Control Your Android Device From PC, Without USB, WiFi [App Review]

When was the first time you heard about the idea of controlling your phone through the internet? From the NSA?

Actually, no. We’ve been hearing about it since the modern smartphone came along. Still, so few developers have pulled off the feat successfully that the seemingly tireless process feels like a gruelling job.

Capture

AirDroid, however, is one of the few tools which will make any average user proud.

The app gives simplicity a new definition. After a simple installation and an account register, you’re done. PC installations of any sort? Those don’t exist here as your average Web Browser takes care of that as flawlessly as anything.

Best of all, it is free. At least if you’re just an average Joe.

Highlights

  • Send & receive SMS from the comfort of your computer.
  • Move photos, videos, ringtones and any other files on and off Android, all without a USB cable.
  • Locate and lock your Android when it’s lost. Cannot get it back? Simply wipe all data remotely.
  • Easier way of app search, installation and apk export.
  • See through the lens of your Android camera, front and back. Or stream the screen of your Android in nearly real-time.
  • Call contact, share clipboard content, push url to Android and more
  • Price: Free

The Mobile App

In order to make the system work, you’ll need a Wi-Fi for your smartphone/tablet and a good connection for your PC, or a USB cable to get connected. If you don’t have both the connectivity options even then you can get connected with your Android device through Mobile Internet. Its all there.

The mobile app doesn’t do all that much, apart from offering device details and managing files in a clean and fluid interface, but it’s still a crucial part of the equation. (One cool thing it offers is the QR Code scanning through its webpage which triggers the app.)

In order to improve the battery life, it’s highly recommended that you exit this app after every use. It certainly helps as I myself noticed it depleting the battery juice faster than usual on my phone.

The Web app

The Web app is the centre of all the interest. Unlike several other similar apps, AirDroid doesn’t require any additional installation or a PC client whatsoever. It itself has taken a few design cues from here and there and shows your phone’s status and notifications. All-in-all, it’s quite usable.

The good thing here is that it doesn’t feel gimmicky and works just fine. Music files play, photos and videos can be viewed (though the latter uses QuickTime) and apps can be moved or uninstalled.

The real treat it offers, however, is the seamless file transfer. My Nexus 10 appears quite problematic when connected to a PC via a microUSB cable but with this, it transferred files like a breeze and operated without a hitch. Same was the story with my phone. Uploading a few important files and my music right from the PC never felt as convenient.

Music

Sending messages is just as easy as it can be and if you find it difficult to type long messages on a touchscreen, you certainly won’t get any better than this.

Message Interface

I was, however, less impressed with the find my phone feature. When I first tried to locate my device using the Web app, it thought I was near a city called Oakhurst in California. On my second attempt, it denied my existence. Funny enough. It did ring, however, when I activated the sound remotely from my desktop.

Also, in order to get the most out of it, your phone needs to be rooted. Screenshots, for instance, can’t be taken without rooting your phone. Still, screwing your device for just a single app doesn’t sound too sensible to us.

Now of course, normal usage is free of cost but if you’re a power-user, it’s recommended that you get the premium version of the app which gives you the freedom to transfer up to 100 MB files (up from 10 MB which is allowed in free mode), 5 GB data limit, ability to see through the lens of your camera and better support from the developers.

Pricing is a bit steep though. Plans start from $1.99/month.

Still, if what you plan on doing with it is moderate file transfer like photos, videos or the like, then this app does the job better than most. Messaging, web browsing and seeing content from the eye of the internet sounds cool but isn’t actually quite useful but if transferring data is your thing and you have a good Wi-Fi, then this app is a must-have. I would give it a strong 9 out of 10.

Go and Download AirDroid from here.


  • Ajmal

    excellent app :-)
    thxx

  • SSyar

    more than an year old app,., but really a good one.,,

  • Zahid Butt

    Control Your Android Device From PC, Without USB, WiFi [App Review] ?
    or you mean just without USB,
    it uses WiFi connection.

    • aamir7

      Yes with wifi, or even without wifi. In absence of wifi your Internet connectivity will be used to communicate between PC and Android device.

