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One neat and understated feature of Windows Phone 8.1 is the ability to backup apps + settings. Previously, Windows Phone could restore apps, but your Start screen was left off of the restore point in addition to passwords, browser favorites and app configurations.

Now, with Windows Phone 8.1 users can finally restore all of that when jumping to a new phone or after hard resetting. Let’s take a quick look at how it works.

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Backing up personal data, including SMS conversations, has always been absent from Windows Phone. We’ve previously looked at how the Windows Phone Connector for Mac enables such functionality to a degree as well as a Homebrew Windows backup manager, but it’s always best to have such a feature built into Windows Phone.

In Windows Phone 8 Microsoft has implemented a backup facility that automatically stores SMS conversations and app list (including settings) information, as well as options to control how Windows Phone deals with uploading photos and videos captured using the handset. Using Microsoft’s cloud services, conversations and app settings are all automatically stored.

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SPB Backup 2.0 is released

SPB Backup is on our list of must-have software for your Smartphone or Pocket PC, so it interested us to know that SPB Software has just released Version 2.0 of its popular device backup-and-restore tool.

New this time around are:

  • The ability to determine between a device reset and a ROM upgrade, allowing you to restore on a different device (We hope this works better than it has in the past).
  • A desktop backup unpacking tool, which allows you to explore the backup.
  • Separate text message restoration.
  • Sync backups on your desktop.

The usual scheduled and customizable backups are still there, and you SPB has added a file blacklist.

SPB Backup 2.0 is available here for Pocket PCs and here for Smartphones. A free, five-day trial is available. Full download costs $24.95, and an upgrade from Version 1.x is just $9.95.

Check back with us soon for a full review. But if you're going to try out SPB Backup in the meantime, be sure to, well, back up your device first. You can't be too careful.

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