Google gets sync

Google seems to be everywhere on an increasing basis, what with Chrome, Chrome OS, Google Glass, and of course Android. A big reason is that Google gets the concept of synchronization, and executes it so well.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor on

I use both Chrome OS and Android for all of the standard reasons, but a primary feature of Google's platforms for me is the synchronization. This is especially true for Android, as setting up a new device is as simple as logging into the Google account.

Nexus 7
Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet

I buy and test a lot of devices, and the ability to have a new gadget up and running quickly is a very big deal. I need to have my settings, accounts, and apps ready to go with little fuss. Android makes this painless to do. Those who own an Android phone know exactly what I mean when they buy a tablet, for instance.

I have experienced this new device setup process many times on my own, but I witnessed someone else going through the process today. It was inspiring to see a non-expert get up and running with ease due to Android's good sync capability.

Regular readers know I have no shortage of gadgets representing all major platforms. The only way I can keep things manageable is to regularly get rid of devices that I don't use a lot. The latest device to leave the nest was the Nexus 7, Google's tablet made by Asus.

I gave the Nexus 7 to a friend, a student who uses a Transformer Prime for her daily laptop. She loves her Transformer and the Android OS that drives it. For this reason, she was the perfect candidate to receive a Nexus 7 and fit it in her daily routine.

Watching her get the Nexus 7 up and running was incredible to witness. She logged in her Google account on the Nexus 7 and spent 5 minutes delightedly exclaiming how her Transformer settings were appearing one after another on the Nexus tablet.

Her home screens were there, along with all of her accounts she'd set up on the Transformer. Rather than let Android automatically download all her apps from the Transformer (which it can do), she decided to pick and choose which ones she wanted on the Nexus 7. This was accomplished by simply tapping the ones she wanted, which Android installed in the background.

She was delighted that her new Nexus 7 was ready to go in less than 10 minutes, with an interface that looked much the same as her familiar Transformer UI. The apps most important to her were there, and the Nexus 7 was already contributing to her computing needs on the go.

This is familiar to Android users, and a great incentive to purchase multiple devices running the OS. Google knows syncing, and does it better than most mobile platform providers.

Editorial standards