I've been trying to get more multi-platform lately when it comes to my mobile devices. TechRepublic editor Sonja Thompson turned me onto Fast File Transfer, which is a free Android app that lets you transfer files from Android devices to iOS devices using Wi-Fi. The developer, Florian Draschbacher, is offering this app as an alternative to sending files over Bluetooth.
I used Fast File Transfer on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 running Android 4.0.4 and sent files to an iPhone 5 running iOS 6. Please note that this app documents compatibility issues with some Motorola Android phone models. To be completely fair to the app, its function goes against some manufacturers' restrictions against Wi-Fi tethering with their devices, so the compatibility issues are out of the developer's control.
Fast File Transfer includes the following features:
- Easy setup
- Device-independent receiver
- Send single or multiple files
The developer advertises that the app works up to 20 times faster than Bluetooth. During the writing of this post, I had no way of testing the transfer speed, but I was pleased with the performance of this app.
[Update 1/28/13: Fast File Transfer do not require Wi-Fi.] On the iOS side, Fast File Transfer shows up under Wi-Fi networks when you begin a transfer. However, the developer and the app's Google Play information say it doesn't require a Wi-Fi connection, and it doesn't tax your data plan.
To get started with Fast File Transfer:
- Go to the Google Play Store
- Search for Fast File Transfer
- Click Install to install Fast File Transfer to your Android device
- Tap Fast File Transfer to open the app (Figure A) Figure A
- Give your Android device a name in the Device name field (after I installed Fast File Transfer, an unknown device name appeared in that field -- if you encounter a device name in the field, you can just delete it)
- You can secure the app with a password, but you can leave the Password field blank if you don't want to use one
Accessing the Fast File Transfer app.
Send a single file
Sending a single file is a speedy process, even though you have to enter an IP address.
To send a file to an iOS device:
- Tap OK
- Tap and hold a file in the file browser
- Tap Send, Share, or similar, depending on your version of Android (Figure B shows the Send via options on my Galaxy Tab) Figure B
- Tap Fast File Transfer, which will initialize the process (Figure C) Figure C
- Now, move over to the iOS device that's to receive the file
- Tap Settings
- Tap Wi-Fi, and then select Fast File Transfer as the Wi-Fi network (Figure D) Figure D
- Open a web browser on the iOS device, and type in the IP address that appears on the Fast File Transfer screen (the document you are transferring will appear in the web browser, similar to Figure E) Figure E
- Tap Open In, and select the app you want to use to open the document on your iOS device
Send via options on a Samsung Galaxy Tab.
You have to enable Wi-Fi to send files via Fast File Transfer.
Select Fast File Transfer as the Wi-Fi network.
A file ready to download on an iOS device.
Send multiple files
Sending multiple files via Fast File Transfer could come in handy when migrating from Android to iOS or shuttling multiple project documents around between devices.
To send multiple files:
- Select multiple files in the file browser
- After making the connection between your Android and iOS devices, a list of the transferred files will appear in your iOS device's web browser (similar to Figure F) Figure F
- Tap each file to download it to the iOS device
- Follow the Open In prompt to open the files with the requisite app
- Optionally, tap Download a bookmark for faster receiving (no Internet needed) to speed up the downloading of multiple files; after downloading the bookmark, you can return to the page in the future to download additional files
List of files to download.
Use QR codes to transfer files
Fast File Transfer also lets you transfer files using a Quick Response (QR) code instead of having to enter an IP address and the Wi-Fi Connection. QR codes aren't very common anymore, but the option is there if you want to use it for file transfers.
Transfer files between Android and iOS
Fast File Transfer isn't a pretty application when it comes to application design, but it works as advertised and quickly for that matter. This is definitely a handy app to have on your Android device for transferring files if you store files locally on your mobile devices with any frequency.
Will Kelly is a technical and marketing communications writer based in the Washington, DC area. He has written about SMB technology, data center management, project management applications, mobile computing, Microsoft Office, and productivity applications for online and print technology publications. You can reach Will at email@example.com.