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Syncing and Managing Cloud Services on Your Samsung Galaxy Tab 3

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If your Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 is connected to a cloud service such as Dropbox or your Samsung account, you can change cloud service settings within the Cloud page on the Settings screen. Eric Butow shows you how to view the information about your cloud service(s) and how to change cloud service settings.
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When you set up the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 for the first time, the Tab 3 asks you to either sign up for a Samsung account or log in to the following services:

  • Your Samsung account
  • Your Google email account
  • Your Dropbox account so you can share files on the Dropbox online file-sharing service

If you sign up or log in to one or more of these three services, you can change the service settings within the Settings screen. You can either change online file-sharing service settings within the Cloud settings screen or you can view settings for each individual service.

Cloud

The Samsung and Dropbox apps allow you to store and share files in the cloud, which is essentially a metaphor for the Internet. To view and change these app settings, follow these steps:

  1. In the Home screen, tap the Settings icon.
  2. In the Settings screen, swipe down the settings list on the left side of the screen until you see the Cloud setting.
  3. Tap the Cloud setting in the list. The Cloud settings list appears as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 The Cloud settings list appears on the right side of the screen

Within each cloud service, you can view storage usage information and perform other tasks. On my Tab 3, I have a Samsung and Dropbox account (see Figure 1). You can see the document information in the Personal Data Management section, and underneath is Dropbox information in the Content Sync (with Dropbox) section.

You can view synchronization settings by tapping Sync Settings within the Personal Data Management section. The Sync Settings list appears as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2 By default, you sync the Calendar, Contacts, Internet information, and Memos

Each of the four entries in the list tells you when the data was last synchronized with your Samsung account. If you don't want to sync data on your Tab 3 Calendar, Contacts, Internet, and/or Memos app with your Samsung account, tap the check box on the right of the appropriate setting. For example, tap the check box to the right of Sync Calendar to clear the check box and not sync your Calendar app information with your Samsung account.

In the blue menu bar above the Sync Settings list, you can remove the Samsung account from the Tab 3 by tapping Remove account. If you want to sync your app data manually with your Samsung account, tap Sync Now. You can return to the Cloud settings list without making any changes by pressing the Back button.

In the Content Sync (with Dropbox) section, you see your Dropbox user name, the amount of storage you've used in your account and the total amount of storage space available, and where you'll see Dropbox files on the Tab 3. If you want to change your Dropbox sync and account settings, tap your Dropbox user name in the list. The Dropbox settings list appears as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3 You can change Dropbox sync and account settings

In this screen, you can turn sync on and off as well as change Dropbox app settings such as unlinking the Tab 3 from the Dropbox service. If you want to sync your Dropbox files automatically, tap Sync All in the blue menu bar that appears above the Dropbox settings list. Return to the Cloud settings page by pressing the Back button.

Dropbox pictures appear in the Gallery app, videos appear in the Video Player app, and all documents appear in the DocumentSync folder on the Tab 3. (You can find this folder within the My Files app by navigating to the /storage/emulated/0/DocumentSync folder.) By default, data is automatically synchronized with your Dropbox account when you're connected to the Wi-Fi connection. If you want to sync Dropbox data using your data carrier's connection, tap the Wi-Fi Only check box shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4 Use your mobile data connection to synchronize your Dropbox pictures by tapping the Wi-Fi Only check box

After you clear the check box, the Turn Off Wi-Fi Only window appears and reminds you that connecting via a mobile data network might incur additional charges. Turn off Wi-Fi synchronization by tapping the Turn Off button.

In the blue menu bar above the Wi-Fi Only check box, the On and Off slider button allows you to turn synchronization on and off. By default, the slider button is set to On. When you slide the button to Off, the Clear Cached Data window appears to tell you that by turning off synchronization you will also clear all Dropbox data from the Tab 3. If you want to do this, tap the Remove button. If not, tap the Cancel button.

You can change video and document sync information by pressing the Back button and then tapping Videos or Documents within the Cloud settings screen.

