Airdroid 3 Update Comes With New Features And A Desktop App

By: Rajat Gaur
Popular Android file transfer app Airdroid was recently updated to version 3.0 (version 3.0.1 is live now) and with this update it now also has a desktop version for Windows and Mac computers. Earlier you had to open Airdroid web app in your browser in order to transfer a file to your Android device. This is the second major update by Airdroid this year after the update in March which introduced the notification mirror service that allows you to receive your Android notifications on your computer in real time.

The Desktop App

The desktop app has a very clean interface and supports drag and drop for transferring files from your computer to your Android device. You can also send files from your android device using the Airdroid android app to your computer and it will be stored in a folder that you specify in the settings menu of the desktop app (see the screenshot below)

Airdroid Desktop App SettingsChoose the default location to save received files in Airdroid desktop app 

Just like the web app, Airdroid desktop client also allows you to transfer files either over your local network (wifi network) or over the internet via Airdroid cloud servers. It also alerts you when you have an incoming call or a text message on your android smartphone and just as with the Airdroid web app,  you can even access your call logs and read your text messages. The desktop app also supports the notification mirror service.

But all these similarities do not imply that the desktop app is exactly identical to the web app. The interface is different and more importantly there are still a few features that are exclusive to the web app and are not included in the desktop client. I’m listing them below.

  • You can not browse the files stored on your android device (or on its memory card) using the Airdroid desktop app. For me, this is the biggest disappointment as I heavily rely on this functionality to move files between devices. Airdroid should consider including this feature in future updates.
  • You can not make phone calls using the desktop client. I don’t think its a very popular feature even in the web app. Even if you make a phone call from your computer using Airdroid, you have to pick up the phone to continue the conversation. So this one doesn’t really make much difference (at least for me!).
  • Screenshot capture and camera functionalities are also not there. This is also not a very important feature.  

What else does 3 update include ?

Apart from the desktop version of the app, Airdroid 3 update also includes some additional functionalities like AirMirror and text messaging.

AirMirror

AirMirror allows you actually operate your android device from your computer. It shows the screen of your Android smartphone/tablet live on your computer and you can use your mouse and keyboard to operate it (something like Samsung’s screen mirror). This feature might come very handy in certain situations, say you may reply to Whatsapp messages from your computer using the full size keyboard. But unfortunately, as of now, this feature requires root permissions on most android devices. Airdroid says it is working with OEMs to make it possible to use this feature without rooting the device.

Text Messaging

Airdroid Desktop Text MessagingSend text messages using Airdroid 3

Now you can also send quick text messages from one device to another using the Airdroid app.  I don’t know how useful this feature might be as you have to be signed in with the same Airdroid account on both the devices to send and receive text messages. Its much like file transfer except that you have a text editor and an interface that resembles a messaging app. Anyways an additional feature is always a welcome.

Send Files To Other Android Devices

With the latest version of Airdroid you can not only exchange files between your computer and Android device, you can even send files from one android device to another. And obviously you have to be signed in on both the devices with the same Airdroid account. This might sometimes come very handy as it allows you to transfer files between two android devices over your wifi network. So instead of using bluetooth, you may use this feature of Airdroid to transfer files if both the devices are connected to the same wifi network. If however, the two devices are not connected to the same local (wifi) network, the file will be routed via Airdroid cloud servers (using your internet connection) as in the case of Android to desktop file transfer.

Booster

Airdroid 3 also includes a feature called Booster. You can use this feature to kill background apps and free up some RAM. Though this is an unrelated feature, but as I mentioned above, never mind an additional functionality.

A Brand New Interface

How can I forget this one! Like any other major app update, Airdroid has also overhauled its android app's user interface. Though its not material design, the new interface is certainly cleaner and more user friendly.

Retains all other features from previous versions

I need not say this, but still just to clarify, Airdroid still doubles up as a file manager for your android device and you can also use the app for creating a wifi hotspot (just as you could do in the previous versions).

There is a bonus as well

As you probably already know, Airdroid works on a Freemium model. You can download and use the app for free, but there are certain features that only premium users can use. For example a free user can transfer unlimited data between two devices over the local (wifi) network, but transferring through Airdroid’s cloud servers (using the internet) is limited to a maximum of 200 MB per month. Airdroid calls this limit Remote Quota. The new Bonus  feature in Airdroid 3 allows even free users to use some of the premium features for a period of seven days. All you have to do is spread the word of mouth by sharing about the app on the social media (Facebook,Twitter or Google+). With bonus, Airdroid allows you unlimited remote quota and maximum file size of 200 MB for remote transfer (against just 30 MB for free users). One thing that I’d like you to note is that there is no file size limit for anyone if you transfer the file over your local/wifi network.

Overall I’m quite impressed with the new 3.0 update of the Airdroid app and it is one the most frequently used apps on my android. One request that I have for the developers at Airdroid is to include the ability to browse the files stored on the android device using the desktop client. What has your experience been with the Airdroid app ? Do you like it or dislike or do you use another app for moving files ? Do let me know in the comments below.

See Also: Airdroid To Now Show All Android Notifications On Your Computer