      • Zahid Butt

        I see, I didn’t know that.
        Thanks

      • Faizan Ali

        actually a better term would be that your phone and pc should be on same network for best connectivity!!

        • aamir7

          Yes of course, using wifi as channel will offer optimum connectivity. USB connection will do even better.

  • fakhre alam

    am using it for over a year now. best one. use it in chrome.

    • taimour

      plz tell me how to use this

      • Fakhre Alam

        install airdroid in ur phone from play store,
        connect ur phone and laptop to the same wifi router
        open airdroid in ur phone , an ip address will be there,
        open chrome/firefox in ur PC and type the same IP in the address bar and hit enter. rest is easy.

  • Faizan Ali

    I have been using this app for over an year now and there is not a single task for which I think I need to upgrade to power user( I am not saying there wont be any, just saying not any scenario that I have come across) However I don’t think the file transfer limit specified in this article is correct, because I have transferred up to 700 Mb media files and I am using a free version. The best part of this app is the message sending and receiving feature. You can send and receive text messages by using your pc keyboard which is incredibly FAST. This is the best free utility app on android that I have come across

    • Danish

      can we use it to access our device over internet for free?

      • Faizan Ali

        yes, you can use it over the internet, but file transfer and overall experience will not be as smooth as is on same network.

        • Danish

          but i could not use it over internet on free version, so i uninstalled it

          • Faizan Ali

            I have read in one of the comments that they updated it to pro version!!

  • umer

    Been using this app, no doubt it is an awesome one

  • Nasir

    I am using Huawei ascent P6 with its built in Hisuite for messaging , data transfer but with Hisuite only wifi and usb cable options are available anyway i love Hisuite. i’ll try this app too for experimental purpose.

  • Faran

    If I am using a Samsung handset, Kies Air might be the best option rather than a 3rd party exercise?

    • Danish

      This is something different, you can remote access your device

  • Abdul Ghaffar

    It will hang your phone and also you can’t un-install it easily. I was using it on my Galaxy Note II

    • Saif

      Then there must be some issue with ur cell…as its working fine from last one year (on S2 & and now on S4).

      This summer they put the ~2$ fee (for new feature*) on it, earlier it was free.

      * now you can use it remotely via internet, without same wifi network. Another feature is Location to your device (in case its stolen/lost).

      • Abdul Ghaffar

        I know it from start when they first released public version. It was working fine from last couple of months. But after taking update its hanging my phone. And I was also unable to un-install it with regular method.
        :(

  • Saif

    @Author: Correct yourself, its totally free and without any data limit if you are using it on same wifi network. 2$ fee – 10MB to 100MB with 5GB cap is for using it remotely via internet.

  • Danish

    can we use it to access our device over internet for free??

  • Danish

    i think it can only be used over same network not over internet with different networks

  • Taeja

    There is an app TEAMVIEWER QS also for the same purpose. It can be used for mobile control through PC.

  • fayaz ul hassnain

    how can i download ? any link send me pls

  • atiq

    I have been using TeamViewer Quck Support for a year or so. Though Teamviewer does not work on all phones. At that time it said it works only with samsung phones.

  • Farukh Tehseen

    i have been using it for more than a year

  • Jake

    Nokia introduced such thing with N73. i used it way back in 2008-9.

  • sunny

    is there any similar application to control WP8 nokia lumia…?? please help

  • Sulaiman Lalani

    how to use it on the web?

  • Kasuga Kyosuke

    THe problem is that the AirDroid App, doesn’t let us work (use) the already installed app in our phone, and if we want to control the app we need the AirMirrow, and that app, request to conect the phone to pc using USB (USB debugging turned on), BUT the problem is … IF my phone is damage and my USB-PC doesn’t find my phone, because is broke, my mini USB port from my cellphone isn’t working anymore, so i cant use ANY software or app that need the USB PC cable to cellphone, i need to find a software, app or browser app that allow me to have a full control from my broken and damage cell, without have to connect using USB cable.