Using your Android with your Mac

Of late, there has been a misconception that Androids and Macs just don’t get along. Well, it used to be in the days where the bot was still a baby. But now, there are thousands of apps and services that makes you pair your Mac with your droid. And here we’re going to see some of the best out of the bunch. A majority of services rely on the cloud while some others rely on the battle-tested faithful USB.

Transferring Files and Documents

Contrasting with the iPhone, transferring files to an android device is fairly easy. You can simply drag and drop (or copy and paste) all your files, music and documents into your phone. Not only transferring files, your phone can even double up as a “jump drive” to transfer files form one system to another.

Older Android devices have a USB Storage Mode that enables a device to act as if it were an external storage drive. This allows for simple, removable drive like access to your files in device memory and (optionally) the SD card. For devices that support this you can activate this by simply plugging your device into your Mac, and choosing “Turn on USB storage” from the “USB connected” notification. However, the precise way to do this varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. And do not forget to “unmount” or in other words eject the device before disconnecting it otherwise risk data corruption or even, (God forbid!) in worst cases, brick your device!

Unfortunately this awesome feature was removed in newer Androids and thus require you to use a dedicated file transfer app. Google’s recommendation is to you use its Android File Transfer (AFT) program, a simple and basic app that allows you to file system of your Android device and drag and drop files between it and your Mac.

And if you’re allergic with the cord spaghetti you’re likely to run into at some moment then don’t worry there is even a wireless way to do it. Apps like the Droid NAS make wireless file transfer possible between your device and your Mac with ease. The program opens up a network share on your device which appears as a shared network location in your Mac Finder.

You can even perform the other way round by making the Mac visible on your Wi-Fi network and browsing it with a file manager such as ES File Explorer.

Music

Thought you can simply drag and drop files into your droid. Doing it every time you get a new soundtrack is a really a tedious job. And with the song library becoming huge, you’re very likely to run out of space at any point of time.

Google Music is a really handy service that comes into play. You can upload your entire music library (up to 20,000 songs) and stream or download to your phone. The only requirement being an internet connection. And, each time you add a new song to your library on your Mac, it’ll be available on your phone.

Firstly you need the Music Manager app for Mac from Google Music. Then you’ll need to show The location of your music library to monitor, and viola! The app will automatically upload your music to Google’s Music service and keep it synced across all your devices.

After you’ve set up your library, you can download or stream any artist, album, or playlist in your library via a data connection within the Music app on your Android.

Contacts and calendars

To sync Contacts and calenders you simply have to link your Mac with your Google ID. On your Mac, sign in to your Google account in both the Contacts and Calendar apps. You can do this by signing in to your Google ID on either apps in the preferences. And on your Android device, make sure syncing of contacts and calendar info is enabled under account settings. Also, remember to sign in using the same Google ID at both the places.

However if you use iCloud and would rather not switch to Google, then apps like SmoothSync will allow you to sync your iCloud data with your Android.

Browser bookmarks and tabs

Once you start syncing your browser’s bookmarks and tabs, you would be amazed to know how you ever lived without. No more texting links and noting awfully long URLs on paper and taking the pain of typing it. Now you can just fire up a browser window and you would be exactly where you left off.

And the simplest way to do this is to Google’s own browser, Chrome, both on Mac and and your Android. Sign in to Chrome on both devices with the same Google ID and then in the settings page select services you’d like to sync. Note that you’ll need an Android device running Android 4.0 and above to install Chrome. Also, the popular Mozilla Firefox allows for sync. Simply setup Firefox sync in the options and pair the devices.

And have I left out the app you’re fond of, please mention it in the comments. Stay tuned for more exciting updates on technology.

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