Syncing Your Smartphone: Stay Connected on the Move

Today, we’re expected to be productive while on the move. The amazing capabilities of the smartphone keep us connected. Smartphones are more than phones; they’re also tiny computers that fit in your pocket.

Video Transcript

Today, we’re expected to be productive while on the move. The amazing capabilities of the smartphone keep us connected. Smartphones are more than phones; they’re also tiny computers that fit in your pocket. A smartphone liberates you from your desktop and even makes it possible for you to keep up with work without lugging around a laptop. There is little point in carrying a smartphone around if the information in it is not up to date. Syncing a smartphone with a computer or cloud service (such as Google, iCloud or Dropbox) means exchanging data between them so that your information is available wherever you go. Syncing is also a form of backup; it creates a copy of the data being synced. This is insurance against data loss. If you replace your phone, you can avoid the headache of manually entering your contacts by simply syncing your new phone. So, what kind of data can you sync? Essentially, any data your smartphone can store: email, contacts, calendars, music, videos, and documents. Syncing your smartphone with your computer is a fairly straightforward process. While your smartphone may be a BlackBerry, iPhone, or Android phone and your computer Windows PC or a Mac, the basic procedure is the same whichever combination of phone and computer you have. First, install the phone management program on the computer—iTunes for the iPhone, for example, or BlackBerry Desktop Software for the BlackBerry. Second, connect the phone to the computer with the USB cable that came with the phone. Third, launch the phone management program — some programs auto-load, so wait a few seconds to see if yours does. Aside: The manufacturer of your Android phone will generally supply proprietary syncing software. If you don't want to use desktop syncing software, all Android phones should be capable of syncing with Google's cloud services, including Gmail, Google Docs and Google Calendar. Most smartphones give you an option to sync with a computer, or with a cloud service. There are pros and cons to each. If you choose to sync your data with a computer, then you should continue syncing your data on a frequent basis to ensure that changes from one device get synced to the other. For example, if you add a contact to your computer, it won't be available on your phone until you manually sync it again—this requires connecting your phone to your computer via the USB cable. If you use a cloud service, then your phone or computer will sync with the cloud instead of directly with each other. This means that your data is always up to date, but you must have an internet connection. There are several different options for syncing with a cloud service. Most Android phones will sync with Google, and most iPhones running iOS 5 will sync with iCloud. There are also third-party cloud services like Dropbox and Sugarsync which may offer different features from Google and iCloud. With these services, you can choose what kind of data is synced with the cloud. The end result is that your desktop and smartphone data will be in sync and up-to-date—without touching any cables. It works like magic. Create a new contact or appointment on your smartphone, for example, and it’ll automatically be synced to your computer through the cloud. It doesn’t get any simpler! Regardless of which sync technology you choose to use, it is becoming increasingly important in our world of rapid data exchange, multiple devices and constant connectivity. Today, we may have one or two desktops at home, a laptop, a netbook, a tablet and a smartphone. Syncing is the only way to maintain access to all your data regardless of where you are. Indeed, it’s not an exaggeration to say that the choice before us today in this new technology driven world is stark: Sync or Sink.

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