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Sync It Up

Your Google account is the key that unlocks a powerful but not widely discussed element of Android – a completely hands-off cloud backup service. When you enter your Google account info (your Gmail address and password) into a device, be it a new tablet or smartphone, all your emails will now automatically show up. As well, the sync also brings over all your Google contacts, plus your browser bookmarks, customized dictionaries, saved Wi-Fi passwords and more. That way, whichever device you’re working on, you’ve got everything at the ready.

Let the Music Play

Google Music isn’t available in Canada, for now, which is too bad. It’s a great service that keeps all your music in the cloud, available on whatever device you’re currently using. So, until it makes its way north of the 49th, we have to take matters into our own hands. Luckily there are some great Android apps for this.

doubleTwist and Miro are apps that bridge the gap between iTunes and your Android smartphone. doubleTwist on your Mac or PC plus the doubleTwist app on your Android device ensure that the music and podcasts you want are with you when you want them. Likewise, drop a few bucks in the Google Play store and unlock doubleTwist AirSync, which automatically syncs all your tunes over any Wi-Fi connection.

Picture Perfect

Android offers many options for keeping your pictures and videos in the cloud. Yahoo! recently upgraded every Flickr account to 1 TB (1,000 GB) of free image storage, for example; and the Dropbox app can be set to automatically sync any picture you take on your phone so you also have a copy in the cloud. But nothing beats the ease of Picasa, a picture app already tied into your Google account. In the Gallery app, tap and hold on an album, tap Share and choose Picasa to keep a cloud backup of your snaps.

Friends & Contacts

Your Google Account keeps all your contacts in sync, no matter what device you’re using. When you log in on your Android phone, all of your contacts – names, numbers, email and physical addresses, and even any notes you’ve made – come straight over. View your contacts, on any device, by simply logging into your Google Account on the Google Contacts site. Entries added on your phone or tablet will automatically show up on your computer. Likewise, any changes made on your computer will show up on your other devices, too.

Check out these easy-to-follow Android tutorials:

1. How to Back Up Your Contacts on Your Android

2. How to Snap Video Stills with Your Android

3. How to Customize Your Android Home Screen

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