Synology Mobile Apps

by Ray Newbery in ,


One of the nice things about Synology is the wide range of mobile apps that they provide. Apps are provided for iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Android and iOS apps are on par with each other. There are differences but they are minor. If you’re trying to decide between a new Android or iOS phone (or tablet) the choice of Synology Mobile Apps wouldn’t be a consideration.

Windows Phone is different. There’s definitely a lag in features when it comes to Windows Phone. In fact, some apps are not available on Windows Phone. It’s been awhile since I’ve used them and things may have changed, but I found the Synology apps to be buggy on Windows Phone. I found a lot of apps to be buggy on Windows Phone so it would be hard to point to the guilty party, but it really doesn’t matter since the experience was not good.

While not mobile, I also stream from my Video Station library to my Roku. This is a good, although not great, experience. Streaming is reliable, it’s just the features that are lacking. Some Samsung TVs are also supported although I have no experience with these.

Specific features that are supported by the latest DSM version, along with the minimum hardware are listed here.

Most mobile apps also now support Synology’s QuickConnect feature to automatically connect back to your NAS when you’re out and about. Be aware that using these apps on cellular could burn a lot of data so be cautious if you have a limited data plan. I generally disable cellular data for these apps (through iOS even if the app doesn’t support it) to prevent accidentally burning up data. I can enable it when I really want it.

The Apps

Features I mention may not be available on Windows Phone. I primarily use iOS versions and occasionally use the Android versions.

DS Audio - I really like this app on both iOS and Android. It’s become my music app of choice. Songs can be downloaded for listening while offline. I have Audio Station set to cache my last 2 GB worth of songs and then I’ll download specific playlists that I want.

DS Video - This is probably my most used app, although mainly on my Roku player. I play my DVD collection through this.

DS Photo - I also use this a lot, primarily to share photos (on the screen) with others. I also use it to go through a delete the photos I no longer want and tag the photos I want to keep. Albums can be downloaded for offline viewing which can save bandwidth when I’ll be visiting someone and know they will want to see the photos.

DS Cloud - This isn’t as full featured as Dropbox (what is?) but it’s become a lot more useful since background sync was added. Unfortunately background sync adds to battery consumption. I use this except where Dropbox has a clear advantage. Setting up Sync is at the folder level and while subfolders can be optionally included this does make it tedious to set up. I’d like to see the ability to view the files that are in Cloud Station even if they aren’t synced. But I guess that’s what DS File is for.

DS File - A file manager that has a lot of unexpected features such as the ability to view videos on the NAS. Files can be uploaded and downloaded but there isn’t a true sync feature.

DS Note - The newest of the mobile apps, since Note Station is also new. It’s rough around the edges and I find it frustrating at times when connecting over cellular. It does support a share sheet for iOS. Unfortunately this is the feature I have the most problems with so I still don’t trust the mobile app and often revert to Evernote.

DS Download - I can’t say much about this app since I’ve only used it to see what it was like.

Synology provides some nice mobile apps. There’s now a nice set of features although the apps typically start with a minimal set of features and some bugs and then improve over time. I’m hoping that trend continues and the DS Note bugs start going away.