Possible Android Noob - little help? MissingSync vs Syncmate for use with iMac?
Considering the T-bolt as first Android (coming from BB Storm). I posted in T-bolt sub-forum and was directed here.
I really like what I see (so far) in the functionality of Android in many ways. I want many of the features, functions and characteristics of the T-Bolt. However, I am not happy about not having the option to self-sync without giving all my personal contacts and calendar info to the Google server. While I really don't have sensitive data - it is a general principals thing.
So, I am trying to learn if it is possible to have a google account for apps and still enjoy complete phone functionality if I purchase one of the 3rd party sync apps. In other words, to completely turn off Google contacts and calendar sync so it never happens - at all. I sort of resent the OS for intentionally omitting self-sync and forcing users to give Google our personal contacts and calendars. If I can effectively get around that - I am hoping I can still enjoy the T-Bolt. I just hope to learn factual information before committing to the phone.
I have found both MissingSync and Syncmate. But, reviews are scarce. I have searched this forum and mostly find older posts and it seems that Missing Sync is working to improve their product - even if not their customer service. I can find little on SyncMate. On the surface (their product descriptions) both seem to offer pretty much the same features (assuming the "Expert" $40 version of SyncMate).
So, what I am hoping people here may be willing to share and/or educate me on:
- Can I actually use an android without giving Google access to my Contacts and Calendar by buying and using MissingSync or SyncMate?
- If yes to above, do I lose any functionality?
- Does anyone know which of these programs is better/more-intuitive/effective and why?
- Do either offer comparative (comu/phone) and give user the option to choose (individual items) for entry conflicts? In other words, I may update phone numbers on my phone if out and about and others on computer if at my desk - when sync, can I individually choose which entry to keep/sync across?
I have tried posting variations of these questions in various threads and forums and just not finding good results or answers. most tell me "Android is built around Google. You have to accept that." But that seems to support the "Give us your personal data or get lost" attitude.
I can see offering the Google server as an optional service but requiring all users to load personal data to google server just feels invasive to me. I see no reason for intentionally omitting self-sync. I am willing to pay for a 3rd party software to get around it but I could really use some help from those who have tried both. I am not a compu-wizard so intuitive is important.
I am not a Power-User and probably need to sync only each month or so. I do not use FB, MS, TWTR or any social media/networks and really do not wish to share any of my personal info and/or contacts with those arenas. While I have not yet confirmed, I have read there may be some automatic social network activity when syncing via Google server - another reason I'd like to side-step syncing/loading/storing via Google server.
I think I'd truly enjoy T-Bolt but only if I can self-sync. I just find the intentional omission of self-sync invasive and smacking a bit too much of the "Big Brother" syndrome. Selling my soul (giving Google server all my personal data) just seems too high a price to pay to use the devices.
Thanks in advance for any help.
- 02-12-2011, 05:48 PM #2
Syncmate is the preferred option for most users that opt out of the google sync options. Mind you, however, that all of the apps an android have a list of permissions. These basically state exactly what the app wants access too, so you know exactly what you're getting into. I think it's a great feature. syncmate is fine, it won't talk to google, and I doubt you lose any functionality.
That being said, I personally trust google servers more then third party servers. you have to realize something, though, that I find you're missing in your post. Synching with apple buts all of that information on apple servers. No matter what you do, if you're synching devices wirelessly, then you're on someone's servers, and someone can access your information with the right encryption.
Lastly I can say this: If you're very protective of these types of things, and want to stay off the grid - so to speak ... then really any smartphone that connects to email/facebook/whatever banking apps or finance apps/etc... will be too intrusive. Facebook's privacy is totally shady, there's been numerous articles in the past month, so hopefully you don't have a facebook. I don't mean to be snide, I just get so confused when people single out google with this type of thing.
You ever heard of MobileMe? It's an apple service. They have a feature where you can remotely access your desktop from any computer in the world. Do you know how many privacy issues they've had with that? You can't actually eject the drive when you're done with it on a lot of computers. Technology is shady on some level, but google is no worse then anyone else.
Last edited by irish22022; 02-12-2011 at 05:57 PM.
How Android functions is still a blind spot for me and so far (you aside) no one has been willing to start educating me. I am gunshy about this because I do not know enough about newer conenctions and how invasive the connection between my computer and Google server may be. As I posted, my info really is not sensitive, I just do not see WHY Android would intentionally omit the simple operation of connecting my phone to my computer (either by BT or USB) and allowing direct sync without loading via the Google server. This omission, forcing users to use the Google server, is my underlying concern.
Having a Blackberry for over 2 years, of course I have been using email and all BB functions (browsing sucks so look forward to better browsing & bigger screen). But, I still have never been squeezed into loading the details of my contacts and calendar onto ANY server. I do my syncs on BB Desktop manager and control exactly what I load/sync, back-up, load apps all without loading anything onto any server.
I do not have or use Facebook, Myspace, Twitter or any other social networks. I also have never used Mobile-me. Additionally, my load/sync needs are minimal. Ideally, I would truly prefer to have a Google account so I can purchase apps and otherwise (for all my personal data) sync/load/back-up via direct sync to my iMac. If this is possible, and still enjoy full functionality of Android, that is my first choice.
Thank you for taking the time to read and reply to my post. Any additional help/education - from you and/or anyone else willing to help me better understand - is greatly appreciated.
