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Synchronization

Until a couple of months ago, I had never cared about backing up any of my SMS messages before resetting my phone or flashing a new custom ROM. However, I recently started receiving important work-related messages on my phone and got worried about losing them. I spent a few hours looking for a background solution that would save my messages, let me search them, and that would be easy to set up after every reset. Another requirement was for the app to look a little bit more modern than if it were designed in the Android Froyo days. Unfortunately, such an app didn’t exist at the time and I gave up on the search, opting instead for using mysms with its Evernote backup option — which was very intrusive and less than ideal.

However, a few days ago, my good friend Ricky Cadden suggested SMS Backup+ and although I had dismissed the app before because it looked like it was stuck in the Eclair days, I decided to take another look and lo-and-behold, it was updated to fit right at home on any post-ICS device, and it supported Whatsapp backups as well! I have been using the app ever since and I’m quite satisfied with its performance and reliability.

In this how-to, I will explain how I set up SMS Backup+ to save all my communication to Gmail. It should help you use the app for the first few times until you are familiar with its different configurations.

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If you own an Android device and you’re reading this site, chances are that you’re a tech-oriented person and your life involves other gadgets and operating systems, whether it’s a computer running Windows or Mac OS, or an iOS device — iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. While each of these platforms seems to include more proprietary services and apps with every new release, there still is — thankfully — a middle ground where it’s possible to make different devices talk to each other.

It’s this middle ground, and the tricks and apps that make use of it, that we have explored and dug deep into over the past couple of months. Over the course of two different series, we explained how you can use your Android device with a Windows or a Mac computer, as well as how you can keep it in sync with different iOS devices. Here are all the articles grouped together for easy referencing and bookmarking:

Use your Android device with a Windows or a Mac

Use your Android device alongside an iPhone, iPad or iPod

 

During the month of May, we’ve looked at various ways to keep Android and iOS in sync. We started with the essentials, by exploring ways to sync your emails, contacts and calendar. We then looked at media and various solutions to replicate your photos, videos and music across both platforms, and a selection of useful apps to sync daily content such as news, articles, tasks, notes, financials, passwords and documents, using third party cloud-based services.

However, even though the first three parts were great ways of keeping both devices in sync, using iOS and Android together has limitations. In this last part, we’ll look at the various elements that prevent proper sync between the two platforms, lead to frustration due to differences in user experience or problems resulting from the application stores respective to each platform.
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Over the past two weeks, we focused on making the sync process between your iOS and Android devices as easy as possible. We started by looking at keeping email, contacts and calendar data sync’ed, before recommending various solutions to replicate media content across devices.

This week we’ll take a more general approach and suggest various applications and services that save your content in the cloud and synchronize it transparently across devices and platforms. Whether you read articles and books on various phones and tablets, or need your notes and tasks sync’ed or simply want to keep track of your expenses across platforms, we’ve got the right apps for you!

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Last week we gave you some advice on how to keep your data, email, contacts and calendar perfectly synced between your Android phone or tablet and an iOS device. Although these are essential elements to synchronize between your devices, replicating media from your iPad or iPhone to your Android device — and vice-versa — can also prove very useful.

Indeed, whether you run out of battery, lose your phone or prefer to use a larger screen, you shouldn’t have to worry about manually transferring your content to every single device you have. To make this chore seamless and transparent for you, we’ve selected a handful of apps and tools that will automate the process.

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Many of us have devices that run on different operating systems, for example a work iPhone and a personal Android device. Looking at my specific case, I use a Samsung Galaxy Note II as my everyday phone and recently bought an iPad mini, which led me to explore ways of keeping the two in perfect sync.

In an always-connected world, it’s relevant for the two devices to communicate with each other and share data. Most importantly, having your emails, contacts and calendars synchronize from one device to the other is essential. This process should be seamless and transparent to you, so that all your content can be updated on both devices with no hassle. That’s what I will explore in the first part of this series.

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It’s no secret that I have a lot of devices at my disposal including phones, tablets, computers, and even Google TV. I like that pretty much from any place in my apartment — or office, or coffeeshop I happen to be working at — I can use any of those devices to do things like read, check the weather, or whatever Internet-based task I have to perform. However, when it came to texting I was locked down to using my phone for a long time; all of that changed with MightyText.

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Keeping all your devices synchronized with each other has always been a good idea as it lets you juggle phones and tablets, and continue working from the point where you left off without any interruption. There are plenty of apps available to keep videos, music and apps synced across all devices. However, syncing the app’s data is more difficult, especially if you are new to the Android ecosystem. Normally, this entails knowing the correct files that have to be moved between devices and their appropriate location — an easy feat for really knowledgeable users, but a caveat for most others.

To provide a straightforward way to sync app data, there’s a useful utility available only for rooted Android devices, DataSync. In the following tutorial, I will explain how to set up and use DataSync across multiple devices.

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With camera lens and sensor specs getting more and more impressive, Android devices have easily become our go-to choice for point-and-shoot cameras. Photos on our phones keep getting better and better but the issue is with transferring and backing up those precious memories seamlessly.

The best place to automatically store photos is in the cloud so we can access them anytime and anywhere. Many apps and services offer this option but with only very little free space — 2GBs is ridiculous given the higher resolution sensors on cameraphones — and expensive additional space. Google+ will backup photos with no storage limit, except it counteracts that by downsizing the image resolution. Wouldn’t it be perfect if we could back those photos up to our Google Drive account, making good use of the free space offered with the reasonably priced additional storage? Well, there’s a simple app called FolderSync to do just that.

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If you’ve rooted your phone, the process for backing up is easy:

  1. Get Titanium Backup,
  2. Use it.

But what if you haven’t rooted, or don’t want to, or can’t do so without wiping your device first? There’s a ton of data on your device, and although a lot is automatically synced to your Google account, some isn’t.

Let’s look at what you need to back up, and how you can do so.

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