Android Synchronization Tutorial
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As well as the other answers, you can change the frequency that some accounts sync by going to
Settings -> Accounts and sync. For instance, when I click on my Facebook account from there I can change the “Social networking sync interval” to none, 3 hours, 6 hours, 12 hours, or once per day.
On my phone (I simply dont know if this is a default Android thing or an SGS thing) I have a widget for power controls (I believe its called “Activation”, but my phone is in Hebrew so I dont know what its really called).
In Froyo this gives you buttons for controlling:
In Gingerbread it gives some other control whose meaning I dont know.
This allows you to enable or disable sync at the tap of a button on the home screen.
This is the same as enabling or disabling background sync from
Settings -> Accounts and sync.
“Push” is actually more efficient than pull. With “push” your phone doesnt need to connect to the mail server every once in a while. Instead, the server sends a signal to the phone telling it whenever new mail is available.
If you are using the Gmail app for accessing your Gmail account, you are already using push and no extra settings are necessary. For other services you will need to go to each app that access them (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and go into options to find settings for “refresh interval.” Most apps allow you to customize this setting, and allow for a “Manual” option, thus disabling automatic refresh.
For most apps, youll need to go into each individual app and change their sync settings.
For example for Facebook, open the facebook app, press Back to get off the News Feed page and onto the screen with all the icons, then press Menu, press Settings and change the Refresh Interval.