The smartphone is starting to push traditional computing aside, simply because a handset is generally more convenient to use than a cumbersome laptop (and let’s not even mention desktop PCs, where are they now?). Of course you can’t do everything with a phone, but you can definitely handle most of the communication tasks, like email and instant messaging (WhatsApp = total awesome!), as well as things like location searching and simple information browsing.
But there are times when it would be really useful to have more of a seamless connection between the phone and a full-blown computer, and that’s where this superb piece of freeware comes in.
Airdroid provides an incredibly easy to use wireless connection between your Android smartphone and a computer, and when we say connection we mean a full blown desktop experience, not just a file manager. Yes, you can manage your files, upload and download, move/copy etc, but the real beauty of this application comes from the fact that you can control every aspect of your smartphone from any browser anywhere, not just your own computer.
Set up is a cinch. Install the Android app on your phone to start with, and when you’re ready, fire up your web browser and go to http://web.airdroid.com/. From there, as long as you’re on the same WiFi connection, you can log in to your phone by entering the passcode or scanning the QR code with your phone camera. Once you’re logged on, you get a beautifully clean desktop view of your handset, and access to all the functionality you might need.
This means you can send SMS (and group SMS) from your computer browser, manage and listen to your music files, set and audition ringtones, upload and download files and install apps…well you get the picture. This is really a superb way of integrating your phone with your computer in an easy and powerful way. In effect your handset becomes a part of your computer environment, and it’s all done using nothing more complex than your web browser.
And that’s not all. Take the clipboard and URL features for example. How useful is it to be able to send snippets of data over to the phone using a quick and dirty clipboard feature? Street addresses, map references, shopping lists. Just add them on the computer, click Save and they’re automatically chucked over to the phone’s clipboard for pasting into your favourite app in a flash. Or use the URL open box to open a web address (map, shop site etc?) on the phone ready for when you need it. Brilliant.
This is an absolute must-have utility program for all Android smartphone owners, and I can see it becoming of my daily usage immediately. Having this kind of two-way interactivity will really make it much easier for me to get the most out of the phone in every way. The program works with all of the mainstream web browsers, and there’s a fast and super secure mode for times when you’re in a less secure WiFi location. Altogether an amazing product.