These days many of us seem to accumulate mobile devices in both smartphone and tablet form. That’s a good problem to have, but only to an extent, as moving game progress and other data, can throw a big problem right up in front of us. After all, who wants to start over from Angry Birds Star Wars level one?
Fortunately, it isn’t as dire as I have made it sound – there are ways to transfer that progress from your phone to your tablet (or phone to phone, tablet to tablet, etc.).
Theree are tons of solutions for a rooted Android phone, but for a non-rooted phone, this is one of the method that I know to work. Helium (formerly named Carbon) is a free (there is a premium $4.99 version as well) app that can back up and restore individual app as well as the entire device. When we say “restore”, it refers to the data as well, which means you can move game progress from one device and continue it on another device.
You will need to install the app on both of the devices you are using for this transfer, and you will also need the Helium desktop app, which works with Windows, Mac and Linux. In addition, you need the Windows Android drivers installed on your PC.
Once everything is installed it’s time to plug-in your device (in this case both devices) to your PC via USB and open both Helium desktop and Helium mobile. Allow a few seconds for the connection to be made. You will need to repeat this step each time your device is rebooted — its’s one of a couple of strange quirks in Helium.
Backup Your Games
By default, Helium backs up to the device’s SD card, which doesn’t work so well for our purposes here, so instead we will be using one of the two other methods available.
If you wish to keep this project on the free side, then you can click the menu “…” a the top right of the mobile app and choose PC Download. This presents you with a local network address – 192.168.1.5:5000, for example. Punch it into your computer browser and choose the apps you wish to backup. Restore can be done the same way.
However, I opted to pay the $4.99 for the premium service, which allows for cloud storage using your choice of Box, Dropbox and Google Drive. I opted for Box, but all work the same. You will need to log into whichever account you choose, but this is only necessary the first time around.
Every app installed on the Galaxy Nexus is listed, alphabetically, and you can tap each to place a checkmark in the box, designating it for backup.
This is essentially a mirror of the above process, and like any mirror, the image is reversed. Go to the device you wish to restore your game progress on and follow the same initial setup process as before — meaning you will need to hook the device to the computer to enable Helium.
Click the Restore tab at the top of the Helium app screen and navigate to your storage location — in this case Box. You will have to log in again, as you need to authorize each device.
Check the boxes for each app you wish to move, and then click the button at the bottom right of the screen. If you do not have a tremendous amount of data then this should go quickly – it’s a fast app.
Last summer, Rovio promised a new account login system would eliminate this need on their popular Angry Birds franchise, but have only added the feature to the original game so far. Other game developers seem to have no plans for transferring game progress among devices, despite the need to do so. For now, Helium is by far the best option for this, plus it can be used for other non-game apps as well.