How to Use Your iPhone as a Hard Drive

I have a decade old, 2nd Gen iPod (a huge white and silver brick) that arguably beats my iPod Touch in two key built-in features. The first is that it is much faster to transfer music to because it supports FireWire, (but that’s a rant for another time). The brick’s second excellent feature is the ability to mount on my Mac and act just like an external hard drive.

While it doesn’t seem like iPhones/iPods will be supporting FireWire any time soon, a slew of third party app developers have addressed the need to use your Apple mobile device as a wireless portable drive. Nearly all of them function in the same manner so I’ll walk you through the app that I personally use and then present a number of alternatives.

Air Sharing

My HD app of choice is Air Sharing. It’s wonderfully simple to use and has never given me a single problem (the bonus is that I got it free as part of a temporary sale). It’s now $2.99 but definitely worth dropping the few bucks if you can see yourself using your iPhone frequently as a portable drive.

The Interface

When you open Air Sharing you are taken to an icon view of the folders and files on your drive. The interface is nearly exactly like that of the OS X Finder so Mac users should feel right at home. Tapping on a folder will take you into its contents: another thumbnail view of the files in the folder. Simply tap a file to preview it in the app.

 Interface Overview 

Air Sharing lets you view a huge range of supported file formats including iWork documents, MS Office documents, PDFs, JPGs, HTML pages, various text files, and audio/video multimedia files.

Connecting

The big benefit that new technology has over my old 2nd generation iPod is the ability to access your device over the air, eliminating the need to plug anything in. The first step you’ll want to take to connect to your Apple device is to open up the settings screen (tap the little wrench icon) to set your security.

 Settings and Connecting 

As you can see, I have “Sharing Security” turned on. This simply puts a username and password on the device so no one can connect to your device without your permission. I highly recommend that you implement this simple but effective security measure.

Next, go back to the main application screen and tap the little Wifi icon in the bottom center. This brings up a number of options for connecting to your device via Bonjour or IP address. On your Mac, bring up Finder and hit ⌘-K to bring up the “Connect to Server” options (alternatively, you can use your Mac or PCs browser).

 
Connecting on Your Mac 

In the first window, type in the Bonjour or IP address and hit connect. If you’ve placed security on the device as outlined above, type this information into the second screen and hit “Connect.”

That’s about all there is to it. Now your device will pop up in the Finder and you’ll be free to drag files to and from it. Be sure to save the address in your favorite server list so you don’t have to type it in every time. The entire process only takes a minute or so and isn’t really much more of a hassle than plugging something into a USB port once you get used to it.

The huge benefit that Apple handhelds have over your typical portable hard drive is the fact that you can browse, view, interact with and share the files right on the storage device. The downside of course is that your storage space is limited to the free capacity on your phone.

Alternatives

As I said above, Air Sharing tends to be the app I use the most for this kind of thing (after Dropbox, discussed below). However, there are plenty of different options out there for you to choose from so I encourage you to take a look at a few of the apps below to see if there are any you might like better.

Also check out – Air Sharing Pro

Customer Reviews

Good, but not quite there

     

by PDFreader

Air Sharing is (at this time, at least), superior to its competitors FileMagnet and Stanza. It doesn’t require a server-side application to transfer files to the handheld device, and its PDF reader supports implicit bookmarking. That means you can read a long PDF document, quit, and when you come back to it, still be at the same page. All PDF formatting (italics, page breaks, bolding, etc.) is preserved (which is a feature the makers of Stanza consider unnecessary), so Air Sharing is the clear winner there, too.

But as a document reader, it still suffers from too many of the drawbacks of similar utilities. The reader screen is surrounded by wholly unnecessary gray borders that cut into the already-minimal iTouch/iPhone viewing area. There’s the gray wireless/time/battery bar at the top, reducing screen area still further. And at the bottom, there’s the biggest gray bar of all, holding two pretty much useless “up” and “down” arrows. The iTouch/iPhone photo viewer makes use of the entire screen, so there’s no reason a document viewer can’t do the same thing. Worst of all, each time you scroll up or down, a big gray “<nn> of <nnnn>” page-number display obscures about one-eighth of the top left of the screen. Okay, it goes away after a couple of seconds, but it’s very annoying, not needed, and you can’t turn it off.

