How to sync an Android Phone with OS X.

I’ve been trying out the world of Android Phones recently with a Google Pixel phone. Overall I have been surprised at how simple and effortless it has been to use my Google pixel phone alongside my Macintosh OS X.  I was expecting it to be a lot harder to synchronise the Google phone to my Macintosh computer but if anything I have found it easier than my old iPhone.

Each individual  application syncs its own data across the internet between the Google phone and OS X. Everything else gets synchronised by Google. I have found this approach surprising simple. It’s just a matter of finding the best application for each job.

Here’s a list of applications  that  I have found that will nicely share data between OSX, iOS and Android.

To-Do lists: Wunderlist (OSX/Android/iOS)

Notes: Notational Velocity (OSX) and Simplenote (Android/ iOS). also Evernote.

Calendars: Google calendar (Android/iOS) &  Apple Calendar App (OSX)

Contacts: Contacts (Android), Apple Contacts (OSX) and sync them with ‘Contacts Sync For Google Gmail’ (OS X). (Apple Contacts won’t sync with gmail.)

Passwords: 1Password (OSX/Android/iOS)

Files: Dropbox (OSX/Android/iOS)

Team Collaboration: Slack (OSX/Android/iOS)

Databases: Airtable (web based)


Google takes care of everything else:

Email: Google Inbox (iOS/Android), Apple Mail (OS X) & sync via account

Spreadsheets: Google Sheets (OSX/Android/iOS) or Microsoft Excel (Android, iOS and OSX)

Documents: Google Docs (OSX/Android/iOS) or Microsoft Word (Android, iOS and OSX)

Photos: Google Photos (Android), Apple ‘Photos’ App (OS X)  and sync them together with  ‘Google Photos Backup’

Music: Google Play, iTunes and Google ‘Music Manager’ which keeps them synced. (But note there is no way to sync playlists between iTunes and Google Play, just songs.)


You can read Excel and Word documents in both Android and iOS from dropbox, but you can’t read Pages or Numbers documents in Android,  so if you want to have true compatibility between your android devices and OS X you are going to have to move across to Excel and Word.


There are some OS X files you can’t access from an Android device. Here’s my list of incompatible applications that do not work in the Android world.




Accordance (working on an Android App)

Filemaker Pro (but try Airtable – it’s great!)




3 responses to “How to sync an Android Phone with OS X.”

  1. Tony

    Actually I found that using KeepassX with the database on Dropbox is great alternative as both sides can access and keeps them all in sync. I believe there is a iOS version of keepass as well.

    1. Thanks that looks good. How much are the in app purchases and what do they unlock?

  2. ana

    the article is called “how to sync…” all i see is yeah, it works. i need to know HOW. thanks.

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