Week 32 : Development and Testing Updates

Yes, this app is very powerfull.
It can also throw activities, even from app without launcher icon !
But that’s out of current scope :wink:

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Can it be used to back up and restore app .apks from say device manufacturer A to device manufacturer B? Sorry for my noob question. I am in the sameboat and don’t root so I decided to stop testing it when I couldn’t block trackers via ADB.

User apk backup/restore should be possible for the same Android level.
To be tested … :wink:

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OK I’ve done that, and I have a backup on my external SD card. But how do I restore it to the upgraded phone?

I’ve wiped and formatted data, and flased the Anroid R ROM (LOS, not /e/ for now, as I’m working on my wife’s phones).

After doing the FTSW, I installed F-Droid via the Browser, and App manager from F-Droid.

I can create a profile, but I can’t add any user apps sincec tere are none installed. What is my next step?

Thanks in anticipation :slight_smile:

Hi Pete,

I found some time to try the restore features on AppManager.
I have to apology : I didn’t find any way to restore anything, very sorry :frowning:
It’s quite frustrating !

At least, AppManager can provide us with the apks, but we need something more …

I don’t know any other user-friendly way to restore user apps on /e/, without rooting the device.

Sorry again for the waste of your time :frowning:

Thinking back, I remember testing another software a long time ago : Titanium Backup.
As I remember, I was able to restore some apps with their settings, along with a few little system settings (as WiFi networks).
But is has it’s own drawbacks :

  • it’s a paid app (can be bought outside Google Play Store)
  • it can’t backup/restore multipart apk
  • it’s outdated, so I don’t know if it will work with Android 10 or 11 …

Thanks, but @petefoth wanted something usable by average end-user …

If we come to deal with files tree, maybe our best bet would be to restore the apps & files from a TWRP backup ?

TWRP is not an option on devices with a locked bootloader.

I’m running an unlocked bootloader and I’m using TWRP, and I’m a big fan of installing from scratch when a new major Android version comes around (it’s just the clean approach with the least trouble or question marks afterwards), but if the adb root way can be confirmed working, perhaps it could be put into scripts to simply start for average users?


Argh ! This the end of my dreams, and I’m now out of solutions :frowning: (someone famous said that one day, for sure …).

I totally agree with you :slight_smile:
But end users need something more like “click and run” nowadays …
The easy-script idea is very good, when I’ll have some free time I’ll dig into filesystems to build a list of trees to backup/restore :+1:

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Thanks for all your help. I’ll try and deal with the responses in a single post


TWRP is what I use to I do backups at the moment

None of my devices have locked bootloader.

But TWRP is not an option when moving to a different Android version, as I noted earlier, and this is the use case for which I am looking for a solution


I have used Titanium backup in the past. To be useful then, it required root. I have seen nothing to indicate that has changed, and it’s a route I am not going to spend any more time exploring just now.

And that solution is SeedVault: it works pretty well in LineageOS but /e/ decided to move to a new Adroid version before finishing the work they started a long time ago to enable SeedVault in /e/. That decision is the reason I have spent so much time down this particular rabbit hole. In my opinion, it was a bad decision.

I’m really not a big fan. It shouldn’t be (and I don’t believe it is) necessary or desirable. I don’t expect to reinstall all my apps and re-input all my settings when I move to a new OS version on any of my desktop or laptop computers (MacOS and Linux), and I don’t want - and should not need - to do it on my phone either.

Better to spend time getting SeedVault working IMHO.

For now I will ease the pain of updating by

  1. Backing up (to SD card, formatted as Portable storage) SMS and call logs using SMS Backup and Restore app
  2. Backing up SMS again, to be safe :slight_smile:, using QKSMS app’s backup function (I use QKSMS rather than /e/'s forked Message app)
  3. Backup Launcher settings: I use Lawnchair, and have shortcuts to all my installed apps on the Launcher home screen pages.
  4. Doing a clean flash of the R ROM
  5. Installing F-Droid via the Browser
  6. Installing Aurora Store from F-Droid
  7. Installing Lawnchair from F-Droid
  8. Restoring the Lawnchair settings backed up in step 3. This gives ‘greyed-out’ shortcuts for apps which are not yet installed. Clicking on each greyed out shortcut, will take me to searching - then installing - the app from F-Droid or Aurora Store
  9. If necessary, uninstall Lawnchair, then reinstall it. This can be a cure for the problem where Lawnchair keeps stopping, which has happened a couple of time when I’ve experimented with this process.
  10. Restoring SMS and call logs using SMS Backup and Restore
  11. If that doesn’t work restore SMS from the QKSMS backup

All of the above shouldn’t take more than a day or two for the devices I need to upgrade :slight_smile: Restoring TWRP (or SeedVault) backups, would take considerably less time, if only they worked! And the above process wont work for users who use the Bliss launcher (which doesn’t support settings backup) or /e/'s Message app, which does not yet support SMS backup.

