Mobility

Send files between Android and iOS with Fast File Transfer

Will Kelly shows us how to transfer files between Android and iOS devices using the free and amazingly simple Fast File Transfer application.

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.

Features

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.

Getting started

To get started with Fast File Transfer:

  1. Go to the Google Play Store
  2. Search for Fast File Transfer
  3. Click Install to install Fast File Transfer to your Android device
  4. Tap Fast File Transfer to open the app (Figure A)
  5. Figure A

    Accessing the Fast File Transfer app.
  6. 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)
  7. You can secure the app with a password, but you can leave the Password field blank if you don't want to use one

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:

  1. Tap OK
  2. Tap and hold a file in the file browser
  3. Tap Send, Share, or similar, depending on your version of Android (Figure B shows the Send via options on my Galaxy Tab)
  4. Figure B

    Send via options on a Samsung Galaxy Tab.
  5. Tap Fast File Transfer, which will initialize the process (Figure C)
  6. Figure C

    You have to enable Wi-Fi to send files via Fast File Transfer.
  7. Now, move over to the iOS device that's to receive the file
  8. Tap Settings
  9. Tap Wi-Fi, and then select Fast File Transfer as the Wi-Fi network (Figure D)
  10. Figure D

    Select Fast File Transfer as the Wi-Fi network.
  11. 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)
  12. Figure E

    A file ready to download on an iOS device.
  13. Tap Open In, and select the app you want to use to open the document on your 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:

  1. Select multiple files in the file browser
  2. 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)
  3. Figure F

    List of files to download.
  4. Tap each file to download it to the iOS device
  5. Follow the Open In prompt to open the files with the requisite app
  6. 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

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.

About

Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management ap...

27 comments
rhovandekim
rhovandekim

As an Android Phone user, I'd like to share my experience of transferring data between android phone and iphone with you.Coolmuster Phone to Phone Transfer tool that I have ever used. It can transfer files from android phone to ios devices in seconds. 

http://www.coolmuster.com/phone-transfer/

vinny1575
vinny1575

Qikshare lets you transfer files, photos, videos, and contacts between iPhone, android, and your computer. Just like bump!

http://www.qikshare.io
ncracaswli
ncracaswli

Vibosoft Phone to Phone Transfer is a professional tool to help users share files, like contacts, text messages, call history, photos, music, videos, etc., between all mobile phones at will.

http://www.android-transfer.net/

James McCloy
James McCloy

You have more than  one choices: install Airdroid or Web PC Suite on your Android phone. Connect your phone with a Mac y scanning a QR code, then you can transfer files wirelessly between the two devices.

Msdonia
Msdonia

There is a new device called fielhub on the market can transfer photos/movies/music between iOS and Android Devices, or between mobile devices and SD Card/USB HDD.. I think it is called ravpower filehub:

http://www.androidphonesoft.com/

Raleigh Brecht
Raleigh Brecht

I would do this to all angry birds file but what is the file name, I am using galaxy tab to transfer but too hard to find it!

flynnchen
flynnchen

there is a new device called fielhub on the market can transfer photos/movies/music between iOS and Android Devices, or between mobile devices and SD Card/USB HDD.. I think it is called ravpower filehub.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

Why would not use that, it does all the work for you?

technomom_z
technomom_z

I would hope that if they have support for QR codes that they'll add in NFC initiated transfer (Wifi Direct) for whenever Apple decides to put out circa 2012 type phones.

sunnybrown4
sunnybrown4

@ldtmoehnsld you can also this free program to manage data between iPhone and Android, it is just a few clicks to get it done.


Florian Draschbacher
Florian Draschbacher

FastFileTransfer does not need an existing Internet or WiFi connection and does not drain your data plan.

Florian Draschbacher
Florian Draschbacher

Thanks for correcting the article! The app uses the phone's WiFi tethering function to establish it's own WiFi network which is used for the transfers later. That's why it shows up under WiFI networks.

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

Thanks for jumping in here. We appreciate the information.

Florian Draschbacher
Florian Draschbacher

Yeah, it seems like the author meant the access WiFi permission the app uses. I am the dev of this app so you can believe me: There is no need for an existing WiFi connection. To Will Kelly: If you read this, please correct this in your article.

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