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Thread: Thought on automating sync for PC

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Thought on automating sync for PC

    I understand that android has limitation on sharing USB between PC and phone. We had the same problems in the early days of pre-windows type OS's where we were trying to create applications that ran on the same PC but under different instances (i.e. like VM) and had to share information and status between them. (yes - I am an old IT geezer)

    In our limitations, we were assured that only 1 app would be running at a time and that the apps would be automatically switched by an external environmental control so an app might not have finished what it was doing and so had to log progress.

    Our approach was to find a common disk location where the two could talk. We created a messaging system (empty files with specifc names). The creation of the file indicated a successful checkpoint indicating that the OS had finished writing everything. Existence of certain file names would indicate a message to the other app when it restarted. it wasn't elegant, but solved the problem before all of the later messaging and database technologies came about.

    Could we do the same thing for Companionlink?

  2. #2
    Senior Member DJOCTO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Sefiro, it's a great thought. I just had the programmer check with the latest devices. It would appear that Google has created Android to totally frustrate us.

    The problems come only from the fact that Androids don't really connect via USB, but only have a "shared storage device" aspect when they are connected via USB.

    1. When Connected, the SD Card is mounted to the PC. Also, no Android App can see the contents of the disk. So our App can't just look for a flag that the PC writes, since the entire drive is not visible to the Android App.

    2. PC Software cannot safely disconnect the Android card. Doing so risks breaking other apps which may be moving files. The only safe disconnect requires user intervention.

    3. I was hoping with Android 3.0 devices we could use the new MTP transfer mode. However, our tests show that this mode is "not done yet". For instance, when a file is written from the PC in MTP mode, the file is not visible to any app on the device until the entire device is shut down and restarted.

    We don't have any of these problems with Wi-Fi sync so this is becoming a new focus of our efforts. Also we look favorably at leveraging bluetooth sync as it would provide a "live sync" capability that avoids the mount/dismount aspects inherent to Android OS USB restrictions.

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