I recently picked up a Pixel Slate when Google had a deal. I was on the market for an Android tablet since the Nexus 7 and this was the closest. Unfortunately, I soon found out that Chrome OS and Android are not as integrated as I had hoped.
What do you do if you have recorded a video on your phone and you want to watch it on your Chromebook? The answer is … there is no perfect solution. There are three methods I've found that are easy to use and can transfer gigabyte and larger files relatively quickly. They also don't require a developer mode, which can void your warranty and factory reset your data.
The easiest method to use is SnapDrop, an open-source P2P file transfer service. It is a Progressive Web App (PWA), which means that the service is available through a website ( Snapdrop.net). The site can be saved to your Chromebook or phone, and when saved, the way it works is almost identical to an app.
As PWA it works perfectly in Chrome OS. Inspired by Apple's AirDrop, SnapDrop searches your network for anyone with an open website. When you see them, touch them to send a file or long press to send a direct message.
Unlike other similar services, SnapDrop uses WebRTC when the browser supports it. If you happen to share with an iOS smartphone or tablet (which does not support WebRTC file transfer), it will fall back on Websockets (and a little hacking) to allow file transfer. Best of all, files are encrypted during transit, so you don't have to worry about data being intercepted.
Method 2: Google Drive
I don't like this method, but I have found it to be the most reliable. Since Wi-Fi Direct and Bluetooth file transfer are not currently supported by Chrome OS, the only way to move files is to first upload them to the cloud and then download (or open) them on another device.
Fortunately, we live in a time when there are several free cloud services available, such as DropBox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive, all of which have Android apps. Due to the integration and a higher amount of free storage space (15 GB), we recommend Google Drive.
With this method, we strongly recommend uploading via WiFi. For most users, this will provide the shortest file transfer time. In addition, for those with limited amount of mobile data, uploading a multi-GB file will eat up your monthly allowance.
Method 3: USB Drives  The last option is to use a USB hard drive and manually move files. In some ways, this option is better because it can be cheaper and faster than wireless transmission. Depending on the USB standard used in your phone, Chromebook and data cable, you can transfer up to 10 Gbps.
Chrome OS can read and manage most external hard drives without any problem. If you're looking for a compact design, check out Silicon Power USB-C Flash Drive Mobile C10. The 128 GB model currently costs $ 26.99 on Amazon. It is less than 1.5 inches long, so it barely protrudes from your laptop, tablet or phone. Write speeds are a bit slow, but this problem seems to haunt most thumb drives of this physical size.
For those looking for even more storage, we recommend buying the WD My Passport Ultra Silver. Prices start at $ 57.99 for 1 TB, making it one of the cheaper options. It can also be password protected with AES-256 encryption. It comes with a USB Type-A adapter, so it works regardless of which ports your Chromebook has.
Want to help support Gadget Hacks and get a lot on some sweet new technology? View all offers for the new Gadget Hackshop .