At a Glance
zx128 AppManager v0.62 (Android)
An essential, free app backup and restoration utility.
AppManager puts several key file management features at your fingertips: It serves as an app backup tool, and it can either selectively copy individual apps or copy every app on your phone (that is, the apps that don't have their "protected" flag set) to your microSD card for safekeeping. It also displays valuable information about the installed apps, including version numbers, the date the app was installed, whether it is protected, and both the total and the free storage space remaining on the phone and the microSD card. For a free, 99KB app, that's pretty impressive.
AppManager lets you sort the list of apps by name, size, or the date the app was installed (in reverse chronological order, so the newest apps appear at the top of the list). In the main window, each installed app's icon and name is accompanied by the version number, installed size, and date of installation. On the T-Mobile G1's display in portrait mode, information about five apps fits the length of a screen. In landscape mode, three apps in the list are visible at a time. You can also click each app in the list to launch, back up, or uninstall it, and you can search for upgrades in the Android Market.
The backup feature is AppManager's biggest strength: You can choose to back up only the new applications, or everything (overwriting the same file version if it's already been backed up). Not sure if a new feature in another app's upgrade is going to cause a problem? Back up the app before you upgrade, then revert to the older version if you don't like what you find. Restoring these backups is as easy as choosing the Install option from AppManager's menu, then finding the app in a list and clicking it--but you have to do this for each individual app. Installing apps from the microSD card is faster than pulling down the file over the air, but you first have to change an OS option that lets you install apps from the SD card (from the desktop, click Menu, Settings, Applications and fill the Unknown Sources checkbox).
Zx128 also offers an AppManager Pro for $1.50 that adds a few extra features, including the ability to share your app list with other Android users, and batch-install more than one app from the SD card at a time. If you frequently perform a factory reset on your phone (which wipes out all your apps), or you're a system administrator who needs to install a group of apps to several phones at once, this could be a valuable time-saver.