Tag Archives: backup

Windows Phone 8.1 will automatically back up 3rd party apps to OneDrive


It sounds like the backup story on Windows Phone is set for a massive improvement.

The latest from BUILD 2014 is that Windows Phone 8.1 will now automatically back up the isolated storage of 3rd party apps to OneDrive.

Isolated Storage will be backed up once per day. The data used will not count towards your OneDrive allotment.

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Backup on Windows Phone 8.1 much improved

cloud-backupWindows Phone 8 has a rather rudimentary back-up system which will help restore some of your apps and settings, but the good news is that Windows Phone 8.1 will drastically improve it.

As found in the MUI files of the WP8.1 emulator, the phone will now back up not just your apps, but also contents like high scores, notes, and settings to OneDrive.  Of note is that developers need to enable this feature, seemingly only formalizing what some developers were doing already.

New in Windows Phone 8.1 is that the OS will now also back up your Start screen layout, and also browser details such as passwords.

SMS messages are of course already backed-up, but the OS will now give you a choice of how far back in the past you want to restore.

Overall it seems restoring a phone will be a much better experience in Windows Phone 8.1 than Windows Phone 8.

Meet the new Money Manager Pro for WP8

Money Manager Pro new home screen
Revolution! The best way to define the great work done to exhibit you the latest version of our Money Manager Pro app… A lot of things hab been changed to dramatically improve our app on both design and features sides….so…let’s show you what we’ve done:

home NEW HOME PAGE The new home page has beed revisited in order to offer you all the old and new features together with a lot of ‘at-a-glance’ information, avoiding navigating among pages to recover the main info you’re looking for. You now have 4 sections:
Contains the tiles for adding flows & quick flows, summary of incomes and expenses and remaining BUDGET. It also shows the available cash money.
Contains the current month flows list. Menu items and buttons allow the user to select the other available reports.
This sections is one of the main enhancements. It gives an outlook of the current situation by showing the accounts with the current balance, the debit cards and credit cards with the current pending flows and the pre-paid cards with the available credit.
Contains the tiles to enter all the other functions.
budget BUDGET We’ve added the possibility of adding a monthly budget. At the app start-up, within the flows summary in the dashboard, the total amount of expenses is given by relating it to the defined budget. Also a visual indicator is present which shows the remaining available value.
Currencies conversion page
A new page has been added within the Other section which lets the user to find an exchange rate between 2 different currencies. It is also possible to save, among the favorites ones, different currencies couples.
Add flow page
When you add a flow by using a currencies which is not the default one, our virtual assistant warns you about the presence of an exchange rate between the selected currency and the default one. Also she offers her help in finding the exchange rate or gives you the possibility to manually insert it. This value is then used within the summary of incomes/expenses in the Dashboard
total TOTALS Each report page now can show you a panel containing the total amounts of the report flows. 3 different the total amounts are present, grouped by currencies: the one related to the charged flows, the one related to the pending flows (will be charged the next month) and the one related to the previous month that are charged during the current month.
filter FILTERS In each report we’ve improved the way of filtering flows by currency and by type (expenses/incomes/all).
charts NEW CHARTS We’ve improved the charts on both aesthetic side and given info side. They now show a pleasant animation when presented. The chart filters has also been improved, as already said for the reports.
PDF PDF REPORTS In order to give our users coherent information, we changed the first page of the PDF reports. They now contains the same info shown by the totals panel.
quick search QUICK SEARCH It is located in the Reports section. Search for all flows containing the user inserted text within the activity, category, item or note properties of each flow. During the text insertion the app suggests you words starting with entered text.
other Other improvements Minor bug fixes and a better management of the pre-paid card recharge as requested by some users. Now the user can select if charge the flow on the card related account or not.

We really hope those improvements will satisfy our current users and the ones who, in the future, would give a chance to our app… We would also thank all users who help us in making a better app by warning us about issues or by asking us for new features.

