Keeping all your devices synchronized with each other has always been a good idea as it lets you juggle phones and tablets, and continue working from the point where you left off without any interruption. There are plenty of apps available to keep videos, music and apps synced across all devices. However, syncing the app’s data is more difficult, especially if you are new to the Android ecosystem. Normally, this entails knowing the correct files that have to be moved between devices and their appropriate location — an easy feat for really knowledgeable users, but a caveat for most others.
To provide a straightforward way to sync app data, there’s a useful utility available only for rooted Android devices, DataSync. In the following tutorial, I will explain how to set up and use DataSync across multiple devices.
DataSync works over Dropbox, Box or a local WiFi network, but I’ll be using the free Dropbox service as an example to save the backups. This, in fact, lets you take advantage of Dropbox’ cloud storage to access your data regardless of your location.
Step 1: Configure the Dropbox Account
After installing DataSync on your device, the first screen shows the queues you have saved for sync — it’s of no use for you at the moment. Just press the Menu key and select Settings. Scroll half-way down until you get to the Dropbox option.
Once you select Dropbox, you will be taken to the service’s login page followed by the authorisation screen shown below. Select Allow to let DataSync use your Dropbox account for its backups. That’s it, you’re done configuring the app to use Dropbox.
Dropbox authorisation screen
Step 2: Syncing App Data
As the configuration is done, come back to the app’s main screen and swipe right to the Applications tab. There, you’ll see all the apps that have been installed on your device — be patient, it could take some time to load if the list is really large!
List of apps that can be sync’ed with Datasync
If you can’t see an app that exists on your device, tap the Refresh button given at the top-right corner.
On the screen, select the app which data you want to sync. A bottom bar will appear on the screen showing “1 Queued”. This is where you will see how many apps have been selected and are pending synchronisation.
Click the Sync button — the double-arrow button in the top bar — and the next screen will ask you to pick a sync method. As we’ve already configured Dropbox, you should see its icon amongst the options and pick it.
Syncing methods. Pick Dropbox.
A prompt should appear asking you to specify the sync direction: two-way, upload or download. Since we’re setting up our first device with DataSync, select Upload to send your app’s data to the Dropbox servers so you can later on download them to another device. Sync will begin immediately, and the progress will be shown on the screen.
Once it’s done, you should have a similar screen that indicates a successful sync. Should you want to, you can see the files that were transferred by checking your Dropbox account from a browser or a dedicated app.
The message indicating a successful sync.
Step 3: Syncing Back to Other Devices
To sync the app data back to another device, just get DataSync installed on it, configure it to use Dropbox and hit the Sync button. When it asks for the sync direction of the sync, choose Download. That’s all. The data will then be downloaded to your second device and you are all done! You can now start playing the game, or continue using any app, from the point you left off on your first device.
You can even configure a two-way sync afterwards to keep you apps and games in harmony over all of your devices.
DataSync is a must-have app if you own more than one Android device and want to keep everything rolling smoothly between them. Games or apps save their specific data and settings in files that can be kept in sync, thanks to this app, between all devices so you don’t start everything from the beginning once you leave your phone and head to your tablet, or vice-versa.