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The best ways to back up your mobile phone

21 May 2014
Mariah - amaysim blogger


amaysim's content guru

Whether you’ve got an iPhone, Android smartphone or a Windows Phone, here are some tips for all of you on how to back up your mobile.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that every week or so I’ll get an event notification on Facebook from someone who’s either lost their phone, broken it, or gotten a new one, asking all us invited to post our numbers on the event page. It’s guaranteed to be something along the lines of “New phone, need numbers, thx!”

Backing up your mobile is super easy, so I’m always stumped by the amount of people who don’t do it. Whether you’ve got an iPhone, Android smartphone or a Windows Phone, here are some tips for all of you on how to back up your mobile.

Using iCloud for your iPhone

I reckon using iCloud is the easiest way to back up your iPhone as well as any other Apple devices you have. iCloud backs up your iPhone via Wi-Fi, and it happens automatically each time your device is turned on, locked, and connected to a power source. Ideally, this should happen every day or so. To enable automatic backups on your iPhone just head to Settings, iCloud and then Storage & Backup. Make sure iCloud Backup is switched on.

Here are the basics of iCloud that you should know:

Included storage:

You get 5GB of storage when you first sign up.

Additional storage:

You can opt in to upgrade your storage plan to 10GB ($21), 20GB ($42) or 50G ($105). These upgrades are billed annually to your Apple account (just a head’s up – you can’t use iTunes vouchers to pay for them).

What’s backed up?

Everything – from your contacts to your music, call and message logs and all your apps, absolutely all your data is stored in iCloud (depending on whether you have enough storage), and that’s what makes this a killer of a backup option.

You can also manually back up your iPhone to iTunes – it works the same as iCloud but you can only access your iTunes backups from the computer they’re saved on. That’s another benefit of the iCloud – you can access your backups from any desktop as long as you have your Apple ID and password handy.

G Cloud for your Android Smartphone

What’s with all the “cloud” names? That was my first thought when someone told me to use the G Cloud to back up my Samsung Galaxy S4. It may sound like an imitation of iCloud for Androids but the G Cloud has some serious backup game.

Apart from being super easy to install (just download the app and set up an account for yourself), it also comes with two great features that make it more than just an app for backups. The first is a Find My Android feature that’ll help you locate your handset if you lose it, and the second is a Cloud Gallery – based on your backup history, G Cloud will create a timeline of memories with all your photos (pretty cool if you’re the sentimental type).

Included Storage:

You start with 1GB of storage – that’s not a lot but it’s easy to grab some extra space.

Additional Storage:

A really great feature of the G Cloud platform is that you can “earn” up to 10GB of storage. It’s kind of like our Refer a Friend program here at amaysim – you can invite your friends to use G Cloud, and when they sign up with the promo code that comes with your referral you get 1GB of storage.

You can also upgrade to unlimited storage for just $1.99 per month – talk about great value! On the other hand, you can buy an extra gig or 5GB of storage that’ll last a lifetime ($0.99 and $2.99), but going unlimited means that you can add other devices to your account, like a tablet or a PC.

What’s backed up by G Cloud?

Just like the iCloud there’s no limit on what data can be backed up. One thing to note is that G Cloud also backs up all the data on an external SD card if you use one with your Android – that’s what makes this a lifesaver of an app. I personally store most media files on my SD card, so knowing that absolutely everything is backed up means I can breathe easy. It’s a really thoughtful feature of the app, so that why I always recommend it to anyone with an Android smartphone.

Back up your Windows Phone 8 using OneDrive

Those with a Windows Phone 8 will need to make the most out of the inbuilt backup feature on their handset as well as the OneDrive backup platform. Using two different methods may not sound so efficient, but it’s actually pretty straightforward – here’s how it all works.

The Windows Phone 8 supports automatic back-up sessions to the OneDrive platform – this includes photos and videos, messages, App lists and most device settings.

But the OneDrive app goes the extra mile – use it to back up even more files like your contacts and any documents saved on your handset, as well as to share any of your saved files.

Included Storage:

There’s 7GB of free storage when you set yourself up with OneDrive.

Additional Storage:

You get an extra 500MB every time you successfully refer someone to OneDrive – with a maximum of 10 referrals, that’s 5GB you can score for free. If you activate their camera roll back-up feature you’ll get another 3GB – that’s a total of 15GB that you’ve got up your sleeve.

If you want more storage on top of that, you’ll have to dish out some cash. You can add 50GB ($25), 100GB ($50) and 200GB ($100) storage plans to your account, and you’ll be billed annually for them.

What does OneDrive back up?

I’ve already covered the fact that, to back up your contacts and any other documents on your Windows Phone, you’ll need to download the OneDrive app – if you don’t, then you’ll be living dangerously.

One thing to note is that OneDrive is silent on the point of backing up any music tracks that you may have on your phone. To back up music files you can sync them straight to a PC using Zune, or by connecting your phone as a mass storage device and manually transferring data across – that means that the files are easily accessible and it’s super simple when it comes to sharing them.

