Android Central

While we're all about the little green robot in this part of the Mobile Nations, when it comes to computers there are a good few of you out there rocking an Apple desktop or laptop. The latest incarnation of OS X, 10.8 Mountain Lion -- check out our sister site iMore if you haven't already -- brings a number of iOS flavored additions to the desktop environment. Using iCloud, new apps such as reminders and notes can sync with an iOS device so you have all of your stuff, all of the time. But, what if you use an Android phone or tablet, and a Mac? Can you get some everything everywhere syncing too? Of a fashion, yes.

The stock calendar, contacts and mail apps built into Mountain Lion will still continue to sync your Google stored information to your desktop. No issues there. But what about Notes? Despite having possibly the worst font ever put onto a computer screen, the stock Notes app is pretty handy. It's always there, or not far away at worst, and is as good a way as any of just jotting down some quick points. Everyone has a different preference, but personally I haven't found a total all-encompassing note taking solution that I like. So I make notes everywhere, including on my Mac. We're never in front of a computer for that long though, so it'd be pretty swell if we could take our notes with us and luckily Apple has made it really straight forward. It only works one way though, so while you can edit notes on your Mac and sync them with your Android device, it won't work the other way. Still, it can be done, so we'll show you how. 

Android Central

First up, you'll need to head into System Preferences, then hit Mail, Contacts & Calendars. As ever you'll find yourself presented with a whole array of choices, but we're only interested in Gmail. If you've already set up your Gmail account on your Mac, select it. If not, you're going to need to set it up first. 

Android Central

When you look inside the Gmail tab, you'll be presented with a list of applications that can sync with your Google account. Notes happens to be one of them. If the tick box is unchecked, check it. And that's it. Notes will now sync with your Gmail account, by creating a new label called "Notes." The contents of your Notes application on your Mac will now be synchronized to your Google account whenever you have a network connection. 

Of course, syncing with your Gmail account means that it extends beyond just your Android device. It's by no means the most full featured way of syncing your notes across devices, but for some may do just fine. Shopping lists, telephone numbers, there are any number of things you might suddenly need to note but don't have your phone to hand. With a little help from Apple, it need not be a problem.


Reader comments

How to: Sync OS X 10.8 Notes with your Android device


To be honest using Evernote is hands down a way better route to go if you are using a Mac and Android. And you also have a ton of formatting options available to you. I'm still using the free service level and I'm amazed at what I get.

+1 for Evernote.

Isn't it silly how some companies try to add value to their products by building-in tools, but cripple those tools by not providing cross-platform compatibility?

Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, no longer support synchronizing FULLY with Exchange. I would like to understand why features such as Notes, Tasks, numerous Calendar functions, priority settings in Email, and much more are all missing from these high-end smartphones. When I take a note using Outlook the only place I can access it now is Outlook. The same is true of Tasks. If I'm not carrying my computer, or sitting at my desk, those two Outlook features have become useless.

Windows Mobile (dead) and BlackBerry (dying) are/were the last two mobile operating systems to truly support using my Exchange services properly. Windows Mobile was just getting to the point where almost all of the most important mobile features were available when MS brought out Windows Phone. Sure, Windows Phone offers One Note and synchronization with Office via Skydrive but parts of Outlook are still omitted. Why? Should I have to go buy One Note for the computers now? BlackBerry has been in the same place with this support for years, when connected via BES, allowing great office synchronization but the rest of the OS is tired. It's a no-go in the end.

Too many devices are becoming toys rather than tools.

I tried everything as you suggested but haven't seen my notes in the "Notes" folder? I haven't seen where iCloud has done anything for me?

I agree, my Notes is checked in my primary Google account on my iMac and I don't see the Notes folder anywhere within Mail.

guys, make sure (in the Notes on your Mac) you create the Notes under Gmail, not iCloud. Otherwise, the notes created in the Mac will not be synchronized.

In order for you to see the accounts, in Notes - Mac, please go to:

Menu : View / Option : Show Folders List

You will see:


then you can create a new notes and that will be synchronized with your Android device.

I hope this helps.


Apple should have released some sort of app for its users on Android! I mean Google is making apps for Apple to make it compatible with GMail, Google Now (kinda sorta), Maps, etc but Apple can't make a simple reminders and note app that can sync it's mac lineup with Android phones? I mean yes they sync now but it just sends an email to your account, thats nothing compared to what reminders and notes on iOS does! I love my mac but I love my Android, just wish Apple would stop being some stuck up snob and learn to cooperate with others!

Apple will not, and most likely never will, make anything for Android. Apple makes pretty much all their profits selling iPhones and iPads, with a few Macs and iPods on the side. They also make a gold amount off of iTunes and the iOS and Mac App Stores. They won't make anything from an Android app. Your argument that Google makes stuff for Apple products, so Apple should reciprocate is flawed because Google and Apple are two very different animals. Google, unlike Apple, doesn't directly make a cent from selling Android devices. It makes 97% of its profits from online ads. Google wants you to use lots of its services so it can target ads more effectively. Apple wants to keep you buying its hardware. The only place Apple has made software for other systems is (mainly) iTunes and iCloud for Windows desktop PC's. They did that because Windows is so overwhelmingly dominant in desktop platforms. They knew they had lost in that arena, but they wanted to be a major player in mobile devices (first the iPod, then the iPhone, then the iPad). That way, using their mobile devices would still be attractive to PC users. Apple doesn't benefit at all from people using Android, so they're not going to work with Android.

I beg to differ. They benefit by selling more desktop/laptops. I am an Android user, and I still love my MacBook Pro.

That said, the only service I use from Apple is iTunes. I avoid most of the iCloud because I know it won't integrate with Google very well. Notes won't sync, so I use Evernote. I use Google Tasks (and avoid Apple Reminders) and everything Google because I can always get my info on the Mac via a web browser.

I wouldn't mind having my stuff syncing between Apple and their iCloud along with Google - redundancy is always nice (backup and the ease of switching between an iPhone or Android). Unfortunately that is not currently the case. If I use Google for everything, I can access it anywhere. It's not true if I use Apple's iCloud.

Until I can sync between the two, I am using Google exclusively for my info. They got me there. I can still access my contacts, calendar, etc via the web on my Mac (or Linux, or Windows...)

You just described how Apple puts the interests of its shareholders ahead of those of its customers. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to invest in AAPL, but much less to buy Apple products.

'Sync notes' means for Apple only in one direction, from Mountain Lion to Google Mail, as there is no way to edit the Notes in Gmail. I would appreciated if Apple named this feature 'push'. And yes, I am using evernotes to edit my notes when I got a new Idea.