This is a sponsored article and was made possible by MacDroid. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence, even when a post is sponsored.
This may not come as a surprise, but computers running macOS don’t work well with Android devices out of the box. If you use an iPhone or iPad, transferring files to and from your computer is a breeze. Android is another story. You can make it work, but it can sometimes involve using a cloud storage service like Dropbox.
This works for some people, but what if you frequently find yourself moving files between your Mac and your Android device? That’s where MacDroid comes in, a handy piece of software that turns this from a headache into something you don’t even have to think about.
What Does MacDroid Do?
On the surface, what MacDroid does is let you transfer your files between your Mac and your Android device in a very simple fashion. I say simple because it makes your Android device appear in the macOS Finder like it’s just another hard drive. Behind the scenes, this is probably quite difficult to do, but you don’t have to worry about that, as using the software is very easy.
We’ll dive into this more in depth later on in the article, but getting the software up and running is easy too. Considering the hoops you have to jump through with some alternative options for moving files between Mac and Android, this is a bigger deal than you might think.
There are no hardware requirements for being able to run MacDroid, at least as far as I could find. On the software side, you’ll need to be running macOS version 10.10 or later. Considering macOS 10.10 Yosemite was released nearly six years ago, this shouldn’t be a problem for most people.
On the Android side, there don’t seem to be any requirements at all. The MacDroid website says that all Android and MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) devices are supported.
I already described one of the main features – being able to treat your Android device like an external hard drive – above. That’s not the only thing that MacDroid has to offer though. For example, you can mount both internal and external storage on your Android device. This means you don’t have to pop the microSD card out of your device in order to read it on your Mac.
You can also edit files on your Android device directly, meaning you don’t have to copy them to your computer first. This can save a lot of time if your previous alternative was moving files back and forth using Dropbox or a similar service.
Finally, there is nothing you have to install on your Android device. Just run MacDroid on your Mac and you’re all set. It even walks you through the process of getting set up as we’ll see in the next section.
When you first launch MacDroid, it will show you a few of its features and then walk you through the set up process. The first thing you need to do is enable USB Debugging on your Android device in the Developer menu. If you don’t have this menu, you can enable it via a sort of “cheat code” that involves tapping the Build Number in the Software Information or About Phone section of the Settings menu.
Once you’ve enabled USB Debugging, MacDroid will prompt you to plug in your device. You’ll see a prompt on the device asking if you want to use USB Debugging, so select “Always for This Computer” or a similar option. MacDroid takes it from here, making the phone available in Finder.
From here you can browse through the files on your Android device just as you would any other external storage device. The only difference in what you can do with these files comes down to whether you’re using the Free or Pro version of the app.
The Free version of MacDroid is, as the name implies, free forever. This isn’t any sort of time-limited demo. The main restriction here is that while you can move or copy files from your Android device to your Mac, you can’t do the opposite.
If you need to move files from your Mac to your Android device or want to edit files in place right on your Android device, you’ll need the Pro version of MacDroid, which costs $19.99 per year. In addition to this extra functionality, you also get consistent updates.
It’s impressive how much you can do with the free version of MacDroid. If you’re a photographer who frequently uses their Android phone as a camera, the free version of the software will aid you in getting your photos onto your computer with no problem at all. That said, even in this case the Pro version gets you support and updates.
If you’re a developer or simply an Android enthusiast, the Pro version is easily worth the $19.99 per year it costs. Plugging in your phone or tablet and treating it like another hard drive in Finder without any extra effort is something you quickly get used to. After you try the seven-day free trial of the Pro features, you’ll probably find you don’t want to say goodbye to them.