10/3/08
9:48 am

MacMost Now 141: Sharing Files With Your iPhone

Gary Rosenzweig looks at two third-party apps that allow you to share files between your iPhone and Mac: AirSharing and DropCopy. You can check out MacMost's iPhone App directory at https://macmost.com/iphoneapps/

Video Transcript
Hi this is Gary with Mac Most Now! Today lets look at two applications for the iPhone that will allow you to share files with your Mac.
So old fashioned iPod's have one interesting advantage over iPhone's, it's that you can use them as external hard drives, You can save files to them, you can back up to them. iPhone's can't do that. But there are two third party applications now that allow you to share files directly from your Mac to your iPhone, and what's even better is they don't require that the two be connected, atleast not on a wired connection. You can connect them just via your local network. And do it over the air. Let's take a look at both of them.
So the first app that we're going to look at is called Air Sharing. And Air Sharing is seven dollars and it allows your iPhone to be used as an external hard drive on your Mac. Just like you would any other external hard drive or network drive. All you need to do is look at the IP address of your iPhone, make sure they are both connected to the same wi-fi network, and connect using the finder in Mac to go ahead and view the files there. You can actually even connect on windows as well. And then you can drag and drop files to and from the iPhone.
So this is Air Sharing. After it opens up, it will show you the two folders that you got by default: Public and Samples. In the public folder are all the files that I have added to my iPhone's hard drive. I can go ahead and connect to this by using this IP address here at the bottom. So I just type this into my Mac just like I would connect to any other drive or computer on my network, and these files will appear. And once I've transferred files to here, I can go ahead and review them which is probably the greatest strength of Air Sharing. So for instance here is a HTML document. And I can expand it and view it and can even turn it on its side. I can also view images, I can view PDF files, I can expand and look at them, and I can even listen to music and watch video as well. So there's about any standard file that I drop into Air Sharing, I can, that I have access to when I'm not connected.
The next application is called Drop Copy. And Drop Copy is available for $5. And what Drop Copy does is basically the same thing with a little bit easied interface. Now Drop Copy is a little different in that you don't only need this application on your iPhone but you also need an application on your mac. The Mac application will create a little hole in your desktop and you can drag and drop files into it as long as Drop Copy is running on your iPhone. Once you put something in there, you can actually look in four preset folders: Docs, PDF's, Image's, and Audio. When you select a file you can view it and see a quick view of it. You can also, for instance, look at the image here and do a quick look but also go ahead and click here to do a full view.
Now one advantage of Air Sharing is that you don't have to install anything additional on your Mac. Which means its easy to connect with your Mac or somebody else's Mac, or another computer that may be on the local network. Another great advantage of Air Sharing is the fact that you can view all these file formats very easily and very nicely. Now its always been difficult to view important files on your iPhone. For instance, say if you have a PDF that's very important you can e-mail to yourself, but depending on the settings of your email connection and your server, you may not actually have it available if you're not connected to the internet. But here you could reliably put a PDF or a text file or whatever you want onto your iPhone, and know you have access to it with or without a network later on.
Now Drop Copy is a little but easier to use and it has a big advantage in that you can transfer from iPhone to iPhone as well. But it does take an additional piece of software to run on your Mac so its going to be hard to connect to a new computer without first installing that. And it was a little chunkier when I used it.
So there are two great options for getting files onto your iPhone and using it as an external hard drive, and viewing files on your iPhone. Even while your not connected to the network.
Now I also want to tell you about a new part of the MacMost.com website. If you go to MacMost.com/ iphoneapps you can get a complete directory of all the apps available in the iTunes store. You can access it a lot quicker than you can through the iTunes application, and you can also look and see actually what is new in the store today, what has been updated today, and you can sort in various ways. So for instance you can see what new free games are available today. So go ahead and check out this new part of the MacMost.com website.
Until next time this is Gary Rosenzweig with the MacMost Now.