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Three Things iOS Users Should Do to Fully Sync with Android Devices

Apple users shouldn’t commit themselves fully only to their iOS devices, since it is possible for them to make use of other software platforms. That said, iOS and Android devices don’t always get along nicely, but there are steps we can take to make them work happily together. However, due to significant differences in both platforms, it may not be possible to achieve a completely perfect solution. But there are many tricks and tools we can use to make our cross-platforms lives feel easier and more straightforward.

ios and android

Handling calendars, contacts and emails: IMAP makes it easier to manage iCloid email accounts from Android’s Email app. On the other hand, the Mail app on iOS devices also supports Gmail accounts. Many iOS devices owners use Gmail as their primary email service, making it more advisable to get an Android device.

calendarIt is still not possible for iOS users to set up a unified master inbox that can store both Gmail and iCloud messages together. Android Email app and iOS Email app can do this both, but often only the surface. In reality, users are still required to use separate accounts. It isn’t possible to import new Gmail messages into the cloud. There are also no ways to receive and send emails from iCloud addresses. It is advisable to choose one as the main email account and always stick to it. Again, users need to prepare themselves for some hair-pulling, when they are dealing with contacts and calendars. But if users want to perform two-way synchronization with both Android and iOS users, it is advisable to use Google’s proprietary cloud services for the backend. This may not be a good solution if they have their calendar information and contacts in iCloud.  Users can still benefit from multiple configurations and setups in this area. However, they are still good to go on Android-based devices, if they already have their calendars and contacts setup in Gmail. They can add the data to iOS devices and configure separate CardDAV and CalDAV accounts. To do this, they can go to Settings > Add Account > Other, then choose either CalDAV or CardDAV. Setting up the account is as easy as entering the username and password of their Gmail account and using “google.com” for the server.

Because iOS users typically have their calendar and contacts information in the iCloud, it is often difficult to get the data synced across Android devices. One thing they may do is to migrate their data over to Google’s cloud service, although this won’t be an appealing prospect for everyone. To do this, iOS users need to log into their Contact app on the iCloud, mark all contacts and choose Export vCard. The next step is to save the resulting file in a convenient place. To import the contacts, the can go to the Gmail, switch to the contacts pane, choose the drop down menu from the top and enable the import option.

Exporting process for calendars can be a little trickier. iOS users need to publicly share their calendar data from the web interface of iCloid and paste the generated URL from the web browser’s address bar. Copy it to the text editor, look for “webcal” and change it to “http”. Run the modified URL on the web browser and it will generate an .ics file into the local storage. iOS users can use the file to import the calendar information to the Google Calendar or Outlook. One alternative is to go to the Google Calendar and subscribe to the iCloud calendars from there. In these cases, information transfer is only one way and to achieve seamless experience between iOS and Android, users need to exclusively switch to the Google Calendar.

 

Handling multimedia content: Music should be relatively easier to manage. As long as users have AAC or MP3 tracks with no digital rights protection, they can easily transfer them between iOS and Android devices. There are many tools available to help users do this. Google Music allows users to store about twenty thousands of personal tracks for free in the cloud. Unfortunately, there’s no official iOS app for this purpose, but users can scan an iTunes library if they already a Google Music account set up. Another alternative for playing and storing audio collection is Amazon Coud Player and this time, Amazon provides apps for both Android and iOS. DoubleTwist is often called iTunes for Android; it allows iOS users to access iTunes library for Android devices. The app can also scan personal audio collection and move any track over to portable devices.

itunesVideo is trickier to handle, because Apple isn’t very keen that iOS users play multimedia content on other platforms if they have purchased a stack of TV shows and movies from the iTunes Store. Save for a few shady workarounds, it’s just well-nigh impossible to play any DRM-locked content on Android devices. Things could be somewhat brighter if you have the so-called “self-made” videos, such as DVD rips. iOS users can get such a content onto Android devices DoubleTwist or iTunes. If these videos need to be converted, it is advisable to use the Handbrake app. Handling YouTube content is also relatively easy, since both Android and iOS offer excellent support for the video sharing service. iOS users often listen to newest albums through Spotify or watch new episodes of their favorite TV shows on Nteflix. With popular apps like Rdio and Hulu, iOS users can sync content across different platforms and devices very easily.

Handling apps, documents and apps: Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten anything that can port apps from iOS to Android devices or vice-versa. It’s a good thing most developers are willing to release app versions for both iOS and Android. Some may even sync across one another, such as Skype, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and others. Syncing between iOS and Android devices with these apps can fair straightforward, especially if the data is stored in the cloud, instead on local storage. In many cases, developers release their apps in iOS first, but with the domination of Android OS in the mobile space, the playing field already levels out. Most major releases are available in both the Google Play store and Apple App Store.

There also file storage apps that can happily sync with our files across iOS and Android. The rather unassuming, but slick DropBox is a favorite. It works with simplicity and feels straightforward to set up. It is so light that some of the competing solutions feel like lumbering gorillas. For iOS users planning to extend to Android platform, they may find DropBox very useful for syncing videos and photos. It can back up every videos recorded on the device and arrange them into a content stream that users can access from anywhere.

evernote logoPlain texts are documents in their simplest form, so Evernote is certainly worth a mention for iOS users looking to sync their notes and any scrap of content to Android devices. Many of us already using it and fortunately, Evernote delivers impressive web and cross-platform operability. The Microsoft SkyDrive is a commonly used tool to keep documents accessible across different platforms, including iOS, Android, Mac OS and Windows. When it comes to, iOS users shouldn’t hold their breath for Android’s official version of Pages, Numbers and Keynote. iCloud allows users to download files on the Web as standard Office documents or PDF. Once the syncing is completed, iOS users can download an Office apps package, such as QuickOffice, to le them view and edit documents on the go.

It may be difficult to cover all possible workflows and integration between iOS and Android. However, pointers mentioned above can put us well on the way to making these devices get along nicely together.

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