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> Backing up before upgrade to 8.1
Roy KG
post May 12 2019, 01:24 PM
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Why is it that I don't seem to be able to back up my Gemini? I have searched the in-built storage area for the data files but can't even find any relevent files! For instance we have some Gemini Apps - Data, Agenda, Notes, and they each must have files containing the data I have input, yet I can't find any files that seem to relate to any of them. I have 'Back up' set in settings, yet there seems to be no way to say 'back up now' or where you want to put it. You can't tell if any backup has been made or where, or when.

Owing to a problem I recently tried a factory reset to see if I could get the phone button working again, (it didn't but that is another problem) and when I tried to retrieve my App data, it claimed there was no backup and I had to input everything again! Now we are finally going to get Android 8.1 so I wanted to do a backup before upgrading... but how? The only files I can find are ones that I have put on the Gemini myself either transferred from my home computer, or with my Open Office App which makes 'normal' files just like on my home computer (and are interchangeable). Backing up should be fundamental and simple but this Android OS seems to be nothing like a conventional computer.

If I can't do a simple thing like backing up my files locally (on my own system - I don't trust or use 'cloud things') then I might as well stay with my old Psion, which has worked fine for years, is still working fine, and I can back that up to my main computer whenever I like, as well as checking any of the files I've backed up. And before anyone says 'but the only way is to backup to your Google account, or you must back up to the cloud', what about all those with Wi-Fi only machines? They must have a way to back up locally surely?

My phone is not rooted as I read that access to any on-line bank will not accept a rooted phone.

As for the 8.1 upgrade, I saw it briefly flag up on my Gemini yesterday, but today it seems to have disappeared! If I do a firmware check is says I am up to date. What is going on?

Thanks for any help.
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amsomniac
post May 16 2019, 06:35 AM
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QUOTE(Roy KG @ May 12 2019, 05:24 PM) *
Why is it that I don't seem to be able to back up my Gemini? I have searched the in-built storage area for the data files but can't even find any relevent files! For instance we have some Gemini Apps - Data, Agenda, Notes, and they each must have files containing the data I have input, yet I can't find any files that seem to relate to any of them. I have 'Back up' set in settings, yet there seems to be no way to say 'back up now' or where you want to put it. You can't tell if any backup has been made or where, or when.

Owing to a problem I recently tried a factory reset to see if I could get the phone button working again, (it didn't but that is another problem) and when I tried to retrieve my App data, it claimed there was no backup and I had to input everything again! Now we are finally going to get Android 8.1 so I wanted to do a backup before upgrading... but how? The only files I can find are ones that I have put on the Gemini myself either transferred from my home computer, or with my Open Office App which makes 'normal' files just like on my home computer (and are interchangeable). Backing up should be fundamental and simple but this Android OS seems to be nothing like a conventional computer.

If I can't do a simple thing like backing up my files locally (on my own system - I don't trust or use 'cloud things') then I might as well stay with my old Psion, which has worked fine for years, is still working fine, and I can back that up to my main computer whenever I like, as well as checking any of the files I've backed up. And before anyone says 'but the only way is to backup to your Google account, or you must back up to the cloud', what about all those with Wi-Fi only machines? They must have a way to back up locally surely?

My phone is not rooted as I read that access to any on-line bank will not accept a rooted phone.

As for the 8.1 upgrade, I saw it briefly flag up on my Gemini yesterday, but today it seems to have disappeared! If I do a firmware check is says I am up to date. What is going on?

Thanks for any help.


The backup solution in android is indeed abysmal. adb backup -never- works for me. You can copy some, but not all, data via adb, but if you actually want to do a full nandroid backup (the only thing that's worked well for me) or use titanium backup, you need root.

Rooting with Magisk lets you hide that you have root so you can use banking apps. I think you can also just flash twrp with sp_flashtool without rooting and do a nandroid backup that way.

Best of luck!
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Roy KG
post Jun 5 2019, 09:08 AM
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QUOTE(amsomniac @ May 16 2019, 06:35 AM) *
QUOTE(Roy KG @ May 12 2019, 05:24 PM) *
Why is it that I don't seem to be able to back up my Gemini? I have searched the in-built storage area for the data files but can't even find any relevent files! For instance we have some Gemini Apps - Data, Agenda, Notes, and they each must have files containing the data I have input, yet I can't find any files that seem to relate to any of them. I have 'Back up' set in settings, yet there seems to be no way to say 'back up now' or where you want to put it. You can't tell if any backup has been made or where, or when...

Thanks for any help.


The backup solution in android is indeed abysmal. adb backup -never- works for me. You can copy some, but not all, data via adb, but if you actually want to do a full nandroid backup (the only thing that's worked well for me) or use titanium backup, you need root.

Rooting with Magisk lets you hide that you have root so you can use banking apps. I think you can also just flash twrp with sp_flashtool without rooting and do a nandroid backup that way.

Best of luck!


