Automated backups are nice, but even better is the ability to initiate one yourself. Until recently, that wasn't possible on Android, however, it appears Google is now supporting the option, though it's unclear which devices or versions will ultimately get the feature.
Backups are wonderful. They provide peace of mind, a way to protect your future self from potential misery. Unless, of course, those backups get deleted with almost no warning, kind of like what Google will do for your Android device if you don't use it for a couple of months.
A fellow by the name of Alex Kruger on Twitter spotted the option on his Pixel 2.
@SkylledDev @hallstephenj @9to5Google Remember this article about forcing a manual backup to Google in a future version of Android? I just saw it on my customers Turbo and on my Pixel 2. https://t.co/lpFg6SK11k pic.twitter.com/IrwTKlHZ3p
— Alex Kruger (@Kruger2147) November 9, 2018
Indeed, if you hit up Google's support page on Android backups, you'll find the following section:
Manually back up data & settings
If you're using Android 8.1 & below: You can manually back up your device at any time, like if you want to transfer your information to a new phone.
- Open your device's Settings app.
- Tap System > Advanced > Backup > Back up now > Continue.
Testing by 9to5Google's Kyle Bradshaw suggests that most, if not all, devices should get the feature:
Every device we tested internally also seems to have received the ability to do a manual Android backup. It seems Google is able to reach such a wide swath of devices across versions by rolling the feature into Google Play Services. If your device receives Play Services updates, you will likely see “Back up now” appear soon.
So if you can't find it on your phone yet, hopefully all you need to do is wait.