Android Tips for older Android OS and File transfer to Macs
Got an Android phone? Does it have an operating system lower than 4 (2.x or 3.x)? Got a Mac? Now that you’ve used your Android to record a family interview, how do you connect it to your Mac just like any ole USB drive? This tutorial shows you how.
This technique may seem a tad geeky, but the end result is that you will be able to plug in your Android phone or tablet to your Mac and it will show up as a disk drive.
Prepare your Android to mount as a USB drive
There are two settings items to configure in order to connect your older Android device to your Mac.
It sounds geekier than it really is. This is a setting that Android put in for you in case you were doing software development on an Android. You’re not, but you’ll take advantage of this back door entry to access your device from your Mac via USB.
- Begin at the home screen. Tap the Menu button on your Android.
- The menu appears at the bottom of your screen.
- Locate the Settings item and tap it. Android displays the Settings menu list.
- Scroll down until you have located the Applications item. Tap it.
- Locate the Development item in the Applications list. Tap it.
- Tap the USB debugging item so that the checkmark appears.
You have set up your Android so that it will act like a disk drive when you connect it by a USB cable.
Quick Recap. A short, all-text menu list to enable USB Debugging:
Home > Settings > Applications > Development > USB Debugging ✔
Now, there’s one more setting to configure. It’s the Connect to PC setting.
Android Setting: Connect to PC
- Start by going to the Settings menu.
- If you’re still in the USB debugging screen, tap the back arrow twice to get back to the main settings menu.
- Or, if you’re starting this from scratch, tap Home > Menu > Settings.
- Locate the Connect to PC item in the Settings list. Tap it.
Tap the Default connection type menu item.
A select dialog appears.
- Tap the Disk drive item and tap Done.
- Tap the Home key to go back to your main screen.
Quick Recap. A short, all-text menu list to set up Connect to PC:
Home > Settings > Connect to PC > Default Connection > Disk Drive ✔
You’re ready to connect your Android to your Mac via USB.
(Here’s an alternate approach: If you want flexibility to decide what happens when you connect to your Mac, set the default to Charge only and tap the Ask me item. Today you charge your Android. Tomorrow you mount it as a disk drive. Your choice. In the moment. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.)
Connecting to your Mac
Plug the USB cable into both your Mac and the Android.
Your Android should appear on your Mac as a new disk drive (Probably named “NO NAME”). Here’s what it looks like on my Mac (running Snow Leopard, 10.6.8)
Locate the folder for the recording app you’ve used and copy your audio files from your Android device to your Mac.
Be sure to click the Eject icon to properly eject your Android device before disconnecting the USB cable.
What happens if…?
Oops! Already plugged in your Android but you forgot to set the Connect to PC setting to Disk Drive? No problem! Here’s how to fix it.
- Touch the extreme top of your screen. The top bar changes to a grabber.
- Pull down the grabber to display your current Android settings.
- Locate the USB setting item. Here, it shows as being in Charge only mode.
- Tap the Default Connection type item. A selection box appears.
- Change your connection type from Charge only to Disk drive and tap the Done button.
Bonus! How to tell what version of Android OS you’re running
Android version this. Android version that. Android 2. Or 3. or 4. How can you tell what version you’re running?
- Go to Settings (Home. Menu button. Tap Settings to get to the Settings menu)
- Scroll down to the bottom of the Settings menu. Locate About phone. Tap it.
- Locate the Software information menu item. Tap it.
- At the top of the software information, you can see the Firmware version (this one, shown here, is 2.1)