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Thread: Questions for Android users

  1. #1
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    Questions for Android users

    Hi there,

    I am thinking of getting an Android phone (perhaps the Nexus 4).

    My first question is:

    Is it possible to sync contacts, emails, photos, music, calendar, etc directly with my computer and not have to use any Google or cloud/web based services? In other words can I do all the synchronization locally on the computer?

  2. #2
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    Re: Questions for Android users

    There is a number of programs that claim to let you save/load contacts to a file that can be either stored on a computer or used by another phone. However, I wanted to move contacts from one phone to the other and I never got this working properly (although, I wasn't really trying hard).

    There are also programs that would let you import/export contacts between android and MS Outlook. I don't know about other programs (thinderbird?)

    You should be able to browse the Google play store from your computer (i.e. before you buy the phone).

  3. #3
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    Re: Questions for Android users

    check out airdroid

    ps. using Google isn't going to kill you.

  4. #4
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    Re: Questions for Android users

    I found two rsync tools in Google Play. If sync is what you're after, then rsync the tool of choice for linux users. I use Google for contacts and calendar, however.

  5. #5
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    Re: Questions for Android users

    I never liked the idea of syncing any sort of media to/from personal devices, simply because the available storage space never seems to match up and work without a headache. Instead I use AirDroid, which gives me a web UI login to my phone so I can upload and download music to/from it. I can also reply to text messages there, which is nice if it's one of those days where my phone is lighting up left and right.

    In regard to contacts and calendar, I just use Google's services. Works great.

    I also have BotSync installed, which is basically a sync application that works over SSH. I have it set up to automatically sync anything in my pictures directory to a specific directory on my server. That way the data is going from phone >> router >> server, instead of out to Dropbox to whoknowswhere and back down.
    HOW TO - Set up video surveillance with "Motion"

    Buying a Lenovo? Do your research first!
    Some Lenovos have a whitelisted BIOS which prevents you from changing the wifi card.

  6. #6
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    Re: Questions for Android users

    I would say that you're shooting yourself in the foot if you get an Android phone and want to sync locally (especially contacts/calendar) instead through a Google account.

    True, the Android open source project can technically run without a Google account, but Android is really optimized for Google. If you don't want to use Google, I would highly recommend getting a non-Android phone.

  7. #7
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    Re: Questions for Android users

    Thanks for the helpful answers. What I want to avoid is to have to be reliant on web based platforms to get data that is on my PC on to my phone. So it's not Google specifically I care about (although I asked about them because they are behind Android).

    I don't want to have to upload my contacts from my computer, to the web only then to download them on to the phone, the same applies to music and other stuff.

    I have an iPhone currently, but I don't sync anything apart from some photos with web based services. My contacts/music/files go from computer to phone or phone to computer, no need for iCloud or any of Apples web based platforms.

    If something like this is possible with Android then I would be happy switch to Android.

    Otherwise, my next question would be, what alternative yet Linux-friendly operating system/smartphone combos are there that don't force you to upload all your data in order to use their smartphone?

  8. #8
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    Re: Questions for Android users

    What I liked about Google's setup is I could log into Google Contacts and type all of my contacts in there. Then they automagically synced to my phone. Whenever I get a new Android phone, I just put in my Google account and that stuff syncs automatically. The one-time setup has yielded lots of automatic syncs down the road that I don't have to be involved with.

    The thing I like about it is I keep a lot of tech contacts in there. For example, if I need to contact Dell, I can pull it up on my phone. Or, I can pull it up on my laptop and dial from my desk phone. Since it's a two way sync, anything I add to the phone goes up and anything I add from the web goes down.
    HOW TO - Set up video surveillance with "Motion"

    Buying a Lenovo? Do your research first!
    Some Lenovos have a whitelisted BIOS which prevents you from changing the wifi card.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Re: Questions for Android users

    Also android / google cloud system is ALOT better than iCloud syncing system.

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