Sometimes, getting files to and from your Android tablet or smartphone can be an exercise in frustration. You can email them to yourself, you can install a third-party file manager, or you can be lucky enough to have an LG G Pad 8.3 and enjoy an easy-to-use, built-in file sharing tool called Wireless storage. What this allows you to do is manage the files on your tablet from any machine connected to the same network. You can copy, paste, delete, and add files and folders to either the internal storage or (if applicable) the external SD card. The file sharing is done through your desktop's (laptop or other mobile device) file manager (from Linux, Windows, or Mac). Drag and drop is supported, and no apps need be installed on either end. The only requirement is the LG G Pad, a Wi-Fi connection, and a second device.
Let's dive into this so you can start sharing files over your Wi-Fi network with your LG tablet.
Enabling Wireless storage
The first thing you must do is turn on Wireless storage. This isn't a feature you'll leave on 24/7 — you'll use it as needed. When you turn the service on, you'll be given the information necessary to connect to your tablet. That information will come in the form of an address to be used on:
- A Windows machine: In the form of either \\ip-address or \\hostname\sharename
- Mac/Linux: In the form smb://ip-address
To turn on the Wireless storage, the device must first be connected to the same wireless network as the desktop or laptop (the machine that will need access to the tablet files). Once you've done that, you're ready to start sharing. Here's how you turn on Wireless storage:
- Go to Settings
- Tap Share & connect
- Locate Wireless storage, and tap the slider to the ON position
- Tap the entry for Wireless storage
- Notate the information necessary to connect, including address, username, and password (Figure A)
Sharing on a Verizon-branded LG G Pad 8.3.
At this point, you have everything you need to connect to the device from your desktop or laptop. I'll demonstrate how to connect from a Ubuntu Linux desktop.
- Open the Nautilus file manager
- Tap the [Alt] key and type server
- Select Connect to server from the Head Up Display (HUD)
- In the Server Address field, enter the smb://ip-address given in the Wireless storage information window (on the LG G Pad)
- Click Connect
- When prompted, enter the username and password given in the Wireless storage information window (on the LG G Pad)
At this point, you should see a folder called My_LG_Tablet. Within that folder, you'll see one or two folders (depending on whether you have an external SD card inserted and mounted). The folders should be labeled external_SD and sdcard0. The sdcard0 is the internal phone storage. You should now be able to manage files to and from the LG G Pad. Just make sure to unmount the connection from the desktop before you turn off the Wireless sharing, otherwise you might have a bit of trouble reconnecting later.
If you happen to have an LG G Pad, and you're looking for the easiest way to transfer files to and from your tablet, give Wireless sharing a try and see if it doesn't fit the bill.
How do you share files between your tablet and your desktop/laptop? Let us know in the discussion thread below.
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Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.