Wouldn’t it be great if we could airdrop from iPhone to Android or Windows? One of the most useful things built into iOS and macOS is Airdrop. However, it’s only on Apple devices. I just recently found out about a utility that makes it possible. Let’s take a look.
Apple’s killer features elude Android users
Living in Japan, the vast majority of smartphone users I encounter tend to be iPhone users. Apple has a few exclusive features going for iOS that haven’t really been matched on other platforms. One is iMessage, which is incredibly popular in North America. I realize that users outside that region use messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram, LINE, etc. It can be difficult being an Android user at times if you appear as a green bubble instead of blue in your friends’ message windows.
The next feature I consider iOS exclusive is why you probably clicked on this article: Airdrop. If you have an iOS device such as an iPhone/iPad or a Mac, you can effortlessly share files locally and wirelessly. There’s no need to even be connected to the Internet. BUT there is no way to Airdrop from iPhone to Android with this feature.
This is important when sharing things such as photos. In my particular case, when my wife and I go out, and friends take different pictures on their phones, we’ll probably want to get them at the end of the event or night. In my case, I’m on Android and can’t participate in the Airdrop fun. Until now.
Snapdrop is a website that will allow any device to send files to another device as long as they are both accessing the site to initiate the connection. Basically, you can airdrop from iPhone to Android or vice versa. It achieves this by using a P2P connection if WebRTC is supported by the browser. Spoiler alert: Most browsers support this on both desktop and mobile, so you’re good to go.
In case that didn’t register, it also means that the file transfers do NOT use your Internet, but a local connection between the devices. Don’t sweat that bandwidth bill, buddy. (But also don’t show up at my door outraged if your data usage went up for some reason.)
Using it on desktop
Here is what the site looks like in a browser on a PC. If it detects any other devices, they will be displayed in the white space. Here you can see my Android device showing up. To send a file, just click on the icon and choose what you want to send. It’s pretty easy.
When I used my smartphone’s web browser and went to the Snapdrop site, I get the same clean page I saw on desktop, but more condensed. Just tap and choose a file such as a photo or a video, and it will bring up a prompt on my other device, asking if it’s okay to download.
Final thoughts on Airdrop from iPhone to Android
I’ve tried a lot of different airdrop clones for Android, but this looks like it’s going to be the best solution out there going forward not only between iPhone and Android but between mobile devices and traditional computers as well.
I’m really impressed with this utility and will definitely be recommending it to friends and family as the need for file transfers arise. To be honest, I usually end up using Telegram for file transfers, but this should be much faster since the files don’t go through a third party server.
What about you?
Have you tried Snapdrop yet? What did you think? There are so many options out there, so be sure to let me know what utilities work for you in terms of sharing or dealing with cross-platform stuff. In the meantime, I think Snapdrop is the one to beat at this point.
Link: Go try it!