Syncing Mac and Android is easier than you think

Pier Francesco Piccolomini


You don’t need to have an iOS device to sync with Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks. It may be hard to believe, but Android and Apple can work together. Let’s see how to make them communicate.

Ok, it’s true – it’s simple to sync an iOS device to your Mac. We’re thinking of iCloud (which, remember, is also available for PC).

Syncing Mac and Android is easier than you think

But I want to talk about Android. This doesn’t mean I don’t love Apple! Synchronizing OS X Mavericks and Android is a piece of cake. All it takes is a couple of tools and a few minutes to prepare everything.

Synchronize photos, videos and music

doubleTwist (for Mac & Android) is the most efficient tool for syncing music, photos, and videos between Apple computers and Android devices.

There are two options: sync via AirSync (the computer and the phone must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network, and the Android device must install AirSync ) or via USB cable.

For syncing through USB to work, you need to enable USB mass storage MSC mode on your phone. This means that (at least at the time of writing) phones that only support USB MTP mode can only sync wirelessly.

Phones that support USB MSC mode are the Samsung Galaxy S2 (excluding the Sprint version), Google Nexus S, HTC One X with Android 4.0 (except for the Sprint version), and the Motorola Razr and Razr MAXX .

Recent devices (like Samsung Galaxy S4 and Nexus 5) only support MTP mode, as well as tablets with Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) and devices without an SD card that run on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).

doubleTwist is very similar to iTunes. Connect your phone and select it in the left column under Devices. In the three available tabs (Music, Videos, and Photos) choose the type of synchronization you want to perform, and then press the Sync button.

doubleTwist Mac Sync

This may also be one-way (phone to Mac or Mac to phone). This is pretty handy, as it’s unlikely that you’ll want to upload the entire photo library on your computer to your cell phone. It’s more likely that you’ll want to free up Android storage by offloading some photos and videos.

The Mac doubleTwist library requires iTunes and iPhoto to be in sync, so unfortunately you can’t add custom folders.

Synchronize your contacts

This is done using your Google account.

Open the Phone app, choose the Contacts tab, tap the three dots in the lower right corner to access the options and select Accounts.

Contacts - menu Accounts

Check ​​Auto-sync app data. By now, the details of the accounts listed will be synced online.

Contacts autosync app data

To set up your Mac. Open the address book, go to Preferences > Accounts and click on the “+” button at the bottom left.

Select Google, click Continue, and fill in your name, email, and password.

In the next step select Contacts and then click on Done.

Google Contacts on Mac

When you’re connected to the internet your contacts on Mac and Android will automatically sync.

Synchronize your calendar

For this task, you also use your Google Account.

Open the Google Calendar app on your Android (or download it on your device if it’s not available by default, for example if it’s an HTC phone).

In the menu with the three dots select Settings, and then tap Add Account, choose Google > Existing, and follow the steps.

And now to your Mac. To synchronize your iCal calendars with your Google calendars follow the same steps to sync your contacts: Open iCal, go to Preferences > Accounts, click on the “+” button, choose Google, enter your login details, and select Calendars.

Google Calendar on Mac

In the drop-down menu in the Account Information tab you can set the refresh intervals for calendars.

Calendar refresh

Now your Mac and Android calendars will always be perfectly synchronized.

Synchronize other files

There are various options to keep your documents up to date on Mac and Android. The easiest and most effective way is to use a service like Dropbox.

Download the app for Mac and Android, and create an account or, if you already have one, sign in with your credentials.

All of your Dropbox folders and documents will be accessible. To add new files to Android, just go to the folder where you want to upload, then click on the menu with three dots, and tap Upload here.

Upload here Dropbox Android

Dropbox is available through the Menu bar on OS X, and manage it exactly as if it were a normal folder.

Dropbox on Mac

All the files that you upload to your device will synchronize when added to Dropbox, and will always be available on other devices.

Synchronize bookmarks

Having all your browser bookmarks is essential for those (isn’t that all of us?!) who use the internet on a daily basis.

An easy solution is to use the Chrome browser, which is available for Mac and Android.

Log in to both with your Google account. To do this on Android you have to tap the Sign In button.

Chrome Android sign in

Enter Settings, then Accounts, choose Google, and then verify that Chrome is selected.

Chrome Android sync

On the Mac, access Sign in to Chrome.

Chrome Mac sign in

Enter your Google account information and, if you like, check the Choose what to sync box. If you do this, on the next screen you can decide what to sync by checking the relevant boxes.

Chrome Mac choose what to sync

Easy, huh?

As you can see, synchronizing your digital life doesn’t mean you need to be 100% Apple. If you love your Mac, but also love Android, then you’ve got all the necessary tools to get them to communicate.

This tutorial has been designed specifically for those using a Mac running OS X 10.9 Mavericks.


You may also like