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I was unable to find clear documentation of what goes into an update.zip created by TB.

Can I use TB's update.zip to restore all of the apps along with their data? If I understand correctly, this would enable me to flash a new ROM with full wipe, then restore all the apps at the push of a button. Do I understand correctly?

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2 Answers

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No, the update.zip does not restore all your apps. The purpose of this is to allow you to install Titanium Backup as a user or system app while in the recovery bootloader. You would wipe your phone, then install a custom rom (as usual), and afterwards would install Titanium Backup.

This is to greatly simplify restoring your system data. Normally, you would have to boot the new rom, sign into the google play app, download TB, then run a restore. This way, you can simply open TB as soon as you boot and restore everything, including your google accounts and wifi passwords.

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Yes it will restore everything, but I suggest you to do a normal backup too. I'm a Titanium PRO user and I can restore all the apps in a single click using the Batch method. In the app you can select the apps you want to restore which is a lot better, since the update.zip won't give you this option.

I flash a lot of ROMs every month and the normal backup/restore method just works for me. I prefer to use the app than use update.zip's for this. Another good advice is to make a Nandroid backup before any flash.

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Having used TB for a while, I understand that your answer is wrong. I was asking about the flashable update.zip, which only installs TB, but doesn't perform any restores. It simply allows you to restore the apps before connecting to the marke.t –  Nathan Fellman Jun 19 '12 at 11:01
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