We know there have been a lot of people having trouble with connecting Kies and their Galaxy S device, so we’ve put together this handy guide to find alternatives to all the services the Kies software provides. All US based Galaxy S users be aware that Kies DOES NOT CURRENTLY support your devices. So If you have had problems in the past connecting your device, this is why. Kies is currently only supporting NON-US versions of Galaxy S and Bada powered phones. It is also only currently installable on Windows XP, Vista, and 7 platforms. Getting all those details out of the way lets dive into different ways you can:
- Sync your Music/Video/Pictures
- Sync your Outlook/Google/Android Calendars with each other
- Sync your iCal/Sunbird/Google/Android Calendars with each other
- Keep track of and backup your Apps
- Update your phone
- Sync/Backup your contacts
- Backup text messages
- Sync/Backup Call History
- Sync/Backup your notes
- Sync RSS Feeds
- Syncing any other type of file
Since Kies deals with both Android and Bada, we will first address the Android ways of doing the above actions, then at the end of the post include every known fix, work-around, guide, and how-to for getting Kies to work with your Bada powered phone. Another point of interest is that YOU MUST sign up for a Google Account for anything below to work, since you can’t access the Android App Marketplace or sync anything on your phone without one. You can sign up for a Google account on your phone when trying to access the Marketplace for the first time or when you turn the phone on for the first time, otherwise if you want to do it on your computer go here
Samsung Galaxy S (i9000) Non-US Version and Samsung Bada OS Users
Unfortunately at this time there are just too many different platforms and specific issues that are coming up with our readers out there to address and solve each issue. While we’ve scoured the intrawebs and listed as many solutions as we could possibly find, My recommendation would be to contact Samsung if none will work for your situation. To do that go here, pick your country that you bought your device in, then click on contact us (found on the bottom of the page) and proceed to contact the Samsung Technical Support center in your individual countries for help in solving your individual issues.
**ATTENTION Samsung Galaxy S (i9000) Non-US Version users: If you have gotten Kies to work or don’t want to bother contacting Customer Support, then read further on in this article for alternatives to Kies that will work with your device and in some cases, offer better features!!**
Different solutions for fixing Kies connection problems (also please let us know if you found an additional source with more solutions to this problem so we can update this post accordingly, thanks!):
Samsung Galaxy S US Version (aka Fascinate, Vibrant, Epic, and Captivate) Users Alternative Solutions [this also works with any phone running Android 2.1 and above!]
1. Syncing your Music, Videos, and Pictures
The best app that covers all three of these items is DoubleTwist. It will sync your music, videos, and pictures with the DoubleTwist software on your computer (which is compatible with windows xp/vista/7 and mac osx). All the instructions can be found at their website
and both the computer and mobile software are free to download. A QR Code is provided below for your convenience. If you need to sync your iTunes music, video, and pictures then the best app we found for this job was The Missing Sync. It costs $40USD, but will sync almost any type of information on your phone with your computer, so while it costs, it is an all-in-one solution. Their website is here
and their QR Code is also listed below.
The Missing Sync
2. Syncing your Android, Google, and Outlook Calendars
This one is fairly simple and only requires downloading one extra piece of software and checking a few boxes to enable. The full guide can be found here, but we’ll write it out here for your convenience. You need to have an Outlook Calendar, Google Account Calendar, and Calendar app on your phone enabled. All of that is free to get and enable. Next you want to go into settings on your phone, then accounts/sync, and make sure your Calendar is synced to your Google account. Next go here
and download Google Calendar Sync, you’ll see a screenshot of the setup page below along with what boxes to click. Make sure you click 2-way sync for the Sync Options as this will allow any changes you make on any 3 calendars to reflect on the other 2. You can also set your sync interval to be as fast or as slow as you want. If you are in a hurry, and need information synced right away, then just right click the Google Calendar in your taskbar and then select sync to update the changes.
