How to Transfer Files between Android and iOS

Tutorials
August 8, 2017

An Android device can connect to other Android devices easily via Bluetooth. iOS and Mac users also have their own AirDrop function for file sharing. Unfortunately, when it comes to transferring files between Android and iOS, it’s not that simple anymore.

Apple has restrictions within its own ecosystem that don’t allow outside devices to connect to iPhone/iPad over Bluetooth. That’s why when you turn on Bluetooth on your iPhone, other users who are using Android cannot detect it. Therefore, there is nothing called “AirDrop to Android” as well.

Dead end?

No! there are still many convenient ways to transfer data between these two platforms. We’ve already got you covered with a guide. It’s going to be revealed below. Just read on to know more…

1. Share files over the Internet

If you want to transfer files that have small sizes such as photos, gifs, short videos, you can use Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or any messaging apps you like. Most of them allow you to attach files in messages and send instantly.

If you don’t like these social media apps, you can just attach files in an email and send them to the recipient. The limiting factor here is the size of the file attachment, usually between 15-25 MB. And also note that when you use messaging apps, they will compress and reduce the quality of photos while sending.

For larger files and various file types, we’ll need an exclusive tool. Here I’ll show you one of my favorite weapons, it is SendAnywhere.

Share files between Android and iOS via Internet

SendAnywhere is available for all essential platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows, macOS, Linux. It also has a web-based version and an extension for Chromium web browsers. That means you can transfer data between various devices, not only between iOS and Android.

To share files between two devices, launch the SendAnywhere app or open website on both devices. From the sending device, attach the file you want to share, its size can be up to 10GB. SendAnywhere will upload the file and generate a 6-digit security key. On the receiving end, all you have to do is enter this key, it will then start downloading the file instantly.

SendAnywhere on iOS is designed to help you send photos, videos, contacts easily. If you want to send other file types such as zip, mp3, pdf,… you’ll first need to install other apps that support these file types and use the “Open in” feature to export them to SendAnywhere.

Also readHow to Download ZIP/RAR Files on Your iPhone

2. Share files over Wi-Fi

Sharing files over the Internet allow you to send and receive data from anywhere. But the transfer speed is not stable, often time-consuming and involve significant use of Internet bandwidth.

If both devices are close or connecting to the same Wi-Fi network, you can take advantage of the Wi-Fi direct technology to share files between them, without using the Internet connection. We’re going to install a third-party app for this purpose. SHAREit by Lenovo and Zapya, in my experience, are both good and easy to use. You can choose one of them to start.

How to use SHAREit

First off, you need to install SHAREit on both devices. It’s available for free on App Store as well as Google Store. Then connect two devices to the same Wi-Fi network and launch the app.

On the sending device, tap on the SEND button and choose the file you want to transfer. It’s divided into four categories. The File tab is for accessing the app’s local storage, where you can find transferred or imported files; Photos is where you can select photos and videos from Camera Roll; Contact; and finally, the More tab allows you to send files that are stored in other installed third-party apps.

Shareit - share data over Wi-Fi cross-platform

I really love this feature as I can choose many other file types without having to launch other apps and import files to SHAREit. When you tap on “Add more files saved by other apps”, it’ll open iCloud Drive, but you can tap on “Locations” to select other apps. In my cases, I have Dropbox and Documents installed so they are available to access as well. If you don’t find any other apps except for iCloud Drive, tap More and toggle on your apps in the list.

Once you’ve selected your files, on the receiving devices, tap on the RECEIVE button. If there’s nothing wrong with the connection, both devices will detect each other and display icons that represent them on the screen. Now back on the sending device, tap on the receiver’s icon to start sending the file.

Transferred files will be stored in the app’s location storage (iOS) or a predefined location (Android). On iOS, you can also turn on the Auto Import feature so that transferred photos and videos can be saved directly to your Camera Roll.

Zapya

Zapya is also a good solution. It works like SHAREit, allowing you to send files over the Wi-Fi connection without using Internet bandwidth. The only limitation I found is with file types other than photos, videos, you’ll have to open them using the corresponding apps, then tap the share icon and share the file to Zapya first.

However, it works really well when transferring large files. Zapya also has a GIF viewer that allows you to view animated GIFs, which is unable to do within the Photos app, and the File Locker feature that helps you protect files by using a 4-digit Passcode. I recommend you to try these two apps and make your own decision.

3. Share files via Cloud-based File-sharing applications

Cloud storage services are popular nowadays. Storing your files in the cloud has many advantages. You can view and share your files from any device that’s connected to the Internet, and it is also the safe place to save important data.

The most popular cloud storage services are OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, Amazon Cloud Drive. They all offer free storage (Google Drive has the best offer as they provide 15GB of free storage) and have apps for many platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows, Mac.

If you wish to transfer files between your devices and are not physically close to each other, plus you want to save files for long-term use, using a cloud service is the best solution. Just be careful if you use cellular data, transferring large size files can lead to running out of your data allowance.

4. Transfer files from Android to iOS and back using iTunes

You have a computer nearby? Great! You can use it as an intermediary to transfer data between your Android and iOS devices at a very high transfer rate.

Before getting started, make sure you have iTunes installed on your computer and then plug in both devices via USB ports. To share files from Android to iOS, just use the Android device as a local disk drive, then drag and drop the files you want to transfer from there and start syncing data via iTunes as normal. Since Android has an open filesystem, you can access any file types and use iTunes to transfer songs, movies, books, podcasts, tones, photos and videos to the iOS device.

Copy files between Android and iOS using iTunes

Sharing data from iOS to Android is a bit more restricted as you can only copy videos and photos when the iOS device acts as an external storage drive. For other file types, you can look for apps’ local storage in the File Sharing area in iTunes. Some apps allow transferring documents between your iPhone and computer and you can utilize it to move files from your iPhone/iPad to the Android device.

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