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Summary:

Android owners using Dropbox should take a look at Dropsync, a third-party client that offers more features than the native Dropbox software. Offering true, two-way sync, the app can be configured to sync at certain times, on Wi-Fi only or depending on the phone’s battery level.

dropsync-featured

I’ve long been a fan of Dropbox, the online file and folder sync service that works on multiple desktop and mobile platforms. The mobile Dropbox client is a little bare-bones, however, and that’s where Dropsync comes in as a replacement front-end for the Dropbox service.

The software for Android 2.0 or better devices is free (limited with ad-support) but $5.70 buys a full, ad-free edition. Just like the desktop version of Dropbox, Dropsync supports true two-way data synchronization. And since battery life is key for mobile devices, the software also allows synchronization intervals to be customized.

Upon installing Dropsync, the software explains how the two-way sync works: You have to pick at least one folder on your Android handset’s SD card to link Dropsync with your Dropbox account. Dropsync suggests the DCIM folder, which is where photos and videos are often stored, but you can choose any folder.

To test the software, I chose the Camera sub-folder on my handset and created a new folder called “Nexus Pics” on Dropbox from within the app. Once I linked the folders on my phone and in Dropbox, I hit the Sync Now button to initiate a manual sync, which put all the images from my Nexus One camera up in the cloud. Of course, this setup is just an example; I could have easily linked any two folders between Dropbox and my smartphone and the app will keep them in sync.

 

Aside from the 2-way sync support, I like the various customization options. You can skip the syncing of hidden files or limit the file sizes to be synced, which keeps massive files off of the phone and won’t eat through a mobile broadband plan. Autosync can be disabled or set to occur on a set schedule by choosing the hourly interval.

Dropsync also has options to sync only when the phone is plugged in, by the amount of battery charge or through Wi-Fi only if desired. In short, most, if not all, of the options you’d want in a mobile Dropbox client exist, although the free version doesn’t have as many configuration choices.

Going Pro eliminates the ads but also includes finer levels of interval control for synching and supports the synchronization of multiple Dropbox folders. The free version should give you a taste of the product, which includes many options that really ought to be in the native Dropbox client. Until that happens though, for less than $6, Dropsync is well worth the investment for Android owners who use Dropbox on a consistent basis.

  1. Sweet! I’ve been using Google + and Ubuntu One for this, but this will work better, I think.

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