Scrolling is up-and-down only; the more natural right-to-left page-style scrolling isn’t supported, even as an option.

There’s no way to jump to a specific page, either. The only way to get to a given page is to scroll there, one. Page. At. A. Time. Not a big deal for a small document, but if you’re reading a long PDF ebook or magazine, it gets very tedious, very fast.

Air Sharing gets full marks for its innovative and effective way of transferring files to the handheld device without special serverside software. But as a reader of the transferred documents, it still needs:

1: Explicit bookmarking, so the user can manually choose which page will be bookmarked. Multiple bookmarks would be nice, too.

2: Full-screen viewing, without borders, bars or page-number displays cutting into the viewing area. Again, the iTouch/iPhone photo viewer can do this, and it’s even more important for document reading.

3: An option for horizontal scrolling.

Of the three file-transfer and document-viewing utilities I’ve mentioned, Air Sharing is the clear winner. But until the features I’ve outlined above are added, I can only give this utility three stars. Avatron has come up with a great method for transferring files, and now they need to put equal effort into the interface for viewing them. That would make Air Sharing a truly five-star program.

So Far a Great App!!!

     

by CADaholic

I have been in need of a files app and have been in the process of reading reviews of all the File app’s out there and this came up today and I love it more than the rest!
PROS:
– Has very detail directions on how to use it!
– Looks to have the most foramts supported
– No lag on large documents.
– FREE at least for the first two weeks!
– Can navigate file menu easily !!!!!
– Easily transer documents!
– Password Protect
– Options to show hidden files
-THE LIST GOES ON….

CONS:
– I just bought Folders app (greatly disapointed with folders app) but this app should have come sooner!!!!!! (will not mark off any stars for this)

Very nice start!

     

by dhayman

I have downloaded the following types of files with the following degrees of success:

Microsoft Word files show up beautifully and pretty much retain their formatting. Also lovely in landscape (uses the accelerometer).

PDF files: gorgeous. You can pinch and spread to read those tiny letters in landscape.

Microsoft excel: very nice. of course you have to use the landscape orientation to see a lot of it, and also the pinch spread to see smaller numbers and cells.

Powerpoint: a big file (672 KB) is slow to open up. Seems to need to work very hard to get that thing posted. But once its there, it renders just beautifully.

Keynote: The keynote file, for some reason, only displays the first page with a red banner in the corner that reads “thumbnail”. I am still investigating to see what may be happening, but the original is the full presentation, not the alias or anything. So this may be an issue for wiser heads than mine.

Overall this is a spectacular idea! The only thing that of course would be even better, is that you could actually edit the documents once you got them on the phone! Of course that would be “paid” functionality.

One thought, though, the up and down arrows should advance the document one page at a time by the page break. RIght now it only goes about 3/4 down. I can use a finger stroke to get to specific lines, but the up and down arrows seem to scream for a “page by page” function.

Other than that, BRAVO!!!!!

The best car finder for iPhone ever!

Sally Park

The best car finder for iPhone ever. With Sally Park you can easily find your car any time with your iPhone.

Version 1.0 | Compatible with iPhone 3GS.

User Experience

Combines a sleek, clean interface with a powerful user experience to make it easy to connect and share your contact information.

Sally Park easily works by reading and storing your location provided by the Location Service of your iPhone 3GS.

It’s easy to find back your car by looking the direction inside the display and the distance between you and your car.

Sally Park integrate the Map service in case you like to see your car inside the map.

Notes and Photos

Sally Park allow you to write Notes and take Photos in case you think is better to looks around and grab some details near you.

