Android devices are instantly gratifying gadgets of wonder. They give us directions, messages, a camera, endless music and live TV. They also give us access to our files, wherever we’ve stored them. From SugarSync to Cheetah Sync, Google + and Trend Micro, content syncing and backup is becoming a bonus perk for apps of every flavor. It was also a notable week for several top brand Android apps, including Foursquare, celebrating 1 billion check-ins with an updated app.
As far as automated file syncing goes, SugarSync is one of the simplest solutions. An update to the Android app makes things even easier, with the Mobile Device Management feature. With this you can view and manage your content from the app, instead of merely accessing files. A new in-app text editor makes you more productive when it comes to editing and managing your files. Create new folders or text files to be synced across all your devices, and upload directly to any synced folder, even for larger media files. The app is free but you’ll have to pay for the service if you require more than 5GB of space.
Google+ is finally free for anyone to try, as the latest social network to hit the scene opens its arms wide to the world. The Android app has been updated in turn, adding Hangouts for live video chats, screen sharing and collaborative sketch pads. Running on Android 2.3+ for devices sporting a front-facing camera, Google ups the ante in its rivalry against Facebook, Twitter and even Skype. Instead of @mentions you have +mentions to tag friends in posts, and soon you’ll be able to +1 comments in the Stream.
Foursquare has reached a major milestone with 1 billion check-ins, making it one of the most active sites in the nation. The social site that lets you earn badges, rewards and recommendations for checking-in to nearby venues has updated its Android app in celebration. You can now access Lists through the mobile app, tapping-in to curated notes for restaurants you want to try, favorite Bucktown boutiques or top D.C. coffee shops. Another perk is the updated privacy options that let you hide your home address. About time!
Mobile Security Personal Ed. (Free)
With malware constantly attacking Android devices, it’s no surprise so many security apps have hit the Market lately. Weeks after Norton rolled out its annual security suite comes a new app from Trend Micro’s arsenal, the Mobile Security Personal Edition. It scans apps for viruses, tracks down lost devices and remote locks and wipes them as well. You can block unwanted numbers, sound an alarm when you’ve dropped the phone between couch cushions, and lock your SIM card to protect your content if it’s been removed from a stolen device. The app is free to download as a 30-day trial.
From the makers of iSyncer comes Cheetah Sync, an easy way to connect files on your Android and computer, skipping the cloud and the cords. The app syncs your files over a local Wi-Fi network, backing up your content without having to set up a cloud account or even plugging your phone to the computer. There’s a “Sync Now” shortcut, it supports Windows and Mac and lets you auto-sync files as well.