Google app data sync

1 November 2015

It really surprises me that in 2015 we still don’t have a decent backup/restore ability in stock Android. Google accounts now contain the option to sync “App data”, but there’s no clarity to the user for what exactly gets backed up. Whatever is included appears to be set on a developer-by-developer basis.

Having just factory-reset my Nexus after finally getting fed up with the awful performance on Lollipop (protip: updates aren’t always a good thing, and little support from the manufacturer would’ve been nice) I figured I’d take a look and see what made it across the re-sync.

Firstly, I had a lot of apps installed; 70-ish according to the dialog. Android gives you the option to pick and choose which ones you want to reinstall which is nice, but there’s still no indication of what’s going to come back with them.

I also kept everything on the SD card but only found data for 2 apps on there.

Data Kept:
Aldiko (even remembers where I was in the books)

Performance issues:
Kindle (this app hung on startup and was realllly slow. Restores from its own cloud storage)

No data kept:
Two Dots (losing a level 400 savefile was probably a good thing, time to call it a day on this one. The developer does mention saves can backup via Facebook but for privacy reasons I see no reason to let this app anywhere near it.)
Blendoku (has own backup mechanisim with save code)
Cat Goes Fishing
ComicRack (lost read/unread history)
Hashnote (opened with sync disabled, haven’t been able to convince it to pull down old data since. Also has manual backup options)
Mapfactor Navigator (there was a large folder on the SD card but nothing’s been picked up)

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