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9 ways to make the most of your Android device

JR Raphael | June 2, 2015
Your Android device is a mighty computer -- so isn't it time you start tapping into its PC-like powers?

6. Selectively sync your Android device to the cloud

For even more cloud power, add an app called FolderSync to your Android arsenal. FolderSync allows your phone to act as an extension of your cloud storage by creating an automatic and ongoing sync between locally stored folders and those that reside in your cloud account(s).

All you do is tell the app which folders on your phone you want to keep synced -- the folder where you store documents, for instance, or one that contains your audio files -- then tell it where in the cloud you want those folders to be mirrored. FolderSync supports a huge array of cloud storage providers, including Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and OneDrive, along with Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon S3 Simple Storage Service, and practically any server that permits WebDAV or FTP connections.

FolderSync works with any type of file, too, and it can sync your data in either direction -- from your Android device to the cloud or vice versa. It can also create a two-way sync, which effectively makes your local folder and the cloud-based folder one and the same.

FolderSync costs $2.87. It's also available in an ad-supported and feature-limited free version if you want to try it out before you commit.

7. Beam files between two Android devices

Ever find yourself needing to quickly transfer a file between two Android devices -- your own phone and tablet, for example, or your phone and a colleague's? Android has a built-in feature that makes it dead-simple to do.

As long as your device is running Android 5.0 or higher, simply tap the share command from whatever app you're using to access the file. In the list of choices that appears, select the Android Beam option, then follow the instructions and tap the back of your device against the back of the receiving device.

The two devices will use NFC (near-field communication) to establish a connection and wirelessly transmit the file. The other device doesn't have to run Android 5.0 to receive the file, either; as long it runs Android 3.0 or higher (which any reasonably recent Android device is), it'll be able to accept the transfer.

8. Throw content around from one Android app to another

Speaking of the share command, are you using it to its full advantage? I've often called the share command Android's quiet killer feature, for good reason: Unassuming as it may be, the command empowers you to quickly and seamlessly pass any type of data between applications.

Let's say you're looking at an image in your phone's photo gallery, for instance. Tap the share command, and with one more tap, you can send the image directly to someone in your favorite messaging or emailing app or add the image directly into any cloud storage service for which you have an app installed. You could also send the image to a note-saving service like Evernote or Keep or even send it directly into a photo-editing app like Snapseed for a little on-the-spot polishing.

 

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