The concept of synchronizing our portable devices is a familiar one, indeed most of us routinely sync content like emails and address books. This way, all this valuable information is automatically copied to cloud-based storage on a regular and frequent basis. Then, should catastrophe strike and that device is lost or stolen, the content isn’t lost with it and will still available on any other device. Furthermore, if you have several devices – perhaps a smartphone, a tablet and a laptop – that data can be accessed from any of them, irrespective of where it was created.
Android extends synchronization to also permit photos to be uploaded to the cloud, shortly after you’ve taken them, for safe keeping. However, those photos are synced to Google+ which isn’t necessarily what you’d expect or prefer. However, while the native capabilities of Android offer you no other choices, several third party apps allow your photos to be uploaded to alternative online storage. Here we look at Autosync for Google Drive which, as the name suggests, provides synchronization with your Google Drive account.
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Install Autosync for Google Drive from the Play Store and start it up. Confusingly, it’ll appear on your phone under the different name of Drive Autosync. The app will tell you the three steps needed to get up and running which we’ll explain here. So, select “Let’s Do It” to get started.
Grant Access to Google Drive
You’ll now be asked to grant your permission for the app access to Google Drive using the account name indicated. If you prefer to use a different account, follow the link at the bottom of the screen and, once it’s showing the correct account, select “Connect to Google Drive”.
Allow it to Manage your Files
Again you’ll be asked to grant the app permission, in this case for it to view and manage the files and documents in your Google Drive account. You’ll be warned of the implications of doing so and, so long as you’re happy with the statement, select “OK” to continue.
Select a Local Folder
Now you’ll be asked to specify which folder on your Android device you want to sync with your Google Drive account. Although you can choose to sync any folder, if you want to sync your photos as you take them under KitKat, select DCIM and then Camera before choosing Select.
Select a Google Drive Folder
Next, you need to decide which of the folder in your Google Drive account you want to sync with the folder you specified in the previous step. All the folders are listed so, if you want to sync with any of them, just choose your preferred folder and then pick Select.
Create a New Google Drive Folder
Alternatively, if you want to create a new folder to sync with your Android device, select ‘New Folder’. Now enter a name for your new folder before selecting OK. You’ll then be asked to select a folder, as you were in the previous step, but your new folder will now be shown.
Choose a Sync Method
The next job is to select the sync method. There are no fewer than seven different methods available but it’s not hard to make your choice because each one of them is fully described. You’ll notice, for example, that the workings of the default method, Two-way, is already explained on-screen.
Review Alternative Methods
To see the other methods available, touch Two-way and a pop-up menu will list all the other sync methods. If you want to know what another one does, select it and a full description of how it works will appear on-screen. Have a look at each and, when you’ve made your choice, select Next.
Setup is Complete
You’ll now be told that the setup is complete and the options that you’ve chosen will be summarized on-screen. Take a minute to check the information that’s been provided and, if you’re not happy with anything, exit and restart the app to choose different options. Otherwise, just select Done.
Syncing in Progress
Synchronisation will now start, if you have a Wi-Fi connection, and you can follow progress on the status screen. You can also view this screen when you start the app later. This time it might take a few minutes to complete, depending on how many photos you have, but subsequent syncs will normally be much quicker.
See your Photos Online
For peace of mind, you might want to double check that your photos genuinely have been uploaded to the cloud. You can do that either by going to drive.google.com on the web or by using the Drive app. All being well, you’ll see your photos safely stored in the cloud.
View Sync History
Back in Autosync for Google Drive, if you ever want to keep an eye on what’s been uploaded, or downloaded, and when, touch the menu icon and select Sync History. The Sync History page will appear and you’ll be able to see when each sync started and finished, and what files were transferred.
Fine-tune the Options
We’ve seen how to setup basic synchronisation but Autosync for Google Drive offers lots of other options that you might want to change. Select Settings from the menu to go to the Settings screen and, as you’ll see, there’s plenty scope for fine tuning its operation. Review and alter the setting to meet your needs.