Accounts

In the Settings screen, you can view and change settings for specific accounts by swiping down in the Settings list on the left side of the screen and then tap an account in the Accounts section. For example, if you tap Google in the list, you see the Google settings screen shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5 You can sync your Tab 3 with your Google account by tapping Sync All in the menu bar

You can sync your Tab 3 with your Google account by tapping Sync All in the menu bar.

In the Account section, you see your Google user name and the date and time your Tab 3 data was synchronized with your Google account. You can change Google settings by tapping one of the four menu options in the Privacy section. For example, you can turn Google Now on by tapping Search in the Privacy section and then changing the Google Now setting in the Settings screen. You can return to the Google settings screen by pressing the Back button.

If you want to synchronize your Google information with your Tab 3 data manually, tap Sync All in the blue menu bar that appears above the Google settings list.  

You see options similar to what you see in your Google account when you tap Samsung Account in the Settings list on the left side of the screen. The Samsung Account settings list appears on the right side of the screen as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6 The Accounts section shows you when your Tab 3 was last synchronized with your Samsung account

In the General Settings section, you can change your Samsung account settings, view the storage usage on your Samsung account, back up your Tab 3 data to your Samsung account, and restore backed-up data to your Tab 3. You can manually sync your Tab 3 with your Samsung account by tapping Sync All in the blue menu bar above the Samsung account settings list.

Add an Account

If you don't see an account that you want to sync with your Tab 3, tap Add Account on the left side of the screen (it's within the Accounts section). The Add Account window appears with a list of accounts you can add, as shown in Figure 7. Accounts you have already added have a green button on the right of the account name; accounts you haven't added have a gray dot on the right of the name.

Figure 7 Sync with an email account by tapping Email in the Add Account list

You can add a new account by tapping the account name in the list. For some account types, you can add another account of the same type even though you've already added one. For example, you can add another email account by tapping Email in the list. But if you try adding another Dropbox account when you already have one, you'll see a message at the top of the screen saying you have to delete your current Dropbox account to add another one.

After you add a new email account, you may see the Attention window appear, which reminds you that the Samsung keyboard will store all the text you enter on the device except for passwords. If you see this window, close it by tapping the OK button.

Now you can type the user ID and password for your email account, as shown in Figure 8. When you're finished, tap Next in the blue menu bar at the top of the screen.

Figure 8 Type the user ID and password for your email account in the Set Up Email screen

After Tab 3 verifies that the user ID and password for the account, the Add Email Account window asks you to select the account type. After you tap the appropriate account type button, you may have to set the incoming and outgoing server settings (refer to Chapter 7 of my book, My Samsung Galaxy Tab 3). Once you change and/or verify the server settings, you can change the synchronization schedule within the Account Options screen shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9 Change account options such as the sync schedule in the Account Options screen

By default your email account information will synchronize with the Tab 3 Email app every 15 minutes, but you can change this time within the Sync Schedule section by tapping the Every 15 Minutes box and then selecting the time interval from the drop-down list. When you finish setting account options, tap Next in the blue menu bar at the top of the screen.

Within the final Set Up Email screen shown in Figure 10, type the name of the account and the name that will be displayed on outgoing messages.

Figure 10 Change the account name and your name in the final Set Up Email screen

Finish setting up your email account by tapping Done in the blue menu bar at the top of the screen. You return to the Settings screen and you can view your email account by tapping Email within the Settings list on the left side of the screen. (The Email option is within the Accounts section.) The Email settings screen appears within the Accounts section shown in Figure 11. Underneath the account name, you see the date and time when the account was last synced with your Tab 3.

Figure 11 Sync the Tab 3 with your email account by tapping Sync All in the blue menu bar

You can change the settings, including the synchronization frequency, by tapping Settings in the list and then changing the settings within the Email app's Settings screen. If you want to sync all your email accounts manually, tap Sync All in the blue menu bar that appears above the Email settings list.

That concludes our tour of how to synchronize and manage your cloud services. Now you know how to synchronize your accounts so you can get the information from those services on your Tab 3 when you want them.

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