3. Syncing your Android, Google, and iCal/(Mozilla Sunbird) calendars
As of right now Google offers a program called CalDAV. This will sync your iCal calendar, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Mozilla Sunbird calendars with Google Calendar. This requires iCal version 3.0+ and Mozilla Sunbird version 0.8+ to work. First enable calendar syncing between your phone and Google Calendar by going into the settings on your phone, then accounts/sync, and make sure your Calendar is synced to your Google account.
Enabling the Sync in iCal
To set up CalDAV support for Google Calendar in Apple’s iCal, follow these steps:
- Open Apple iCal, go to Preferences and then the Accounts tab.
- Click on the + button to add an account.
- In the box that pops up, enter a description for the account and your Google Account username and password.
- Under Server Options, add the following URL:https://www.google.com/calendar/dav/YOUREMAIL@DOMAIN.COM/userReplace ‘YOUREMAIL@DOMAIN.COM’ with the email address that you use to log in to Calendar. Make sure to include the ‘@domain.com’ portion (which is @gmail.com for Gmail users) in this section. DO NOT substitute your username for ‘user’ at the end of the URL.
- Leave the Use Kerberos v5 for authentication option unchecked.
- Click Add.
- Under the Delegation tab, select the calendars you’d like to add to iCal by checking the boxes next to them. You may need to hit refresh to get the latest list of calendars.
- Add your email address to your Address Book card by selecting Add Email. You’ll be prompted to add your email address only if your address is not already in your Address Book
Enabling the Sync in Mozilla Sunbird
To set up CalDAV support for Google Calendar in Mozilla Sunbird, follow these steps:
- Open the Sunbird application and select File > New Calendar.
- Select On the Network and click Next.
- Select the CalDAV format option.
- In the Location field, enter [ https://www.google.com/calendar/dav/ [ your Google Calendar ID ] /events ] and click Next.Your Google Calendar ID for your primary calendar is just your email address, but for all other calendars the Calendar ID will be in the form of [ long string of characters]@group.calendar.google.com. You can get the Calendar ID by clicking the down arrow next to your calendar at calendar.google.com and selecting ‘Calendar Settings’.
Be sure to use https in your URL, as an http address will not work.
- Enter a name and select a color for your calendar.
- In the pop-up screen, enter the following information:Username: This is the complete email address you use with Google Calendar (including the part after the @ sign). If you’re using Google Apps, be sure to enter your Google Apps email address.
Password: This is the password you use to sign in to Google Calendar
Here is a list of things that CalDAV WILL NOT be able to sync:
- Email/SMS reminders don’t sync. So only pop-up reminders you create will sync across the platforms.
- Cannot create To-Dos in iCal that will sync in Google Calendar or vice versa
- Unable to create new Calendars for Google in iCal. Instead you’ll have to create a new calendar in Google and then follow the steps above to sync it.
- The Google Apps Room Scheduler is currently not supported in iCal or Sunbird.
I believe those issues are minor enough that it will discourage anybody from paying for syncing software out there, but in case those are too much for you there is a piece of software called Spanning Sync. It currently only works with iCal but it syncs your contacts and calendars. It is $25 a year or $65 for a one time purchase price. You can find that software here
4. Keeping track of, backing up, and getting recommendations for Marketplace Apps
We have found AppBrain to be the best piece of software when trying to accomplish the above feat. If you sync the this with your Google Account, you’ll also be able to access your database of apps from the web and make changes like installing or uninstalling apps. When you next sync your device, these changes will go into effect! For anybody who doesn’t want to browse the app selection on their screen or would like a bigger viewing screen to do it on, this is the app for you. It will also help you keep track of what apps you have installed in case you break or lose your phone. Not all apps support Apps-to-SD feature found in Froyo, so this is a great alternative to keep track of (in case you need to reinstall) and manage your apps in a more effective way. You can find their website here
and the QR Code below.
5. Updating your phone’s software
With Android this is easier than ever. Your carrier will push OTA (Over The Air) notifications and installations of new software for your device. Usually they will require that you plug in your device so as not to turn off randomly while installing or connecting to WiFi if the file is a large size. Sometimes software upgrades are leaked early, but they aren’t always stable and sometimes very complicated to install.
