Frequently asked questions about GeneralSync

This document provides answers to common questions regarding GeneralSync and accompanying services. If you have further questions, feel free to contact us.

If you have questions regarding user interfaces or basic concepts of GeneralSync, also refer to the guides for an explanation of commonly used features.

Questions regarding Synchronization

Is it required for devices to be switched on simultaneously in order to sync?

GeneralSync transfers your data between your devices only. Due to that principle, any exchange of data requires at least two devices to be powered on and connected to each other. It is thus essential that each device is occasionally switched on simultaneously with another device.

In practice, however, this is rarely a problem: smartphones, for example, are usually powered on and connect automatically to saved wireless networks.

Is a (W)LAN connection required to access GeneralSync?

No, all data managed by GeneralSync is locally accessible independently of your network connection, both for reading and writing. Changes will be distributed as soon as the network connection is restored.

What happens on contradictory changes on different devices?

GeneralSync recognizes changes made in parallel and marks them as conflict. Afterwards, you can select which change should persist. Of course, your selection will then be synced automatically.

Questions regarding the Android app

I disabled "sync" in Android's settings. Why doesn't GeneralSync work?

Android permits users to disable automatic synchronization for all Apps. You can usually find this setting in the "Accounts" category of Android's system settings. Some devices also feature a separate icon in the quick settings, permitting to toggle the setting more easily.

If automatic synchronization is disabled, Android will no longer notify GeneralSync of changes you made in other Apps, and will in some cases prevent GeneralSync from writing changes made on other devices. Your changes are, however, not lost: pending changes are processed once you re-enable automatic synchronization.

Why are my changes (e.g. calendar color) not visible in other apps?

Android delays the execution of sync adapters until a network connection is present. As GeneralSync is using such adapters to provide content to other apps, your changes will be applied once you have re-established a network connection.

Another potential cause for the same problem are apps overriding data from GeneralSync. For example, some calendar apps permit you to choose a custom calendar color. If you choose a color in the app, the color configured in GeneralSync is never displayed in that app.

Why do some apps permit to alter read-only address books?

The Android operating system permits apps to write in address books even if they are marked as read-only. Apps thus need to actively check whether a given address book is supposed to be writeable. For that, some apps (e.g. the preinstalled Contacts app on most devices) only check whether the address book belongs to an app that is technically capable of providing writeable address books. As GeneralSync is capable of that, they permit editing even if the address book is not marked as writeable.

Any edits to a read-only address book are dropped and reverted by GeneralSync, usually within few minutes (if a network connection is present).

I don't use Google Play. Can I download the app directly?

Yes! On the download page, you can download the Android app as apk file.

Questions regarding the Thunderbird add-on

Why are some contacts not listed in mailing lists?

Mozilla Thunderbird requires contacts in mailing lists to have an email address and does only support one contact per email address and mailing list. If a contact doesn't have an email address or has the same mailing list than a present contact in the same mailing list, GeneralSync thus can't add the contact to the list.

How can I enable event invitations?

To use event invitations, Thunderbird needs to know the email address(es) your calendars belong to. You're prompted to select one when creating a new calendar and can change the address by double-clicking on a calendar in the calendar tab: select another address in the E-Mail field and confirm your change by clicking OK.

Questions regarding pricing and licensing

How to support GeneralSync, now that it is free?

You can still support GeneralSync financially to keep the project alive:

For voluntary contributions by wire transfer / standing order (SEPA):

IBAN: DE67 1001 0010 0937 9391 00
Account holder: Dirk Steinmetz

Because you will not receive anything in return for transferring money to the account listed above, you will not receive any invoice for your contribution. Contributions to GeneralSync are not tax-deductible as charitable contributions.

Is GeneralSync open-source?

Currently not, but a license change is under active consideration.

If you just want to get source code: while some parts of GeneralSync's source code are included in our releases, other parts are not. As we don't use any obfuscation, you can, however, easily analyze all affected components. Furthermore we might be able to arrange source code access upon request, contact us for details.