Money Manager Pro can be found in Windows Phone Store for $ 1.49 with a FREE TRIAL

Link to Money Manager Pro in Windows Phone Store Here the link to download the app from the Windows Phone Store web page
qrcode for Money Manager Pro Here the qrcode to jump to the app page with your phone

Tip: How to restore a backup on Windows Phone

Restore-Option Restore-Progress
Restore Option Restore Progress

SiteHere is another in our a series of articles, offering tips and tricks for both beginners and experienced users, courtesy of How to Windows Phone.

In this “how to” we will walk through the steps needed to restore your windows phone backup. Backup restoration process is different for Windows Phone 8 and 7x versions. We will discuss both.

Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone 8 stores the backup of your phone in the cloud using Skydrive associated with your phone’s primary account. You can read about how to back up your windows phone in this “how to”. For you to restore a backup in Windows Phone 8, you will need to hard reset your phone first. Read the “how to” on hard resetting the phonehere.

  • After you have hard reset the phone, switch on the phone.
  • While setting up enter the Microsoft account login of whose backup you need to restore.
  • Once your phone is ready to set up, it will automatically look for any available backups.
  • If there are any backup available, it will list them on the screen along with the date it was backed up.
  • You can either choose to restore a backup or do a fresh setup.

Note: You can use the restore the backup to your phone even if you have taken the backup from a different manufacturer / model.

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Tip: How to manually back up your windows phone

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Delete Backup App List + Settings Backup Backup Settings

SiteHere is another in our a series of articles, offering tips and tricks for both beginners and experienced users, courtesy of How to Windows Phone.

In our previous articles we have seen how to back up text messages, etc. In this how to, we will discuss how to manually backup your phone especially needed when you are changing your phone or hard resetting it.

  • Navigate to settings.
  • Tap on backup.
  • Tap on “app list + settings”.
  • Turn on “Backup” if you haven’t switched it on already.
  • Tap on “back up now”.

To delete the existing backups,

  • Tap advanced in “app list + settings”.
  • Tap “delete”.

What stuffs gets backed up?

  • Application List.
  • Call history.
  • Theme settings including color.
  • All the accounts (Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, Linkedin etc.).
  • IE Favorites.
  • All other phone settings.

What stuffs doesn’t get backed up?

  • App specific settings.
  • Tiles & Tile Settings.
  • Wallet.

Text Messages also will not get backed up with this operation. You will need to back up text messages separately as written in this how to.

Your pictures will not be backed up as a part of this process either. You will need to separately do this by turning on auto upload in the picture settings.

See many more tips at of How to Windows Phone and request a How To at HowToWindowsPhone here.

Windows Phone 8 Backup feature savaged, and rightfully so


For some reason Microsoft appears to have an allergy to providing a real back-up service for Windows Phone users.

Windows Phone 7 users could back-up their phones via Zune, but only when flashing a ROM, and were out of luck otherwise. The backup would also not restore to a new phone, for example if you wanted to replace or upgrade to another handset.

Windows Phone 8 is somewhat better,  but as All About Windows Phone notes in their editorial,  that’s only compared to not having any back-up at all, and even that is debatable.

Currently the Windows Phone 8 back-up feature will only save certain “stuff” to the cloud, including some settings, your list of installed apps and upload your photos to SkyDrive.

The Stuff includes:

  • The list of apps you’ve installed on your phone.
  • Your call history.
  • Your theme color.
  • The accounts you’ve set up on your phone.
  • Your Internet Explorer favorites.
  • Settings from around your phone, including photos, messaging, email and accounts, location, Internet Explorer, lock screen, Speech, and more.

What is not backed up is app settings, including databases created by 3rd party apps, games progress, live tile arrangements, passwords for email accounts and the actual apps, with only links to the apps in marketplace saved.

Other issues is that there is only one opportunity to restore, immediately after a hard reset, and that this occurs before WIFI is enabled, meaning it has to happen over 3G data, which can be costly if you are roaming, and can not be done at all without a SIM card in the phone.  (Edit:Sushant notes you can not restore at all when roaming, because data is switched off by default!) AAWP calls this a “stunningly poor piece of UI design”.

