App data sync

We'll probably learn more about the mystery checkbox at today's Google I/O keynote

Well here's an interesting development. Head to the Android sync options for your Google account right now and you'll probably see a new checkbox sitting up top for 'App Data' sync. The new setting seems to have appeared overnight for most people, and we're currently seeing it on all our devices.

What exactly this new sync setting does remains a bit of a mystery, but with the Google I/O keynote due to take place today, chances are we'll find out sooner rather than later. One possibility might be saved-game synchronization through the rumored Google Play Games service, however 'App Data' sounds a bit broader in scope. With just five hours to go until the keynote, at least we shouldn't have long to wait before we find out more.

What's more, the Google Play Store app itself is also being updated on some handsets, with some folks reporting minor visual changes in the UI.

Chances are these won't be the only updates we see from Google today, so stay tuned for our live coverage of the Google I/O keynote, which kicks off at noon EDT.

Update: Reports from the Android Central forums reveal another new checkbox to sync "People Details" which is apparently separate from "Contacts."


Reader comments

Google 'App Data' sync setting appearing on devices


Mine is with my contacts. All other's are fine and I have the app data listed as well as people details and both are syncing.

I take it contacts is being replaced by people details. Very odd.... wonder if you can get to this stuff in your google account yet.

Hope my contacts don't get screwed up.... time to do an export!

I don't have either "App Data" or "People Details" yet, but I never noticed Ingress is in my list (sync is OFF though). Does anyone have Ingress sync on or know what purpose it serves?

At last, I just hope it's really game save sync. I have all checkbox this morning. But Browser still gets an error and Blogger automatically unchecks itself. Anyone has seen this behavior?

i know that with fragmentation this might not be practical or possible, but it would be nice if Google somehow synced your entire phone data so that no matter what phone you had or upgraded to - all of your data and settings would automatically re-sync onto your device - wallpaper, all app settings, ringtones, notification sounds, etc. so that replacing your phone would be effortless. again, with fragmentation this might not be possible due to too many potential conflicts.

Well that's pretty much what this looks like it's going to be. It'll hopefully backup all your apps so you won't have to use third party apps to save different settings in certain apps, where you are in a game, etc. I'm sure the stock launcher (and other launchers) will be included so it'll also put your apps back where you had them on your new phone.

If this is what app data sync is, then I'm stoked. I've been waiting for this for a long time.

The way Google just pushes stuff to our Android devices is just creepy. Was no one else alarmed when Google Settings magically appeared in our app drawer?

You are tied to Google.
They can push whatever they want, it even says in their TOS.
If you don't like this you can always install ROM without Google services so you are never connected to Google again. =)

Actually no? I think having the app there to adjust settings is a good thing. It shows that Google is giving us users more control and thus making it easier to manage things on our phone.

Not surprised at all. This was a natural progression that HAD to be made. Sorry to Koush and Carbon Backup, but now Google is doing it right. As it should be.

So what if we have the same apps on multiple devices but use different settings? There has to be some additional control over this... I had recently (couple weeks ago) reset a users Galaxy Nexus has noticed message at some point that said Google would restore settings when I download an app that I had previously installed/used. I had used Carbon backup to backup all the apps/data but then ever had to use it to restore as when I installed apps the data came with it. Maybe this has been out there longer then we all think...

Ok, so I'm not sure if this is new or not, but it is awesome. After reading this, I was hopeful that my Real Racing 3 game data could now be transferred from my S3 to my N7. So I went into the settings on the S3 inside RR3, saw "Save to Cloud" and made sure the game was saved. I then logged in through my Facebook account on the N7, chose "Load from Cloud" and presto! If this is what all experiences with syncing app data on multiple devices will be like, I will be a happy camper!

I think that's RR itself syncing but using your Google id to know who to sync with.
This new sync is baked into the OS?

Give it time. It only started rolling out in a quiet update (like pretty much all Google Services/Google Play Store updates) just 5 or so days ago.

Nice this service, but since the latest update, May 15 during Google I/O, I can't connect to Google+, Google Talk or the newest Hangout, Google Calendar, Google Keep. Only Gmail, Google Drive and Google Currents work on my Samsung GS3. Deleting my cache, my account, or on a computer my account settings (this losing some information) doesn't seem to work :-(

On my N8000 unchecking app data WOULD NOT auto sync my gmail account. On my S5300 it auto syncs even when unchecked.

I have 2 gmail addresses to sync on the S5300. Each one of them has the app data option which puzzles me. Both accounts are in the same app (Gmail). So if I check app data in one account then leave uncheccked in the other, WHAT DOES IT MEAN?