The good and not-so-good of Palm Backup | webOS Nation

The good and not-so-good of Palm Backup

by Derek Kessler Thu, 18 Jun 2009 10:18 am EDT

Palm Pre Backup, the same, yet different So today I finally got tired of my Pre crashing more and more often when I closed the slider too hard or looked at it the wrong way, so I stopped by the local Sprint store to get a phone swap. By some miracle they had just received their day’s shipment and were more than happy to perform the exchange once I demonstrated the pathetic screen fading death. I had no problem with deciding to do the exchange, I had taken the time to manually perform a backup beforehand using the Backup app on the Pre. So when it came time to get started with the new device, I knew I was going to have to port back over my pictures and music, but my Palm Profile would have all of my applications and settings stored for easy retrieval. For all the times I’d completely restored my Treo from a backup, I was left disappointed by the present implementation of Palm Backup.

As you may recall, when you activate a Pre you have to create a Palm Profile for backups and remote wipe management, among other services. Backup is advertised as being able the remotely restore your applications and settings. But that’s not entirely the case. It will restore your Synergy settings (and subsequently sync everything back down from Google and Facebook’s servers) and your applications, but your application settings? You can kiss those goodbye.

At the very least, I’ve uncovered that the following are not backed up and restored: messaging conversations, calendar colors, clock app alarms, email inbox favorites (though at least your fetch preferences are stored), launcher and dock application order, and most frustrating, at least to me: web bookmarks and any links you may have put onto the launcher. And while Backup does note which applications you have installed and downloads them without fail, any settings changes you may have made to that application will be missing as well; all of my stored stock symbols in Express Stocks had vanished.

This is unacceptable. Backups are meant to restore everything and get you back in business quickly. When I buy a new Mac, I can restore all of my files and settings from my Time Machine backup and get down to work as soon as everything’s been copied over. Palm’s Backup service requires serious improvement and quickly. I shouldn’t have to spend half an hour - twice as long as it took to restore the backup and sync everything back down - going through every application I use and fixing the settings to where the Pre was when I left. I can deal with having to manually restore my images and music, that’s fine. But when my Treo could be defibrillated back to life with relative HotSync ease, it’s ludicrous that my significantly more advanced Pre cannot.

That’s enough of my ranting. Palm, please fix this soon. Of course, thanks for putting this in the Pre - it's better than nothing, but nothing might not better than my frustration with having to reset everything anyway. You’ve got a while before you have to deal with mass upgrading from current Pre owners, so let’s get to work on this before it becomes a more widespread customer relations problem.