Google Play's latest feature syncs app downloads across all your devices

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It looks like Google Play is making app management a little easier for people who have multiple Android devices. Last year Google made it easier to install apps on other devices, including Wear OS. Now Google appears to be taking it a step further by offering to sync your apps across all your Android devices.

This feature change has been spotted by @AssembleDebug on Twitter, with a new “Sync apps to devices” feature appearing in Google Play’s ‘Manage apps and device’ section. Tapping that option then brings up a list of Android devices associated with your Google account. Choosing to sync devices means whatever apps you install on one device will also be installed on the other.

According to a source speaking to Android Police, this change is currently rather limited. Apparently it only applies to apps you install after setting up cross-device sync. So anything you already have on your main device will need to be installed on your second device some other way. 

Other points of note are that sync appears to be enabled by default for Wear OS devices, meaning any available companion apps should be installed automatically. Sadly it doesn’t sound like updates are automatic, which means you’ll have to make sure automatic updates are switched on across all your devices.

It's a fairly small change, but this could prove incredibly useful for anyone that uses multiple Android devices on a regular basis. Whether it's a tablet, work phone, or even an Android-capable Chromebook, it saves you the hassle of downloading all those apps individually. The last thing you want is to find your current device is missing an app you need right away, simply because you forgot to install it.

It’s not clear how quickly this change is rolling out, and so far we haven’t been able to see it in action for ourselves. So if this is a feature that you could make good use out of, you’re just going to have to be a little bit patient.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.