I have owned an Android Incredible for almost 2 years. I operate on Andorid version 2.3.4 build number 4.08.605.15710RD (I hope this is useful information). I am an heavy application user running over 75 apps, and I would say my phone is fairly loaded. I don't know if I represent the typical smart phone user, but I can't be too far the norm.
In the past few months, I have had a few problems with my phone, which initally required a "hard reset", and later, a phone replacement I am currently anticpating a second phone replacement.
I have encountered what I experience as a serious problem with the Android OS which is it's lack of ability to backup and restore not just contacts, but applications and the data that may be in the applications. In the two previous cases that I had to reset/replace the Android operating system, I have been unable to auto backup the applications, and the data they contained. I have also been unable to restore this information, since I have no usable backup.
As a result, I have had to manually backup and restore each app and the data stored within. This information is a time consuming process. It required that I list all 75 apps, then recopy all the relevant data included within each of those apps (that had stored data), then redownload each and every application to my new device and rewrite manually any information I had stored within in the original application. Each manual backup/restore effort on my cell phone has required approximately 8 hours of doing this manually.
Frankly, I this think herculean effort is rather ridicoulous. Perhaps it technically naive of me, but I expect that the Andorid operating would have the capability of "cloning" all the apps/data on one android device and transfer it to another Android phone or the same phone after a "hard reset". I recoginize there is at least one application available on the open market that is partially capablity of performing this function, but I understand that it some limitations (selective data loss, and inability to be recognized by Google for future updates). These both seem serious weaknesses in the application.
My problem is not with the Backup and Restore application, it is with Andoid OS. Google should have included the capacity to backup and restore the information on the device. How limited our information technology systems would be if PCs had been developed, but lacked the feature for backup and restore features?
I recognize that Google may face technical and licensing in developing ths capacity, but Apple has a relatively simple solution: Backing up all data on a Mac/PC and then downloading back to the iPhone. Why can't Google do something similar?
What strikes me is how common this problem is. Given the contract agreements with most cell phone carriers, every two years, most customers will face the same problem each time they try and transfer data from one Android device to another. Several Android users I have spoken with share my frustration on this matter. A couple have even written to forums like this one, without a response.
I hope Android developers are listening and eagerly working on a solution. I am not sure I can wait for an fantasy app that will flawlessly do the trick, if it is not forthcoming. I like Android devices and the apps, but if some light isn't ermerging at the end of the tunnel, my next phone will be an iPhone.
Is Google going to rely on the application market to develop Backup and Restore apps,or are they going to step forward and lead the pack? Is there a reliable backup and restore app that will "clone my phone"?