AAWP writes how it SHOULD work:

Here’s How It Should Work

I should be able to press the back-up button on my phone, and the resulting archive file should contain everything about my phone. The back-up application should know all my personal details, address books, and email accounts. It should know which calendars I am syncing to. It should know which applications I have installed, and where all the data, saves, preferences, and other info is for each application. It should be able to back-up up my personal preferences, my live tile layout, and all the other tweaks I have made.

And it should do this not just to SkyDrive, but give me the option to dump this out to another computer either over the air, or over USB.

Why? Because the goal should be that if I need to reset my device, or it is swapped out for a new device, I want a one touch restore. I want my phone back the way it was… and it does it for me! If I’m travelling I don’t want to rely on a 3G data connection (and the cost involved) to get it from the cloud, I want a local copy.

A back-up is only as good as the data taken off the device, and the data put back on the device.

backupsp_mainssAAWP’s suggestion to Microsoft?

Here’s How To Fix It

Dear Microsoft,

It’s simple. Please look up ‘back-up’ and ‘restore’ in a dictionary and just do it.

My own, slightly more detailed suggestion would be to allow users to have a choice about what is backed up and what is restored, much like old Windows Mobile utilities offered, and whether the back-up should be stored in the cloud or not.

The current effort is pretty amateurish, and users will discover this only after they are already in crisis.

As AAWP notes, is a proper solution really too much to ask.

Read their full editorial here.

Windows Phone 8 device to device back-up and restore demoed

In the above video WPBox looks at the process of backing up and restoring apps and settings from one Windows Phone 8 handset to another, and finds the process relatively flexible, in that the software will allow one to maintain a separate backup for each different device, and also restore the backups at will from one device to another.

See the actual backup and restore process in video after the break.

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Large collection of WP8 screen shots show backup centre, much more

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Backup is now a page in Settings, and backs up all the important volatile data on your phone. Phone Storage Settings allow the user to specify whether they want their data stored on internal or external storage. Pictures can be moved to external storage after taking them.

WP7.hu posted a massive collection of Windows Phone 8 screen shots which gives us just a bit more information about the new OS.

The screen shots confirm that Windows Phone 8 will in fact be taking back-up seriously, and will allow text messages, apps and settings to be backed up to the cloud.

The images also show that the SD card can be used to store music, pictures and video, and also that users will be able to move photos after the fact to the SD card also.

The pictures also confirm updates can be installed automatically via OTA.

Bing wallpaper for the lock screen is now also an automatic setting and the Maps app will show nearby WIFI hotspots.

The Lock screen settings show how users will be able to customize the notifications sent to the lock screen, while the app list is finally revealed to look exactly the same as before.

Lastly one screen shot shows that elements of Smartglass will be built right into the OS e.g. being able to see what music is being played on your Xbox.

In terms of voice control, the app shows some apps will accept direct voice control e.g being able to set a note via voice.

See some more screen shots after the break.

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Windows Live Program Manager reassures developers their apps will not be pulled for backing up to SkyDrive


Here is some reassurance for developers who are doing users a favour by backing up their precious data to SkyDrive, the cloud storage all Windows Phone owners have by default.

Dare Obasanjo, Lead Program Manager for Windows Live’s Developer Program has confirmed that such use is not recommended, but has also reassured developers that their apps will not be pulled for using the API in this manner.

We have previously posted a Microsoft rep saying “any apps that do this are at risk of being rejected from Marketplace, or pulled from Marketplace at a later time.”

Backing up to SkyDrive of course fills the hole left by the absence of a useful backup feature on Windows Phone 7.5, which leave much of a user’s 3rd party app data at risk of loss if something should happen to their handset.

Regarding the objection raised regarding cluttering SkyDrive with unreadable files, Brandon from Bc3tech has an excellent suggestion to manage this, suggesting developers store settings in SkyDrive using the schema below:

[SkyDrive root]
  ‘- ProgramData
    ‘- Windows Phone
      ‘- [Publisher Name]
        ‘- [Program Name]

Read more about his suggestion here.

