Android & OS X: Is there an all-in-one wireless sync/backup solution?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by cb911, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    Hi folks,

    Hope this isn't one of those questions that keep getting asked over and over... but I couldn't find much info and I figure that the Android world seems to move fast so it can't hurt to ask...

    I am thinking of switching to Android but one of the main things holding me back is the ease/difficulty of keeping an Android device synced and backed up. What I mean is - iTunes takes care of syncing all iPhone contacts and keeping backups, so what is the Android equivalent? As a bonus it would be great if I could find some way to do all that over WiFi.

    To expand on what I'm looking for (if I can't find the solution in one app) are ways to sync music from iTunes (rather than a one-off transfer, is there a way to sync changes to playlists and add certain selected music etc.?), and a way to sync certain albums from iPhoto or Aperture, and also maybe a way to sync a certain folder from the phone to OS X (for anything I want to have available on both devices. Actually, just thinking out loud about this... is it possible for the Android phone to access my OS X "Public" folder?) I guess there are options like DropBox, but I'd rather be able to sync directly to my Mac (just for speediness).

    Or is doubleTwist the way to manage syncing? Or am I looking at it all wrong, expecting to find a sync method that works on Android the same as iTunes works for iPhone?

    And the other thing - what about viewing/listening to iTunes Store purchases on an Android device? Is this really as easy as just removing the DRM?

    Then I come across articles like this and just have more questions:
    How would you Android users respond to those gripes? Personally I have a hard time believing that you can't make notifications show whatever you want, I mean didn't Android have notifications before Apple even thought of it? And I keep reading about the Samsung bloatware, but you can delete all of that if you want, right? I thought that was the whole beauty of Android?

    Sorry for the long post and thanks for any tips or advice, I have never used an Android device before and I just don't want to get one and find out there's a whole bunch of things that make it difficult to sync, backup or use.

    I'm picking up different bits of info as I go, but if there is any "essential reading" for people switching from iOS to Android, I'd surely appreciate a heads up! I have been doing a bunch of research & trying to learn as much as I can, but I'm sure there's more that I don't even know about.

    Cheers! :D
  2. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    It's not as straightforward as i)S + iTunes, but it is achievable. You might not find one app that does it all. Samsung phones come with an iTunes-alike all-in-one sync program, Kies, but it's not particularly impressive.

    I did a brain-dump on what I've found here:

    ...maybe anybody who has better suggestions can append them to that.
    Best bet for calendars/contacts/email is to sign up for Gmail, and set all your OS X apps to sync with that (iCal and contacts support syncing with Google). You don't have to switch to Gmail as your main email to do this, although its not a bad choice.

    Google also backs up phone settings to the cloud for you.

    Samsung Kies does all this but it's just... uninspiring.

    Many of the solutions support WiFi.

    iSyncr, WinAmp and others. 'Easy Phone Sync' for Samsung phones (free in the Samsung App Store)

    ...something I haven't found yet. The Gallery App (don't know if it's stock Android or Samsung) sucks, too.
    Something like this? (Haven't tried it):

    However, I'd use DropBox or Google Drive for this.

    The issues are partly true: its the pull-down notifications bar or nothing - no pop-up option, and the new emails do get collapsed to just 'XX new messages if there is more than one. On the flipside, though, there are icons in the notification bar to show you what is waiting, you can pull the notifications bar down from the 'unlock' screen (which you can't do on iOS) and there's all sorts of other useful stuff in the pull-down, like toggles for WiFi/Vibrate/Airplane Mode etc. and a shortcut to settings. Also, if you're that worried about your mail, you can stick widgets on your home screen that always display your inbox and messages without having to launch mail/messaging.

    So its all a bit exaggerated and cherry picked - a bit like saying iOS is totally useless because it doesn't have a WiFi toggle shortcut.
  3. cb911 thread starter macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    Thanks for that info, and for the thread link - hadn't seen that one.

    I have been using GMail for ages, so that's easy. Actually the more I learn, there seems to be ways to do everything I want, so I'm not really worried about that anymore.

    Email notifications are not even close to a deal breaker for me... but surely there would be a mod/ROM available that would allow notification customisation? Although I guess most regular users just wouldn't worry about it.

    Anyway I am going to try and pickup a Note 2 today, I'll try out some different solutions and post back if I find anything interesting.
  4. sbb155 macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2005
    I am very interested in all of these issues, so I am hoping the OP can post his solutions specifically. I am considering a note II also...
  5. cb911 thread starter macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    Okay, got my hands on the Note 2. Hard to believe that today (Boxing Day) was the official launch for Telstra in Australia when the rest of the world has had it for months... anyway...

    I do plan to write a bit of an "iOS to Android switchers guide". At the moment I'm just finding my own way around Android and have already started compiling a list of things I am going to change to make usage feel more comfortable coming from an iPhone.

    I will post a new thread when I get that guide done, but I'll also post a link here so anyone subscribed will not miss it.
  6. Tinmania, Dec 26, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012

    Tinmania macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2011
    I'm using the latest version of Android and I can expand "xx new messages" in notifications. Same for other notifications as well, such as Pulse News--which will even show little pics along with brief tag lines about today's articles.

    Oh, and pop-ups are very much an option if the app wants to go that route. My two most-used messaging apps, HandCent and Whatsapp Messenger, do indeed offer pop-up notifications. They go way beyond iOS too, in that I can actually respond right in the pop-up without leaving the current app. This is only possible in iOS with a few SMS apps if and only if you are jailbroken (which is just about dead since you can't do it on any current device).

    Oh, and even Google's own calendar app does pop-up notifications. So unless I misunderstood what you were saying "pull-down notifications bar or nothing" is not really true.


    Attached Files:

  7. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Sounds like some of these are differences between applications and/or Samsung's TouchWiz and stock Android.

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