Monday, November 18, 2013

3 Uses for Android's FolderSync App

I've got a new killer Android app: FolderSync. FolderSync allows you to, behind the scenes, keep your device in sync with various cloud storage services. Here's 3 ways I've put it to work:

Add syncing to an existing app that lacks it. I'm finding that Writer is a terrific, well, writing app. Its super simple UI, with almost no options, means that it's clutter free. I've used it for drafting blog posts, keeping TODO lists and even for my speaker notes when I recently served on a panel. Conveniently, each block of text is stored as its own file. Using FileSync, I was trivially able to setup a folderpair between my local Writer directory and Google Drive. Now, all my notes magically appear in Google Drive so I can easily access them on a desktop computer. And because the sync is setup to be bidirectional, I can edit them in either location.

For auto-archiving hundreds of photos. Using Eye-Fi it's trivial to get photos pushed from my DSLR to my Galaxy S3. After a day of shooting hundreds of photos, what the heck do I do with all those pictures on my phone? Naturally, I'm going to pick through a few of them and blog them. But what about the rest? That's where FolderSync comes in. I setup a folderpair between an archive directory on my phone and an archive directory in Google Drive. And the cool part is that you can setup FolderSync so that a when a file has been successfully synchronized, it's deleted from the local directory.

This means that I can pop into Terminal IDE and type:

  mkdir Photo_Archive/My_Trip/Day-2
  mv Eye-Fi/*.JPG Photo_Archive/My_Trip/Day-2

I then kick off the sync process, and one by one, the files are pushed to Google Drive and *deleted* from my cell phone.

Meanwhile, back home, I've got a laptop setup with Google Drive sync'ing the Photo_Archive directory. That means that as I'm removing files from my phone, I'm seamlessly adding them to a computer back home. This saves me manually copying files from either an SD card or my Netbook when I return from a trip.

Because FolderSync runs seamlessly in the background, it's glad to chew through hundreds of JPEG files without complaint.

For authoring a website directly from your device. OK, this one is more proof-of-concept than anything else, but it is doable. FolderSync is glad to work with the grandaddy of all cloud services, FTP. I popped into GoDaddy, selected a domain I had parked and associated a free hosting instance with it. A few minutes later I had an FTP username and password I could plug into FolderSync. I then opened up Vim on my device and edited index.html. A few moments later, I was published on the web.

How useful is this in practice? Not sure. But it shows that my phone can publish to the world with almost no effort. And that's just to cool not to have setup.

1 comment:

  1. cool! how do you think this would work with thousands of large RAW files?