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Play Store adds the ability to sync apps across multiple phones


Google is adding a nifty new feature to the Play Store. It is gaining a sync option that automatically installs your apps on all of your smartphones. Earlier, this ability was only available for Android tablets, Wear OS smartwatches, and Android TVs signed in with the same Google account.

Play Store gets a sync feature for phones

Google has been frequently pushing new updates to the Play Store in recent months, adding new features in the process. In late 2022, the company introduced the ability to remotely install apps on your other devices. You can select a device and install apps directly from your current device. You can check the download progress as well. However, the automatic installation of apps has always been limited to wearables, tablets, and TVs.

It appears Google is finally changing that. Android Police received tips from users about a new option in the Play Store’s Manage apps and device section, which you can access from your profile avatar in the top right corner of the app’s home page. The new option is “Sync apps to devices” and it sits above the two “Share apps” buttons (Send and Receive). Tapping it opens up a new page with a checklist of all Android devices linked to your Google account.

“Apps that you install on this device will also be installed on your synced devices,” Google explains. In other words, every new app you install on your current device will be automatically installed on other devices too, given the app is compatible with the device. Of course, you have to manually select the devices in which you want to sync apps beforehand. But once selected, it will apply to all future app installations.

You can’t sync existing apps

This feature is of great help to people who use multiple smartphones. However, Google could make it even better by allowing syncing of apps that have been already installed. While you can already do that by using backup, having the feature baked into Play Store will make it all more convenient. But as things stand, that’s not the case. Your existing apps will not sync with other devices. This ability is only available for new installations.

Another area where Google could work to make this feature better is app updates. While new apps install automatically, that’d not the case for updates. You still need to manually update apps on every device, or wait until auto-updates kick in. That said, this feature seems to be still in the early stages of development. Google could improve it in the coming weeks.

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