Retrieving files from an Android device to a Mac or iOS device is not always easy or convenient, and the same goes for transferring content from a Mac or iOS device to an Android device. But we're here to tell you that there is a better way than using USB cables, email and cloud storage, and it gives you the look of AirDrop.
Google has a file transfer tool called Android File Transfer, but you need to connect to your computer with a USB cable, it doesn't always work great (if at all) and it omits iOS support. Then there's the aforementioned AirDrop from Apple, but it only works on Apple products. Third-party services, such as HandShaker, require you to install apps on all devices, and many also don't support iOS.
You can use cloud storage services like Dropbox because it is easy to add files to the cloud, which are on all of your devices and you can create shareable links. But that depends entirely on your internet connection, so if you're using limited Wi-Fi or are in a dead cell zone, you're going to be in trouble. And email, well, that's just completely inconvenient, and there are file size limits.
Where are we going then? Snapdrop is a good alternative. Continue with step 1
How Snapdrop works
Snapdrop is a PWA (progressive web app) that uses web browsers and the current wifi network you are about to send data from one device to another. It first connects online to a signaling server via WebSocket using TLS, allowing the devices to exchange information about their media capabilities. If it is subsequently determined that the two devices are working together if necessary, the data transfer is completed with WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) via DTLS, which transfers the file from browser to browser.
The server is only used to determine that the two devices can work together and that it cannot access the actual files being transferred as that is done peer-to-peer from one device directly to another using from DTLS. And since it uses a TLS connection to the server over HTTPS (using WSS or WebSocket Secure), the data is encrypted.
However, if it is determined that WebRTC does not work between the browsers on the devices, it will fall back to using WebSocket for the transfer. The WebSocket is just a proxy, so it doesn't store anything during transit or when it goes through the server, so you don't have to worry about your data falling into someone else's hands. And as mentioned above, the data is encrypted, so the transfer is done securely.
Step 1: Use a Supported Browser
Since Snapdrop uses WebRTC and WebSocket as fallback, you must use a browser that supports both communication protocol. Currently all browsers support the WebSocket protocol, but those that support WebRTC are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera Mobile and Apple Safari. It should also work with Chrome-based browsers such as Brave and Microsoft Edge.
On Android devices and Macs, use one of those browsers to open the website.
However, if you transfer files to an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, you want to use Safari on iOS 13 or later. Apple blocks third-party iOS browsers from using WebRTC as a security measure, so those browsers can use WebSocket instead of just downloading nothing. At best, you have to open the file in the browser first and then download it, which is less convenient and not quite possible, if not a file type that you can actually do that with.
Step 2: Open Snapdrop
Now connect both your Android phone or tablet and macOS or iOS device to the same WiFi network. They must be on the same network to communicate locally. Then go to the following link in a compatible web browser.
When the website opens, you will see a small radar image and a message that says "Allow me to be discovered by: everyone in this network." The symbol is very similar to AirDrop's icon, and the message also creates that illusion, but unlike AirDrop, you can't change it from "everyone" to "contacts only" or "nobody".
Your device is now discoverable by anyone on the network. Still, all file transfers require permission to download on the receiving end, so no one can at least send you a payload or other infected file without seeing it.
While it's all pretty much the same, selecting a file on your device to transfer to another device looks different from Android to iOS to macOS. However, in some ways, they all work the same way, like when you try to send multiple files at once. You can do this, but unlike AirDrop, they are transferred one by one, with each file needing permission on the receiving end to download separately.
You can also only send files locally and online. There is no offline method and no way to share files with people outside your network. And as for security, we've already discussed that above.
Select the device you want to send a file to, then select the options that appear, select "Files" to open the file browser. You can also & # 39; Camera & # 39; choose to take a photo right away or & # 39; Camera Video & # 39; to make a movie on the spot, but you must give permission to use your camera or camera and microphone respectively.
We & # 39; just use "Files" to transfer something we already have, because it is safer. Find and select any file you want to share – most file types are supported – and the transfer process will start.
Once transfer is complete, will appear there is a popup on the receiving device asking if you want to download or ignore the file. Choose "Download" to complete the process. For iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch users, unless you have changed the default folder, you will find the files in the "Downloads" folder of iCloud Drive in the Files app . On a Mac, the file can be found in the "Downloads" folder.
For the record, here's it from Android to Mac:
Option 2: Send from iOS to Android or macOS
Select the Android device or Mac computer and choose "Browse" or "Photo Library" from the action sheet. The former opens the Files app viewer, while the latter opens the photo viewer for images and videos. You can also use "Take photo or video" for this, but you must give permission to your camera or camera and microphone respectively.
In our example, we use "Browse" to transfer a file stored in iCloud. Find and select any file you want to share (most file types are supported) and the transfer process starts.
Once transfer is complete, will appear there is a popup on the Android device or Mac computer asking "Download" or "Ignore". Choose the first one to save the file to the "Download" folder on Android or the "Downloads" folder on macOS.
Select the Android or iOS device from the radar to open the Finder viewer . Find and choose the file you want to send and double click on it or select & # 39; Choose & # 39 ;. The transfer process will start immediately, with a popup on the Android or iOS device once it is complete.
Select "Download" on the receiving side. If downloaded to an Android device, you will find the file in the "Download" folder of the internal flash drive. For iPad, iPhone or iPod touch users, unless you have changed the default folder, you will find the files in the "Downloads" folder of iCloud Drive in the Files app .
Step 4: Add to home screen (optional)
While Snapdrop is not an app in the traditional sense, the is a PWA ( progressive web app, a website that has access to the same tools as apps in the Play Store and App Store, making them easy to use) on mobile devices.
PWAs can also be added to the home screen of your phone or tablet, as well as to the dock of your computer, so you always have quick access to media and file transfers.
Option 1: Add to Android Home Screen
On Android, the process is much the same regardless of which of the supported browsers you use. to open, select the vertical ellipse, choose "Add to home screen" and then "Add".
On an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch you must use Safari to add the app to the home screen . With the Snapdrop website open, choose the share button, select "Add to Home Screen", then "Add".
For macOS, you must use Google Chrome as it is the only browser currently supporting PWAs in desktop environments. You can add the shortcut in two ways. The first is to select the menu button (the vertical ellipse) at the top right and then & # 39; Install Snapdrop & # 39; to choose. Click "Install" in the popup to complete it.
The other way is to select the small phone icon at the top right of the website itself. This will bring up the same popup where you have to click "Install".
Anyway, an icon will be added to Chrome's app launcher. You can access your Chrome apps from the "Apps" link in the bookmarks bar or from chrome: // apps and then click "Snapdrop". You can also open it without Chrome opening it first in the following folder: Users -> [username] -> Applications -> Chrome Apps -> Snapdrop.
However, it is much easier to add the app shortcut to your Mac's dock. With the Snapdrop app open, make the dock visible and drag it from the end to a stationary position to the left. Then you can access it from there when you need it.
Want to Help Gadget hacks and get a great deal on some cool new technology? View all offers for the new Gadget Hackshop .