A little over three weeks ago, we reported on Orange Backup – an application that allows you to make nandroid backups while the phone is still running and usable. Well, the good news is it now supports both ClockworkMOD (which it had before) and now Team Win’s Recovery Project formats – all without ever rebooting your phone.
Making a nandroid backup is like taking a snapshot of your phone at this moment. Unfortunately, taking that snapshot can take upwards of ten minutes depending on what you’re backing up and how fast your phone is. With Orange Backup, you can schedule backups to happen once a week, or once a day, and you can also set them to happen automatically at 5:00 a.m. when you’re asleep.
Although Orange Backup can take a little more time to run when the phone is up and running, something I had not previously considered is that rooted devices with custom kernels can overclock and buffer SD card I/O, which can lead to significantly faster backup times.
Right now I’ve got Orange Backup set to make a backup of my phone every night, keep a maximum of five backups, and delete the old ones. I figure if I don’t discover a major problem within one work week, it probably wasn’t something I needed that much to begin with.
If you’re really worried about the state of your phone, you can also have the program sync your backups to several cloud-based storage locations. When I had it running in CWM new-backup style, where only new data gets new blobs, I had it backing up every night, but with TWRP’s gig+ size, I think I can survive without spending hours, and gigs of data, nightly backing it to the cloud.
One of the coolest things about this is, in case you’re downloading a new ROM and want to flash it right after download, is that you can perform a nandroid backup while the ROM is downloading, in case something goes wrong or you don’t like the new ROM. You can also play Angry Birds while on a phone call and using your phone as a wireless access hotspot while all of this is happening, depending on your phone, software, and abilities.
The only issue I’ve found so far, at least on my HTC EVO 4G LTE, is that the program will not work correctly without a new install of BusyBox on any of the ROMs I’ve tried. Most ROMs include their own BusyBox, and many ROM update methods replace your new BusyBox with their old or different version, so you do have to check after every update whether BusyBox is still working.
This is now what I would consider a must-have root application for beginners, or anyone who flashes a lot of ROMs, and who is getting burned several times a month by not having recent backups. So if you’ve got $7.14 to your name, well … keep it; the app is free.
It still needs a little bit of polish in the UI, or perhaps it was designed for an Android system that functions differently than what I’m used to (I am not used to accidentally backing out of an application), but this is one of the greatest little root tools out there. I’m still kind of amazed that Titanium Backup didn’t implement it when it was initially suggested to them to.
So, give it a whirl, and make sure to grab the BusyBox installer also if it fails for no apparent reason on initial backups (it will fail fast). And be sure to make a nandroid of your phone once just in case the BusyBox installer does something it’s not supposed to, although most likely it won’t.
Download: Google Play