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Hands-on review: AirDroid app

30 Mar 16

Sometimes an app proves to be so insanely useful that you wonder how you coped without it. One such app is AirDroid. After reviewing I felt like the guy who invented the rear-view mirror - I’ve never looked back.

Yeah, but what is it?

AirDroid provides a wireless PC link to your Android phone. After installing AirDroid on your phone and PC, you then scan a QR code on your PC's screen. Having done this, you can answer text messages with your PC, drag and drop to transfer files to and from your PC/phone and manage apps. If your phone is rooted, AirDroid will also display your phone's screen on your PC.

Usability

The AirDroid browser UI is pretty slick (if a tad cluttered). It has lots of icons for apps plus widgets that give you an at-a-glance view of notifications on your phone. You can also open web pages on your phone and reply to text messages via your PC.  

I also found that being able to read and reply to incoming text messages while on my PC to be dead handy. Being able to manage media plus contacts and apps with a mouse instead of my sausage-like fingers sweetened the deal.

So if that’s the good, there’s also a few gotcha's. For a start, AirDroid needs to be hooked up to the same Wi-Fi network as your phone. Bad luck if there is no Wi-Fi available. Its web interface can also become cluttered with windows and your phone needs to be rooted before you can experience one of its more useful features – phone screen mirroring on your PC.

Verdict

The appeal for many with AirDroid is likely to be that that it frees them from phone distractions on their PC. Replying to SMS on a PC also frees them from the hell that is touchscreen keyboards and predictive text. Last (but by no means least) AirDroid also makes transferring media onto smartphones effortless. So is AirDroid worth it? Its minor issues are definitely outweighed by its sheer usefulness.

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