AirDroid Exposes Google’s Lack of Desktop App

AirDroid Exposes Google’s Lack of Desktop App

Jan 12, 2012

The main calling card for Android is that it’s supposed to be the anti-iOS. Apple has their sterilized operating system that requires very little user interaction in the depths of the software. If Apple is a modern day Acura, then Android is supposedly that classic Mustang that you can pop the hood of and get your hands dirty. Unfortunately, finding the file structure behind Android on your computer has proven to be a challenge that for the most part involves putting your phone into Debug Mode and running an SDK.

Enter AirDroid. AirDroid is a very powerful app that will make your life easier if you spend a lot of time using both your phone and computer, such as myself. AirDroid allows the user to bring their Android device up on their computer through any browser and use it as a kind of media manager. Your music, ringtones, photos, and files are all browsable here and you also have an option to manage your applications. The application manager is nice and is a better way of managing apps than the usual way of going though your phone’s settings. Other options include being able to manage your contacts, delete items in your call log, and there’s even a handy little link to the Android Market.

My favorite feature, however, is the ability to view and send text messages directly from your computer. Just as long as your phone is connected to the same WiFi network and the AirDroid app is open, you have the ability to send text messages from your computer without touching your phone. This is very beneficial for me because I am always leaving my phone behind, but I am usually on my laptop. While surfing the web I can glance at the next tab and check to see if I have an awaiting text message instead of fumbling around for my phone. If the idea of me fumbling like a buffoon for my phone reminds you of bad late night informercial, don’t worry, I am aware how lazy I might sound. But seriously, the one thing keeping phones from taking over the digital world is the fact that typing on them is a lesson in futility. I did a whole blog post on three completely different keyboards for Android and I still get frustrated with the one that I deemed my favorite. A physical keyboard, you might say, that comes at the expense of bulk and a smaller screen. Don’t underestimate the luxury of being able to click over and type a text message from your laptop.

The app itself has problems, most notably is that it is slow at times. This isn’t too much of a surprise when thinking about what it’s doing and how it’s not privy to the kind of resources Google Developers are. I’m hoping that Google realizes the market for a product like this, and delivers a desktop app that will fully integrate the experience of your phone with your computer. Google has the resources and I can’t conceive that making a desktop companion would make consume too much time there in Mountain View. Sure, DoubleTwist is being touted as the iTunes for Android but that does nothing to solve the file managing, and just like iTunes, DoubleTwist is slow and bloated. Besides, it’s honestly about time that Google releases an application that allows users to look into their phones without having to throw them into Debug mode. I know this may be a fool’s prayer but after using AirDroid for a few days and seeing some of the problems and promise in this solid app, I feel that if a small developer and Google’s main competition can do it, why can’t there be an official desktop app for Android?