- 02-13-2011, 12:03 AM #4
no problem. I don't know a lot about the tbolt, but did you say there's no usb cable attachment? I don't know if I believe that... If you're saying that there is a USB, but it doesn't have software that syncs, like itunes would, then you're right. You have to remember that android is open source. It doesn't come with a lot of these types of things. Apple or Windows phones do, because those companies also make computer operating systems, so it's easy for them to get one another to talk. Android doesn't have that. And even down the road, when google develops it OS, it will ALL be online. Google loves the cloud.
I think you'll love android. I think that this sync should be the least of your worries. Any time I think of a feature I want, I do a google search or a market search and I find it. I didn't love the stock music, browser or messenger. Sound like I don't like the phone? Wrong. Android relies on the manufacturer to provide those types of stock apps. HTC stock apps are different then Motorolas. But, in the wonderful market, I've found incredible apps for sms, browser, and music. I love this phone. I love the openness and how much you can do with it. You will get to customize your phone exactly the way you want it. you can even change the way your homescreens are handled through 3rd party launchers, something Apple would never even dream of.
By going with android, you get so much, but you don't get any type of desktop support for your device, as the company doesn't make any computer OS. The best it can do is google's cloud.
Thanks Irish. I did not say no USB, just no interface. Your post, and some others, are beginning to ease my concern about intent.
It is looking more like I can use these and turn google sync off so I'm still looking at Missing Sync and Sync Mate - just wish there would be more recent feedback on these apps.
So, if you think sync should be the least of my worries, what should be at the top of my list?
And, while a bit OT, and you seem willing to help, which apps do you like for SMS and browsing (and perhaps why)?
- 02-13-2011, 01:36 AM #6
always willing to help.
coming from BB, sometimes people can't handle the touch screen keyboards, I don't know, that's a common concern. That and adjusting to how much customization control you have. If you look in this forum for the "post your homescreens", you'll see just how different these phones can look. I really recommend browsing through that. You'll be stunned at what you can do looks wise.
But, I can honestly say, having worked at the apple store for a couple years, and now being an android guy - I LOVE this phone. You will to.
Questions about my 3rd party apps:
SMS - GO SMS (this is the 2nd most popular, to Handcent, but GO is a third of the size, and much faster - in a few months, GO will be the big dog). Both options are free.
MUSIC - this is a huge diliberation on android. So many to choose from. I personally use an app called MIUI music. It's not in the market, it's ported from a ROM (for root users... if the terms ROM and "root" confuse you, then just ignore it or PM me and I'll go into more detail). But I've also used and loved "Cubed Music Player", MusicMod, and 8/10 android users will suggest PowerAmp. It's a fine player too, although the 5 dollar price tag isn't worth it for me, but you can get the trial and see what you think. Syncing iTunes with android is made easiest through "doubletwist". It's an app you put on your phone, and also an app you put on your desktop. Open up the desktop version, and it mirrors what you have in iTunes, plug in your phone, and treat it like iTunes, just drag and drop what you want on your phone! This is free.
BROWSER - I like Miren Browser the most. It's originally a chinese app that it made its way over here a few months ago. The translation is perfect though, and it is FAST as well as very slick on the UI end of things. Dolphin HD was my first, and it's also good - albeit a little large in size. It's probably the most used 3rd party browser, though.
I'm on a droidx, and Motorola generally has the worst stock apps (this is called "blur"). HTC has much better ones, theirs are called "Sense UI". The clock with the flipboards and weather animations... that's all "Sense UI". "Blur" is largely considered a joke, so I had to use all 3rd party apps. If you like Sense and their stock apps, then no need to go looking for others. But I think the ones I named above, most people would recommend - and it's nice to have an app that will get updated and will improve and you can talk to developers, whereas stock apps... you're not getting in touch with HTC to see a bug fix any time soon.
You can feel free to PM about anything android!
- 02-13-2011, 10:05 PM #8
You are correct. The apps you mentioned have desktop downloadable options for a price that will leave servers out of it. I was referring to wireless sync options (which I think syncmate offers as well.. Could be wrong).
I can't talk about the difference much, as I'm not really aware of them. As for reviews, have you tried looking on the market?
Type in the name of the app, and you can read reviews. They will be quite short and not in depth, but if it's terrible you'll know it by a few reviews.
Ringtone clippers are plenty and free. The best one is "ringdroid". It's awesome.
As for future reference, with what you said about the google password thing - not this changes your opinion, but it will circumvent the inconvience of entering a password to view files, etc... Every android phone is connected to a google account. So when checking email/gdocs/calender/whatever, it will all default to your account settings, as will the market, so you won't need to input that stuff more then one time when you set up your phone.
I think that most useful information will be found on the forums here. Though this site isn't bad:
The main part is just little tid bits about cool apps (which you'll enjoy, but they aren't necessary), but off to the right you'll see a "popular tips". These are just a bunch of little details of small things that people may not know (and may get by just fine not knowing, but still... if you're interested).
The permissions thing is complicated. I'm pretty good with android, and even I don't really know what all of the permissions mean. Usually, only app developers know that type of thing. I know that your phone won't download any suspicious apps unless you allow it (it's in settings), and that the android market, though open, is safe to get whatever you want on. Before getting an app read the user reviews, lots of times you'll get a good feel for the app through that. Also, if the app has a lot of permissions, or if it's a game app that requires access to your phone numbers, you can always email the dev (android market provides you with their email address towards the bottom of the app page, they are often very helpful), and ask him/her the reason behind the permissions.
In fact, I'd recommend you shoot an email to missing sync and the other one you're looking into and ask them some questions. If it's 40 dollars, I'm sure they get questions a lot. Just go to their page on the market, and scroll down, you'll see an "email dev" option. Hope it helps.
- 06-25-2011, 08:11 PM #9