8 Replies Latest reply: Feb 16, 2013 1:02 PM by nunyobizbiznatch
glhicks Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hi everyone,

So my friend ran into a problem with her iPad. She had a recent backup, and restored from it. All apps, books, music has been restored but certain apps (I have listed a few below) did not restore her save games, or save data local to that app. Some data was backed up, and of course some apps/games store their data in the cloud, but it seems almost all third party apps/games' user data is not backed up, or at least not restored from available back ups.

*Question 1:*
Does the iTunes backup manager backup save games of app data?

*Question 2:*
Is it possible to retreive the save data -perhaps the save data is still their on the iPad?

*List of apps effected:*
These apps were restored, but all save data pertaining to that app/game was lost after restoring from the iTunes backup facility. _All of these apps lost their data upon restore:_

* Angry Bird
* Broken Sword 2
* Hotel Mogul
* Secret of Monkey Island 2 Special Edition
* Sketchbook Pro
* Supermarket Mania
* The Brush
* The Success Story

I've compiled this list and posted this thread as a warning to users out there who may assume their save data is backed up but isn't. If anyone else can confirm games or apps where their data is not protected by iTunes Backup then I'd welcome you to share them here.

I think it's terrible that App data isn't backed up and restored comprehensively.

Thanks in advance, any comments welcome

Gary

iPad, iOS 4
  • lllaass Level 10 Level 10 (154,325 points)
    This article says the backup includes:
    "Application settings, preferences, and data
    "In-app purchases"
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4079

    However, the app itself is not part of the backup. During a restore it takes the app from the iTunes library.
  • glhicks Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi lllaass,

    Firstly, thank you for the contribution. I found that page quite helpful, but it does not address this issue of third party app/game user data:

    "You can use iTunes to sync content on your computer (such as music, applications, podcasts, videos, photos, notes, email account settings, contacts, calendars, and bookmarks) with your iPad."

    The above quote (Apple's definition of a backup) does not mention user data for third party apps. If Apple is only content with backing up installed applications and not their respective user data then my original concern is still valid. Without a 'file explorer', users are left at the behest of Apple to do a proper job of backing up data.

    Some may argue that 'game saves' are not important, but the cause for concern is further reaching than that: it appears user data from third party apps like Sketchbook Pro are also not backed up. I think it raises an issue, don't you think, that needs to be clarified -just how sure can you be that your respective (user created) app/game data is being backed up and is restorable?

    Thanks again, your comments are very welcome

    Gary

    EDIT:
    Ah, sorry I missed Apple's statement that it backs up "Application settings, preferences, and data" and "Per-app preferences allowing use of location services". But clearly, in this case at least, 'per-app' data was not backed up, or at the very least, not restored.

    Message was edited by: glhicks
  • JimHdk Level 7 Level 7 (26,240 points)
    glhicks wrote:
    Firstly, thank you for the contribution. I found that page quite helpful, but it does not address this issue of third party app/game user data:

    "You can use iTunes to sync content on your computer (such as music, applications, podcasts, videos, photos, notes, email account settings, contacts, calendars, and bookmarks) with your iPad."

    You have to read the whole article including the expandable (blue) items.

    Here is what the article says about backup save contents:

    Safari bookmarks, cookies, history, and currently open pages
    Map bookmarks, recent searches, and the current location displayed in Maps
    Application settings, preferences, and data
    Contacts
    Calendars
    CalDAV and subscribed calendar accounts.
    YouTube favorites
    Wallpapers
    Notes
    Mail accounts
    Autocorrect dictionaries
    Camera Roll
    Home screen layout and web clips
    Network settings (saved Wi-Fi hotspots, VPN settings, network preferences)
    Paired Bluetooth devices (which can only be used if restored to the same iPad that did the backup)
    Keychain (this includes email account passwords, Wi-Fi passwords, and passwords you enter into websites and some other applications. The keychain can only be restored from backup to the same iPad. If you are restoring to a new device, you will need to fill in these passwords again.)
    Managed Configurations/Profiles
    MobileMe and Microsoft Exchange account configurations
    App Store Application data (except the Application itself, its tmp and Caches folder).
    Per-app preferences allowing use of location services
    Offline web application cache/database
    Autofill for webpages
    Trusted hosts that have certificates that cannot be verified
    Websites approved to get the location of the device
    In-app purchases
  • glhicks Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Correct, I did read the article in full.

