Syncs your Android application's preferences to Google Drive's appdata folder.
Java Groovy

AppdataPreferences for Android SDK

appdatapreferences-android seamlessly syncs your Android application's preferences with a remote JSON file on Google Drive's Application Data folder. Local changes are pushed to the remote file and the remote file changes are periodically polled. Periodic synchonization introduces a sync adapter, based on the existing account synchornization APIs of the Android SDK.

The sample below illustrates to how bind a Google account to a shared preferences instance. Once you're all set, sharedPreferences key/values will be synced to user's Google Drive, under your application's folder.

syncer = AppdataPreferencesSyncer.get(context);
syncer.bind(googleAccountCredential, sharedPreferences);

What can I do with AppdataPreferences?

Some of the common use cases you can easily implement by using this library are:

  • Backing up your application preferences on the cloud.
  • Sharing application preferences and application state among user's different machines.
  • Distributing content or altering application behavior by modifying user's preferences files.


In order to get started, you need to follow the steps below for the initial configuration.

  • Setup Google APIs access for your Android application.
  • Add the background service that will initiate the synchornization and syncer provider to your AndroidManifest.xml.
  • Configure sync adapter settings.

Google APIs Access

Go to APIs console and create a project if you haven't already. On the "API Access" tab, create a new client ID for installed apps and select Android. Provide your package name and certificate finger print. You can extract SHA1 footprint by executing the following command:

$ keytool -exportcert -alias androiddebugkey -keystore ~/.android/debug.keystore -list -v

Our Android quickstart explains the flow more in detail on Google Developers.

Add Sync to your AndroidManifest.xml

Add the background service and the syncer provider to your AndroidManifest.xml file.

    <!-- appdatapreferences -->
        android:exported="false" >
            <action android:name="android.content.SyncAdapter" />
            android:resource="@xml/syncadapter" />
        android:exported="false" >
        <grant-uri-permission android:pathPattern=".*" />
    <!-- end of appdata preferences -->

Configure Adapter Settings

Create an new XML resource (@xml/syncadapter ), and modify it to configure your sync adapter settings. A sample adapter is below:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<sync-adapter xmlns:android=""
    android:supportsUploading="true" />

Authorize and Authenticate

Authorization and authentication is handled by Google Play Service's auth modules. To learn the basics, please read the official Android SDK documentaion for Google Play Services.

Initialize a GoogleAccountCredential with drive.appdata scope and let user to pick a Google Account to use.

GoogleAccountCredential credential =
    GoogleAccountCredential.usingOAuth2(this, "");


Once you configure you application to use the sync library, as explained in the Configuration section, you need to bind an account to a shared preferences instance:

AppdataPreferences preferences =
syncer.bind(googleAccountCredential, sharedPreferences);

Use syncer.sync to force sync. It's useful to retrieve the remote preferences initially when application first launches.


Listen remote changes by setting syncer an onChangeListener.

syncer.setOnChangeListener(new OnChangeListener() {
  public void onChange(SharedPreferences prefs) {
    // preferences are changed

If background service recieves authorization errors, you can listen them by setting a OnUserRecoverableAuthExceptionListener.

syncer.setOnUserRecoverableAuthExceptionListener(new OnUserRecoverableAuthExceptionListener(){
  public void onUserRecoverableAuthException(final UserRecoverableAuthIOException e) {
    // show user a notification to ask for permissions again.

Manage Synchronization

Start/stop synchnonization manually.

  syncer.getSyncManager().startPeriodicSync(); // reschedules syncer

A working sample application is available on appdatapreferences-android-quickstart.


Copyright 2013 Google Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

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