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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
    7ewis's Avatar

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    Default What does Sync do?

    Coming from iOS/BlackBerry, I don't really understand how to get a control of my Nexus 5.

    I'm trying to make the battery last longer, and to stop it using as much data. I've figured that Sync uses up a LOT of both, and am trying to understand how it works.

    So on iOS, Apple just push you notifications in the background, even if the App is closed. On Android, if the App is closed and I want to be notified of a Mention on Twitter, for example. I HAVE to have Sync turned on? Okay, that's fine. But then when I go into Twitter's Settings it says 'Sync data' and 'Sync interval'. So if I leave it to Sync, does it download Tweets from my timeline in the background too or what? Also, if the interval is an hour, does that mean I'll only be notified once an hour if I receive a notification? Can it not be pushed instantly?

    Now, I also have 'Falcon Pro'. I believe this ignores the system Sync setting and has it's own, as it's a lot more complex. It has under the Sync section 'Max Tweets per Refresh' the minimum is 200 Tweets. So does this mean, if I have it set to Sync every half an hour, it will download 200 tweets from my timeline!? All I want is mentions! I don't want it downloading anything like this in the background... When I open the app, yes fine. I checked the Data usage, and it has used 90MB in the background in a week!

    It appears to me that Sync is a bad combination of Push Notifications and iCloud, in Apple terms. Is this correct? I love this phone, it's by far the best phone I have used! But I just don't understand how some of these Android features work.

    Can someone please explain this to me? Any general tips on minimising battery and data use would be nice too!

    (I'm thinking about rooting too, anything useful info for a noob on that?)
  2. #2  

    Default Re: What does Sync do?

    Google Syncing is Google's own cloud syncing service to sync Google apps and setttings only. (does that make any sense?)

    Third party apps like Twittter have their own sync settings which you enable within each app. It does not have anything to do with Google syncing. If you want to see Twitter notifications, then leave Twitter sync settings on.

    To disable Google Sync:
    Go to Settings -> Data usage -> Tap the "3 dots menu button" on the top right -> uncheck "Auto-sync data".

    Or you can toggle Sync on and off quickly by adding the widget called "Power control" onto your homescreen, but you can download better toggle apps to do this such as Power Toggles or Widgetsoid.
    When you have Syncing turned on, you can select which Google Apps or settings you want to be syncing, by:
    Going into: Settings -> scroll down till you see ACCOUNTS -> select the blue Google icon -> select your Google account.
    The Status Bar Notification is enabled separately. To disable notifications:
    Go to Settings -> Apps -> tap on any app -> uncheck the "Show notifications" box.

    This however does not mean the app won't still be running in the background, but disabling it could potentially interfere with some apps that required to run in the background at all time.
    Yes, I agree Google needs to reorganize their settings for easier access.

    Since you're new to Android, you should also know about App Ops, it is a hidden menu that allow you to control what permissions each app can access on your phone. You need to download an app to create a shortcut to it, like . No longer available for KitKat 4.4.2 thanks to Google.

    There is some discussion about battery saving here: Good battery saver app for N4 with 4.4?
    Last edited by someguy01234; 12-12-2013 at 06:32 PM.
  3. #3  

    Default Re: What does Sync do?

    Welcome to Android Central! Here's a guide for battery saving tips: [Guide] Battery Saving Tips
  4. #4  
    Rukbat's Avatar

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    Default Re: What does Sync do?

    Push is not the great battery saver panacea that Apple wants to make you believe it is. If there's no app running to receive push notifications, you won't receive push notifications. A push consumer (an app that receives push notifications) must be running ALL THE TIME. A pull consumer (like Google sync) runs when you tell it to - if your emails are important (your boss emails you when he wants coffee), you can set sync to every few seconds. If I don't care that much about my emails, I can set sync to every hour or every few hours.

    Android gives you the choice. Apple decides what your best choice is.
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  
    7ewis's Avatar

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    Default Re: What does Sync do?

    Quote Originally Posted by someguy01234 View Post
    Google Syncing is Google's own cloud syncing service to sync Google apps and setttings only. (does that make any sense?)

    Third party apps like Twittter have their own sync settings which you enable within each app. It does not have anything to do with Google syncing. If you want to see Twitter notifications, then leave Twitter sync settings on.

    To disable Google Sync:

    When you have Syncing turned on, you can select which Google Apps or settings you want to be syncing, by:

    The Status Bar Notification is enabled separately. To disable notifications:

    Yes, I agree Google needs to reorganize their settings for easier access.

    Since you're new to Android, you should also know about App Ops, it is a hidden menu that allow you to control what permissions each app can access on your phone. You need to download an app to create a shortcut to it, like .

    There is some discussion about battery saving here: Good battery saver app for N4 with 4.4?
    Thank you, I think I understand now!

    I don't know if you've used the BBM app, but I have it installed, and obviously it will need to be running all the time (Is there a way to pause it?) but it shows a BBM icon in the status bar constantly, and I cannot remove it. Why is it there, and how can I get rid of it?

    I didn't know about App Ops, why isn't it enabled by default? I'll download that though and have a look, thanks!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by B. Diddy View Post
    Welcome to Android Central! Here's a guide for battery saving tips: [Guide] Battery Saving Tips
    Thank you! I'll have a read
  6. Thread Author  Thread Author    #6  
    7ewis's Avatar

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    Default Re: What does Sync do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rukbat View Post
    Push is not the great battery saver panacea that Apple wants to make you believe it is. If there's no app running to receive push notifications, you won't receive push notifications. A push consumer (an app that receives push notifications) must be running ALL THE TIME. A pull consumer (like Google sync) runs when you tell it to - if your emails are important (your boss emails you when he wants coffee), you can set sync to every few seconds. If I don't care that much about my emails, I can set sync to every hour or every few hours.

    Android gives you the choice. Apple decides what your best choice is.
    Ah right, I understand! I'm just not used to having this much control I guess haha!

    No matter what I do, my emails only seem to Sync when I open the app, I don't ever get notified if email either. I'm not too bothered about receiving them, I don't have my work email on my phone anyway! But it does bug me slightly that it isn't working.
  7. #7  

    Default Re: What does Sync do?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7ewis View Post
    Thank you, I think I understand now!

    I don't know if you've used the BBM app, but I have it installed, and obviously it will need to be running all the time (Is there a way to pause it?) but it shows a BBM icon in the status bar constantly, and I cannot remove it. Why is it there, and how can I get rid of it?

    I didn't know about App Ops, why isn't it enabled by default? I'll download that though and have a look, thanks!
    You can try what I disabling "Show notifications" for the app in "Settings -> Apps", you will have to test to see if it still receive messages, also if you do this you will have to manually open the app to check for new messsages.

    Unfortunately with Apps Op, Google decided to disable it if you are running KitKat version 4.4.2, which is a terrible idea since it's very useful for privacy protection on apps you don't trust. I don't know of any other way to manage permissions on Android without root. So you will have to be careful and read through the list of permissions for each apps you downloaded. Android for the most part is secure, the PlayStore will scan for malware when you install apps by 'sideloading', but there are times when this happen which Apps Op would help:

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