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Backups (again)

December 20, 2012

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As its the apocalypse tomorrow, its probably appropriate that I remind you all about backups. 🙂

Your iOS devices are backed up regularly by Apple, either by connecting them to your computer (iTunes) or over iCloud (if enabled). This is always your first line of protection, however you shouldn’t rely on it alone. Apple only store a single backup per device, and there is no way to go back to a known point in time should the worst happen.

All of my apps have a built in backup solution. If you would be horrified at the thought of starting again from scratch, you should think about backups and how frequently to do them. For something like Account Tracker where you are potentially making multiple changes per day, you might want to backup every day or so, or certainly weekly (I do the latter). For other apps it might be less frequently.

Account Tracker has a backup reminder feature (turn it on and its then only 2 taps to backup). Meter Readings and Hill Lists can be configured to automatically backup to iCloud when you make changes.

Backups are a simple snapshot of your data, and initially they are stored on your device with the app. If you or someone else (e.g. a child or grandchild) deletes your app by accident, your backups are deleted too! To protect against this, you also need to think about exporting backups off your device.

Exporting can be done the old fashioned way (by email), or you could use a cloud based storage mechanism. The two I support are Dropbox and iCloud. If these are enabled, all new backups are automatically copied off your device for safekeeping.

I highly recommend thinking about backups, not just for my apps but for any piece of software you use regularly where you value your data (documents, photos … etc). Losing it all can be a disaster, and it really is simple and inexpensive to protect against it.

Even if the apocalypse happens …

  1. Mark
    December 22, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Hi Graham, can you do a desktop version of this? I have around 20 properties that I pay the utility bills on and it would be difficult for me to manage it on a phone. My laptop is my main operations centre and as a small landlord my wife usually helps out keeping the figures when Im away from home with work.

    • December 22, 2012 at 11:35 am

      Hi Mark, I have no plans to make a desktop version of Meter Readings (unless you have VERY deep pockets). However I do have people using the app for 800+ meters already, so 20 really isn’t much.

  2. Diane Turner
    December 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Thanks Graham A timely reminder. It’s like running out of petrol. You only let it happens once ! (But I ALWAYS have other backups too! Plus pencil and paper because once the computer says no…..!) Happy Christmas and thanks for all your support.You are amazing! I purchased the iCloud backup btw. Diane Turner

    Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2012 09:29:54 +0000 To: dianeturner6@hotmail.com

    • December 20, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      Hi Diane, many thanks! Happy Christmas to you too!

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