I have never had an Android device before so pretty much everything is new to me at this point. I will be writing a bunch of articles regarding the basics of Android and more specifically the basics of Android 4.2 on a Google Nexus 7. In the process of working to root the Nexus 7 I needed to backup everything on the Nexus 7 device including everything that has been configured to date. I also have taken a bunch of screenshots that I wanted to make sure got backed up before I proceed with rooting it. Backing up the Google Nexus 7 is easy but there are a couple steps to make sure you get everything which I have outlined below.
Backup Google Nexus 7: Two Tiered Approach
The process of backing up is a two tiered approach by first making sure that all settings and data that can be backed up to Google is backed up to Google. The second tier is connecting to the device and manually copying files from it. For the first step you will need to have a Google account and then verify that everything is setup properly on the Nexus 7. For the second step you will need to be able to browse files on the Google Nexus 7 running Android. In the examples below the Nexus 7 being backed up is a Google Nexus 7 32GB running Android 4.2.1. Whenever a computer is is involved the computer is a Macbook Pro running OSX Mountain Lion or OSX version 10.8.3.
Nexus 7 Google Backup Verification:
As long as you have configured your Google account on the Nexus 7 already then things are likely already being backed up! We are going to run through a couple steps and display a couple screenshots to make sure that is the case. So lets check to see if your automatic sync backups are setup properly.
Press Nexus 7 All Apps Icon:
First click the All Apps button from your Google Nexus 7 home screen which is displayed in the below example image.
Press Nexus 7 Settings Icon:
Click the Settings icon displayed in the example image below.
Press Nexus 7 Google Account:
Now underneath the Accounts section on the Settings screen, which you will need to scroll down to see, press Google as shown in the below example image.
Open Google Account Sync Settings On Nexus 7:
Depending on how many Google accounts you have configured you will need to verify the settings for each account. For instance the below example image displays five different Google accounts so I would need to click on each account to make sure all items are being synced to Google.
Nexus 7 Google Account Sync Settings:
After clicking on an account next to the green sync icon the below screen will display. Make sure all boxes have checks in them which will ensure that all of the data you are allowed to backup is backed up!
Make sure to scroll to the bottom so you can see every check box available. Also if you have multiple accounts like the image displayed above the primary account will have more check boxes than the secondary accounts.
Backup & Reset Settings On Google Nexus 7:
Now back to the main Settings configuration window click on Backup & Reset where we will verify the Nexus 7 device is configured to automatically sync or automatically backup as shown below.
So once all of the above settings have been verified you know that you are automatically syncing the settings and data that you are able to via Google sync. Next we need to manually backup files which you should do fairly often depending on how much data is being modified on your Google Nexus 7 device.
Manually Copy Data From Google Nexus 7 To Mac OSX Desktop:
If you do not already have the Android File Transfer application installed on your Mac computer then read the instructions here. Your Mac computer will not communicate with your Android device by default so you have to install an application, which is called the Android File Transfer application, to communicate with Androids MTP or Media Transfer Protocol.
Create Backup Directory On Mac Computer:
First I would suggest creating a new directory or new folder named nexus-7 on your Mac under a backup directory. In my case I have a backup directory that already exists under /Users/MY-USERNAME/Documents/ for numerous other devices so I created the nexus-7 directory there. Next I create another new folder underneath the nexus-7 directory that is simply named the current date which in this case is 2013-01-29 as shown in the below example image.
New Directory For Nexus 7 Backups: /Users/MY-USERNAME/Documents/backups/nexus-7/2013-01-29
Eventually you would have numerous folders in the nexus-7 directory that would be named the various dates that you manually backed up files. Next open the Android File Transfer App if it is not already open and copy the necessary folders to the proper date folder.
Android File Transfer Application: Running On Mac OSX Mountain Lion
You would typically want to copy DCIM, Download, Movies, Music, Pictures, Podcasts, and Ringtones to the folder.
Other Google Nexus 7 Backup Option: My Backup Pro
The above steps are sort of a pain so if you want to make your life easier spend $5 on My Backup Pro from the Google Play Store. The interface looks like the below and allows you to retrieve backups using an email address, password, and PIN number.
My Backup Pro: Backup Google Nexus 7 To The Cloud
Now you have a couple different options to backup your Google Nexus 7. If you have any other methods or ideas to expand on the above items please post notes in the comments below! Remember I am fairly new to Android as well so any details or further information that people can provide will be appreciated.