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7 impressive ways to use WiFi on a smartphone

If you frequently connect your Android phone to the computer for data transfer, AirDroid can make your life a lot simpler.

Last Updated: Mar 27, 2013, 04.30 AM IST
If you frequently connect your Android phone to the computer for data transfer, AirDroid can make your life a lot simpler.
If you frequently connect your Android phone to the computer for data transfer, AirDroid can make your life a lot simpler.
Wireless multimedia, transferring large files or using your phone as a remote are just a few examples of what you can do. Hitesh Raj Bhagat & Karan Bajaj show you how:


If you frequently connect your Android phone to the computer for data transfer, AirDroid can make your life a lot simpler. It's completely free and enables a connection between your phone and the computer over WiFi. You don't need to install any additional software on your computer because it works using a web browser. Run the app and open http://web.airdroid.com in any web browser. Enter the password displayed on the computer screen into the app to create the secure connection.

The browser interface is easy to use and there are several features on offer. You can take a backup of your phone, send and receive SMS from your browser, install new apps on your device, manage the running processes as well as view details about your phone's storage. BlackBerry's Z10 has a similar feature built in. Go to Settings > Storage and Access > Access using Wi-Fi. This shows the Z10 as a network drive in your computer to transfer data.


Group Play, a feature first showcased on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S4, is now available on other Galaxy devices like the Grand, S III, Note II, Tab 10.1 and Note 10.1. With Group Play, you can use WiFi to instantly share music (MP3), photos (JPEG, GIF) and documents (PPT, PDF) stored on your device with up to 9 other people — all devices need to be connected to the same WiFi network.

First, you need to download the free Group Play app from the Play Store — needless to say, it only works on supported Samsung devices. From within the app, choose the type of file you want to share (multiple files can be selected at once) and the app will prompt you to enter a PIN for added security. Other devices need to open the app, tap on the shared session ID and enter the PIN.


Multiple monitors can improve your productivity. However, if you can't install one and if you already have a tablet or phone, you can configure it as a second display. With Air Display (`270 for Android, `550 for iOS), you can use your Android device or Apple iPhone/iPad as a second monitor for your computer. Both devices need to be connected to the same WiFi network & additional server software needs to be installed on your Windows or MAC computer from www.avatron.com.

Once installed, launch the app and it will automatically work like an extended monitor with full touch functionality. It can be used in both portrait and landscape mode. A free (adsupported) version of Air Display is available for iOS.


All iOS devices, be it the iPhone, iPod or iPad, have limited storage. Now this is a problem if you like to watch a lot of videos on the device. At least within your own WiFi network, you can solve this problem by using an app called Air Video (iOS only; `165). Air Video requires that you first install server software on your computer (the server software is free, available for both Windows & MAC). Once the server software is running, just add all the folders where your videos are stored. Connect your iOS device and computer to the same network and Air Video will instantly show you all videos, arranged by folder. Just tap on a video to instantly start streaming it over WiFi. If a file format is not supported by iOS, the app converts it on-the-fly — a very useful feature because iOS only supports MP4.

Another app called Qloud (limited free version or roughly `165 for the full version) offers similar functionality for Android and Windows Phone users. If you want free Android apps. you can try BS Player or Emit, both of which offer similar functionality to Air Video.


Plex is a free, cross-platform, media player available for Windows, Mac and Linux. You can use it to play video audio and photographs on your computer — however, pair it with the free Plex app on Android, iOS, Windows Phone 7 or Windows 8 and you can also stream your entire multimedia collection to your portable device. One of the highlights of Plex is that it automatically organises your multimedia by downloading associated information like cover art and movie/TV show information — all of this is also shared on the mobile app.


PlayerXtreme (the app is free for basic streaming, but some features talked about here are paid, enabled using an in-app purchase) is a media player that not only plays every video format on your iOS device, it also allows for super-easy wireless transfer of videos from your computer using WiFi. Within the app, go to the WiFi sharing tab and switch on wireless transfer. The app will give you a web address, which you type into a web browser on your computer — make sure your smartphone and computer are connected to the same network. Then, right from within your web browser, you can copy and paste video files to your device. Android users can get Easy Video Player (Free) or BSPlayer (Free & adsupported or Rs350) for roughly the same kind of functionality.


With Mobile Air Mouse (available for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android devices — $1.99 to $2.99, depending on version), you can convert your device into a remote control for your computer. Since it uses WiFi, you don't need to point your device at the screen and it even works from another room. It works with all versions of Windows, Mac OS X 10.5 onwards and Ubuntu — all you have to do is first install the app on your mobile device and the free server software from www.mobilemouse.com. Both the computer and the mobile device need to be connected to the same WiFi network and no further configuration is required. You can then use the phone/tablet as a trackpad, as an 'air mouse' (move the device in the air to control the mouse; available on devices which have an accelerometer), presentation tool (iPhone and iPod Touch only) or as a remote for different applications like a media player or web browser.
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