One of the cool things about how ubiquitous Android is comes in how it integrates with other devices. Not everyone who has a Mac has an iPhone or iPad, and for those who prefer to have an Android mobile device, the File Transfer software is a simple way to manage the video, music and photos you copy over.
While it’s true Android has no shortage of apps that pretty much do the same thing over ad hoc Wi-Fi connections, this just comes down to plugging in your Android device and dragging and dropping the files you want into the window. File Transfer at least lets you create new folders to put your stuff in.
The catch to using this is that your Mac has to be running on OS X 10.5 or later, and the Android device has to be on 3.0 Honeycomb or better. All those 2.3 Gingerbread devices wouldn’t otherwise work with File Transfer. Another roadblock is that you can’t copy over any file larger than 4GB.
But Android can be adaptable, and there have been cases where just plugging in an Android phone or tablet into a Mac via USB works without the need for a program like this. It seems to be hit or miss. My Nexus 7 tablet wasn’t recognized this way while the Motorola RAZR was. This is likely a common issue depending on the device. Someone I know couldn’t get his MacBook Air to recognize the Samsung Galaxy S III, and initially, Android File Transfer was of no use. A few attempts later, it suddenly appeared.
Part of the problem appeared to be OS X 10.7 Mountain Lion. Users were upgrading to the new desktop OS and then finding that their Android devices were invisible. This doesn’t seem to be a uniform problem across the board, but File Transfer works perfectly fine on Mountain Lion, so it is an alternative. And it doesn’t cost anything to download.
Creating folders and managing files without any software is definitely doable if your Mac sees the Android device you connected. If it doesn’t, it’s a good bet that you can do it with File Transfer.
Of course, don’t expect really intricate features and options because that’s not what this app is about. For example, it won’t sync iTunes playlists or photo albums from iPhoto. It doesn’t connect to your Android device over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and offers little in the way of customization.
Treat this like the basic utility that it is, or as a quick and painless method to getting your media onto your Android device, and you’re not likely to be disappointed.
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