DroidNAS: Use Your Android Phone as a Network Drive

Android and Macs don’t always play nice with each other, especially when it comes to transferring files from your device to your computer. Even when using a cable, OS X needs an extra utility to recognize an Android device, which isn’t very stable…

But why bother using cables and additional utilities when your Mac and your Android device can communicate wirelessly and seamlessly with each other? Thanks to DroidNAS, your Mac will automatically recognize any Android device running the application as a network drive and display it in the Finder.
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Step 1: Initial Startup

DroidNAS is extremely simple and user-friendly and therefore requires almost no set-up of configuration to work with your Mac. When you launch the app, you simply have to tell it which folders you’d like to share on the network. DroidNAS lets you make your entire SD card available on the network, but you can also pick your Camera, Music, Photos and/or Downloads folders, in case the information is stored on your devices internal memory. If needed, you can adjust the location setting — Home, Office or Café, depending on the connection you’re using. These options will simply untick some folders, without restricting access to the ones you decide to share.

DroidNAS' interface is very simple and straightforward: only the essential options are displayed

DroidNAS’ interface is very simple and straightforward: only the essential options are displayed

Some additional settings are also available to the end user, such as the possibility to define the name and icon that will be displayed in OS X’s Finder. Therese are really cosmetic options, but the fact that the developers thought of implementing these personalization options is an added value. There is also an option to automatically select a location profile based on the network you’re connected to, which is a nice addition if you often need to use the app from various places.

The Settings are very basic and mostly let you customize the name and icon of your device

The Settings are very basic and mostly let you customize the name and icon of your device

Most importantly, DroidNAS lets you restrict access to your device by protecting it with a user name and password you define directly within the app. This way, even if your device appears in Finder, you won’t be able to access it without the proper credentials.

Step 2: Transfer and Access Files Remotely

Once the application is launched and the server started on your Android device, the latter will automatically appear in Finder for any Mac that’s connected to the same network. Accessing it is as simple as clicking on your device’s name and browsing the various folders, as shown below. This way, you can copy, open, delete and move files and folders from a device to another without any cable and through Finder’s familiar interface.

Your Android device appears as a network device directly in your Finder

Your Android device appears as a network device directly in your Finder

DroidNAS is also designed to differentiate the device’s internal memory and the SD Card or additional storage. It’s therefore very easy to check the remaining space on a drive. Such information is particularly valuable when transferring large files, as they may be bigger than the remaining space on the device or card.

DroidNAS can even display your SD Card details

DroidNAS can even display your SD Card details

Shortcomings

DroidNAS is efficient, user-friendly and safe, which makes it an excellent application. However, because it uses the Samba protocol, the app is not natively compatible with Windows, as the latter doesn’t fully support SMB. There may be a workaround using third party apps, but it would really be easier if the developers released a Windows client instead.

Likewise, because Samba is a protocol that requires a network connection between devices, DroidNAS can only work with a local network. There is no option to establish a hotspot or use another connection method, which is annoying when no WiFi networks are available.

Lastly, DroidNAS needs to be launched manually for a computer on a network to connect. There is no option to force the app to launch automatically during startup, which would mean immediate access. However, this option may have been deactivated to avoid having your files accidentally shared over the network.

Conclusion

DroidNAS is a great and simple utility to have your Mac recognize any Android device as a network drive, which clearly facilitates file transfers. Given the app has almost no limitations and is free, you should really download it and check it out, if you have a Mac, that is…


Summary

Have your Android device recognized as network drive on your Mac with little effort and no cables.

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