What does sync mean

Apple iPhone 4 Dock

Apple iPhone 4 Dock

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4 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    It means that the contents of synced devices becomes the same. For example, if you had a few songs on your computer, and a few on your phone, and the ones on your phone were not on the computer, and the ones on your computer were not on the phone, then after a "sync" operation, the contents of your computer AND the phone is the combination of contents of both devices.

    To be clear, after a sync operation, regardless of the content disparity between two devices, the content of both devices will be identical, such that the content on device 1 now exists on device 2 alongside device 2's original content, and the content of device 2 now exists on device 1 alongside device 1's original content.

    Apple's definition may be different. In any case, that is what it should mean.

  • It means to synchronise two devices.
    So they will both be the same.
    Same songs etc

  • To get data from computer to device or the other way round

  • I regret to have to say, Susan, that the answers given so far don't cover half of what the answer should be, IMO.
    'Sync', of course, means to synchronise, but in the computer context there's a number of subtleties that need to be included in a description.
    You might, for instance, have two folders that you want to 'equate', equalise, bring up-to-date with each other, according to the way you work with them.
    This introduces the idea of rules that need to be followed with respect to the way 'sync' should be performed.
    For instance, your target folder might be a dumping bucket of all the files, and versions thereof, that you have had in a working folder. You might be perfectly happy shoveling copies of your latest files from your working, source, folder into the bucket, target, folder. The rule here would be to copy all files that don't exist from the source folder to the target folder, deleting nothing, doing nothing else, and stop. That would be a sync.
    Alternatively, you might have a 'source' folder that didn't contain some files - as identified by their names - that lie in the 'target' folder. You might want to implement a rule that says that you want non-existent files in the target folder to be copied back into the source, at the same time that non-existent files in the source are being copied into the target - a kind of 'refresh' that updates the working source folder. A rule.
    Alternatively, again, you might want the source folder to always be the 'gold' reference set of files, and that all files in it that aren't in the target should be copied over to the target, and those 'superfluous' in the target should be deleted. That's another rule.
    Or, the folders might be working folders of different people of equal authority - contributors to a project, say - and files may be being updated by their authors simultaneously. The files would likely have the same names, so you would have to discriminate between files on some factor like time.
    Sync ain't simple.