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v1.0.5 beta - USB not working w/ WiFi enabled

In previous versions of AirDroid connections via USB were possible without disabling WiFi...not any more. 
:(  Why the "downgrade" or "nerf" to a decent app?

Previous AirDroid versions:
To connect your phone to a computer via USB cable for use with AirDroid, you would do the following.
-Plug in the phone with a USB cable to the computer of your choice
-Open Settings > Wireless and Network > Tethering 
-Check the box for "USB Tethering"
-Launch AirDroid
-Press the menu button on your phone
-Click the only option that appears "Tethering and USB"
-Open a browser on your computer and type in the displayed IP Address from AirDroid and Password

Now the connection between AirDroid (your phone) and your browser is being handled via the USB cable only, with full functionality to manage contacts, install apps or send SMS.  

New version of AirDroid, v1.0.5 beta
Many things have drastically changed.  We no longer have the menu item to chose "Tethering and USB" from AirDroid. Instead there is a new section within AirDroid named "Tools"...none are really useful...but one of them is called "Network", actually its just a shortcut to the settings for Wi-Fi or Tethering.  So how do we connect via USB cable now?  It is a painful process that has now been turned into a painful and annoying process.

This is what I do not like: now you must first manually disable your Wi-Fi completely, then enable your Tethering. This will trick AirDroid into using the USB connection, but it also causes several popup errors on the phone relating to services and apps that lost connection or cannot update, in my case of not getting service from my provider while in my office, without Wi-Fi either it means no updates (Emails, Facebook, etc).  I say it "tricks" AirDroid because it is obvious it was not meant to be used this way.  The errors prove this, but also the connection screen shows only "Wi-Fi: " and is blank because we are not connected via Wi-Fi...never showing we are connected via USB.

QUESTION: So why use USB and not just use the Wi-Fi connection and not deal with popup errors, no service, no updates, etc., and never have to go under the settings of your phone to activate tethering?
ANSWER: Because if you are in an environment, such as mine, where your LAN is on a different IP Range than your Wi-Fi, AirDroid will not work.  Both devices must be on the same IP Range in order to function.  In an office environment, it is very common to have the public Wi-Fi on a separate IP Range as your LAN users, for security purposes. And secondly...don't you realize how fast your battery is drained using apps like this via Wi-Fi? Plugging it in lets you use the app and charge your phone at the same time.

So why did AirDroid take a step in the wrong direction here?  Why not have a simple button when the app is launched, in the Connections window, that is "Wi-Fi" and "USB" allowing you to select the method of connection you wish to use?  When a method is selected either your Wi-Fi connections or Tethering connections will be activated for you.  Was that hard to think up?  After using the app for 3 minutes I thought about it...  Downgrades like this makes some reconsider using similar, maybe crappier, apps that land on the default "pre-installed" apps list with manufacturers...such as KiesAir.  Sad that they have the contract...but with a few improvements...a couple feedback letters to Samsung, I bet they would be convinced to at least test AirDroid and see it can be better than KiesAir.

Comments

  • Hi @neurotico

    Thanks for your feedback and we are sorry for the inconvenience caused. Here's one suggestion which we think may be helpful for you with the current version:

    1. Use your current way to disable WiFi and enable USB tethering to login, take down or bookmark the IP address generated by AirDroid (usually it is http://192.168.42.129:8888/
    2. From the next time, when you open AirDroid with WiFi connection enabled, just go "Tools" and tap "Network", Select "Tethering & portable hotspot", turn on USB tethering. 
    3. Without disabling WiFi, just visit the IP address you got in step 1 and you will be able to log in with passcode shown on device. Disabling WiFi just help change the shown IP from the one for WiFi connection to the one for IP login in Step one.

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