Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Review of apps capable of backing up text messages.

MessageSync is still the best, right through to Nougat. All messages backed up and restored along with conversations that have more than one participant and significantly: MMS too!! But it has problems with emoji's. Also, the function within the app, "Synchronize" messages with backup file or "merge" with backup file is funky *see reviews for the app on Google Play Store.
JS Backup - Restore & Migrate seems good but has problems with MMS; emoji's and group conversations seem okay. Also, JS Backup tells you how many SMS and MMS items to backup before you actually run the backup.
Titanium Backup Root is excellent but requires root. Also, due to a change in the location of the folder with Nougat, TiBu has problems restoring to the folder. Method to make it work is as follows:
Recommend adding your Google accounts and Whatsapp accounts so that all your contacts are restored and conversations have proper names prior to following the steps below.
1. Device must be rooted and install something like ES File Explorer v4.0.2.2-systemless or use Terminal Emulator and use the 'su' command.
2. Navigate to the new Nougat SMS/MMS folder in /data/user_de/0/
3. Make sure radio:radio owns the app_parts, databases, and shared_prefs folder and permissions are drwxrwx--x. Erase all files within these folders.
4. Reboot.
6. Open Titanium Backup and go to the Phone and Messaging Storage 7.0 (SMS/MMS/APN) item. Run restore from your TiBu backup files (.properties file and the large timestamped .tar.gz file) which you've placed into /storage/emulated/0/TitaniumBackup.
7. Move attachment files and databases from /data/data/ subfolders to the corresponding folders in /data/user/0/ Make sure to move contents of app_parts first, and then contents of databases while replacing the existing files in that folder.
8. Make sure to reboot before opening Messaging app!
9. Wait a few minutes for Messaging app to catch up with restored messages.

I haven't yet tried the XML function of TiBu which requires pro version.

If you want TiBu to be able to see the folder location in Nougat, you can Symbolic link ln -s /data/data folder to the /data/user_de/0 folder. This only lets you Explore but the wipe data and restore functions will replace the symbolic link and make a new folder in /data/data unfortunately.

If all else fails, was thinking of trying to combine restores from both Message Sync and JS Backup apps. First go into messagesync XML file created from the backup process and removing all the SMS's. Then restoring just the remaining MMS from the edited XML. Then restoring only the SMS from JS Backup.
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