How do I get my Mac to acknowledge my Android tablet?
May 13, 2011 7:19 AM   Subscribe

How do I get my Mac to acknowledge my Android tablet?

I'm trying to connect a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 to a Macbook so I can transfer files from the Mac to the tablet via USB.

I've installed Android File Transfer on the Mac, but it just says "No Android device found. Please connect your Android device with a USB cable to get started."

The tablet is not showing up on the Mac's finder, but it's there in the About this Mac -> More info -> USB menu.

I've tried it with USB debugging on and off. I've tried different USB ports. I've restarted them both. I've factory reset the tablet. I'm not seeing any relevant pull-down or pull-up menus (as friends with Android phones have suggested).

I'm a Mac user and am confused and frightened by other operating systems. I know I can get the files there by uploading them to the Web and then back down again, but isn't there a simpler way?
posted by The corpse in the library to Technology (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Launch Disk Utility (Applications>Utilities>Disk Utility) and see if that doesn't force the tablet to mount. I have an external drive that is partitioned and sometimes only one partition will mount. Launching DU always gets the second partition to mount.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:27 AM on May 13, 2011

Here's a rather intensive way of getting it to work, which requires rooting the device (and access to a Windows 7 machine). Hopefully, though, Samsung will offer a fix by the time these are released for retail next month.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 7:44 AM on May 13, 2011

The Android system needs to present itself as a USB storage device, which is what friends are recommending to you about the pull-down menus. If these aren't provided by Samsung for whatever odd reason, there's nothing you can do on the computer side to fix it.
posted by odinsdream at 7:52 AM on May 13, 2011

Hmmm -- it doesn't even show up under Disk Utility. No Windows 7 here.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:37 AM on May 13, 2011

Really, what might be your best bet if you're interested in using the thing long term is to wait until the retail release, then download an OS dump of that and reinstall it on your pre-market version. This kind of thing is usually pretty easy (especially if you have a coder or developer in the house). Doing so may well fix this and any other hidden glitches.

Watch this space for that.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:56 AM on May 13, 2011

What kind of files are you trying to get on the tablet? DoubleTwist can handle your music and videos, and Dropbox can handle most everything else.
posted by bhayes82 at 9:20 AM on May 13, 2011

I have an Android phone, not an Android tablet, so this may not work, but I only recently discovered how to make the Mac recognize the phone:

Settings --> Connect to PC --> Default connection type: set this to "disk drive" (the other options are "charge only" and "sync"; the out-of-box default was sync, which allowed for charging but not syncing, ironically). Then, the phone shows up on the Desktop, like any other external drive.

Maybe your tablet has similar settings?
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:51 AM on May 13, 2011

Sorry - it may not have been clear that those settings I refer to are the ones on the PHONE, not on the MAC.
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:57 AM on May 13, 2011

I have used Kies Air to transfer files from my MacBook Air to my Galaxy S II. There is an app that runs on the device, and you use a browser from the Mac to connect over your local WLAN.
posted by incster at 10:26 AM on May 13, 2011

Thanks for the ideas, but after poking around it doesn't look like any of them will work. I think this just isn't ready for prime time yet; I'll improvise for now, and wait for an update.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:57 AM on May 13, 2011

Dropbox, SugarSync, USB keys or micro sdcards are all easy ways to move files to a new Android device. I have a couple of El cheapo tablets and phones here which are a bit quirky and I generally just use a decent sized (16 - 32gb) micro SD as media storage.
posted by chairish at 12:52 PM on May 13, 2011

In Honeycomb, they ditched USB Mass Storage support and moved to MTP (Media Transport Protocol). I think this was done mostly to get rid of the super-annoying file scanner nonsense Android devices would go through every time they booted or were unmounted. Unfortunately, only Windows has native support for MTP. The Android File Transfer utility you downloaded apparently doesn't know the USB device ID for your new Galaxy Tab 10.1. Once Google gets on the ball and updates the utility, you should be able to use it to transfer files to and from your Mac.
posted by strangecargo at 1:20 PM on May 13, 2011

In Honeycomb, they ditched USB Mass Storage support

What? That's terrible news - surely this will be an option.
posted by odinsdream at 5:35 PM on May 14, 2011

Oh, you'll still be able to use a USB cable to move files. The newer format just allows for greater file block granularity and some other under the hood features. I would imagine you'll see this used to make transfer over WiFi and Bluetooth directly from the device to the Windows Explorer or Mac Finder.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 6:08 PM on May 14, 2011

It looks like Samsung has released a new version of their Kies software that fixes this problem.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 6:33 PM on June 23, 2011

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