Saturday, June 21, 2014

Windows Phone 8.1 Review: The Reset and Restore Data Process-

Spinning Gears
About three months ago, my HTC 8X started randomly rebooting throughout the day. As you might expect, this is a HORRIBLE fate for a PHONE. My phone became the Schrödinger's Cat of the cellular device world. It could be receiving calls, or it could have turned off, and
by the time I open the phone to find out, it is already too late.

Today I figured I would just bite the metaphorical bullet, and hard reset the phone.
Those of you who have done a factory reset on a device before, know how long and arduous the process of resetting and restoring data is.

Thankfully, I am running Windows Phone 8.1.

Microsoft has claimed that with Windows 8.1/Phone 8.1’s new backup and syncing features, resetting is not as nightmarish of a task as it once was. They say that all of your apps, settings, and tiles will be restored from the cloud.

Are Microsoft’s autonomous backup tools working and safe to use, or will the monotony of manual backups live on?

I put my data on the line, and put Microsoft’s claims to the test.  

After making sure that all of my settings and app data were being synced and backed up to the cloud, I hit the reset button. The 8X went through the gear screen for about five minutes, and then I was dropped into the “Welcome” screen.

I selected my backup data when prompted, and was brought into my start screen.

The start screen’s layout was exactly as it was prior to the reset.

The grayish tiles haven't been installed yet

It took about twenty minutes for my applications to install, so while they did that, I looked around at the settings and app list.

Upon resetting, the default T-Mobile and HTC apps were reinstalled as expected, so I uninstalled them.

Unfortunately, message backup didn’t quite work, and I lost all of my messages except for one thread from November 2013. Other than that however, the backup worked near perfectly!

Some Settings that carried over: Tiles, Apps, Sound, Theme, Notifications, Alarms, Wallet some app data

Settings that didn’t carry over: Brightness, groups, WiFi settings, known networks, lock screen settings and password, some app data such as Bing Weather.

Overall, while I am very impressed with the Windows Phone backup and restore settings, It is still some ways away from the holy grail of data restoration. Regardless, it is still the best implementation that I have seen so far.

Let’s hope this fixes my phone's reboot issue.

For a guide on backing up, resetting, and restoring your phone go here.

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