Backups

2016-09-21-23-01-20 The backups feature is a more reliable way of protecting your data than using iTunes itself. Should the worst happen, it is very easy to import and restore (a backup).

To make a new (manual) backup, go to the backups screen, select Backup Now and an entry will be added to the list of files displayed. Backups are shown in reverse date order (most recent first), and the date and time they were made is included in their names …

mrYYYYMMDD@HHMMSS.bak

To delete a backup, swipe across it from right to left and select Delete.

Exporting Backups

A backup on a single device won’t protect you fully, e.g. you might lose it or need to restore factory settings (e.g. if there is a hardware fault).

To export a backup directly to a nearby (second) device using AirDrop, select it and choose Export by AirDrop. Pick a device and the file will be copied, prompting you to open Meter Readings to import it.

To export a backup by email, select it and choose Export by Email.

On the settings screen, you can choose to have new manual backups copied to either Dropbox or iCloud. Any backups shown in red are likely not on Dropbox/iCloud. To manually copy a backup, select it and choose the Copy option.

The easiest way of exporting is to use automatic backups (on the settings screen). Your meters, rates and readings are monitored and if there are changes, a new backup is made and copied to iCloud when you close the app. Note that the automatic backups feature also periodically removes older backups, keeping the 3 most recent only.

Importing/Restoring Backups

If the file is already there in the app, go to the backups screen, select it and choose Restore Backup.

If it is on another device, use the Export by Airdrop option (on the other device).

If it is in an email, choose the attachment and open it in Meter Readings.

If it is on Dropbox or iCloud, choose the same backup setting (i.e. Dropbox or iCloud), go to the backups screen and the file will be visible. iCloud can be slow to copy things in the background so you might have to tap the refresh button at the top left (give it a few minutes if it is a new backup). Once there, select the backup to restore it.

CSV Import

If you have a record of previous readings you have made, perhaps in a spreadsheet, you can import these as a CSV file. This needs to have one row per set of readings with NO header row. There should be exactly five columns as follows:

  • meter name – this must match the exact name of a meter you have already created in the app (e.g. Electricity).
  • date – this needs to be in the format dd/mm/yyyy hh:mm:ss. You can leave out the :ss, or simply use dd/mm/yyyy if you like, as long as all rows in the CSV file are the same
  • reading 1, e.g. 12345.6
  • reading 2 – if your meter has multiple readings, enter your second reading, otherwise set this to 0
  • reading 3 – if your meter has multiple readings, enter your third reading, otherwise set this to 0

A sample row might read …

Electricity,31/12/2010 12:34:56,12345.6,0,0

Note, if your region uses a comma as your decimal separator, the readings need to be included in quotes, e.g. “12345,6”.

Once you have a CSV file in the right format, use any of the (importing/restoring backups) options above to get the file onto your device. Then select it and choose to open it in Meter Readings.