How to Sync Android with Mac?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Draconestra, May 14, 2014.

  1. Draconestra macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2014
    #1
    So, I recently tried to switch to a Samsung Galaxy S5 from my iPhone 5s, and I tried it for about a month, and switched back due to some frustrations. The main culprit was being unable to use it seamlessly with my Mac like I can with my iPhone.

    I managed to figure out to get my iTunes music on it pretty seamlessly. It has it's slight flaws, but it works and I was glad. Movies on the other hand was a different problem. I can't seem to put any sort of video that's beyond 4 GBs in size. I can't seem to find a decent workaround for it, and that's my problem, that I have to find a workaround for it. My current solution is to use my Windows Laptop, have the laptop connect to my Mac via the router and THEN access the file and transfer it to the S5 using the USB 3.0 cable, which takes about an hour to do all that.

    I'm sure some of you are wondering "Why in the world would you watch a movie on that tiny screen?" and I would counter with "Why not? What's the point of this beautiful 5.1" 1080p screen?" And it doesn't necessarily have to be Movies, but also home videos. There may be a time where I want to put some HD home videos that I'd want to share with friends or family. Of course, that's not happening right now, but it crosses my mind as a possibility.

    If some of my solutions involve rooting, then I guess I'm out of luck because I have the AT&T S5 and it's bootloader is locked.

    But what about Contacts? I had to transfer some of my iCloud to G-Mail contacts manually over, but that's a pain in the ass. Is there a way to keep iCloud and gmail contacts in synch with each other like I can with an iPhone?

    So what programs do you guys use with your android phone to sync with your Mac? I want to give android a chance, but I guess what prevents me from switching is that I can't find a way to keep all my data working with the devices seamlessly like I can with the iPhone. What am I doing wrong?
     
  2. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #2
    The problem you're experiencing with movies is due to limitations of FAT32 formatted storage where file size caps at 4 GB. I'm assuming that you're moving your movies/video to an external SD card--the easiest solution is to remove the microSD card from your phone and insert it directly into your Mac (or connect using a card reader if your Mac doesn't have the SD slot). Open Airport Utility and use it to format the card using exFAT. You can then transfer your movies to the card via drag and drop without size limitation. Pop the card back into your phone and you should be all set.

    As far as syncing iCloud content, look for apps in Google Play called Smoothsync--there should be one for contacts and another for calendar. Install those and you'll be able to stay synced with your iCloud account just as you would using an iDevice.
     
  3. Draconestra thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2014
    #3
    Well, I popped my SD card out of the S5 and checked it out to see if it was in FAT32 format, but it's in exFAT. I'm positive it is since it currently holds a 9 GB file. My Mac wasn't able to mount it though, had to use my Windows Machine. Probably need to do a small bit of troubleshooting for the Mac, but lets ignore that for now.

    Currently, to do all that I have to take out the S5 out of my case, then the remove the back, take out the SD Card and pop it in my Mac to do something as simple as transferring a movie file. I can move smaller files thanks to Airdroid or Wifi-Transfer Pro, but doing all that for just a movie seems a bit tedious. Now, I've tried the Android Transfer Tool and it has that 4 GB limit on it. I've searched around and it seems that it's a programing issue.

    So, I turned to Airdroid or Wifi-Transfer tool as a possible solution but they both came seem to recognize the 64 GB SD card. I can find the directory of the card manually, but I can't move files into them because it recognizes the internal memory as the max memory, making it hard to move huge files.

    And yes, I'd like to avoid having to do all those tedious steps I mentioned above just to put large files on the phone. If the S5 had a easily accessible SD Card slot like the M8, I'd consider it, but it unfortunately doesn't. I'm also thinking that taking the back cover off the S5 on a regular basis will end up making the seal loose it's sealant(?) over time and make it less waterproof. Of course, the same applies to the USB cover if I decide to do it via USB, but I think protecting the battery in a water drop is much more important than the USB port.

    Or, I could just switch to a Windows Machine. lol

    And thanks for the tip on the contacts. Will try it out. :D
     
  4. mib1800 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    #4
    Are your movies on portable drive? If they are then simple solution. Plug your portable disk directly to your S5 via a micro-usb host cable (which you can buy from anywhere) and then copy the files directly or better still play the movies directly off the portable disk without wasting time to copy the files over.
     
  5. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Central California
    #5
    You are limited to 4GB file size because that is the limitation of FAT32. exFAT can transfer file sizes larger, but there is a risk of corruption when doing so.

    Android File Transfer for Mac is a great program to easily move files between your device and a Mac, but it is also limited to 4GB in file sizes (I think?) Also, if you have ever used Kies on your Mac, you HAVE to use the built in uninstaller from Kies to get it off your computer. Otherwise Android File Transfer won't work. (And Kies sucks!)

    In the end, you are probably best off using iDevices with your Mac or use Windows to transfer your data (or cloud based options like OneDrive, Dropbox or Google Drive, even if they are horribly slow in transferring data.)
     
  6. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #6
    Not going to disagree with you regarding using the microSD card, especially with a Samsung device (and one of a few reasons why they are one of my least favorite OEMs). Google isn't helping by making use of an external SD less convenient with changes that are part of KitKat. I see recurring criticism regarding 'having to plug in an iDevice to a computer and sync through iTunes,' but for all it's limitations, I've personally had far few issues vs. transferring to an Android phone/tablet.

    FWIW, sounds like you do have an issue on your Mac end as I've haven't had much difficulty using a microSD formatted exFAT with 3 different Android devices (had to reformat once or twice on occasion to get things working again.) For my other Android devices that only had onboard storage, I was able to use AirDroid to transfer video files that were greater than 4GB.
     
  7. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #7
    The changes being made to SD usage in KK are being blown WAY out of proportion. Initially, for people that had a FAT-formatted SD, there was a huge shock when the SD was formatted, to make use of permissions capabilities in a more advanced file system. I think THAT was the biggest complaint. After that, I don't see anything that's a huge issue. The biggest change is that apps can only write to areas that they own and can't write to the system areas. Jerry Hildenbrand at AndroidCentral has a GREAT write-up on the changes and what they mean. If you're starting out with a clean SD card, I don't see how there should be any issues. EVERY app can READ everything on the SD card, they just can't write everywhere.
     
  8. SomeGuyDude macrumors 6502a

    SomeGuyDude

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Location:
    NEPA
  9. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #9
    Well, it's a pain in the a$$ when it causes stuff like this.
     

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  10. RMXO macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    #10
    AirDroid is good for transferring stuff and another one is Android File Transfer (google it since its by google, i believe). Samsung has KIES, SideSync and another I can't remember. There are 3rd party apps like double Twist or something like that to transfer your iTunes music.
     
  11. SomeGuyDude macrumors 6502a

    SomeGuyDude

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Location:
    NEPA
    #11
    Yeah I was a little confused. There are TONS of ways to sync files with Android. It's actually easier than iPhone because you have actual access to the filesystem rather than just moving photos and music back and forth.
     
  12. jeremiah256 macrumors 6502a

    jeremiah256

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #12
    Doesn't Google Drive allow you to transfer files up to 10GBs? I think they get zipped but you can transfer the file from your Mac to Google Drive (maybe even Dropbox) then download it to your phone.
     
  13. PodGuy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    #13
    There is some shareware available to help you easily sync with your Mac :

    http://mac.guidechart.com/wondershare-mobilego-android-pro/

    It worked fine for me, and you can first test the trial.
     

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