Ask MTE: Sync Android With Computer, Backup SMS, Change SMS Ringtone And Many More… (Android Week 9)

liveandroid-logoThere have been quite a few connectivity questions coming through lately. It seems like there are a lot of you looking for ways to directly connect your Android to your computer to sync like you would if you were using an iPhone or iPod. Androids are not quite the same in this aspect. Because Google is cloud-based, there isn’t a direct way to sync to sync everything directly to your computer. There will be an application or two needed to sync with the application you are using.

The Q&A

Note: Some of the questions will be rephrased and will not appear exactly as they were written in MTE’s inbox, for the sake of simplifying the question and giving as much space as possible to the answer. If you believe your answer was not adequately answered, go ahead and leave a comment at the bottom. We’ll get to you ASAP.

Q: How can I get my computer to recognize my tablet?

A: There really isn’t a good way to have your tablet recognized. The problem has to do more with the lack of software available for one to read the other. Some tablets have the software built in to let you access the internal memory or the microSD card. HTC devices also have HTC Sync built in so you can sync calendar and contacts with Outlook.

In most cases, people are looking to simply backup or sync information to their desktop. There are a host of applications to backup applications depending on if your device is rooted or not. If you are looking to sync information, the application needed will greatly depend on what you are syncing. Something like files on your SD card can be synced using DropSync and Dropbox. Mark/Space makes software to sync make devices with commonly used desktop applications too.


Q: I have an EVO 3D and using standard SMS app. I have a couple of huge conversation threads and would like to save them to my computer before I lose them. How can I back them up to my computer?

A: The application that has worked flawlessly for me is SMS Backup+. It syncs with your Gmail account. You can save call logs, SMS and MMS messages. You can also have it backup only the information for specific contacts. There are many other applications out there that offer similar services. MyPhoneExplorer will also save your SMS and MMS messages to your computer.


Q: I can’t seem to find how to change my notification ringtone for incoming text messages. I am using GO SMS. The notification tone doesn’t change if i try changing it in the GO SMS settings.

A: There could be a duplication with the GO SMS and your stock SMS app. Most of the add-on apps like GO SMS need you to turn off the notification for your stock SMS app otherwise strange stuff happens. You can turn off the vibrate and the tone in the options for most stock SMS apps. You may want to double check the GO SMS settings in the advanced tab too.


Q: How do I sync my Android with Outlook?

A: MyPhoneExplorer is probably the most flexible application for your Android. MyPhoneExplorer lets you sync with other similar applications to Outlook like Mozilla’s Thunderbird. You can sync way more than your mail and calendar too. MyPhoneExplorer will sync your SMS messages and call logs too.


Why Wasn’t My Question Answered?

If you asked a question and it wasn’t answered here, it could be one of three reasons:

  • Relevance: Your question needs to be totally relevant to the Android operating system.
  • Detail: Try to include as much detail as you can, such as the Android device and version of the Android OS you’re using.
  • Other Reasons: For some unfortunate reason, we couldn’t include your question in this edition. We’ll try our best effort to include the question in the next edition.

What’s your Android question?

If you have questions you think might fit well with MTE’s next edition of “Ask an Android Expert,” send us an email at android-help [at] Leave comments only to discuss the questions presented here. If you want to ask a question, use the aforementioned email address.

Trevor Dobrygoski
Trevor Dobrygoski

Trevor is a freelance writer covering topics ranging from the Android OS to free web and desktop applications. When he is not writing about mobile productivity, He is coaching and playing the world's greatest game... Soccer.

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