Customers with the Google Pixel smartphone are struggling to connect their device to their Apple Mac computer and transfer files using the Google Android File Transfer application. The issue has been reported across several different websites, including most importantly the Google Product Forums, plus both the XDA Developers and Reddit websites, two popular resources for smartphone and tablet customers seeking help. The 9to5 Google website have investigated the issue and discovered that some types of file and folder would transfer easily between the Mac computer and the Google Pixel, whereas other file types or folders would not. At first, investigators believed that the issue was caused by the USB cable provided in the box, but when the team tried the same file transfer with another Mac application (called HandShaker), these troublesome files were easily transferred. As such, the issue does not appear to be related with the supplied USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable in the Google Pixel box, but instead seems to be related to the Android File Transfer application for Mac OS.
Upon further investigation, the Android File Transfer has not been updated since October 2012. This is a time before the USB Type-C standard was ratified. Google themselves have stated that these standards must be strictly adhered to for fear of damaging sensitive electronic equipment. It was a Google Engineer leading the project to test a number of USB Type-C cables available from the Amazon website. The USB Type-C requirements include the cable, devices and of course the software running. As such, the Android File Transfer application is long overdue a software update in order to bring it into line with the new USB Type-C standards, and fix any incompatibilities with newer versions of Mac OS.
The flagship Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL smartphones have seen their fair share of technical issues, including issues with the battery, the launcher or software freezing and even manufacturing defects. It is difficult to quantify how extensive these issues have been in the context of the number of Google Pixel devices sold around the world, nor to quantify the number of customers having problems connecting their new Google smartphone to their Apple Mac computer – because customers do not tend to post that they are experiencing no issues with their connection! For anybody experiencing the issue, the unofficial advice is to try the HandShaker application for the Mac computer, as this doesn't appear to have the same connection issues, whilst we wait for Google to update the Android File Transfer application.