Coding without looking back - 2: interview with the author of Titanuim Backup (end)

    So continue. In the first part, you got acquainted with the history of creating the No. 1 program for servicing an Android communicator - Titanium Backup and its creator Joel Burkard.

    We publish the end of this interview.

    You often release TB updates unrealistically. Where do you get the ideas from?

    As I said before, the first version was built to solve my own problems. Then that same MoDaCo forum thread became a source of user requests and I coded what seemed useful. Actually, somehow it continues to this day.

    True, I have a principle: not to introduce any innovations thoughtlessly, even if they are asked by a million users. I embed new functionality in the program observing its ideology and - most importantly - I try to maintain backward compatibility of backups. That is, if you made your backups back in TB 2.0, you can always deploy them using the latest version of TB. So update boldly, I follow this.

    Tell me about a couple of extraordinary user requests?

    Hmm, here it’s not very easy for me to answer. There are a lot of applications, but do not forget that the main core of TB users is enthusiasts. And they usually want spherical horses, which generally do not need the bulk of consumers.

    For example, some wanted to save backups to the server and be sure to encrypt the data transfer channel. There was a request to make with a built-in Titanium Backup inside ( this file is automatically recognized by Android when loading as an OS update and is installed by itself - approx. Ed.) Although, I found the request with backup schedules quite reasonable and implemented it recently.

    A very strange request sounded like this: "I want to pick up backups made only in firmware X or Y." Of course, I can write such code, but a) I will have to think hard and b) who will need this feature besides the one asking for it? Well, I’m a responsive guy and after this request I made sure that each new backup contains a tag with the name of the firmware, its version, etc.

    Tell me, after all, most phones are not rutted. And you made it so that TB simply does not start without privileged access. Do you plan to make a version of TB for phones with stock firmware?

    I agree, no legs - no cartoons (s). Well, put yourself another backup and backup it, I do not mind. As I said, at the level of capabilities for phones with stock firmware, MyBackup Pro is comparable to TB.

    Technically, it is impossible to do more on the stock firmware than MyBackup Pro can. I understand this very well and plan to release a “simplified” version of TB for phones without root. Today, I will repeat the words of one of my loyal users: “what for me Android, on which there is no root?” I join with the words: “privileged access gives you REAL power over the device. It's cool and many people like it.

    Let's talk about the functionality. TB is now backing up applications and data. Would you like to make a “Swiss backup knife” out of TB? After all, you can still make backups of SMS, APN, call history, browser bookmarks, web surfing history, contacts not from the Google address book (they are not synchronized by Android - approx.ed). Do not think that I am not aware that TB can do almost all of the above, just ask a question about development plans.

    Well, you yourself answered - TB backups in general are all that you can reach in Android. So in this sense, he is the same knife.

    In general, the biggest ambush in TB is its usability. Now for me it is a top priority. I think that I will make a “simple start” mode with access to the most popular functions, and I’ll hide the rest a little deeper. Those who are in the subject will find the necessary buttons anyway, and most will be “simple” and convenient. But here you need to think that everything will turn out ...

    A good touch, it is really important to make TB convenient. Okay, now a little lyrics. On the XDA forum, you are known as Keramidas. Where did you get it?

    Oh, I don’t remember. I came up with it once. In general, I am better known as NumLOCK. This nickname came from the time of a strong passion for fractals, from the Demomaker project.

    How much time do you spend on TB support per week?

    That being said, it depends. When how, but on average at least 8 hours a week. It takes a lot of time especially when I'm really passionate about another revision. I can not sleep at night. Well, probably this is the case for everyone ...

    Listen, I forgot to clarify in the question about development plans. Right now, Android is embedded anywhere: in televisions, cars, refrigerators. If such devices really become mass, will you, ahem, equip TB with the function “get beer in the fridge”?

    Why not? If new specific data appears for new devices, TB will backup them. I will even say this: if someone becomes interested in making root firmware, it will become interesting for me to make TB for this device.

    What do you think about whether there will be a built-in backup program in future versions of Android? If it appears, what will you do?

    Kill myself up the wall, of course. Joke.

    In fact, they are unlikely to backup user applications. Although most likely the system data will somehow be backed up for sure. Take at least the same SMS / MMS.

    I will only be glad, because now SMS and MMS backup is TB's weak point. I mean, when restoring such backups on a very new version of Android (for example, when migrating from 1.5 to 2.x - approx. Ed.), Nothing can happen at all. So if Google does this for us, I’m not upset. There will be no need to suffer with the code about this.

    Do you think Google is the Evil Empire or not? Or (in a whisper) you can’t tell the truth, because they will immediately ban your developer account?

    I think that they have a huge responsibility in collecting and processing the personal data of hundreds of millions of users. From this point of view, there are reasons to consider them the Evil Empire. But in reality it all depends on their choice. They will start using this data to their advantage - they will drown themselves. I think Google understands this, smart people work there. And obviously not evil.

    You now have a Nexus One, used to be an HTC Hero. Why did you change your phone? And which phones have you used before? And one more thing: what about the great iPhone?

    Yes, I would not change Hero, I have enough of it. But it so happened that TB got into the list of prize-winning applications of the Google program “Android Market Seeding for Top Android Developers” ( more than 5000 downloads, 3.5 stars rating minimum - approx. Ed.). It happened on February 28, 2010. A week later they sent me a Nexus. Well, of course, I did not refuse such a gift.

    Previous phones were: Nokia N82, and even earlier Sony-Ericsson W800i. I'm not particularly picky about devices, to be honest. SE I liked the excellent quality of pictures and a long-lasting battery. Nokia also filmed wow, had more software twists and options, but terribly guzzled the battery.

    And one more thing: why is the iPhone great? Phone is like a phone. I held it in my hands, but somehow I was not inspired. Glamorous toy, that's all.

    What about the Android version segmentation problem? Does it bother you somehow?

    Of course not. TB works on any available version of Android.

    The problem, of course, is. But I think that Google will quickly deal with it.

    Fragmentation limits development and negatively affects users. For example, Photoshop under 1.5 is complete garbage, half of the functions are simply not there. They cannot be implemented due to platform limitations. Well, who needs such a program?

    In short, Google has everything you need to solve this problem. Well, and we, the developers, deserve some kind of but self-care.

    And the last question for today: what is your impression of the Android Market? In your opinion, what is the reason for the delay in opening Google paid Market in other countries where Android devices are already being sold?

    The Market itself was designed successfully. I would give him 8.5 points out of 10.

    Of course, Google is wrong with the fact that they closed the paid Market for most countries.

    It seems to me that the problem here is not so much the penetration of Google Checkout and PayPal into local markets, but in OPSoS. They just can’t understand that they are a commonplace pipe for transferring traffic from Google to the communicator and vice versa. It is not their business at all, can I use tethering bullshit (a function that turns the communicator into a WiFi access point based on mobile Internet - approx. Ed.). Or is it a disconnection of unlimited tarfi of the mobile Internet - well, not bastards? We will change providers to more adequate ones, all the same, we won’t take money from us, we can manage our freedoms.

    In general, somehow. Thank you for your attention and support to all Russian-speaking TB users and readers of this interview. I am very grateful to you for your loyalty and wish you all the best.

    Joël Author`s

    Review in Russian Titanium Backup

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