App Review: On Air (WiFi Disk)

OnAirAndroid devices operate almost exactly like computers and obviously runs independent of one. You don’t need to sync your Android with a cable to get your emails, contacts, calendar entries as it can be done through the air.  The same goes with applications or podcasts.  There are, however, some cases where you do need to connect a USB cable and mount your Android phone.  The first example that comes to mind is copying music.
Would it be nice to be able to access the SD card without having to use a USB cable?

On Air lets you do that. A word of warning though, this application is for the few Apple Mac owners who also enjoy an Android phone.  On Air works by using the AppleTalk protocol, though it could be used through WebDAV under Linux and Windows.  I just haven’t tested that myself.

On Air (available for free on the Market) is very simple to use.  Open the app and click Power.  The handset will display the IP address of your phone and a 4 digit password (randomly and new each time).  You will then see a new computer on your network called “OnAirDisk”.  Open it to access the “OnAirData.”  You will then need to login with the username and the password displayed in the app.
That’s it. You can now read and write on your SD-card. The speed will depend on your WiFi connection, but I was able to play music and videos directly from the SD-Card.  Plenty fast enough for me, and I assume, most of you.

On Air has been developed by Johan Cloetens, who also created PicMe and a new screen capture tool: ShootMe, both available from the Market and regularly updated.

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Founded on November 5, 2007, we've enjoyed bringing you the latest in Android news and rumors. Updated daily, we strive to deliver reviews, opinions, and updates on all things related to Android.

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  1. Peter Campbell
    October 07, 00:37 Reply

    You might want to clarify who can use this app. Apple dropped Appletalk from Snow Leopard, the latest OSX release, so I can't use this with my Mac. But, I do have Appletalk running on my Linux server at home (in order to talk with an old mac and printer). Mind you, USB is much easier to deal with. :)

    • Xident
      October 13, 19:45 Reply

      Well, I can use it with my Snow Leopard. Just got it "blobed" out of the box, and no Apple Talk is not dropped from it. Just login with the Password as user name and below to that enter the password as password 😉 …

      • pike
        September 10, 09:37 Reply

        Thanks! That did the trick for me, much better then that having to connect with usb all the time :o)

  2. Ivan
    October 07, 01:13 Reply

    Just so you know… there's a lot of Mac users who use Android. Specially developers

  3. Miguel Wickert
    October 07, 01:57 Reply


    Can't get this working? Mind helping a fellow mac/android user out. :)

  4. Chuck Falzone
    October 07, 03:43 Reply

    aFile and aFile Lite do this, too, and are not OS dependent.

  5. Bruce
    October 07, 04:51 Reply

    Thanks for tipping me off to this app.

    This works for all OS's. Tap the icon of the OS on the right side until you find the one you like. You will see the appropriate address at the bottom of the window next to the 4 digit password.
    MacOS uses afp, Linux and Windows use WebDAV. WebDAV works on my Snow Leopard iMac. So does the afp address provided for Mac users.

  6. Bruce
    October 07, 04:59 Reply

    Miguel, a few steps were left out of the article. For OS X users
    1. Make note of the address and the password in the lower right corner.
    2. In the Finder choose the Go menu, then Connect to server.
    3. Type in the address in the Server Address window and hit return.
    4. You will be asked for a name and password. The name can be anyting, the password is the 4 digit number.
    For Windows or Linux, you might be able to get away with pasting the http://address in the lower left corner into a web browser. Do a little research into how to mount WebDAV shares on your computer if that doesn't work. Again, any name should work with the 4 digit password.

  7. Bruce
    October 07, 05:51 Reply

    For Ubuntu Linux
    1.Open up the File Browser
    2. Go to File Menu: Connect to Server
    3. Set the Server Type to WebDAV
    4. Start typing

    For Vista
    1. Open web browser
    2. Google Vista WebDAV
    3. Follow long and complicated instructions from a University web site. Don't forget to download the software update from Microsoft because Vista can't handle WebDAV out of the box.
    4. Once you install the update, it takes about sixteen steps to actually mount the disk. All in all, it would be faster and more convenient to install Ubuntu on your computer as a dual boot and use that when you need to connect to your Android phone.

  8. Sharninder
    October 07, 06:24 Reply

    Are you sure this uses AppleTalk ? From the description it looks like Bonjour is being used and that's why the phone comes up automatically in the finder sidebar.

    If it is Bonjour, for the discovery atleast, then it is available on windows as well as linux.

  9. garettpony
    October 07, 16:47 Reply

    AFile does this beautifully with my PC – AFile used to be called discovery and was written by Mac software makers in the first place. Learned this through my research to fix a glitch a while back. Its a mobile copy of a program they wrote with iDisk for Mac. It was a little glitchy with XP using the web interface but i got the file server to work (it has great instructions in the help section) and i haven't got the file server way to work with Vista but the web interface works fine. **if i recall its still a free app too!

  10. niniii0
    June 07, 04:18 Reply

    If it is Bonjour, for the discovery atleast, then it is available on windows as well as linux.

  11. Vicki
    September 18, 20:09 Reply

    The “few” APple Mac users who also enjoy an Android phone? Hmph. Some of us prefer more open systems and software installations and use Mac OS X as much for the *nix underpinnings as the interface (which doesn’t match the iPhone).

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