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In the past, we have reviewed many apps that could make your Android phone even more spectacular – MightyText & MobiTexter to let you send text messages from your browser, Auto SMS to schedule and automate text message replies, Site To Phone to share links and text to your smartphone, FTP Droid to transfer files to your device and many more. We do, in fact, have a great list of the best 100 Android apps we have encountered up to now, if you’re interested.
Today, I will take a look at another extremely useful Android app by the name of AirDroid, which was featured in Chris’ 6 Ways To Take Screenshots On Android and can do many of the things I have previously mentioned, plus a few more. Not only is it capable of many functions that could be achieved with additional third-party apps, but it also looks extremely slick. I say this because the website and the Android app itself, the “desktop” interface with which you manage your phone, all look like they were made by an Apple web designer or something.
No Desktop Programs To Download – Just Visit One Website
One of the cooler parts of using AirDroid is the way you hook up your computer to your phone. When you launch the app in your Android device, you are given an IP address and a URL (web.airdroid.com) which you will then visit on your computer (which must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network that your phone is on).
Once you are at either the IP address or web.airdroid.com on your computer, you will see two tabs, Express and Secure on the right.
If you are at home or at your office, you can use the Express tab, while the Secure tab can be for settings such as a coffee shop, the airport, etc. You can now type in the passcode that is displayed on your Android phone’s screen, though you can also make up your own passcode in the AirDroid Android app settings if you typed the IP address. Or you can tap on the camera icon in the same screen of the phone app to scan the QR code on your computer screen.
I definitely recommend the latter method as it makes the connection much faster of course. Once you scan the QR code, it will take a few seconds to show you the beautiful “desktop” where you can see your phone’s memory and free space, manage your phone’s files, share URLs and more.
Send Text Messages, URLs & Files From Your Computer
One of the other features I definitely enjoy is AirDroid’s messaging feature. Just click the Messages icon or the New Message icon in the top Google Play search bar that has AirDroid’s logo. You can read, delete and even send text messages, all from your computer and with the comfort of a full-size keyboard.
If you are away on other web browser tabs but keep AirDroid’s web app open, the AirDroid tab will even flash notifications when you receive new text messages.
Transferring files is another feature I absolutely keep coming back to AirDroid for.
It is seamless – just open the Files icon on the desktop interface and upload files from your computer. Or better yet, drag and drop files to the Files window.
You can also explore, download (in .apk) and uninstall your phone apps from the web interface.
There is also a clipboard widget where you can see the text that you copied on your Android phone, and a URL widget where you can paste links to open up in your Android phone’s browser.
The AirDroid web app also has four desktops (with calendar and weather widgets) so you can easily organize and separate your tasks.
Take Screenshots Wirelessly
If your phone is rooted (it’s really not that difficult – it just takes some time to read all the guides), you can even take screenshots of your phone and potentially record screencasts as well, though these are experimental features. Back when I didn’t dare to root my phone for fear of bricking it, I had relied on the Android SDK’s Dalvik Debug Monitor tool as well as AShot to take screenshots, both of which worked well, but involved finding and plugging a USB cable between the computer and the phone.
Now that I have the AirDroid app, I can take screenshots wirelessly and effortlessly. Just click on the Screenshot widget on the AirDroid web app, accept the root permission prompt on your phone that asks you to authorize AirDroid and screencapture away.
New screens on your Android phone will update in real-time on the Screenshot widget on the website with virtually no delay, which is a delight to work with if you frequently blog about Android apps.
Manage Phone Memory, Kill Tasks & More
In the Tools tab of its Android app, AirDroid has a few more utilities that you may find handy.
You can open up Tasks to view a list of currently running processes, which you can even stop or kill.
With the Device tool, you can see a detailed view of your phone’s stats, including read-only memory, SD card space, and battery temperature.
Basically, You Won’t Regret Downloading AirDroid One Bit
The AirDroid’s web app is fast becoming one of my most visited sites on my computer for many reasons. AirDroid allows me to take screenshots easily, transfer and organize my files, uninstall apps, use my keyboard to type SMS’s instead of having to reach my phone for every new message, and more. If you have an Android phone, you will find AirDroid indispensable.
How do you manage your phone? What do you recommend to wirelessly manage your Android phone? We would love to read your comments and suggestions below.