There are my top tips for backing up your handset. Keep in mind that these aren’t the only ways you can go about a backup – there are certainly other options out there, but these steps will put you in the right direction. On that note, do you have any tips of your own when it comes to backing up your mobile? Or do you like to live life on the edge and not backup your mobile?

Mariah - amaysim’s communications coordinator.


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Pixel 5

Google Pixel 5: Everything we know so far

13 Aug 2020

Fresh on the heels of the Pixel 4A being announced, the hype train for the Google Pixel 5 is now well and truly underway.

After months of speculation about whether the Pixel 5 launch would be pushed back, Google put much of this chatter to rest by providing a sneak peak of the Pixel 5 during the recent launch of the Pixel 4A.

Last years flagship device, the Pixel 4, was a phone full of potential. As we've come to expect from the Pixel series, it featured an incredibly powerful camera, however its average battery life, held it back from being a serious contender for phone of the year.

While the Pixel 4 had its flaws, it was still a really good phone overall, and it will interesting to see how this years model, stacks up against other flagship models from 2020 such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Apple's highly anticipated iPhone 12.

With all this said, we wouldn't count Google out from delivering something special and with such a positive early response to the Pixel 4A, perhaps 2020 will prove to be the year of the Pixel.

To help bring you up to speed on what Google has in-store with this years flagship Pixel device, here's everything we know so far about the Pixel 5.

at a glance: rumoured Google Pixel 5 features

  • Expected October release
  • 5G connectivity
  • Android 11
  • New camera features; Adjustable Flash, Motion Blur & Audio Zoom
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G

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    Expect 5G

    It's widely expected the Pixel 5 will include 5Gconnectivity.

    The feature was all but confirmed in early August with the announcement of the Pixel 4A, where Google teased two new 5G devices, the Pixel 5 and a 5G version of the Pixel 4A, both of which are set to be released during the final quarter of 2020.

    Release Date

    Since the phone’s inception back in 2016, Google has remained incredibly consistent with their release schedule for the flagship Pixel series, with all previous launches taking place in October. This trend is set to continue, after a leak surfaced from a Google affiliated website in France, claiming the Pixel 5 will be available for pre-order from October 8.

    Android 11

    This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, since a beta version of Android 11 is already available for public download, however it’s expected the Pixel 5 will be the first device to don the latest Android software straight out the box.

    Some of the expected improvements and features of Android 11 include a new media player widget, easier ways to control smart home devices using your phone, a new power button menu and refinements to the messaging system and conversation bubbles.

    Pixel 5 Render
    Image Credit: Google

    Design & Display

    Last year Google teased images of the Pixel 4 in the months leading up to its official launch. This time round, the only confirmed sighting of the Pixel 5 has been the side image (seen above) which Google teased during the launch of the Pixel 4A.

    Outside of this image, there have been a number of different leaks floating about which have helped paint a picture of what this years phone might look like.

    Like the Pixel 4, it's expected the Pixel 5 will feature an OLED panel, with a matte glass finish on the back and full HD/QHD resolution. According to Front Page Tech who gained access to an early Pixel 5 prototype, a forehead bezel on the front side of the device is also expected to remain.

    In terms of refresh rate, last year we got to enjoy a smooth 90Hz experience with the Pixel 4. However with Samsung (and others) already making the jump to 120Hz and Apple reportedly looking to do the same with the iPhone 12, it will be interesting to see if Google sees this as an important feature upgrade and whether they'll look to roll out a 120Hz refresh rate with the Pixel 5.

    A Mighty Fine Camera

    While earlier leaks suggested the Pixel 5 would include a triple-lens camera on the rear of the device, more recent leaks suggest Google will once again opt for a two camera setup on the back.

    The quality of images with the Pixel 4 were outstanding, so it's not as if this should be a concern. For some though, the added flexibility of a third, wide angle lens, would of been the cherry on top, for a camera that many consider one of the top-tier mobile phone cameras.

    With that said, Google doesn't appear to be standing still, instead opting to fine-tune the Pixel's two-camera setup by adding new features.

    Expected new features include an adjustable camera flash, a new motion blur feature and the introduction of audio zoom, which will allow you to zoom in when recording video to help you capture audio more precisely.

    Long story short, it looks like we're in for a treat with this years camera setup.

    Under The Hood

    In the past, Pixel devices have typically featured the best Qualcomm chip available, which this year would be the Snapdragon 865 Plus. With the Pixel 5, this might not be case, with an inside scoop from 9to5Google suggesting the phone may be shipped with a Snapdragon 765G processor.

    The Snapdragon 765 is more of a mid-range chip, unlike the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 which powers the latest Samsung phones. This would suggest slightly less processing power than some of its competitors. With that said, the 765 is obviously no slouch and will still pack a solid punch in terms of performance.

    In terms of RAM, while it hasn't been a huge strength of the Pixel series in the past, there should be improvements on this front, with the Pixel 5 set to include 8GB of RAM in comparison to last years 6GB.