How to Control Your Android Device from Your Computer (and Why You’d Want To)

Sometimes, it’s just easier to do certain smartphone tasks using a mouse, keyboard and larger screen. Here’s how to set up an Android desktop manager.

Although tablets and smartphones are taking over the world, there are still lots of folks who spend a good deal of time in front of a PC or Mac. And the computer-bound now have the added challenge of keeping up with what’s happening on their Android devices. Text messages come in, alerts go off, phones ring—and we’re programmed to get up, find the device and take care of that immediately, aren’t we?

Make your life a little easier. Today, there are a number of ways to monitor, manage and connect with your Android device from your desktop computer. You can upload and download files, contacts, music and photos, or even send and receive text messages from your Wi-Fi connected devices—without ever taking your eyes off the computer screen.

And as we rely on and use more data, we long to have all of our information at our fingertips—no matter which device is in our hands or attached to our keyboard. The ability to synchronize files between Android devices and your desktop computer on a daily basis means just that. Here’s how.

Apps are the way

AirDroid is a free app that lets you throw away your sync cable and completely manage your Android device via your computer’s web browser. After linking AirDroid’s simple device-emulating web app to the device app, you can use it to transfer files, manage apps, keep your contacts and ringtones organized, play music you’ve uploaded or downloaded and even send or forward texts from your phone—all without even knowing where your device is. (Psst … it’s between the couch cushions.)

If you just need to keep track of calls and texts, check out Android Notifier. It’s a mobile/desktop app pair that lets you focus on your work while keeping you up to date on alerts, texts and calls that come in while you’re tied to your computer.

There are a number of other Android desktop management apps out there that fill particular security, management or data transfer niches, so you’ll likely find just what you’re looking for, including DoubleTwist, WonderShare MobileGo and B-Folders 3.

Back me up, Scotty

For many users, it’s all about backing up data and syncing—ensuring that files, photos, apps and contacts never get lost in the bit bucket. If your main objective is to make sure what you download on your phone is available on your tablet or computer, take a look at Verizon Cloud. The free 5 GB version is enough to back up and synchronize your content, texts and call logs in the cloud, so you can access them anywhere you’re connected to the Internet. Need more storage? Sign up for more starting at $2.99/month.

Once you start managing and controlling your Android device from your computer, you’ll wonder how you got by without these tools in your utility belt.

The Android robot is reproduced or modified from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License. 

This article was written by an author contracted by Verizon’s Insider's Guide to provide helpful information on wireless technology. The thoughts, opinions and suggestions of the author may not necessarily reflect those of Verizon Wireless

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