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How do I control what I want sync'd in Android?
December 1, 2010 7:47 PM   Subscribe

I'm a new smartphone user... How do I sync calendar/contacts but not Gmail in Android?

I've done a search prior to asking this, but there doesn't seem to be an answer specific to my question. After a recent upgrade from a very crappy mobile phone, I now have a smartphone (LG Optimus One). There are many features I enjoy about it, except one that I know is pretty common for a smartphone...

I'm a bit paranoid about having my actual Gmail e-mail loaded onto the phone, in the event it ever gets lost or stolen. I know I can lock the phone, but I still feel like all this information is held in this portable object. And it's just so automatically THERE, just by clicking on a button. All of it. No password necessary. That makes me uneasy.

But, I like that my Gmail contacts and calendar, which I use often, are automatically accessible on the phone.

I basically would like to ensure my Gmail does not sync on the phone, but only the other two do. Is there a way to do this? Even if I don't sync the Gmail app initially -- if I open the app, it will tell me to refresh the screen and voila, I automatically syncs and pulls everything in (do not want!)

For people like me, I wish there was an extra security feature in the Gmail app to log in and log out, like the Facebook and Twitter ones have, but there doesn't seem to be. So... I'd rather log on to Gmail through the web browser.

Any advice?

Quick additional question: If I do end up syncing my Gmail and, worst case scenario, phone goes missing... can I just change my Gmail password and all of the previously 'downloaded' e-mail on the phone disappears? This answer might just fix my problem.

HUGE thanks in advance!!
posted by branparsons to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
You can turn off the gmail syncing, but that doesn't solve your concern - you're still authenticated to your gmail account. You or someone else can just turn it on without an additional password.
posted by hey you over in the corner at 7:52 PM on December 1, 2010


Couldn't you just create a new Google account that you associate with your phone? Export your Gmail contacts to this new Google account, so they show up on the phone. Push or share your existing GCal to the GCal associated with this account, which will then show up on your phone.

You could even enable email forwarding from your main Gmail account to this new account (so you can send and receive emails). Then, if you're worried about these emails falling into the wrong hands, simply delete all emails in this new Gmail account on a regular basis.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:55 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes, this doesn't do exactly what you want, but there are apps that allow a second layer of security on running certain other applications. Get Protector. Makes you enter a passcode that's not the same one you use to unlock your phone, and protect the GMail app (and any other apps that have sensitive data). After locking your phone screen, it will make you enter the passcode again.
posted by deezil at 7:56 PM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Quick additional question: If I do end up syncing my Gmail and, worst case scenario, phone goes missing... can I just change my Gmail password and all of the previously 'downloaded' e-mail on the phone disappears? This answer might just fix my problem.

You have to tell your phone how much, and what, to sync anyway. For example, my phone syncs my "Inbox" label for the past 4 days, and it does not sync or download labels that I don't want it to.

So, you could play with labels to create some simple security. As well, if your phone does go missing, you could quickly create a new label, move all of your mail to that label, and then archive the Inbox and remove other labels, thereby potentially foiling would-be bad guys.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:00 PM on December 1, 2010


Thank you guys so much!

KokoRyu, that made total sense -- I didn't even think about forwarding the e-mails or sharing the calendar to a phone-only account. I did that now and feel better.

Deezil, I'll check out that app as well. It's great to know there's a resource like that out there, and it'll probably come in handy at some point.
posted by branparsons at 11:03 AM on December 2, 2010


Quick additional question: If I do end up syncing my Gmail and, worst case scenario, phone goes missing... can I just change my Gmail password and all of the previously 'downloaded' e-mail on the phone disappears? This answer might just fix my problem.

I can confirm that things like Gmail password and SIM card changes require you to re-enter your password on an Android phone. It's happened to me. A lot.

On my Android phone I have the ability to choose specifically what I synchronize under Settings > Accounts & sync settings > (Account name). Perhaps this is a new feature with 2.1 (aka Froyo), though, so if you have an older version of Android it might not work.
posted by kdar at 3:17 PM on December 2, 2010


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