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Remote access for Android Device

Emulators and remote desktop options have far become outdated with the rise of applications that enable cross device access to handheld devices. Earlier software like Bluestack and android emulators allowed users to run virtual android devices on their PC. The web-based client AirDroid allowed users to manage their android device from a web interface. Now in its latest update, AirDroid takes the experience to a whole new level.

AirDroid in its version 3 allows users to mirror their android screen on a PC. You can easily interact with it using your keyboard and mouse. When first launched, it was a tool that allowed android users to transfer files and gave access to notifications through its browser-based interface. In its new upgrade, AirDroid comes with windows and mac desktop clients that let you mirror your whole android device using its AirMirror component.

Getting Started With AirDroid

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You will have to download the free android app from the PlayStore and a desktop client (Mac or Windows, depending on your requirements).

The desktop client requires the Microsoft .Net Framework which it can automatically download and install if it is missing from your system. You can also use the AirDroid from the browser-based web client but in this article we will talk about the desktop client and its advantages.

To get started, create an account or log into an existing one from the desktop client or the web interface.

Follow the setup process on your Android device once and give it necessary permissions to access your device. Access to your device is crucial for the app to function, therefore provide it all necessary permissions it requires.

Once the setup process is complete, you can see all your app notifications on the desktop client. New notifications automatically pop up on your screen the moment they arrive on your device.

Getting Notifications on Desktop

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One of the most useful features of the desktop client is its ability to access notifications. It allows you to stay updated without even interacting with your phone. Small windowed notifications appear on the desktop screen as they arrive on your device.

You can choose to turn off notifications and access them all in the client’s dashboard. Each notification is marked with an alert tone that you can turn off if you are not comfortable with it.

Calls and Texts

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Unlike handoff in Apple devices, you cannot actually answer your calls through your computer but you can pick up the call and answer it on your device. Remote answering works sometimes but as the client itself is in its beta stage, the feature is not stable yet.

You can reject the calls and send an automatic text explaining the reason from your PC itself. The client also allows you to mute your calls, thus helping to stay discreet when a loud ringtone goes off at some inappropriate place.

Screen Mirroring

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Although the feature is still in its beta, it works on devices running versions above Android 4. Unfortunately it doesn’t support Android Lollipop yet. The desktop client comes with an additional feature called AirMirror which replicates your android device and works exactly like the Android emulator provided by in the Android SDK.

The company promises to allow users to completely control their android device through their PC through the emulator, in the apps stable release.

Web Portal

The web portal is the primary place to access your device and provides additional features that are still not available in the desktop clients. You can easily access your device’s file system along with photos, video’s and other data on your device.

Remote camera access is also one of its defining features that are hardly available in competing services. If you like the features, you can easily install the desktop client for quick access to notifications and use the web-based portal for added services.

Conclusion

Enabling cross device functionality is one of the most challenging tasks in software development. Therefore only a few companies are able to successfully develop apps and clients that use available technologies to bridge the gap between devices.

Moreover, its always awesome when you can control one device through another. It allows for remote usage and ease of access to basic and advanced device specific functionalities regardless of the device you are using.

AirDroid brings the best of both worlds to your desktop and web interface. It is for now the best desktop based android client in the market. Once its features are fully functional, users can easily use their favorite features even if their android device doesn’t natively support them.