Android M is bringing a selection of new features and changes to our mobile OS of choice later this year. One of the less instantly noticeable, yet perhaps most useful additions is the new automatic app data backup feature, which Google has recently been talking about in greater detail.
The idea is simple, backup and retain all of your app data automatically, so that you can restore all of your old details and settings, should you need to perform a factory reset or when you move over to a new device. Custom ROM enthusiasts are probably used to performing this type of thing manually, but having an automatic system baked into the OS is going to be far more convenient.
The “Auto Backup for Apps” feature, as Google calls it, has been introduced with the latest version of the Android M Developer preview. App developers can automatically begin using the system by rebuilding their app with version 23 of the SDK. There is also an opt out feature for developers to use, to prevent storing things like sensitive user data off device.
Apps are limited to 25MB of backup data and are synced to a user’s Google Account. The data is stored with a user’s Google Drive account, but doesn’t eat into their available storage. Interestingly, side-loaded apps and even apps installed from third party stores can also make use of the backup service, as it is not tied in directly with Google Play.
Developers and enthusiasts keen to learn more about the way the feature works should check out the video below. There are also further details and coding examples available over at the Android Developer Blog.