Features

✓ Simple, elegant user interface.
✓ Find your car parked anywhere with GPS and compass.
✓ The display show the distance between your location and the car.
✓ Write notes and take pictures for better locate your car.
✓ Double Tap on the display to see the GPS informations.
✓ Use maps to see where is parked your car.
✓ Copy & paste (for iPhone OS 3.0 users and above).
✓ Localized in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish and Japanese.

Settings

Sally Park allow you to configure the best usage of the app you want.

Copyright © 2007-2009 Doseido. All rights reserved worldwide.

Toyota Prius Hybrid iPhone app for 2010-2011

TototaPrius

Get everything you wanted to know about the best-selling 2010 & 2011 Toyota Prius hybrid in the palm of your hand.  Toyota has just launched a mobile phone website for your  iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm, or other mobile phone device and browser.

The new Toyota mobile phone website app is not limited to the Prius, the best-selling hybrid on the planet.  If you want information on the Camry hybrid sedan, it’s there.  Ditto, the Highlander hybrid SUV.  And so is information about all the other Toyota models, from the compact Yaris to the hunky FJ Cruiser.

When I say information, I mean lots and lots of information.  Photos, so you can compare and choose colors, even see how the dashboard navigation system looks.  Trim versions, so you can compare prices and option packages.  Punch in your zipcode, and up pops a list of dealers near you.

iPhone and iPod Touch users can see videos, including a 360-degree colorizer of the Prius.  Within the next couple of months, Toyota will extend this rich media feature to other models – and also to other mobile phone models.  Right now, the videos are limited to the Prius, iPhone and iPod Touch.

Promise me that if you go car shopping on our mobile phone that you’ll also stay in touch with the latest news about hybrid cars, electric cars, hydrogen and fuel cell cars, and other alternative fuel vehicles, right here, from your Green Car Examiner.

The Toyota mobile phone website app was created by iCrossing, a digital marketing company.

TototaPrius2

TototaPrius4

Toyota Mobile Website link: http://m.toyota.com/index.html

Photos: http://m.toyota.com/prius/photo-gallery.html

7 Best Augmented Reality Apps for iPhone

These apps are probably the 7 Best Augmented Reality Apps, you can judge for yourself.


Uses the iPhone’s cam and compass to place Yelp ratings over a live view of establishments. Ideal for identifying five-star dive bars and avoiding bourgie bistros. 

Streams Google maps from your iPhone to a special eyepiece you mount on your bike helmet. Now you’ll always know where you’re going. (Into a parked car?)

 

Look through your phone’s camera and TwittARound shows you location-stamped tweets (available from certain Twitter clients) from others nearby.

One Roman ruin looks pretty much like any other after a long day of sightseeing. Train your phonecam on the rubble to pull up the site’s Wikipedia entry.

Wikitude Augmented Reality: WTC – Its not there but its there from Wikitude on Vimeo.



Layar Reality
Browser

Aim the camera on your Android phone at a cityscape and Layar coughs up data — everything from the location of bus stations and skate parks to real estate prices.

http://layar.com/layar-is-in-the-iphone-app-store/



Lost in a public-transport labyrinth? (Tokyo commuters, we’re thinking of you.) Acrossair overlays directions and line info on the iPhone’s camera view.



Using face-recognition software from Polar Rose, this app can scan a stranger’s mug and reveal their contact info and profile stats. Creepalicious!

New government rules allow unapproved iPhone apps

US copyright law was modified on Monday (July 26,2010) to make it legal to hack smartphones such as iPhones to switch telecom service providers or install applications without Apple’s approval.

The decision to allow the practice commonly known as “jailbreaking” is one of a handful of new exemptions from a 1998 federal law that prohibits people from bypassing technical measures that companies put on their products to prevent unauthorized use of copyright-protected material. The Library of Congress, which oversees the Copyright Office, reviews and authorizes exemptions every three years to ensure that the law does not prevent certain non-infringing uses of copyright-protected works.

For iPhone jailbreakers, the new rules effectively legitimize a practice that has been operating in a legal gray area by exempting it from liability. Apple claims that jailbreaking is an unauthorized modification of its software.

