Your digital data – like files, photos, documents, music, ebooks and videos – is spread across a range of devices including your mobile phone, the tablet and your computer(s).
How do you easily transfer a file from the Android phone to your iPad? Or how do you copy-paste that long snippet of text from the computer to your iPhone? The following guide discusses apps, both web-based and mobile apps, that will help you exchanges files and everything else between your desktop computer and mobile devices easily and quickly.
The popular and most obvious solution for sharing files across devices is email. Send a file to yourself from one device and then download that email attachment on the other device. Alternatively, you may use file storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive or SkyDrive (readcomparison) to transfer files from one device to another via the cloud.
Then there are web-based apps to help you move files between your computers and phones without any software. There’s ge.tt where you can upload files from the browser and download them on any other device. JustBeamIt is another web-based file transfer service where there are no limits as the file content is streamed directly from the source to the destination and not stored on third-party servers.
Google Keep is my favorite service for transferring text snippets from one device to another. You can write, or paste, text inside Keep and it instantly becomes available on all the other devices. Keep is web-based but they also have an Android app. I use Google Keep for transferring URLs from the desktop to mobile browser and also passwords that are too long and complex for typing on the mobile keyboard. Hopper and MoPad are other good web-based alternatives that can again be used for sending links and text snippets across devices.
If you are an Android user, AirDroid is probably the only app you’ll ever need for moving files in and out of your phone. Once you launch AirDroid, you can easily download (and upload) files and folders from the phone to your computer wirelessly via the web browser. The only restriction is that your phone and computer should be part of the same Wi-Fi network.
Mac OS users can consider installing Droid NAS, an app that will make your Android phone /tablet appear in Finder and you can then easily browse or transfer files over Wi-Fi.
SuperBeam is another useful app for transferring files between Android devices. Select one or more files inside any file manager app and choose SuperBeam from the Android sharing menu. It will generate a QR code that you can scan with SuperBeam on your other device and the file transfer will happen automatically. If the two Android devices are not connected to the same Wi-Fi network, SuperBeam will transfer files using Wi-Fi Direct mode.
Unlike Android, Apple does not provide access to the iOS file system except for the media gallery. You can use the excellent Documents app to transfer documents, photos and other files from the computer to your iPad and iPhone over the Wi-Fi network. The Documents app can be mounted as a network drive on your computer and files can be moved across iOS devices via drag-n-drop. The app also has a built-in browser to help you download and store web files including file types that aren’t supported by the default Safari browser.
iOS doesn’t support Bluetooth based file transfer so if you are to transfer photos or videos from the camera roll of your iPhone to an iPad, Dropbox is probably a good choice. For single files, web apps like ge.tt and DropCanvas.com are perfect for the job.
Mobile apps like Bump and Hoccer that let you exchange files between Android and iOS devices, or between your computer and your mobile device, with simple gestures.
In the case of Bump, select a file on your mobile phone, tap the space bar of your computer with the phone and the file will instantly become available in the computer’s browser. For Hoccer, you can place your two phones side by side and drag a picture from one phone to another. If you have never tried these apps before, they’ll simply amaze you.