Features & Use
Test device: Motorola Milestone 2
Android version: 2.2
App runs as of: Android 2.1
Permissions: Totally kosher
Root: Not necessary
Oh cloud, you are a wondrous thing. If you’re anything like me then you too will appreciate being able to access all of your stuff, wherever you are, be it high up on a mountain top or lazing by the beach (provided, of course, that there is internet access wherever it is that you're off galavanting). A big chunk of the Android community are all for clouds, but a few of us – myself included – are somewhat wary of packing private data into a cloud. Why not have a private cloud for private data? That’s exactly what the FTPSyncX Pro must’ve thought to themselves.
Depending on what a user’s personal requirements and preferences are, different network protocols are applied. FTP and FTPS are the most common in desktop and server operating systems. SFTP aka SCP (Secure Copy, uses Secure-Shell/SSH) is the standard for *nix systems (Unix/Linux), as is Samba/SMB. FTPSyncX Pro supports all of the above.
The pro version of the application allows users to configure multiple servers. Set a network protocol (FTP[S], SFTP or SMB), your login data (user + password) and a few other additional details. Give the whole shebang a name so that you can find it easily later on. You can also set up an individual index for each server; an index browser would come in handy.
So what about syncing? You can decide at which stage(s) syncing should occur. The first option is to set it to occur globally: the interval as well as the network connection can be configured. The next question is should syncing occur at this interval in a general way or only for WiFi? In case of the latter, perhaps you also want to select a specific WiFi? This especially makes sense for SMB connections. Cautious (which can sometimes be a euphemism for paranoid, hahaha) users will want to exclude using foreign WiFis when transferring sensitive data. Automatic syncing can be deactivate, either globally, per server or per index.
Let’s say one were to switch off automatic syncing—when would it occur then? Well the good news is that, yet again, there are a lot of options: the app can be started up, the index/server can be selected and syncing can be selected from the context menu. But why complicate what can be so simple? The app comes with widgets and shortcuts—ah, if only everything could be this easy.
FTPSyncX also comes with a tasker plugin, meaning that as soon as your own WiFi is available the X index will be synchronised, and automatic syncing with server Z will be activated and deactivate as soon as you leave the WiFi connection.
Syncing can occur in both directions: new/changed files can be transferred from your Android to your computer or vice versa. And the best thing is that everything works swimmingly; I can’t recall any problems occurring in the past three months…
FTPSyncX Pro is the ultimative private cloud app: it offers bi-directional data synchronisation, all important protocols are supported, the configurations options are flexible and tasker is supported, too. To my knowledge this is the only app that provides all these features.
The differences between the lite and pro versions: the free version permits you configure 2 servers at most, which will be enough for many users. The pro version lets you configure an unlimited number of servers.
Screen & Controls
The FTPSyncX Pro UI is functional and intuitive to use. The design is sober—but who wants a bedazzled, glitzy UI for a functional app? Once you’ve made all the necessary configurations you won’t be checking back into the app very often, seeing as you will most likely have links on your desktop.
Speed & Stability
Crashing? Lagging? Loss of data? No way José: I have not experienced any trouble since over a quarter of a year (prior to that Beta versions of FTPSyncX Pro were on the market, and one has to be more forgiving with those).
In a nutshell: the app runs wonderfully smoothly.
The free version of FTPSyncX Pro – FTPSyncX – will be quite sufficient for many users. The pro version can be downloaded from the App Center or Android Market for 1,50EUR—and the app is totally worth the price! Plus, the support is exemplary and they take feature-requests into consideration (for instance, someone from the AndroidPIT gang suggested Tasker-Support and widget links—and the developers implemented both suggestions).