Manage your Android phone from your PC with MobileGo

You can deride iTunes for its cut-off, protected environment. And you can complain about the iPhone’s closed nature. But what you can’t deny is that Apple’s two products work incredibly well together, delivering a seamless solution for transferring data back and forth between a phone and a computer.

It’s exactly what’s missing from phones running the Android operating system. And it’s just what Wondershare’s MobileGo attempts to deliver. This $40 application (a free demo version is available) lets you connect your Windows PC to your supported Android smartphone to transfer music, movies, pictures, and more.

Once MobileGo is installed, you connect your Android phone to the PC via USB and wait for the software to recognize the phone. I tested it with the LG Optimus V from Virgin Mobile, and MobileGo didn’t immediately recognize the phone. I had to tell the app the name of the phone, and still had manually download a driver for the phone and restart both my phone and computer multiple times before I could establish a connection between the two. Wondershare says that the problem was likely due to the fact that the LG phone was not on their list of supported models. If your phone is not supported, you can send a request to Wondershare using an on-phone application. These requests are typically filled within a day, Wondershare says.

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My experience improved dramatically when MobileGo was able to connect my phone and my computer. The application’s interface is bright and clean, and nicely laid out. The home screen offers an overview of your phone’s storage capacity, as well as the contents of any storage card you may have. Like iTunes does for the iPhone, MobileGo lets you see how much space is being occupied by music, photos, movies, and other content. Unlike iTunes, MobileGo does not detail how much space is occupied by any apps you may have downloaded, though.

MobileGo allows you to transfer contacts from Outlook or a Symbian phone to your Android phone. This will be handy for users who rely on Outlook. But if you already rely on Google’s cloud-based contact manager–as many Android users likely do, given the tight integration between Gmail and Android–it will be of little use.

More helpful will be the way MobileGo lets you view and compose SMS messages, and manage music, movies, or photos. You can export the contents of your phone to your PC, and you can transfer content over to your phone. If you’d like to transfer a file that is not in a supported format, MobileGo handles the work for you, notifying you of the incompatibility and handling the file conversion for you. I tested the conversion feature with a 30-minute episode of Modern Family, in .mkv format. MobileGo handled the conversion quickly and easily; within a few minutes, I was watching the sitcom on my phone. The only oddity was that, as a “Movie,” the episode was stored in my phone’s Gallery app–which normally stores photos and videos that you record yourself. It played back on the phone without a hitch.

MobileGo does not offer a built-in store for downloading new content the way iTunes does. But it does offer an easy way to transfer content to and from your Android device.

Note: This free demo version does not allow transferring of contacts, and converting music and video to Android-supported formats, but does offer the ability to backup and restore, as well as transferring files to and from the phone.)

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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