Thanks for your reply 'amsomniac' and confirmation that it is not just me that finds Android and its means to backup data extremely poor. I have dealt with computers a long time, and learnt the lesson about regular backups, which I do with all my other machines, but I simply can't find any way to do it with Android. I've even tried the recovery tool saving a backup with that and trying to restore from it, but it says the backup is corrupted! So much for that. This all seems to imply that no one with these Android machines bothers to backup very much. If that is the case, it's no wonder I hear and read reports of people having problems losing data and information, or not being able to transfer information from old phones to new ones.

I have now decided to limit my apps to ones like Open Office where I can see and easily back up my files. It may limit the usefulness of the Gemini, but at least I will know my information is safe.

Thanks also for the tip about Magisk being able to hide that the Gemini is rooted as that may be the long-term way to get around this problem. I wanted to have access to banks, yet I was thinking that rooting might be the answer to making it behave more like a computer.

Update 7th June: I have just seen a 'backup & reset' screen shot from an Android phone and it is different to the Gemini. It has a 'Back up now' button for a start, and then it shows all the active backups and individually lists the last backs up done for each of them! Why does the Gemini not have this? Is the Gemini version of Android 7 faulty in this respect? This is such an important thing, it should be the first fault to be rectified and immediately.
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Roy KG
post Jul 7 2019, 01:52 AM
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QUOTE(Roy KG @ Jun 5 2019, 09:08 AM) *
QUOTE(amsomniac @ May 16 2019, 06:35 AM) *


The backup solution in android is indeed abysmal. adb backup -never- works for me. You can copy some, but not all, data via adb, but if you actually want to do a full nandroid backup (the only thing that's worked well for me) or use titanium backup, you need root.

Rooting with Magisk lets you hide that you have root so you can use banking apps. I think you can also just flash twrp with sp_flashtool without rooting and do a nandroid backup that way.

Best of luck!


Thanks for your reply 'amsomniac' and confirmation that it is not just me that finds Android and its means to backup data extremely poor....

Update 7th June: I have just seen a 'backup & reset' screen shot from an Android phone and it is different to the Gemini. It has a 'Back up now' button for a start, and then it shows all the active backups and individually lists the last backs up done for each of them! Why does the Gemini not have this? Is the Gemini version of Android 7 faulty in this respect? This is such an important thing, it should be the first fault to be rectified and immediately.


I find it slightly disturbing after all this time that no one else has commented about backing up, or not being able to backup AND restore with their Gemini and Android. It seems hardly anyone bothers to backup using these Android 'smart' phones if my family members are anything to go by! I've asked each of them how they back up and how often and the answers seems to be no one does!! I've also asked a couple of friends and they both lost all their data when a previous phone failed and they could not get at the old information, to install it on their new phone, so it is not just the Gemini here.

I emailed Planet support about this problem with backing up and their answer is even more worrying. I quote:
'We know for a fact that the device will take backups with Google when they're enabled. However, there is currently no option to restore those backups due to the Google setup process being replaced with our keyboard configuration software. As a lot of users had issues with configuring their keyboard due to Google's process not being designed for physical layouts, hence the change we've applied. We're looking at merging both the Google and our own setup in a future update which will allow users to restore google backups. Currently, you wouldn't be able to recover a Google backup.'

They do say that of course you can download again any Apps you had from the Google play store, even ones you've paid for, without being charged again; but that is not much comfort if you lose all the App data you have built up over a period.

Until this ability to be able to back up AND restore my data to the Gemini, I'm afraid it is not a great deal of use as far as I'm concerned and I've now switched back to my trusty Psion 3mx. I love the Gemini physically as in that respect it is really a modern Psion, but without proper integrated software and the ability to backup and restore any data, it is worthless as a PDA or mini computer which is what I really hoped for. The mobile phone use was just incidental.

I can now see why the iPhone is so much better than any Android smart phone even if their hardware is better or more advanced, because the ease of backing up or restoring is so important, and the Apple software makes that so simple and straight forward. I've used Mac desktops and laptops for years and whilst there are things I don't like about them or their total controlling element, at least they integrate superbly and if you use an iPhone, then backups are assured. I hate touch screen devices and wanted a proper keyboard and the Gemini gave me that and seemed perfect... until I really found out that the software was so lacking.

Maybe I'll have to try running it with a Linux OS full time. Does anyone know if that is really an option, especially for someone who knows almost nothing about Linux or how to set up a full time Linux OS computer?
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gidds
post Jul 8 2019, 12:42 AM
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I use rsync to back up nearly all of my Gemini's filesystem. (I have rooted Android, installed Termux &c, and run sshd so that my Mac can ssh into my Gemini.)

I haven't needed to restore anything significant yet, so I'm a little concerned about how a full restore might work. But it's a lot better than nothing. And it does at least back up all my application data. (Most of that is within /sdcard, especially /sdcard/Android. But note that /sdcard actually refers to the built-in flash storage; the microSD card actually mounts as a directory under /storage.)
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