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Question About Syncing & What It Does

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by PGB1213, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. PGB1213

    PGB1213 Member
    Thread Starter

    Hi Everyone!
    I have an Android phone using Android 5.1. I also have a Google Drive account. Syncing confuses me, so I'd like to ask a question here to make sure I know what I am trying to accomplish won't backfire on me.

    I "synced" my Contacts and Calendar from the phone to Google Drive. (Settings - Accounts - Google - Tapped my E-Mail address - Chose Calendar "Touch To Sync Now" and repeated for Contacts.)

    As far as I can figure out, Syncing means the phone & Google Drive Contacts & Calendar now match. But, if the phone is broken or lost, the Contacts & Calendar will be empty on a new phone (except for the pre-loaded contacts & events they put in at the factory).

    If I take a new phone and go to Settings and tell it to Sync those items, will the old, pre-existing Google Drive Contacts & Calendar come to the new phone, or will Google Drive get the stuff that is pre-loaded on the new phone, thus wiping out the items I uploaded today? (In other words, when syncing- Who is the master, the phone or the drive?)

    Thanks for explaining. I apologize for my lack of knowledge.

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  2. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum

    Not a problem Paul.

    In your scenario where you have your calendar and contacts synced with your Google account, when you sign into ANY android device with your Google credentials, what's in the cloud gets synced to that device. It's not where the synchronization process makes everything look like the newest device. The whole point is to protect and unify your data.

    Now keep in mind that if you actually delete a synced contact or photo using any of the connected devices it will most likely delete it from all synced devices unless you specifically tell it not to.
    olbriar and psionandy like this.
  3. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    .... and just to add a point of clarification, when it comes to something like your Contacts (address book) or Calendar (dates and scheduling) it's syncing to your online Google account, with Google Drive (file storage) just being another aspect to your Google services.
    When everything is synced, you can access the Contacts app, the Calendar app, or the Drive app on your phone, or when you're on a computer using any browser just log into your account to get access to the same data:
  4. PGB1213

    PGB1213 Member
    Thread Starter

    Thank You Lunatic59 & Svim for explaining & for the links.

    As I understand from reading what you both wrote, should my phone blow up (or I more likely drop it one too many times) and get a new one, when I next sync; all the contacts and calendar events that are in Google will come to the new phone. That sure beats having to manually enter all the items.

    Also, if I understand correctly, if I add a contact on the phone, upon next sync that contact (which I manually added to the phone) will be added to Google. If I add a contact to Google, upon next sync that contact (which I manually added to Google) will arrive at the phone. Likewise if I remove a contact. Remove it from one & it gets taken off the other.

    The removing part is where I got confused. If the phone was empty because it is new, I could not figure out if Google try to match the phone and go empty, or if it would try to make the phone match Google & it send its contacts to the blank phone. (If this were a video forum, you would see me with a blank look on my face.)

    I apologize for not getting the concept of syncing. I'm still trying to figure out how to work my VCR.

    Thanks Again for helping. I sure appreciate your assistance!
    olbriar likes this.
  5. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum

    Exactly right. The first time you log into your Google account with any device that's not been connected to your account before, Google will sync contacts and the calendar automatically. If it's a brand new first-time-setup on the device (or following a factory reset) it should also ask you if you wish to restore your apps and settings, assuming you have them set to backup now.

    Actually, adding contacts and calendar events initiate a sync so they should appear almost immediately provided they are connected to the internet.

    No apologies needed. At least VCR's used to come with a manual. ;)
  6. PGB1213

    PGB1213 Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks Lunatic59!
    I couldn't ask for better clarification if I tried! I do believe I've got it (finally, thick head that I am when it comes to tech things).

    My next challenge will be to try to get the phone to auto-sync. It only syncs if I go to Settings - Accounts - Google - and choose "Sync Now" for each item I wish to sync. I did internet searches for Auto-Sync Android 5.1, but each solution isn't on my phone. (Settings - Wireless & Networks - Data Usage - Menu - Auto-Sync) (Settings - Accounts - Google - Menu - Auto-Sync) and a few more that I found. Perhaps the feature isn't available on ZTE Maven. Or, maybe it is because I don't have a data plan and sync via WiFi.

    It certainly isn't a big deal, more of a curiosity. And since I don't have a data plan auto-sync may even drain the battery while trying to sync when I'm not on WiFi.

    At least now, thanks to you guys, know what sync is & how it works.

    Thanks Again!
  7. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum

    Syncing is not carrier or manufacturer dependent. If you go to settings>accounts>google>[youraccount@gmail.com] do you see check boxes next to the items you want to have synced?

