How to use DropSpace to automatically sync your Android folders

DropSpace - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

I am always looking for easier ways to get files on and off of my Android tablet. We’ve mentioned Dropbox on more than one occasion here on Nothing But Tablets, and by using DropSpace in coordination with Dropbox you can sync your tablet without ever plugging it in to your computer. DropSpace is a free app that allows you to sync selected folders on your Android device with a folder in your Dropbox. Jump past the break to learn how to do it.

  • Make sure you have the DropSpace and Dropbox apps from the Android Market.
  • If you don’t have a Dropbox account yet, click here to set one up.
  • Open DropSpace on your tablet and login with your Dropbox account info.
  • From the main menu tap Manage sync list and navigate to the folder you want synced and long press on it to move to the next step.
  • Choose the Dropbox folder you want to sync to. I suggest creating a new one. For example, I created a folder called Touchpad for my tablet to sync to, and one called EVO for my phone to sync to. This way if you have multiple devices syncing you can keep them all straight.
  • Repeat the previous two steps until you have all the folders setup to sync that you want.

Now you can manage how DropSpace handles the syncing. There are a handful of check boxes that are pretty self explanatory. You can setup DropSpace to automatically sync every couple of hours by running it as a service, turn off notifications, sync only on WiFi, or keep WiFi awake while your tablet is asleep. The other two options deal with how DropSpace handles changing files. Sync back files if server has newer ones will automatically download any files you changed in the Dropbox folder on your computer and Delete remote file when deleted locally will make sure you don’t have deleted files that keep getting synced.

In my experience the syncing only goes one way however. What I mean by this is that you can’t put a file in the folder you are syncing with on your computer, and have it downloaded to your tablet. The file has to originate on the tablet in order to be synced. If the file is something like a text document, you can edit it on the computer and it will be synced back to your tablet with the changes, but you can’t send files to your tablet this way. This is just a minor inconvenience though, because in order to even use DropSpace you have to have Dropbox installed so you can just download any files you need from there.

One cool thing about DropSpace is that it doesn’t doesn’t keep your Dropbox login information when you sign into the app. What I mean is that it takes you to Dropbox and asks for permission to access it so the app never comes in contact with your info. This is a great little feature that I wish more app developers would use rather than just storing all your personal information.

You can essentially use this to sync your entire tablet with Dropbox so you always have a backup. Or you could use it to automatically transfer any pictures or videos you took right to your computer. This is just one more way for me to not have to mess with actually plugging a cable from my tablet to my computer. After all, we are living in the wireless age, why not take advantage of it!


Edit: Andreas has coverage of a similar app that allows proper two-way syncing over at Pocketables

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Bryan Faulkner

Bryan Faulkner is a former associate editor at Pocketables. He loves to find new ways to use his tablets while working as the Tech Director at his local church. Mixing sound from the iPad is his newest obsession. He currently has a pair of HP TouchPads, an iPad 2, a decommissioned HTC EVO 4G, and a Samsung Galaxy Note II to tinker with.

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