I recently started running Gingerbread again on my HTC Desire, instead of the custom Android ROM MIUI. I love Android 2.3, but one of the things I really miss is MIUI’s native file manager that could turn my SD card into an FTP server with the simple press of a button.
I had gotten used to enjoying the benefits of wireless, hassle-free file transfers and not needing my USB cable. I just had to connect to an IP-address with my favorite FTP client FileZilla, to gain full control over the contents of my Android’s SD card: files could be copied, moved and deleted.
Thanks to Frank, one of TechCredo’s visitors, I learned about an app called SwiFTP FTP Server. It’s less slick than the MIUI counterpart, but SwiFTP can do the same FTP trick as the MIUI file manager. Here’s how you can turn your Android phone into an FTP server over Wi-Fi that only you can access. It’s very easy.
Update: File Expert and Samba Filesharing are two apps that also can turn your phone into a server.
1) Install SwiFTP from the Market. The new web Market lets us push apps from our computer directly to our phones.
2) Launch SwiFTP, and you’ll be greeted by the screen below. In the Username field, enter the username you wish to use, and then enter a password of your choice in the Password field. Finally, tap Save.
3) You will then be taken to the next screen. There are three buttons at the top: Start, Instructions and Setup. Simply tap the Start button to launch the FTP server. You need to have a Wi-Fi connection on your Android before starting the server.
4) Now it’s time to connect to your Android’s FTP server with your favorite FTP client. I definitely recommend the open-source app FileZilla. It’s great, and available for multiple operating systems. FileZilla will look something like this:
If you want to quickly connect to your phone, just enter the username and password you selected earlier in FileZilla’s top toolbar. In the Host field, enter the address to your phone. It’s listed in SwiFTP on your Android device under Wifi URL. Unless you’ve changed the settings, the address should be 192.168.1.64. In FileZilla’s Port field, enter 2121 (that’s the default) and press the Quickconnect button.
You should now see your phone’s contents listed in FileZilla – even the files on your internal storage are accessible. If you want to connect to your phone again with FileZilla, just click the little arrow next to the Quickconnect button, or use FileZilla’s Site Manager (Ctrl+S) to create a new server entry dedicated to your phone.
That’s it! Next time you want to manage the files on your SD card from your computer, just launch SwiFTP on your phone, start the server and connect to your device with FileZilla. No more USB cables for file transfers! Yay.