AirDrop is a service that normally works only between Apple devices. However, developers found a way to send files from your Android phone to your MacBook. You don’t have to install anything on the Mac, and the file transfer rate remains approximately the same.
So far, it works on macOS Ventura 13.5.1. Since it uses Apple’s AirDrop standard and not other third-party wireless services, it’s natively with your Mac without needing external installations.
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Send files from Android to MacBook Using Airdrop
You can use an app called WarpShare to achieve this. The app is from the developers of MoKee. It’s a popular Android community ROM in China, and it’s a fork of AOSP. It has some colorful themes and offers customization.
It isn’t very popular outside of China, and that’s why this app flew under the radar. If a security team detects this app, they could ban it. While there were initial suspicions on whether the app would, it seems to work fine for sharing files from an Android phone to a MacBook.
You might be familiar with the NearDrop application. It partially implements the Nearby Share feature for macOS. The latest build is still up on GitHub, and it partially works. It can only receive files and not transfer them. MNDS service still does not work.
You also have to change some settings for it to work. You have to connect your Mac and your Android device to the same Wi-Fi network. macOS, unfortunately, does not support Wi-Fi Direct, and further reverse engineering work is in progress.
Your device must also be visible to everyone on your network at all times. Google officially supports Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Bluetooth, 5G peer-to-peer connection, Web RTC protocol, and more. Apple’s AWDL for AirDrop isn’t compatible.
How to use WarpShare?
While the previous attempts have so many limitations, WarpShare addresses a lot of them. It still isn’t as perfect as AirDrop, but it’s a step forward. Some developers were under the impression that AirDrop requires Apple Wireless Direct Link (AWDL) to work for two-sided communication. This is Apple’s proprietary Wi-Fi protocol, and we actually don’t need it for AirDrop.
AWDL is only needed for an Android phone to be discovered by a Mac device. AWDL support is necessary for transferring files from a Mac to an Android phone. This does not apply the other way around. You can still share files from Android to Mac even without Apple’s proprietary communication protocol.
WarpShare supports file transfer from an Android phone to a Mac. A demo is available online, and it’s done with the new Galaxy Z Flip 5 and a MacBook Pro.
For this application to work, you should set discoverability on your Mac to “Everyone.” This application will not work if you set it to “Contacts only.” The Contacts only feature requires some certificates from Apple, and this application won’t work for it.
Note that the app does not support file transfer from an Android phone to an iPhone. It also doesn’t support sending files from a Mac to an Android phone. WarpShare also does not support transferring files from an Android phone to an iPad, even if you enable the “Everyone” option.
It’s strictly for sending files from an Android to a Mac without the use of too many third-party tools on your Mac.
WarpShare is a viable alternative to NearDrop. NearDrop requires the installation of an external app on your Mac, and WarpShare needs an installation on your Android phone. The fact that these solutions work at all is incredible, considering Apple’s strict and closed policies.
There are alternative tools like Snapdrop for transferring files between any two devices, but those are completely web-operated and also much slower.
If you want to download WarpShare, you can compile the app’s source code and install the APK on your Android phone. You have to enable third-party app installations first.