    But as I said before, +"clearly, in this case at least, 'per-app' data was not backed up, or at the very least, not restored."+

    Which makes me concerned about the accountability of iTunes' backup facility in general. I do not see any evidence that addresses this concern. And the Apple page uses the word 'can', as per legal requirement. There is no elaboration (from that page) that all per app user data is backed up.

    Thanks again,

    Gary
  • lllaass Level 10 Level 10 (154,325 points)
    The only thing that I can think of is the developer did not properly code the app to store the data in the manner that the Apple backup program would backup.
  • JimHdk Level 7 Level 7 (26,240 points)
    glhicks wrote:
    Correct, I did read the article in full.

    But as I said before, +"clearly, in this case at least, 'per-app' data was not backed up, or at the very least, not restored."+

    Which makes me concerned about the accountability of iTunes' backup facility in general. I do not see any evidence that addresses this concern. And the Apple page uses the word 'can', as per legal requirement. There is no elaboration (from that page) that all per app user data is backed up.

    Thanks again,

    Gary


    Hmm... What I see in the document says:

    Information iTunes will back up

    • Safari bookmarks, cookies, history, and currently open pages
    • Map bookmarks, recent searches, and the current location displayed in Maps
    • *Application settings, preferences, and data*
    .
    .
    .

    I see will not can.

    By application data I believe that they mean application data generated by the application for the user, e.g., current game state, otherwise there would be no reason to save it. The same is true for application settings and preferences.

    Since the Apple document states that application data is saved then what you observed would be a bug and you should report it at http://www.apple.com/feedback/ipad.html and, possibly to the App developers as well.

    However, your evidence seems somewhat anecdotal and second-hand, i.e., "my friend ran into a problem with her iPad. She had a recent backup, and restored from it. All apps, books, music has been restored but certain apps (I have listed a few below) did not restore her save games, or save data local to that app".

    How do you know that her backup was current? or that the restore was done correctly? It's easy to forget when the last backup was done.

    I'd suggest running a new test with a known backup file to see if you can reproduce this problem before fully depressing the panic button.
  • glhicks Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Actually I was present during the procedure and my experience is first hand. I am a PC expert but my Mac experience extends only to my flatmate's iPhone 4 and iPad. The backup was recent, and as I have stated (and you noted) clearly, most 'per app' data was restored but *crucially*, the problem is that this was not universal and effected the apps/games listed above.

    Yes, I see you point, that this case -if it were an isolated incident -would perhaps be better classified under 'bugs' rather than pushing the "panic button"; but it is not an isolated concern. There are several cases of people asking similar questions on other forums (including the 'J**B***' ones) concerning iTunes ability to backup 'per app' data. For clarification, this iPad has never been and will never be 'JB'.

    Only when I thought that this case was not 'isolated' did I consider posting on this official forum, and I put it to you that I did so without pushing any panic button.

    It was to raise awareness, and seek answers to the very clearly defined questions in the first post -none of which have been catageorically answered.

    I do appreciate your help though, and I will submit a bug report.

    It would be great if anyone else could contribute some anecdotal evidence to support this post -or to prove it wrong!

    Cheers

    EDIT: a bug report has been sent, I will post back any updates if I have any

    Message was edited by: glhicks
  • nunyobizbiznatch Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Ahhh.. the beauty of a locked-down, psychotically peoprietary, crap OS.  Simply mirroring the HD's content gives up Apple's control to meddle in your affairs. It's too easy.... but forget it, end-user!!!!