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.