So you just bought an Android phone and need to transfer over your files from your old one. Or you’ve had your handset for a while, but you’ve just bought a new album on your desktop that you want to listen to on the go. Think about all of the photos you will likely take on your upcoming vacation and all the people you’re going to want to share them with. In each of these cases, you need to move files to or from your Android device. There are many ways to do this, and no one method is best for all situations. So here are five of the best types of apps, with an example or two of each, that you can use to get the job done. And you won’t have to pull out any wires.
1. File Pushers
When the time comes to quickly send a single file from one device to another, Pushbullet is one of my first recommendations.
This combination Android app/web browser extension/website makes sending a file as simple as pushing a button. It works with links, images, and files. In each case, you upload or paste the item you wish to send, push it, and watch as a notification immediately appears on the target device.
Pushbullet is great, but it requires signing up for yet another service and trusting it to temporarily manage your files. If you rather cut out the middle man, or you just want something that works without an internet connection required, Bluetooth may just be the way to go. Bluetooth File Transfer is one of many apps, a few of which even share the same name, that will let you transfer files between devices over a Bluetooth connection. Yet while Bluetooth is nearly universally available in smartphones, some computers, especially older ones, don’t have the necessary hardware.
3. WiFi File Managers
If you’re trying to move entire folders over, you’re going to want to do more than push over a single file one at time. Yet if this is just a one-time thing, such as copying over your favorite albums or moving your photo collection over from your previous phone, a WiFi-connected file manager may be all you need. WiFi File Explorer lets you broadcast your mobile device over the local network. The app spits out an address that you can enter on any other computer in the house. After doing so, you can browse the contents of the phone from the comfort of a browser, upload files to it, or download them as needed.
Performing a search on Google Play for “WiFi File Transfer” will also produce a long list of apps that function in roughly the same way.
4. Cloud Storage Apps
If you already have an account with a cloud storage provider such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or Copy; then installing the corresponding app from the Play Store may be the simplest way to get documents onto your new device. This is especially the case if the files are already backed up, so all you need to do now is navigate to the correct folder and download them.
Unfortunately, these apps typically only allow you to upload or download one file at a time, limiting how useful they are. But if you want to move many files at once, don’t worry, you have options.
5. Third-Party Cloud Storage Apps
On desktops, cloud storage apps run in the background and automatically sync designated folders up online. The official Android counterparts don’t do the same, but there are third-party ones that fill the void rather well. Dropsync can pair up a Dropbox folder with one on your phone and keep them synced up, effectively replicating how Dropbox works on computers. You can select all of the folders in your Dropbox or, to save space, just pick a few.
Autosync is an option that does the same thing, just for Google Drive.
There you have it. One of these five methods are sure to get files on and off your device without too much fuss. If you have a preferred approach that I didn’t mention on this list, feel free to share it with others below.