App of the Week: Use AirDroid to Control Your Android Device From Your Desktop Web Browser


Regardless of some cool input tools, like Swype, entering text and controlling your mobile phone can still be cumbersome. On Android at least, you have the option of controlling your phone right from your computer, using AirDroid. AirDroid won’t let you do access all of your phone’s functions, but the list of available features is pretty impressive.

To control your phone, your computer and your phone must be on the same WiFi network. You then fire up the app from your phone, and it gives you a local IP address to type into your browser address bar, along with a password. All of the goodness then takes place in your browser.

Airdroid Connection screen

Once you’re connected, you’re presented with a nice screen on your computer, with buttons for the various options available to you.

AirDroid main screen

Here are the areas of your phone that you can access from the buttons, and what you can do:

  • Contacts – edit and delete
  • Call log – view lists of all, incoming, outgoing, and missed calls
  • Clipboard – copy contents to and from the device clipboard
  • Text messages – read and send
  • Apps – install and uninstall
  • Files – browse files on your device’s SD card, and rename, cut, copy, delete, and export them
  • Photos – browse, set as wallpaper, delete, and download
  • Music – export, delete, and set a selection as a ringtone (phone, alarm, and notification ringtones). There is also a “ringtone” button to access ringtones directly.

AirDroid SMS control

I’ve only had two minor glitches with the app. First, I’m still not sure what the export button does, as nothing happens when I click it. Perhaps that is user error on my part. Also, my connection from my MacBook Air to the phone did time out once, and I had to log in again. That just as easily could have been a network issue, though, as it could have been an issue with the app.

An app like this is something I could see myself using when I anticipate sending longer or frequent text messages, or when I want to tidy up my phone. How would you use this app? The app is currently free in the Android Market.

AirDroid [Android Market, via Lost in Technology]

Evan Kline

Hello, I'm Evan. I write about tech from my perspective – that of the average 40-something tech geek. You can also find me on Twitter and at my real-life job as a lawyer.    MORE ABOUT ME.


  1. The “export”-button zips the selected files and lets you save it to your computer.
    Works like a charm for me. :-)

  2. Oh, and one more thing!
    What I like most about the “music” section is the “play” option. I was over at a friends last weekend and wanted to play some of the music on my phone. Unfortunately my phone’s speakers are crap. I just connected my phone to my friends wifi, used his laptop to jump to the browser interface and played the music through his laptop speakers. Pure genius!!! :-)

  3. Johan aka “Shamrock” :-)

    Nice to meet you Evan! I’m Johan Dupré from Belgium and I’m smack dab in the middle of forty! :-) I love your blog! I’ve been following it for over a year now and the only thing that bugs me is that I’m checking for updates every day and not seeing a difference. I get it now: It’s just you! That’s pretty amazing!!!
    For me there’s: “Lifehacker” and “40tech”!

    Thanks for the great updates!

    • Thanks for the nice words, Johan. I hope we can keep your interest. And actually, we do have one other writer, Bobby Travis, so I can’t take all the credit. He churns out some great stuff.

  4. Pingback: Send and Receive Text Messages From Your Computer With DeskSMS [Android] | 40Tech

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