Earliert this month, I forgot my Huawei tablet (MediaPad T3) at an airport on a different continent. While I did submit a lost property notice, I didn’t think of checking my Google account’s mail address. Initially, I heard nothing, so I presumed it was gone and bought a new one (same model, same size memory card), logged on with my Google account—and then received the mail to that account that my device has been found.

The airport’s lost and found office told me that shipping it my way would cost around €100, while sending it domestically would cost €50. Picking it up at the office would cost €20. I have friends who live in that country, so needless to say I won’t let the tablet get shipped across the globe.

However, I am wondering if there is any way to clone the tablet’s data from the old (lost) one to the new one I bought the other day. I’m mainly interested in apps and app data (i.e. transfer savegame status and login status); the only files on there were videos that I have backups of.

I heard of Huawei’s PhoneClone app which seems to be the easiest/quickest/dirtiest option, but naturally the descriptions assume that both devices are in the same room. I was unable to confirm whether data transfer works across the internet. Of course, if there are other (better?) options, I might be interested in those, too.

So in short:

  • Can I use Huawei’s PhoneClone app to clone my tablet’s contents via internet connection only?
  • Are there other, potentially better options to clone the app data on my tablet without the two being physically close to each other?

As I mentioned, they are logged into the same Google account. Furthermore, I could send images of any QR codes or the likes to whichever friend I ask to pick it up for me so that should not pose any inherent problem either.

  • If you're having a Google account connected to the device, and don't mind Google seeing those data: did you activate Google Cloud backup on the original device? If not, one option would be doing so, waiting a little for it to be performed – and later reset your new device. The first-run wizard should then ask you whether to restore from the Google backup, and offer you the ones made on the original device. Note however that not all apps support that, so this will certainly be incomplete. – Izzy Sep 30 '19 at 21:05
  • @Izzy I believe I did not but I also assume that I can ask a friend to activate that type of backup after they retrieve the tablet from the lost and found. It sounds like that might be another interesting answer. (I wonder if there is a list of apps that do support this type of backup, too?) – Jan Oct 1 '19 at 4:45
  • In both cases: unless the device is rooted, the backup will be incomplete (apps can opt-out of it, and do so for queer reasons sometimes). You can use my Adebar which includes this in its app listings (the flags row includes ALLOW_BACKUP if the app supports it); Adebar also creates scripts for backup/restore, using the same mechanism Helium uses ([tag adb] backups). But it requires the ADB tools (and on Windows, device drivers). No big deal on Linux, but the driver might make it tricky on Windows. – Izzy Oct 1 '19 at 6:01

A possible solution is to backup the old phone with Helium - App Sync and Backup. Then upload, the data files created by it to Google Drive (or any other cloud storage). Download the data files from the cloud storage to your new phone. Finally restore them using the same app.

Obviously, your friend will do the backup and upload the files. While you will download and restore them.

Note: I don't own a Huawei phone, so I could not advise whether the app you mentioned will work or not.

  • Just now I was taking a look at Helium for initial testing and it wanted me to connect to a PC to‘perform the backup correctly’. Can you confirm if that is a requirement for your suggestion? – Jan Oct 4 '19 at 17:39
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    @Jan Yes, it is. You will also need to enable USB debugging in your tablet's Developers options. You can get the desktop app here – Reddy Lutonadio Oct 4 '19 at 18:30

I did some testing of the PhoneClone app on just my new tablet. It turns out that when you select ‘this is the new device’ a hotspot is generated with a QR code for direct connection or the manual account information to connect. Thus, data transfer will happen locally via the new device’s hotspot and PhoneClone is not suitable to transfer data from far away.

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