Sharing Files Between Computers and Mobile Devices
In our second section, we’ll talk about sharing data between computers and mobile devices. As before, the type of solution that works for you depends on your hardware and operating systems. Let’s start off with the easy stuff first.
If you have a relatively new Mac running OS X 10.7 or higher and a relatively new iPhone or iPad running iOS 7 or higher, then you can use a feature called AirDrop to transfer files between your computer and mobile device. AirDrop does not work with Android devices or other operating systems like Windows or Linux, so it’s fairly limited.
If you use an Apple device, but need your data on a Windows machine, I would suggest simply installing iCloud Drive on Windows. You can copy any kind of data you want to iCloud Drive from a Mac or Windows machine. Oddly, on iOS, you can only see iCloud files for certain apps as Apple hasn’t created an iCloud Drive iOS app as of yet.
If you’re on Android, you also have a couple of options that work just like AirDrop and probably even better. A couple of apps that come to my mind immediately are Filedrop, AirDroid, and SHAREit. Using these apps, you can share files between your Android device, Windows, Mac and even iPhone, iPad or Windows Phone.
Accessing Shared Folders
Another option if you already have some locally shared folders on a home computer is to use apps like ES File Explorer File Manager on Android or FileExplorer Free on iOS.
These apps let you connect to your Windows, Mac or Linux machine and access any shared folders. You can transfer files both ways easily. There are also many other apps that do the same thing, so feel free to search around. I just mentioned these because I have used them before. They may not be the best.
At this point, there starts to be a lot of overlap in terms of what app or service can be used to accomplish a certain task. For example, you can also easily use a cloud storage service to transfer files between a computer and mobile device. You could also use BitTorrent Sync to do it and bypass the cloud.
Sharing Files Between Mobile Devices Only
If you’re looking to share files between mobile devices only, then you can use one of the solutions mentioned above. Thankfully, there really isn’t anything extra to mention here.
If you have Apple devices, use iCloud Drive, AirDrop or iCloud Shared Photo Albums. If you are on Android and running version 4.1 or higher with an NFC chip, then you can use something called Android Beam. This lets you wirelessly transfer data between two Android devices in close proximity.
For non-Apple devices, you can also simply swap microSD cards, if both phones have them. Android phones also support bluetooth file transfers. Windows Phone also supports bluetooth file sharing, so theoretically you should be able to pair an Android and Windows Phone together and share files, though I have never done this myself.
If you want to share data between an iPhone and Android device, it’s best to use a third party cloud storage service and then just send the other person a share link. Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, etc all let you share out files or folders, which can then be downloaded by the other party.
Also, as mentioned above, there are certain apps like SHAREit that you can download for iOS, Android or Windows Phone, so you can easily share files between any mobile operating system.