Remember the bad old days of copying contacts from your phone memory to your SIM card and back again when you got a new phone? Then came syncing with your computer and now, blissfully, we've moved almost all of this to the cloud.
The problem of backing-up the content of a smartphone is now largely behind us, thanks to a wide range of features and services which use the cloud. Android users can now take for granted that, for the most part, Google has them covered.
But SMS messages are still something of an oddity, sitting outside this loop. Sometimes you'll find a device service or network service that will move these messages for you, but wouldn't you like to take care of these things yourself?
- Google Play
For some, the humble SMS message is all but redundant, resigned to telling your beloved that you're on the train, or a reminder to buy milk.
For others, however, there are any number of SMS messages that contain vital information: a phone number, meeting place or confirmation of a booking. If you're in the latter group then SMS Backup+, might be just the app for you.
SMS Backup+ is a clever app because it lets you back-up your SMS, MMS and call logs. This is the information that normally falls through the net on a typical smartphone.
It's the method that we like, as it turns those items into Gmail items with their own label. So once you've registered with your Google account, you'll have your messages backed-up in Gmail. This brings with it several benefits.
First, if you have to hard reset your phone, lose it or just get a new handset, you can still get to those messages. The idea is that you can then restore them using the app, or do a fresh install of the app on a new device.
In practise the process works well, and we were able to collate messages from several different phones on to one. If you use multiple handsets, or often switch handsets, you'll immediately see the benefit in this.
Second, you can also look-up your messages through your Gmail account, either on your PC or Android device. This has some uses too, but with the restore option working so well, you'll probably never want to do it.
The app is simple enough, letting you define how regularly it backs-up and to restrict it to Wi-Fi only, but that's about it. Aside from the scheduled back-ups you can push the buttons to back-up or restore whenever you like.
SMS Backup+ isn't the most exciting app in the world, but if you need to move your messages or keep a log of them, it certainly makes it easy.