Drive Download Android Tutorials


These tutorials explain how to use Drive Download – Android.  Step-by-step instructions are also available in the Drive Download User’s Manual.

 

Table of Contents

Installing and Configuring Drive Download

How to Run Drive Download

Technical Notes

Installing and Configuring Drive Download

Licensing

To purchase and activate a license for a device, click the Subscribe button on the Main Activity screen and follow the In-App purchase steps. The purchase is handled through the Google Play Store. The license will automatically be activated when the In-App purchase completes.

 

How to Install

  1. Determine or create a Gmail account ID to manage Drive Download. Determine which Gmail account you’re going to use to manage both the Source Folder on your Cloud Drive and the Android device(s). This will need to be a Gmail account since the Google Play Store requires a Gmail account.
  2. Create the Source Content Folder on your Cloud Drive. On your Cloud Drive, create a Folder where you will put the files you want automatically downloaded to the target Android Devices.
  3. Install Drive Download on the target Android device(s). From the Play Store, install Drive Download. Open Drive Download and grant all permission requests.

About permissions

When you install Drive Download, you have already been prompted to grant the permissions that Drive Download requires by the Google Play Store. Beginning with Android v6, you will also be prompted at run time to grant some, but not all, of those same permissions again. If you choose to deny permissions at run time, Drive Download will not work.

You must grant all of the permission so that you don’t run into problems.

How to Configure the Settings

drive download screenshot
click to enlarge

  1. Open Drive Download to configure your settings.
  2. Configure the Source and Target Folder Locations. Once you have selected them, the paths to the Local Target Folder and to the Cloud Source Folder will be displayed below the location buttons.

 

drive download android source and target location settings screenshot

Choose the Source Content Folder.

    • Tap one of the Choose Source Folder location buttons (Google Drive or Nextcloud)
    • Sign-In using the Gmail account you are using to manage Drive Download
    • Choose the Source Content Folder on your Cloud Drive (Google Drive or Nextcloud)

Choose or create the Target Folder. (For more information about the Android file storage system, refer to the Technical Notes section below.)

    • Tap the Choose Local Folder button
      • If your device supports the Storage Access Framework,
        • Choose a folder from the menu,
        • Tap the Select button to choose that folder
      • If your device does not support the Storage Access Framework,
        • Choose a Writable Path from the pop-up menu,
        • navigate to and / or create a new folder
        • Tap the Confirm button
  1. Configure the Other Settings

drive download android runtime settings screenshot

Enable | Disable Enable mobile data usage. (Optional). Since you may not have mobile data, or your mobile plan might charge you for data usage, Drive Download gives you the option to enable | disable downloading while you are using mobile data. By default, Drive Download will not update using mobile data. To change this,

    • Click Enable mobile data usage to enable updating while using mobile data

Configure a Sync Minutes. (Optional). By default, Drive Download will check for updates and download new content every 60 minutes.

    • To change this, change the number of minutes:

For example,
To check and potentially update:
every 1/2 an hour, set to 30
every hour, set to 60
every 12 hours, set to 720
once a day (every 24 hours), set to 1440

Enable | Disable Enable mobile data usage. (Optional). Since you may not have mobile data, or your mobile plan might charge you for data usage, Drive Download gives you the option to enable | disable downloading while you are using mobile data. By default, Drive Download will not update using mobile data. To change this,

    • Click Enable mobile data usage to enable updating while using mobile data
  1. Configure any additional Android Devices. Drive Download can be used to download content from one Cloud Drive to many Android Devices. For any additional Android devices you want to use, install the app and repeat steps 1 to 5.

Changing the Settings

  1. To change the settings, open Drive Download and disable “Enable Download and Delete” in the Drive Download settings.
  2. Change the settings.
  3. Enable “Enable Download and Delete” in the Drive Download settings. Drive Download will run immediately using the new settings.


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How to Run Drive Download

Drive Download can download as scheduled by the Download Interval or can download right now.

To Enable Downloading as scheduled

To start Drive Download updating the target folder on your devices, follow these instructions:

  1. On your Device(s), open Drive Download and enable “Enable Download and Delete” in the Drive Download settings.

Drive Download will now update the Target Folder on each device based on the Sync Minutes

Downloading Right Now

To update the content on your devices right now, follow these instructions:

  1. If you haven’t already done so, put the content you want to be downloaded into the Source Content Folder on your Cloud Drive.
  2. Open Drive Download and click the “Download and Delete Now” button in the Drive Download settings.

Drive Download will now update the Target Folder on each device immediately.

To Disable Downloading

If you want to stop a particular device from being updated, open Drive Download and disable “Enable Download and Delete” in the Drive Download settings.

How to Check Download Status

Drive Download includes features to display the status of your updates.

drive download android status settings screenshot

Next download time.

  • Displays the date and time Drive Download will run next.
  • Displays “In progress” while download is in program
  • Displays “Not enabled” if “Enable Download and Delete” is disabled

Activity Log. Displays the status of the latest activity for each file, including:

  • Date and Time of status message
  • File Name
  • File Status (up to date | error)

Clear Log. To clear the activity log, press “Clear”
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Technical Note: Mirroring vs Syncing: Understanding Drive Download

drive download android remote content management

When Drive Download runs, it will update the Target Folder on your device(s) with the contents of the Source Content Folder on your Cloud Drive, replacing the current content on each Android device with the new content. The Sync interval is set to 1440 minutes, but you can change that.

Please note that while Drive Download updates the Target Folder for each device with the contents of the Source Content Folder on your Cloud Drive, it does not update in the other direction. The Target Folder(s) will be maintained as a mirror image of the Source Content Folder. Therefore, if you modify the content of a Target Folder on a device instead modifying the content of the Source Content Folder on Cloud Drive, the results may not be as expected.

Example:

You move 5 photos to the Source Content Folder on your Google Drive. Drive Download updates the Target Folder on your Android Device with the 5 photos.

You then decide to delete one of the 5 photos.

  • If you delete one of the photos in the Source Content Folder on your Google Drive, Drive Download will update the Target Folder on your Android Device, deleting that photo from the Target Folder on each Android Device it updates. Both the Source Content Folder on your Google Drive, and the Target Folder on your Android Device will now contain 4 photos.
  • Instead, if you delete one of the 5 photos in the Target Folder on your Android device, your Target Folder will now contain 4 photos, but your Source Content Folder will still contain 5 photos. The next time Drive Download performs an update, it will detect the difference and update the Target Folder on your Android device with the content of your Source Content Folder. Both the Source Content Folder on your Google Drive, and the Target Folder on your Android Device will now contain 5 photos.

Make changes to the Content in the Source Content Folder on your Cloud Drive, not to the Target Folder on your Android Device.

About Android Storage

Android has a very convoluted storage access model that changes depending on the Android version and on the Android Vendor.  It has different permissions models for internal and external storage.  It has different configuration models for external demountable media (like USB sticks and SD Cards).  It has different file system navigation interfaces across versions.

To simplify this, Drive Download analyzes your device to determine the best interface available for your storage.  On some devices this will be the Storage Access Framework interface provided by Android but on other devices it may be a built-in file system navigation interface from which you can pick one of your available writable App sandbox locations on internal or external storage.

There is no easy answer as to which interface will be presented to you for navigating the storage on your device, other than to say it will be the simplest interface available based on your device, its Android version and components, and its permissions model.