Mario Ciabarra, founder of Rock Your Phone, which calls itself an “independent iPhone application store,” said the rules mark the first step toward opening the iPhone app market to competition and removing the “handcuffs” that Apple imposes on developers that want to reach users of the wildly popular device.

Unless users unlock their handsets, they can only download apps from Apple’s iTunes store. Software developers must get such apps pre-approved by Apple, which sometimes demands changes or rejects programs for what developers say are vague reasons.

Ciabarra noted that Google Inc. has taken a different approach with its Android operating system, which is emerging as the biggest competitor to the iPhone. Google allows users of Android phones to download applications from outside the Android Market. Although Apple has never prosecuted anyone for jailbreaking, it does use software upgrades to disable jailbroken phones, and the new government rules won’t put a stop to that. That means owners of such phones might not be able to take advantage of software improvements, and they still run the risk of voiding their warranty.

Apple spokesman Natalie Kerris said Monday that the company is concerned about jailbreaking because the practice can make an iPhone unstable and unreliable.

“Apple’s goal has always been to ensure that our customers have a great experience with their iPhone, and we know that jailbreaking can severely degrade the experience,” she said.

In addition to jailbreaking, other exemptions announced Monday would:

– allow owners of used cell phones to break access controls on their phones in order to switch wireless carriers.

– allow people to break technical protections on video games to investigate or correct security flaws.

– allow college professors, film students, documentary filmmakers and producers of noncommercial videos to break copy-protection measures on DVDs so they can embed clips for educational purposes, criticism or commentary.

– allow computer owners to bypass the need for external security devices called dongles if the dongle no longer works and cannot be replaced.

– allow blind people to break locks on electronic books so that they can use them with read-aloud software and similar aides.

Although the jailbreaking exemption is new, all the others are similar to the last set of exemptions, which were announced in November 2006. The new rules take effect Tuesday and are expected to last a few years.

The exceptions are a big victory for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which had urged the Library of Congress to legalize several of them, including the two regarding cell phones.

Jennifer Stisa Granick, EFF’s civil liberties director, said the rules are based on an important principle: Consumers should be allowed to use and modify the devices that they purchase the way they want. “If you bought it, you own it,” she said.

Source

Poor reception and dropped call problems with iPhone

It is reported that “a software glitch has misrepresented the phone’s actual signal strength for years”.

A N.Y. based Web designer uses Apple’s wildly popular smartphone for personal and business calls, Web research and e-mail. So when he lost a design project because his iPhone never rang, he was understandably irked. Calls about the project repeatedly went to voicemail, leading the prospective client to believe that this user was too busy or, worse, unreliable. And it wasn’t the first time AT&T dropped the ball — er, call.

“I’ve dropped countless calls while talking to clients,” says this individual, who admits — for better or worse — he’s an Apple junkie and has no plans to abandon his trusty, if sometimes unreliable, iPhone.

Then there’s a CEO and of a Public Relations firm in Los Angeles. She regularly uses her iPhone to call national television producers, new business prospects and retail clients. One recent call with an important client was dropped — at a very inopportune time. “Fortunately, the company still placed the order… but it didn’t look good dropping the call in the middle of contract negotiations”.

Poor reception and dropped calls have become a way of life for many AT&T Wireless customers since the iPhone was first introduced in 2007, and the new iPhone 4 — which, by Apple’s own admission, may drop calls if users hold the phone a certain way — has sparked a litany of complaints online. AT&T and Apple were dealt another public relations blow recently, after revealing that a software glitch has misrepresented the phone’s actual signal strength for years.

Sure, it’s annoying when calls get dropped, and it’s a reality for almost every cell phone and carrier at some point. But with millions of power users who live their digital lives on Apple’s superphone, and in part because it does so many other things so well, poor call quality has become a well-known Achilles’ Heel of the iPhone — especially frustrating for entrepreneurs and other business types who use it as their mobile offices.

