Why is this the App that Google missed? Well one of the things I hear from new users to the Android phones is that there’s no way to sync to the PC. Getting photos or music on and off the Android is normally a job of a USB cable and the File Manager. Apart from backing up your contacts this App is the way to do it. If your phone is on your home WiFi network this App allows you to do most of the things you would normally expect from a PC Sync program. It does this all from a web browser so it doesn’t matter if you are using Windows, Mac, Linux or really any other flavor of computer operating system as long as you have a modern browser.
What does the App claim it can do?
From the Play Store the authors claim that “AirDroid is a free and fast app that helps you manage your Android from a desk web browser, all over the air“. It does go on to list some things that it does:
- Copying music and photos off the phone to your computer,
- Sending SMS’s and viewing your phone’s file contents
- Manage your Apps.
- Use the camera
The description does add things like taking screenshots and locating your phone which is useful if you left it behind at that cafe that you can’t remember the name of but you don’t know it yet. It says it can also wipe your data (I don’t really want to try this feature yet)
Does the App REALLY do what it claims to do?
Well yes, but it can actually do more than what the description says it can do. What it doesn’t tell you is that with it you can:
- Look at the phone call logs
- Look at your SMS’s and see the chats
- Add or delete ringtones
- Watch the videos you took with the phone’s camera
- Look at the system information like the remaining space in your memory for apps and music
If you want to buy premium service you can do more things like take a photo of the person who’s got your phone after you left it at the cafe, or upload more files onto its online storage so that you can access that stuff at the office.
To download photos you can select the ones you want from any of the albums. After you find and click on “Download” link a Zip file will be downloaded by your web browser into your default “Downloads” location. In windows it’s likely to be in your “My Documents>My Downloads” directory. Once you open the file manager of your choice you can right-click and move the file to where you normally store your photos (in Windows it’s likely to be “My Documents>My Pictures”). From there all you really need to do is to right-click the file again and click on “Extract”. It’s pretty straight forward though it does mean that you have to use the file manager.
I took the liberty of taking a few screenshots of the web interface that I’d like to share. There is some areas (like my contacts, call logs etc) that I didn’t take a screenshot of so you’ll have to just find out those things yourself.
I’ve used a Nokia phone before and honestly this is very much easier than using the tool they provide.
What do I like most about the App?
I like that it uses the WiFi, no more cables, no more annoying pop up on the phone asking me to turn the phone into USB Storage Mode. I Like that it’s really easy and everything is in one place. I can access all I really need to from the web page. I can add links on the web page to apps or people and customize the layout of the web page. I like that there’s an option to upload files to web.airdroid.com. I probably won’t do that since I use other cloud programs, but it’s a nice touch.I like that there’s a free version that doesn’t limit you to how much you can download to your PC every month. I like many things about it to be perfectly honest. This is definitely a personal choice, but the thing I like most about this app is that I can download my photos onto my PC without using that blasted USB cable.
What’s not to like about it?
I suppose the biggest glaring omission that I see is that there’s no way to back up your contacts. Sure there’s the Google solution of storing every contact you have using your GMail account. Not everyone wants to be tied into Google though. It pretty much forces you to get a GMail account so that you can save your contacts. To be honest that’s the one thing I don’t like about the way Google have done this contacts business. I liked my old Nokia feature phone in that I didn’t (couldn’t) upload all my contact information to the cloud. I honestly haven’t looked for an app that will allow me to download and sync my contacts to my local network, but I’m sure that solution would be a bit geeky for the average Joe.
What are the little niggles (What would make it perfect)?
Backing up the Notepad. You know that one little app that no-one really cares about, but everyone uses once in a while to store little things like…. I dunno a password or two. A small note about what little Jonny did, or a brief reminder that you really need to clean the gutters some time. You really notice this small app when you drop your phone into the water when you’re out fishing or you have to perform a factory reset ’cause the phone just crashed for no apparent reason. You know what I mean. There’s no way to get those notes back, and, it would really put the icing on the cake if AirDroid would let you back up your notes somewhere.
Why did I decide to keep/remove it?
At the moment I’ve got it and I’m keeping it. I don’t care so much about reading through the SMS chats, Call Logs or even making phone calls. I think taking screenshots (which for the record requires you to have a rooted phone) will be brilliant for me doing my reviews in the future. Downloading my photos and managing my music library are also key features for me since though I am enjoying the Google+ photo library, I’m a little old-fashioned and like to have my photos on my hard drive. I’m a geek so moving my photos to my computer by using the USB is not a problem for me, but this way is just easier and I think it’s even quicker.
Would my wife use it?
- My Phone and Basic Info (fishersandroidblog.wordpress.com)
- AirDroid v184.108.40.206 (appsforandroidapk.wordpress.com)
- AirDroid- Control Your Phone Or Tablet From Your Browser (futurelawyer.typepad.com)
- AirDroid Is Presentation Software For Android Devices? (futurelawyer.typepad.com)
- AirDroid – Look Ma, NO Hands! (futurelawyer.typepad.com)