Google Drive

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.