I recently had a user need a simple way to transfer photos from their Android phone to an iPad. This is for their holiday. It turns out this isn’t as simple as you might expect.

If was iOS to iOS, then you can use AirDrop. If was Android to Android, you can probably use Bluetooth. If it was anything to a PC or Mac, then a simple USB cable would suffice.

However, iOS doesn’t support Bluetooth File Transfer and Android doesn’t support AirDrop. This makes it a bit difficult. Here are some options we came up with:


This turned out to be the simplest method. If you install the Dropbox app on each device, you can set it to sync photos automatically when on WiFi or Cellular. Yes, this requires a data connection, but it also requires limited technical knowledge. It also allows for online backups for a decent number of photos.

This is the perfect option if you are on holidays and have access to Hotel WiFi occasionally. I don’t usually recommend Dropbox-like services for anything, but this is actually a good usage case.

iPad Camera Connection Kit

If you purchase the iPad Camera Connection Kit, you can connect your Android phone to your iPad via USB cable. Within the photo app on the iPad, you can choose to import photos off your Android device (assuming the photos are stored in a DCIM folder). This required carrying another small adaptor, but should work pretty well assuming your particular Android phone supports it.

Photo Transfer App

There are a number of apps which boast support for this photo transfer use case. One of which is the Photo Transfer App. This uses WiFi to connect the two devices together and create a file transfer session. This is great, except it won’t work if the WiFi network isolates it’s clients. A workaround would be to create an ad-hoc network (tethering or hot-spotting). Trouble is, iPads won’t create a Hotspot unless they have a SIM-card in them, and the Android app doesn’t seem to like hotspots created on that device.

PC File Sync

Although not strictly applicable here, it’s worth mentioning that you can use a PC or a Mac as an intermediate. Sync your devices to the one PC or Mac, move the photos into each other’s folders, and sync it back.