How I make my Android cellphone work higher with my MacBook

Whereas Android cellphone house owners with a MacBook might by no means get the identical degree of integration and seamlessness loved by those that are totally dedicated to the Apple ecosystem with an iPhone, the expertise on macOS doesn’t must be too horrible for these of us wielding Android handsets. As somebody who’s (largely) been utilizing a Mac pc at the side of numerous Android telephones for the final ten years, I’ve come throughout fairly just a few ways in which make my life simpler. A few of these may be extra apparent than others, however listed below are all my suggestions and methods.

Messaging: Internet providers and apps

As an Android consumer, I’ll most likely by no means be capable of use the pre-installed and seamlessly built-in Apple Messages app full with iMessage, however that’s okay for me — blue bubble shaming isn’t a lot of an issue right here in Europe anyway. For the few SMS messages I write and obtain (largely one-time codes for logins), the Google Messages net app works simply effective. For the remainder of my messaging wants, I’ve acquired native apps: Telegram, WhatsApp Internet, and Sign work very well on my Mac.

As a little bit bonus for Google Messages, I’d prefer to advocate Flotato. The app turns any web site into what feels extra like a local software, with its personal icon for the dock and a windowed expertise with out the URL and tab bar out of your browser. On condition that Chrome net apps are a bit wonky on macOS (you possibly can’t totally stop Chrome when utilizing them, and so they mess with the CMD+Tab shortcut for switching between apps), this resolution feels significantly better to me — even when you’ll want to pay $19 to unlock its full potential. You may use it so as to add different Google providers like Gmail, Drive, and Chat to your desktop, too.

Continuity: All synced up with cloud storage

Shifting from system to system can supposedly really feel like magic within the Apple ecosystem. Options like Handoff will let you open a doc you’ve began engaged on on one other system with the clicking or faucet of a single button, and iCloud takes care of the remainder. However this solely goes for these apps that help Apple’s technique, and there are sufficient different providers on the market which have their very own type of Handoff or Continuity built-in.

Living proof, I routinely work on article drafts in Google Docs on my cellphone, seamlessly shifting again to them after I open Google Drive in my browser. For one in every of my gigs, I’m required to make use of Microsoft Phrase, and right here, the identical is true, a minimum of after I save Phrase recordsdata to OneDrive. I work on one thing on my cellphone, and it’s simply there on my MacBook as I sift via my cloud storage. The identical goes for mild photograph modifying in Google Images. All the things is neatly synced up with the Images net app in my browser.

Positive, these sync strategies work throughout any Android cellphone and any pc that helps any type of browser, however they make me really feel like I don’t actually miss out in comparison with people who’ve an iPhone and MacBook.

I take advantage of each Google Drive and Microsoft Workplace to scan paperwork on the fly, if I ever have to. Whereas macOS permits you to insert a photograph or doc from an iPhone’s digicam utilizing a easy shortcut, I don’t suppose it’s actually that a lot of a sport changer. You continue to want to choose up your cellphone to take the precise photograph, in spite of everything. Apple’s possibility that permits you to insert the taken photograph in your iPhone in an present doc opened in your Mac is fairly neat, and I can see the enchantment, nevertheless it’s by no means been a factor I’ve run into greater than as soon as in my workflow.

Equally, you may use your iPhone’s touchscreen to attract markups on photographs saved to your Mac, however I personally don’t actually see the utility in it. And on Android, you may nonetheless use a service like Google Images for a much less seamless, however equally efficient workflow.

Whereas it’s definitely additionally attainable to transfer recordsdata backwards and forwards between Macs and Android telephones utilizing a USB-C cable, my most well-liked approach to sync recordsdata is OneDrive. Given how a lot of my digital life lives on Google’s servers, I prefer to diversify issues a bit and preserve necessary bits separate from the corporate, however actually, any cloud service however iCloud may serve you effectively while you need a straightforward approach to sync recordsdata throughout Android and macOS. When utilizing an Android shopper like Stable Explorer, importing, downloading, and managing recordsdata can also be a lot much less of a trouble than with most official cloud providers’ apps.

AirDrop, tab syncing, and cellphone calls: Chrome

iPhones and Macs work in tandem while you wish to sync your open tabs and ship recordsdata backwards and forwards between the 2, however the advantages are solely obtainable while you use Safari on each. And right here, Android and Chrome might be an (virtually) equally good pair.

Chrome lets you sync your looking historical past, logins, open tabs, and extra throughout Android and macOS. Whereas it received’t allow you to name cellphone numbers straight out of your Mac, Chrome presents an choice to ship numbers from web sites to your cellphone, which you’ll then use to put the decision. Chrome additionally permits you to ship hyperlinks to your cellphone through the right-click menu, and vice versa. Whereas this isn’t a system-wide, totally built-in resolution, it’s nonetheless ok for 95% of what I do — and for the remainder, I simply drop issues in my OneDrive storage. For some smaller recordsdata, I additionally depend on Pushbullet, minus its entire notification syncing half, and OnePlus division OneLab’s Clipt service.

Clipboard sharing with Clipt

I personally don’t see the necessity to sync my clipboard throughout my pc and my Android cellphone, and following some safety updates to Android, it’s change into a reasonably sophisticated ordeal, too. Android 10 and better now not permits background apps to see what you’ve presently acquired in your clipboard, with keyboards being the one exception. That’s good and all you probably have a Home windows pc that provides clipboard syncing via SwiftKey, however on Mac, I haven’t discovered a equally comfy resolution but.

Right here, OneLab’s Clipt presents a workaround that might be ok for a lot of circumstances, although. Clipt helps clipboard syncing from Mac (or reasonably, Chrome) to Android, however to get stuff out of your cellphone to point out up in your MacBook’s clipboard, you’ll want to hit an additional button in a everlasting notification or a fast settings tile in your notification shade.

In relation to clipboard syncing, staying within the Apple ecosystem undoubtedly has its advantages. iPhones and Macs enable for completely synchronized clipboards always, so long as each units are related to the web, and there presently isn’t an equally nice and reliable various I can consider for Android telephones.


As somebody with an Android cellphone and a MacBook, there are some things that I’ll miss out on ceaselessly, little question about it. I can’t use an Apple Watch or iPhone to unlock my laptop computer, and I can’t robotically share Wi-Fi networks throughout Android and macOS. Numerous issues like clipboard sharing aren’t as seamless as they might be, however most of these items have by no means been one thing I’ve personally wished anyway.

It’s a disgrace how a lot simpler these of us with a Chromebook or a Home windows PC have it. Positive, you may all the time simply set up Home windows in a digital machine on macOS to get a few of the advantages, however then once more, why not simply get a Home windows pc within the first place?

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