Synchronising through the cloud

[Now that I am using a Nokia N8 running Symbian ^3 Anna, I have updated these reflections in a new post]

I work in a pretty mixed economy when it comes to OSs and platforms

  • Windows 7 at work
  • Ubuntu Lucid (and above) at home and netbook
  • Android 2.2 work mobile
  • Symbian S60V3 personal mobile

I often have content that I want to synchronise across some or all of these platforms, and I want to do it without paying any money.


I am looking for

  • complete and live synchronisation between Windows and Ubuntu
  • selective synchronisation on the mobile devices i.e.
    • all the cloud hosted files are available on demand but not automatically synchronised
    • specified files/folders are synchronised when requested
    • new files/folders can be uploaded from the mobile device

Windows 7 <-> Ubuntu

The simplest solution I have found is dropbox as this has good synchronisation clients for both Windows 7 and Ubuntu.

Sugarsync does not have an Ubuntu/linux client

Windows 7 <-> Android

The Android phone is a new addition and I am still trying to find the best mix of apps.  For synchronisation the dropbox app was a real disappointment.

Sugarsync seems to offer a better solution.  You can selectively sync specified folders between Windows and Android, this allows me to limit the sync to just those folders/files that are really live at the moment.

Symbian <-> anything

Symbian is the poor relation here.  I have been using Nokia Synbian smartphones for several years and have always found a way to get them to do what I want.  For navigation I find them better than the Android (so far at least) and the camera is just better quality.  Perhaps I will move away from the platform with the next upgrade, but I will take some persuading.

There is an unofficial client for Dropbox that looks as if it will do the trick.  However it seems to be primarily a web interface which allows access rather than syncing.  Comments also raise some security concerns.

UPDATE: Sugarsync have released an official client for Symbian, it says it is available through Ovi but I could not find it. Unfortunately it is not compatible with s60v3.  Bit of a pain really.

UPDATE2: The solution was there all along! The Symbian file manager has support for webdav built in.  Combine this with the dropdav service and you have a solution for working with cloud hosted files from Symbian s60v3. See The easiest way to use Dropbox on Symbian smartphones from the Independent Symbian Blog

The alternative seems to be to use the web interface.

Windows Ubuntu Android Symbian Web mobile web
Dropbox Y Y ? y (webdav) ? d,u
SugarSync Y Y Y ? d
Y = official client that meets requirements
y = unofficial client
? = a client but does not really do what I need
d = download
u = upload