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Android App Review: GCloud for Backups

The folks at Genie9 developed an “essential” Android backup app that “is an intelligent, effortless and automatic way to protect and backup all your Android’s data to a secure cloud location. G Cloud can backup your call log, contacts, messages, pictures, videos, music and documents silently without rooting, special requirements, or any user intervention.” Well, that’s at least according to my contact, Amanda.

When I first read the spiel, I almost threw up. “This is an over-the-top marketing guru trying to sell me on their crappy app,” I thought. Well, I was a little disappointed, but the other way. This GCloud app is actually, in theory, pretty useful, and aside from some minor glitches that took moments to resolve, fairly straight forward and simple.

The concept, as the blurb shows, is to backup the important information on your Android device. Now, backup apps for Android are a dime a dozen (over 1000 in Google Play). The problem though with most, which GCloud seeks to correct, is the transfer of the backup from the device to a more secure storage location. GCloud remedies this problem by offering cloud-based storage (1 GB free, additional 10 GB for $0.99/month or $11.88/year), and automatic transfer of your information to the cloud.

Now, my favorite backup app is Titanium Backup (free). The problem with Titanium is that it requires root access. Now, my I have/had root access on my Motorola Droid Bionic, but discovered after my Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade, root access is gone, sort of. So now I have a semi-rooted phone, without access to Titanium Backup. Bummer if I want to backup. I also have my Asus Transformer Pad Infinity, which I’m keeping stock until Asus releases the Android 4.1 update. Now, neither of my devices has a true, simple backup. While I don’t care about the information on the Transformer so much, I have lost information on my phone, including SMS messages, pictures, videos, etc., which I was unable to recover.

So now, hopefully, GCloud will remedy that simple problem.

The process is simple, almost.

First, you need to register your device for access to GCloud’s storage. This process, unfortunately, turned into a disaster on both the Transformer and my Droid Bionic.

Ultimately, I abandoned the Asus and concentrated on the Bionic. I remedied any sign-on issues by connecting via 4G, then enabling my WiFi. Much too difficult of a process for a relatively-simple sign on task. Makes me really question security.

My second disappointment with the app came when I discovered you’re only allowed to sync one device with a GCloud account.

While my main goal is to backup the messages, pictures, and other content on my phone, there is a random occasion I can contemplate wanting to store pictures on the Transformer. Not being able to sync both devices (at least under the free account) becomes a fail.

 That’s not to say this isn’t a useful application. Quite the opposite, despite my hassles. The second task is to select what data you want to backup. Do note, your free account only has 1 GB, so if you’re like me, the 2 GB of video you try to upload won’t work.
I selected the backup over WiFi option (to save data), but the app does have non-WiFi backup upload capabilities. The upload took some time, but that’s a fault of my ISP, and not necessarily the GCloud app.
Overall, and despite the initial problems, I’m happy with the simpleness of the application, and the naive comfort offered. I wish that you could sync multiple devices (I know there are some logistical problems), and although I think Google Play and Amazon Appstore do a good job of keeping track of your apps, I wish the GCloud offered backup for applications, including app data. I sure hate losing all my levels on Angry Birds everytime I want to clean up my Android device.

One Response to Android App Review: GCloud for Backups

  1. Zehra says:

    hey.. very informative post … there are many other apps in Google play for backup of android data. I used Backup Caretaker to backup my device when I changed the phone. I created backup of SMS, MMS, Contacts, call logs, alarms, custom dictionary and system settings. There are two versions i.e. Lite version and Pro version. With Pro version we can get the facility of scheduled backup so we dont need to manually create the backup everytime.

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