Keeping all of the data on your phone in check is hard enough without having to worry about keeping it all synced and organised across your other devices too, but without a closed system like Apple’s iOS and iTunes relationship, it’s pretty hard to keep all of your Android data in one place locally.
Despite all of your information being in the cloud, if you wanted to access your contacts locally on your PC, you’d have a pretty tough time doing so, as Microsoft doesn’t include a tool within Windows to sync with any cloud services like you can with some of Apple’s applications in Mac OS X. This means that you’ll need a bit more third party software than you would on the Mac, but it’s still manageable!
Keeping an Eye On Contacts, Messages and Calls With MyPhoneExplorer
I’m amazed by the lack of tools available to sync your Windows Contacts with Google’s servers. I expected to find something straight away, and instead ended up on a wild goose chase around the internet before I came across MyPhoneExplorer. Unfortunately, the application doesn’t actively push and sync changes made to your contacts. Instead, it connects to your phone via Wi-Fi and a free Android app, which allows it to access not only contact information, but also your call logs, messages and files.
If you want to manually import your contacts into Windows Contacts, you can export the list of contacts available to a .csv file and then import this locally using Windows Contacts. Simply search for ‘Contacts’ on Windows Vista or 7, and then in the window that appears, select ‘Import’ at the top. Select the .csv file you just made (you can export a CSV file from most services, including GMail, and it isn’t just limited to this application) and all of your contacts will appear locally allowing you to quickly access email addresses and telephone numbers.
MyPhoneExplorer takes a further step however, and in connecting to your phone, allows you to send and receive SMS messages through your phone on your desktop. You can even initiate a call without touching your phone. The window tells you your current battery level right in the window too, so it’s really easy to know when you need to recharge.
Syncing Your Media
When it comes to syncing music to your Android phone on Windows, Winamp is a fairly strong contender. It’s been around for as long as I can remember, and it recognises and syncs media to your Android phone no problem, but if you enjoy listening to lossless files on your computer then you may want to look somewhere else, as the free version of Winamp can’t handle them.
If Winamp doesn’t tickle your fancy, then you should try Doubletwist. Originally a Mac OS X application, it’s currently in beta on Windows, and allows you to sync not just Android devices, but many others too. It can take all of your iTunes library along with your playlists, and send them to your phone over USB. If you have the doubleTwist application in Android, you can even sync music wirelessly and leave the cables behind, so it’s well worth a look.