Android tablets, smartphones and personal media players can swap files over Wi-Fi with the aid of a third party app. Android's built-in file management tools work well with directly transferring files between a computer and an Android device either over Wi-Fi or via USB cable connection. A computer views connected Android devices as mass-storage data devices and has full access to the device files. However, sending files directly to another Android device does not work within the computer transfer system and requires app assistance.
Android File System Notes
Android's built-in file manager operates much like one found on a computer and is fully capable of moving around files on a device's built-in and directly connected storage mediums. However, the file manager is not equipped to handle network-based file system transfers across multiple devices and requires the assistance of a program to handle device-to-device transfers. Android devices have used the Ext4 storage format system since late 2010 and use the Yaffs file system for data management. The Yaffs file system is designed specifically for devices that use flash memory, like Android devices.
Fast File Transfer
The Fast File Transfer app lets Android devices exchange multiple files at once by configuring the sending device as a Wi-Fi server and downloading the files through the Web browser on the receiving device. Fast File Transfer configures the sending device as a Wi-Fi server, so there's no need to use an existing Wi-Fi network to complete the transfer: the app sends the files directly to the second device. Additionally, the app needs to be installed only on the sending device to complete the transfer. A drawback to the program is that the receiving device needs to disconnect from any active Wi-Fi connections and connect to the sending device's Wi-Fi signal to work.
AntosDR Wifi File Transfer
The AntosDR Wifi File Transfer app lets two Android devices connected to the same Wi-Fi network exchange files via Wi-Fi. AntosDR Wifi File transfer requires that both the sending and receiving devices install and run the app. Setting the receiving device into "Receive File" mode will give the device's IP address, which the sending device can input in "Send File" mode to transfer the file. The program also integrates within the "Share" options menu found in other file browser apps.
SmarterDroid WiFi File Transfer
The SmarterDroid WiFi File Transfer app can transfer files between Android devices over Wi-Fi; however, the app needs to use a computer as an intermediary device. In order to transfer files over Wi-Fi with SmarterDroid WiFi File Transfer, the user has to transfer files from the sending Android device to the PC and then from the PC to the receiving Android device. SmarterDroid WiFi File Transfer is designed to work with transferring entire file folders instead of individual files and can be useful in batch-transfers. The free version is limited to 5MB file transfers.
- ArsTechnica: Ext4 Filesystem Hits Android, No Need to Fear Data Loss
- Yaffs.net: Google Android
- Yaffs.net: Yaffs Overview
- Google Play: Fast File Transfer
- Google Play: AntosDR Wifi File Transfer
- Google Play: SmarterDroid WiFi File Transfer
- Tech Republic: Transfer Files between your Android Tablet and PC using Wi-Fi
- Mathew Sumner/Getty Images News/Getty Images