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."

There are 39 comments

dsignori says:

This is super interesting actually.

trees247 says:

I have a sync error and it says Sync is experiencing problem...anyone else?

Baleeted says:

That's probably Google.

S_C_B says:

I get it, but only for Calendar. All others sync fine.

Hreidmardmar says:

They are just rolling out so Google might have a little hiccup there. =)

reddragon72 says:

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!

fjitb says:

Mine happens with Internet Sync, I just uncheck it and the rest of the sync works fine

Jezz_X says:

Yeah I got it to I wonder what people details is for maybe the new babel stuff

sakasune says:

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?

Mayoo614 says:

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?

Ledders610 says:

Just appeared on my N4 - very intriguing!!

newboyx says:

I have had the sync app data since at least the 13th.

BRIVERS73 says:

+1... I've actually had them both since then

newboyx says:

I am pretty sure I have had it for a while, but just noticed the last sync date as the 13th.

dtanderson says:

Has the sync Internet one always been there?

still1 says:


Gekko says:

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.

Channan says:

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.

mathiasjk says:

I have them too on my Galaxy Nexus.

miwaca says:

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?

Hreidmardmar says:

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. =)

miwaca says:

Thanks. I didn't read the ToS so I had no idea. I'm more amazed than creeped really.

eric.atx says:

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.

Utter Butter says:

So will the app data sync appear only for devices with the new android version?

Tietherope says:

Mine shows last synced on the 9th.

ExtremeNerd says:

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.

MarkSeven says:

I see it on my Rezound. I hope we learn what this means soon!

rkirmeier says:

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...

nisxan says:

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!

speculatrix says:

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?

anthonok says:

Mine showed up yesterday.

Am I the only one around here that reads Android Police? oO

squiddy20 says:

No. No you're not. They had this posted about a week ago when Ron did one of his infamous .apk teardowns.

dovlek says:


decypher44 says:

I don't have it for my HTC One on Sprint. :(

squiddy20 says:

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.


Sorry to ask but where would I find this on the AT&T version of the S4?

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 :-(

drgt says:

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?