Android News

PSA: Honeycomb needs a special tool to transfer files with Macs

February 28, 2011 | by Michael Heller

Android News


In an annoying turn, it seems that Android 3.0 cannot natively connect to a Mac for file transfers. The trouble is that Android 3.0 uses MTP (Media Transfer Protocol), which began life as part of Windows Media Player, and Mac OSX doesn’t support that technology (for obvious reasons). Luckily, the solution is fairly simple. It’s just a matter of using a File Transfer utility. As far as I can tell this issue doesn’t cause any problems with using debug on a Mac, it’s just a file transfer snag.

This issue doesn’t affect Windows or Linux users. There’s a chance that upcoming versions of Mac OSX will support MTP, but given how MTP began life, I wouldn’t bet too much on it.

Despite this relatively minor annoyance for Mac users, MTP is actually a very nice upgrade for Android. As you all probably know, with Android 2.X and older, when you connect your phone to a computer for file transfers, it makes the SD card inaccessible by the phone itself. So, any apps or widgets that lived on your SD card would be locked out while transferring files. MTP fixes that by allowing the phone and computer to access your phone’s storage at the same time.

So, even though not many of you out there have Honeycomb devices, and the proportion of those who also have a Mac is even smaller, it’s our duty to give you the info. If you have an Android 3.0 device, and a Mac, install this app:

Install app

Android File Transfer via MobileCrunch