Thanks again for your help

Yes, SeedVault may be the solution, at least it should be tried.
But it’s not ready for /e/ for now …

With what’s available to us right now, we could restore parts of a TWRP backup.
Taking a TWRP backup is documented by /e/, and users are encouraged to do when upgrading their devices.
So, I think it could be the best option for the upcoming upgrade to Android 11.

Your steps are very similar to mine, so that’s all we got for now !

About SMS backup : it’s not a problem of the Android app, but /e/ Cloud (an app has to be added here).
All SMS/MMS apps rely on Android messages database.

I have now tested a number of phones with multiple ROMs. What I am seeing, specifically on phones with A/B slots, is even if I do a permanent flash of TWRP, when I flash /e/OS, the /e/ recovery flashes over the permanent TWRP flash (directions call for TWRP boot but I have tested flash) so I don’t have the TWRP backup option illustrated (or maybe TWRP was permanently flashed to the opposite slot, either way it is a clunky process). @newts also confirmed the same thing. And Here is when this happened to me. I share this because TWRP isn’t an option for those of us in this situation unless I am missing something and TWRP is still present (opposite slot?) In addition to this happening on lake (Moto G7+) it is happening on fajita (OP 6T). What other builds does this same issue exist in? No such backup options are available on LOS based recoveries are they?

As I have tested Seedvault on other OS I too was disappointed to see this has been delayed in /e/OS. I now use patchwork, apps/systems, to get everything to a new phone when moving from /e/ phone A to /e/ phone B, etesync, Mega, Signal export, etc. But still have to manually reinstall apps and web apps :frowning:.

Seedvault was much easier, export an encrypted .zip to a USB flash drive, plug into new phone, decrypt and restore. As an ex-iOS user this was the closest I have seen to the ease Apple has created with moving to a new phone.

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problem is that the apps and their settings seems to be backed_up into the /system partition image, not /data

and parts are in severals locations

I don’t have any A/B devices so I can’t try this, but I understand that to use TWRP for flashing, you boot directly into TWRP, then use it flash the update or the new ROM?

Would it be possible to do a TWRP backup by booting into TWRP, and using either the TWRP backup function to make a backup of the data partition, or the restore function to restore a previous backup? (Plese excuse me if the above is nonsense: as I said I don’t have any A/B devices :slight_smile:)

Anyway, even if TWRP backup/restore can be made to work for upgrading from one version of /e/ to another of the same Android version (e.g. e0.17-q to e0.18-q), it is unlikely to work when upgrading to a different Android version (e.g. e018-q to e0.18-r) because, as noted above, the move from Android Q to R seems to break TWRP backups.

Yes, but if you see the links in my post you will notice that even if I ignore the directions and flash (not boot) TWRP, once the /e/OS zip is flashed it replaces TWRP with /e/Recovery so TWRP is no longer present. I guess I could go in after and try to reflash TWRP over the slot with /e/Recovery but we now are getting beyond what even lower level users like me can do.

Yes, I see this. What I don’t know is if SeedVault allows for this (backup on Q and use that backup to restore on R device). I need to search.

it only break actual TWRP restore feature,

but the files are still accessible and exploitable in the backup compressed folder created by TWRP

our goal is to restore user’s apps and settings by other method

variables are " actual system tree " and " new system tree "

I tested in “Backup with eRecovery? - #6 by tcecyk” what an /e/-recovery adb has in capabilites and used it to backup/restore the userdata partition on the same device, but see the details concerning partition layout and encryption. Would you consider testing this approach? it will not be space efficient though, copying the full partition

Seedvault could ease the move to a higher major… the integration can happen with later versions so if there is overlap for another version of 0.19-q and 0.19-r for the same device, it is a possible migration path.

I will give it a try.

That’s a good point. If /e/ will continue providing Q (and Pie and Oreo) builds until a working apps and data migration solution is available, then the problem goes away for most users. Let’s hope…

[EDIT] Good news! In the Testing Telegram channel, @Manoj has confrimed that

We will not jump overnight from one OS to the other. There will be builds in previous OS versions for some time. Not all users migrate immediately

Thank you!

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From reading in the XDA Lineage OS forums, and the #lineageos irc channel, I believe it does, and that it is the recommended solution for LineageOS users

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