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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 …