6. Syncing and backing up your contacts
If you want support for syncing your contacts with a certain application, let me know in the comments so I can add it to this guide. Otherwise when saving or adding new contacts make sure to save contacts to your gmail address NOT TO PHONE. This will ensure that all your contacts can be accessed from any browser anywhere in the world through your Google GMail Account. Another way to save your contacts to a file is to just go into your contacts app, press your Menu button and select the Import/Export option found in your menu options or under the more option in you menu. This will either add contacts from a .vcf file on your SD card or save all your contacts to your SD card in the form of a .vcf file. This type of file can be read by many different programs to make it easy to back them up from your phone. Again just saving to your GMail account is the easiest, but if you don’t have a data plan then the Import/Export option after connecting through WiFi is your next best bet. To make things even easier you can sign up for a free DropBox account here
, then install DropBox on your computer and phone, and finally drop files into it that you want to sync, making the transfer of that file even easier!
7. Backing up your text messages
We personally use SMS Backup+, but if you know of a better service please let us know in the comments and we will update this post with those extra programs. SMS Backup+ stores your SMS messages on your GMail account. For this to work YOU MUST enable IMAP in your GMail account. To do this go to settings, then Forwarding and POP/IMAP, and finally just make sure the Enable IMAP box is clicked and it says IMAP is enabled in green. After that it’s as easy as downloading the app via the QR Code below, starting it up, connecting to your GMail account (do this first to make sure it works properly), going into advanced settings and making sure the top two boxes are checked so it doesn’t clutter your inbox or always show a bunch of unread messages, and then you’re done! Each SMS will now be saved as an email with the label SMS, be marked as read, and sorted out of your inbox.
8. Syncing and backing up your call history
CallTrack is an awesome app and it integrates seamlessly into your Google Calendar (plus if you did the trick above you also get this information in your Outlook/iCal/Sunbird calendars as well!) by adding events of received, placed, and missed calls to your calendar which then syncs with your Google Calendar. If you are constantly placing calls or have a lot of Calendar entries, you can always log the entries to a different or sub calendar on Google Calendar, or just pick which type of calls to record. The QR Code can be found below.
9. Syncing and backing up your notes
This will depend entirely on what application you use for your notes. We personally recommend Evernote for its online, computer, and mobile interfaces. It also allows you to take picture, audio, and standard notes while providing Android users with an easy to use widget for their homescreen to take and access notes very quickly. If you have a favorite note app please let us know in the comments section below and you can also backup these notes by saving the files to your DropBox, an app that syncs between many platforms and is explained in item number 11 below.
10. Syncing your RSS Feeds
To be able to sync your RSS feeds, most Android applications are going to require a Google Reader account. This is free to setup in your Google Account, and I would highly recommend it because it allows you to check your News Feeds from any browser anywhere in the world, gives you statistics on your reading, sorts items by ones you’d most likely read first based on past reading history, makes recommendations to similar blogs, and finally provides a very easy to use and intuitive interface. The best app I’ve found to tackle this job is NewsRob. Since I read over 1000 articles a day, I’m skimming headlines for things that pop out and NewsRob syncs perfectly with Google Reader. It sorts things into your folders that you’ve created or just lists the blog titles, lists the title of each entry so you can see what it’s about before reading the short blurb associated with it, allows you to star items to appear starred in your Google Reader, and will sync your unread and read items on the go with Google Reader making it so you don’t have to read the same headline twice on your phone and computer. When first setting up NewsRob on your phone, make sure to sync a couple of times the first day to get all your information, and usually by the second day the program will be up to speed with all your newsfeeds, so don’t freak out if it doesn’t see all your feeds or articles on the first sync. The QR Code can be found below.
11. Syncing any other type of file
The best service for this in our opinion is DropBox. You get 2GB free, syncing across many different platforms, it works with any file type, and its software is super easy to use. You can sign up for it here
and the QR Code is located below.