    Sync then should be automatic. However, you might try going to settings>networks>wi-fi and make sure "keep wifi on during sleep" is set to "always". What may be happening is that since you don't have a mobile data plan, wifi goes shuts off when your phone goes to sleep and therefore you have no data connection at all.
  8. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    Your phone's battery may be draining a bit faster when you don't have an online connection not so much because different apps and services running the background cannot connect to their respective online servers (they just go idle when there's no online access), but more because your phone is always scanning for available WiFi networks when it's not connected to one. It's a subtle difference.
    When you're not at home just disable WiFi so your phone doesn't waste power searching for on online connection. And don't forget to just enable it again when you are at home.
    Xavier Black and lunatic59 like this.
  9. wenso martin

    wenso martin Member

    Informative post...thanks for sharing the link...
  10. PGB1213

    PGB1213 Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks All!
    I tried the suggestions Lunatic59 posted above, but no luck. I guess you're right that not being able to choose "automatic sync" is related to not having a data plan.

    I did notice what you mentioned Svim that the battery goes dead sooner with WiFi on. Actually, on my phone it goes form freshly charged dead within an hour. (Example- When I'm downloading updates)

    So, I'll be sure to remember (try to remember) to turn on WiFi & manually sync after adding or removing a Calendar event or an entry to the Contacts. Perhaps, when I'm a grown up, I will get a phone with a data plan. (From a guy in his 60's...)

    Thanks Again All! I learned quite a bit thanks you you guys.
  11. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    If your phone is draining the battery that quickly, that's an indicator the battery is starting to fail.
    Your model apparently does not have a user-replaceable battery but if you're handy with a tool set the iFixit site has a step-by-step guide:
    With only 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage your phone has some limited hardware resources just as is. I don't know if putting money into it is a good investment at this point. Perhaps it's time to upgrade to something newer? You don't need to spend a lot on a flagship model either (well unless you want to). There are a number of good phones in the 'budget' class these days that have more modest specs but are still very viable choices for daily-usage phones:
  12. PGB1213

    PGB1213 Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks Svim! Thanks for the links, too.

    After exploring the links you provided, along with some battery shopping, I have to agree with you about not spending money on a battery for this phone.

    Street price for that phone new with no contract would have been $25.00, but I got it free because AT&T said I couldn't use my "dumb" phone anymore on their pre-pay no-contract service. I told them they'd have to supply a compatible phone free. It is a pretty nice phone, despite its limitations. But now that I'm learning cool Android stuff, like Syncing, I want more! more! more! out of my phone. (And to think I was perfectly content growing up using pay phones, assuming one could find one that wasn't looted.)

    That ZTE "free" phone did come with a humorous price- The seemingly non stop text-pestering from AT&T "Now that you have a smart phone, our best streaming data plan only costs....", "You can't afford not to get this data plan that streams flawlessly...", "Stream constantly with this plan..."

    It appears that my life won't be complete without a data plan that streams. (Whatever that word "stream" means, it must be really, really important to be able to do it. I always thought that "stream" was a noun referring to where the salmon lived. Guess it's now a verb.)

    A new phone, with more internal storage would be helpful since so very many apps have to live on internal storage- as opposed to the SD card. Mine's full and I have few apps, other than the non-removable ones. (None for streaming, darn it!)
    And, after reading your link about reasonably priced phones, I learned that some phones can get Android operating system updates for a couple of years. I'd love that! Mine is on 5.1, apparently for life. (Probably can't stream on 5.1...)

    Thanks Again All for your help. I sure learned a lot. (Now, it's off to learn what "streaming" is and why I can't reach the Promised Land without doing it.)

    Enjoy This Day!
  13. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    Streaming typically refers to watching online video, the issue being video content itself is sizable so adequate bandwidth is required to view it, at least smoothly without any annoying buffering issues. Personally I still prefer watching video content on my TV or computer. I don't necessarily avoid it on my phone but I don't often intend on it.

    As it sounds like you do want to immerse yourself in what a more capable smartphone can do, read through that Wirecutter article on budget phones. Their recommendations may or may not suit your own individual needs for a phone but they do provide valuable insight on a lot of things to consider so you can make a better decision on just what to buy. And if budget isn't an issue, getting a higher end phone could be what you're looking for at this point:
  14. PGB1213

    PGB1213 Member
    Thread Starter

    Thank You Svim for the follow up and the link.
    A new phone may be coming soon. I rely on vibration-on-ring (bad hearing), but it quit working. Even a total reset didn't revive it, so maybe it's time to send this one to a place that gets phones to those in need (if they want it).

    Regarding streaming, it appears the AT&T ads are wrong! I can live without it. (For some reason, TV & movies have always put me to sleep instantly. Going to the movie theatre is a $10.00 nap.)

    Thanks Again All for helping. I do appreciate the time you all took to teach.

    Enjoy This Day!

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