Sync Android Contacts, Calendar, and Files to ownCloud

Do you dislike Google? I do. I hate the fact that Google wants to record every little bit of information from your life and data mine it to death. And just like how the iPhone requires an Apple ID , Android phones seem to require you to share all your information with Google via a Google account.

These discussions online always bring out the Google supporters who will call those who do not want to share info with google ‘paranoid’ or say ‘why would your information be so important’. Listen, I just don’t want a 3rd party company to have information about me, about my schedule, about who I speak with, etc. It’s not about being paranoid, it’s just about wanting to keep my personal life private.

Since I do need access to mail and information when on the road, I have need of a smartphone. Yet I don’t want to have my phone and it’s data linked to an Apple ID or Google ID. I’ve finally found a way to have an Android Phone without the need for a Google account and yet have calendar, contacts, and data kept secure in a personal cloud and shared between multiple devices and via web interface.

By using an opensource product called ‘ownCloud’ to run a personal cloud service on a host that I own, I can use a few apps to sync all those items from my phone to my own personal cloud.

For starters, you need to have ownCloud installed on a host. This is my other post showing how to get started. https://www.slsmk.com/how-to-install-owncloud-to-ubuntu-12-04/

For some of these apps, you need to use F-Droid appstore. Visit the F-Droid Site, Download the APK, and sideload it to your phone by opening the file on the phone and selecting package installer to open the file. F-Droid Appstore can be used to load apps just like the Playstore.

From F-Droid, grab the apps called ‘ownCloud Client’ and ‘DavDroid’. This app will be used to create the Link between the Contacts app on android and the ownCloud Contacts application.

Setup the Contacts sync adapter
1) Load DAVDroid on your phone as indicated above.

2) From your phone, go to MENU – SETTINGS – ACCOUNTS – and Add new account.

3) Pick DAVDroid from the list of account types

4) In Server name, use the name from the ownCloud server you already have setup. https://SERVERNAME/owncloud/remote.php/carddav/principals

5) Enter the Username and Password for the owncloud account you want to sync.

6) In the DAVDroid settings, pick the entry you want to sync. Set it up the way you like.

Setup the CalDAV Calendar Sync Adapter
1) Load DAVDroid on your phone from F-Droid Appstore as indicated above.

2) From your phone, go to MENU – SETTINGS – ACCOUNTS – and Add new account.

3) Pick DAVDroid Sync adapter from the list of account types

4) In Server name, use the name from the ownCloud server you already have setup. https://SERVERNAME/owncloud/remote.php/caldav/principals

5) Enter the Username and Password for the owncloud account you want to sync.

6) You should log into the ownCloud server with this account and check the calendar settings for Timezone, 24h format, etc…

Setup the ownCloud Client for File Sync
1) Load the ownCloud app from F-Droid Appstore.

2) From your phone, goto MENU – SETTINGS – ACCOUNTS – and Add a new account.

3) Pick ownCloud from the list of account types

4) In URL, use the ownCloud Server that you already have setup: https://SERVERNAME/owncloud

5) Enter the Username and Password for the ownCloud account you want to use to sync files.

6) Open up the ownCloud app and look at the options. You can have it sync every time you take a picture or on a schedule. It’s up to you. You can also define the file locations to sync as well.

Now to cut the Google Cord for Contacts… Lets turn off the Google sync for good. From the phone, SETTINGS – APPS – Swipe over to ALL apps. For each of the following, open it up, CLEAR the Data, then DISABLE the app.
1) Gmail
2) Google Contacts Sync
3) Google Calendar Sync
4) Google Bookmark Sync

With these disabled, you can still keep a Google account for the playstore if you want, but mail, calendar, and contacts will not sync with Google Server.

If you really want to dump Google, disable everything and use a 3rd Party app store like Amazon or F-Droid. Or just side-load all the APKs you want. Disable or delete the following to really dump google:
1) Google Account Manager
2) Google Play Services
3) Google Play Store

And that’s it.

For contacts, when you create a new contact, you should see the DAVDroid Sync Adapter instead of a Google Account. New contacts will be synced to and from the ownCloud Service.

For Calendar, you should select the Calendar to Display from within the Calendar app. New appointments will be synced to and from the ownCloud service.

Make sure you test everything. Create calendar events on server and phone and make sure they sync. Same thing for Contacts and Files.

Important: Make sure you have a backup of the ownCloud Database. Schedule a backup of SQLite or the MySQL DB regularly. It also doesn’t hurt to export your contacts to a VCF file and save it as well. Keep multiple backups of anything you can’t live without. This is your own host running cloud services, not a 3rd party server anymore. IF your host fails, you lose your data if you don’t have a copy somewhere.

Congratulations, You are no longer a slave to Google’s insatiable appetite for data. Your stuff remains yours and in your possession while enjoying the benefits of syncing with the Cloud.

Tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Sync Android Contacts, Calendar, and Files to ownCloud

  1. Pingback: Sync Android Contacts, Calendar, and Files to ownCloud | KefeTout

  2. Pingback: La pi├Ęce manquante : Owncloud – Les tiroirs de Paquito

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve : *
13 + 23 =