A managing partner at Public Relations firm in Philadelphia, says AT&T’s dropped calls are a frequent frustration and make it difficult to develop “a new client relationship based on reliability.”
An expert in technology product management at a well known marketing firm, tries not to get worked up when his calls fail. “The client dropped the call, we all sighed heavily, he called me back, we concluded our business,” he says. This sequence has become somewhat of a tradition for this individual and his colleagues, who have experienced many dropped calls over the years.

Instead of shouting expletives at AT&T, an “insider” in Oregon (he asked to remain anonymous) is making light of the reception issues. On the heels of the viral success of @BPGlobalPR — a fake Twitter feed purporting to be from BP’s public relations department — the longtime iPhone user set off to create a snarky AT&T analog while he was on hold to pre-order an iPhone 4.
This insider says, “While AT&T’s servers were crashing left and right, I thought, ‘Huh, I’ve got a few minutes. Now would be a good time to “join” AT&T’s PR team.’ @ATT_Wireless_PR went live that afternoon in an attempt to give humorous voice to the frustrations that iPhone, and AT&T users in general, have felt for years,”.
But the mystery Twitterer insists he’s not trying to take down the company.

“The point is that in this brave new age of social media, even giant multinational telecoms like AT&T can be given a successful nipple-tweaking by one guy with a computer and too much free time,” he says. “Will this change the way AT&T does business? Almost certainly not. Will a few people have a laugh at AT&T’s expense? They already have.”

But these gripes aren’t limited to reception issues, nor are those of other AT&T users. A founder of an athletic footwear maker has jumbled contacts on his shiny new iPhone 4. For example, when his mom calls, it shows up as a different name and number. This user thinks it might be a “linking” problem that is mixing up his e-mail and telephone contacts. He hasn’t called AT&T to discuss the problem or find out how widespread it is, because he fears he’ll be put on hold for 30 minutes — and he has a business to run.

In fact, based on his own experience, this individual says it’s probably not a good decision for people to invest in AT&T’s iPhone 4 for business use, because first-generation models tend to have bugs, whether with reception, a wonky camera or a yellow bar on the LCD screen. “For the true mavens, get it,” he says. “For everyone else, wait it out.”
On Friday, Apple fessed up to the signal-bar glitch.

“Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong,” Apple said in a statement. How wrong? For many users, the iPhone adds two more signal bars than it should.

The statement went on to say that Apple is adopting an AT&T formula for calculating signal bars to accurately display signal strength in a given area — which, of course, doesn’t exactly solve the problem of poor reception, just how that poor reception is displayed. Apple will also issue a free software update in the coming weeks to distribute the correct formula to the millions of iPhone 4s that have been purchased since its release on June 24. Owners of iPhone 3GS and 3G will also get the update, since the erroneous formula is present in those versions as well.

Spokespeople for AT&T declined to comment on the issue and deferred to Apple representatives, who did not respond to questions via phone or e-mail. But the companies appear to be working together to address the reception issue.

And that’s good news for many businesses that have made — or want to make — the switch from BlackBerry to iPhone. AT&T says 40 percent of its sales this year have been to business customers, suggesting that iPhones are encroaching on corporate territory once owned by Research In Motion’s BlackBerry.

 Since its debut in 2007, the iPhone typically has not been supported in corporate environments. IT departments had been reluctant to fix the expensive device, which was seen more as a toy than a business tool and didn’t offer much privacy protection. BlackBerries, although not as consumer-friendly, have always been durable, reliable and efficient — if not a little less fun and glamorous. But in January, Apple announced that 70 percent of Fortune 100 companies were testing or deploying iPhones. And the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is improving its privacy, devising new business-friendly apps, and offers more than just e-mail. Apple will likely welcome even more fans — business and otherwise — once it teams up with Verizon, a long-anticipated partnership expected to debut in 2011.

In the meantime, most iPhone users appear to be standing by their devices, albeit sometimes begrudgingly. A loyal iPhone user says, “That’s what we do, we sigh and accept it and move on.”