Bill Reminder Updated with Windows Live SkyDrive Back Up and Restore

Bill Reminder

**Now with Windows Live SkyDrive back up and restore, a double-sided Live Tile, and pop-up reminders**

If you are like me, you already use a full-featured money management program on your computer, and you don’t want to re-enter all of your financial information into a separate application on your phone or rely on email reminders to know when your bills are due.

Bill Reminder was written with those problems in mind. It gives you convenient, color-coded, reminders to quickly see when your bills are due; red for past due, yellow for due today, and green for not due yet.

Bill Reminder QRCodeNo account numbers or amounts are required. Just enter a name, frequency, and next occurrence date, and Bill Reminder color codes and sorts your bills into the correct lists. Mark a bill as paid, and Bill Reminder automatically updates the next occurrence date, color code, and reminder lists.

Thank you to WMPowerUser’s own andrewbares for his excellent SkyDrive back up sample.

For more screenshots and links to download the paid or free, ad-supported version, please click here or scan the QRCode.

Developers: Use SkyDrive to Backup App Data

One of the issues with Windows Phone is that you lose all your apps’ data when you upgrade to a new phone. However, developers can fix this by quickly implementing a backup/restore system via SkyDrive.

I realized that Windows Phone apps needed a backup solution, and so I added a simple SkyDrive backup system to my homework planner app, Power Planner. If you’re a developer, read the tutorial below to learn how to add the same system to your app!


Live Connect Account
First, you’ll have to setup a SkyDrive API account if you don’t have one. Go to the Live Connect site and login. It should prompt you to add your app’s details. Fill in your app name and language and click I Accept. Then go to the Application Settings Page, open the API Settings, and change the Mobile client app option to YES. Copy your Client ID number because you’ll need it later!


Live SDK
Now you need to download the Live SDK if you haven’t already. Go to Microsoft’s Download Page and download/install the MSI.


Adding References in your Project
Don’t forget to add the references to the Live SDK in your Visual Studio project! Add Microsoft.Live and Microsoft.Live.Controls to your references. Also, add System.Xml.Serialization (it’s used to serialize your data into a text file for uploading to SkyDrive). Continue reading

Rafael Rivera running an App Settings Back-up hackathon today

Rafael Rivera has given himself the challenge of creating a backup solution for Windows Phone Mango which will allow users to migrate to another device and still maintain applications settings and data, such as high scores for example.

He plans to start in an hour and aim to finish within 12 hours.

His goals for the app are:

  • Must support backup of Marketplace-derived apps. (e.g. Plants vs. Zombies save state)
  • Must use sockets for easy PC<->Phone communication. Fishing crap out of Isolated Storage manually is unacceptable.
  • Must work on his Samsung Focus (v1.3) devices running Mango.
  • Must succeed in using saved app. state on restore target.

If I succeed, he plans to release the XAP and any information needed to use it/further development.

He is planning to live blog his progress, so keep an eye on his site here.

While the goal is laudable, even full success will still require an unlocked device, which means Microsoft better get a move on providing an official migration solution for Windows Phone 7 users wishing to move to second generation devices.

Homebrew tool for backing up SMS messages created but needs fully unlocked Windows Phone

smsbackupCurrently if one were a first generation Windows Phone 7 owner wishing to upgrade to a second generation handset one one would lose not just all your game progress and app data and settings, but also all your SMS messages.

There is no solution for the other issues yet, but ConanWTN on WPXAP.com has developed a homebrew app for backing up SMS messages on your Windows Phone.

Interestingly it appears the Windows Phone 7 OS already backs up the SMS messages from the previous day to a file \Application Data \ Microsoft \ Outlook \ BackupVols \ CommsBackup.xml.  This was discovered by Thunder_ on XDA-Developers.com.

ConanWTN’s app will make daily backup of your SMS messages and store them in Isolated Storage, where they can be copied to your desktop. The next version will allow upload to SkyDrive, and also for exporting of SMS messages as text.

Unfortunately to get access to this file requires a fully unlocked Windows Phone, which means only a few devices are supported.

Read more about SMS Backup at WPXAP here.

Thanks Max for the tip.