Have you ever been prompted by your Android handset to “sync”? Within this article, we’ll demystify what it means to sync your Android device and the importance of doing so. In recent years, backing up an Android smartphone used to be a serious undertaking – and far from convenient. Users had to hook up their Android device to a desktop or laptop to back up any data, but times have changed and the process has grown more efficient to fit around your everyday life.
If you are yet to experience the benefits of syncing your Android device, it’s important to understand what it means first. Users sync their Android smartphones in the cloud with Google. It could be anything from phone contacts and photos to emails or apps. When an Android device is programmed to sync with Google, it provides a continuous connection of secure data between your handset and Google’s cloud.
To the uninitiated, this might sound like an unsafe thing to do, but we can assure you it’s perfectly safe. In fact, it’s a sensible thing to do, given that the lifespan of Android smartphones is no more than a few years. That includes the latest devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 21. This means that many of us periodically change our handsets. By syncing your data from your existing Android smartphone, you can immediately transfer your data to your new handset via the Google cloud.
Syncing your Android handset offers security benefits as well as productivity benefits
It’s not just about being able to restore your sensitive data on any future Android handsets. If your Android smartphone is misplaced or stolen, having your data backed up in the Google cloud provides peace of mind that you’ll be able to retrieve the phone numbers of family and friends and cherished photos and videos. It’s easy to activate too. Just seek out the “Settings” tab on your Android handset and head to the “Accounts” section before clicking on “Account sync” and then “Sync now”.
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It’s also possible to sync online services to apps on Android. Within Google Maps, you can opt to download and synchronize certain areas you’re visiting to navigate offline. Budding poker players can sync training videos from some of the best in the business in the Run It Once app to view on-demand offline. In fact, just about any native app you install onto your Android device from Google Play can be automatically synced to the Google cloud.
This makes it easy to restore specific apps you wish to have on future Android smartphones, not just phone contacts, photos or videos. You can simply cherry-pick them from a list via the Google cloud and the data within the apps will be restored too. Some of the most recent sync functionality is only available for devices using the Android 9.0 operating system or better, so that’s something to bear in mind.
It’s important to understand that auto-syncing data from your Android smartphone to Google’s cloud will utilize some of your mobile data plan. That’s unless you are using a private Wi-Fi 24/7. If you are someone with a very limited data plan, it’s a good idea to manually sync your data to Google when you have sufficient data allowance or you are using a Wi-Fi connection to connect to the internet. It’s also worth noting that frequent syncs to the Google cloud will drain your smartphone’s battery quicker than usual. There is definitely a happy medium to be found with timing your syncs. It can take some time to find what works best for you.
Most millennial and Gen Z people swap between their smartphones and desktop computers in everyday life. Whether it’s working from home, or simply relaxing and entertaining yourself of an evening, Google Chrome makes it easy to “sync-up” certain features from your desktop to your Android device. On Google Maps, you can specify navigation directions to a specific address and send it straight to your smartphone via SMS or email. Google Chrome also allows you to sync your favorite browser tabs across desktop and smartphone use, which is very handy for working at home and on the go.
Put simply, syncing your Android device is increasingly part and parcel of everyday life. In a 24/7-connected world, cross-device syncing carries huge productivity and security benefits for users young and old.