Tip: Use SMS Backup+ to auto-archive and read text messages in Gmail

August 25, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka

Android Tricks


In the latest edition of Android Apps Alert, we highlighted an SMS Backup+, an app that can create backup of SMS messages to the user’s GMail account. In the event that someone accidentally deletes a message or has to wipe his or her phone, SMS Backup+ can restore the messages when necessary.

Then I realized something I should have spotted from the beginning: SMS Backup+ can be a great tool for reading your SMS messages online. Being able to read text messages on the desktop is one of my favorite features of Google Voice, so it’s great to be able to browse the archives of my default phone number. SMS Backup+ stores text messages under an “SMS” label in Gmail, so I can set the app to auto-backup incoming messages and then read that label to view new messages.

Here’s how to set it up.

  1. Download SMS Backup+ from the Android Market
  2. Connect it to your Google account. (The app uses XOAuth to grant access and can be disabled later if you no longer use the app)
  3. Check the box marked “Auto backup”

From then on, all of your incoming messages should be added to your Gmail account automatically. There is a delay of a few minutes for synchronization, so don’t use this as your primary notification system for time-sensitive issues. However, it’s great if you just need to search for something or get a notification of message if you don’t have your phone next to you. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about losing your text messages if something goes wrong with your phone.

Keep in mind that you must Enable IMAP in Gmail for this to work.