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AirSharing

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AirSharingan application for your iPhone or iPod touch, turning the device into a wifi storage drive and file viewer.

It would be nice if Apple would let you copy files directly to your iPhone or touch over the USB cable, but they don’t.  What we can do is copy files over from a Mac or PC using AirSharing.  As a bonus you get a viewer providing support for a variety of file types.   More on that at the end.  First, let’s look at how we copy files onto your device, and how we get them off.

Placing Files on Your Device
connect
To copy files on from your Mac just go to the Go menu in Finder and select Connect to Server.  Or  hit Command-K.  In the box that opens (see image to the right) enter  http://w.x.y.z   — but replace w.x.y.z with the ip address of your device.  Don’t know the ip?  Don’t worry, AirSharing will help with that as we’ll see in a minute.

foldersA Finder window will open displaying whatever folders you’ve created on your iPhone or touch.  You can drag files in or out, delete files or folders, or create new ones.

connectIf you’re on a PC you’ll start with Internet Explorer.  Go to the File menu and click open.  Enter the address of your device just like the steps above – and make sure to check the box.  A window will open displaying the folders on your device.

Getting Files Off Your Device.  

When activated on your device, AirSharing turns it into a pocket web server.  Your friends (on the same wifi network with your device) can access your files by pointing their web browser to http://w.x.y.z:8080. connect Again, replace the w.x.y.z with the ip address of your device.  The 8080 is the port number where the web server is running.  For more on what port numbers are read the end of this post.

Just like any other web page, users can right-click the file links to perform operations like saving the referenced file to disk.

File Viewer
list
As a bonus, AirSharing includes viewers for many file types you might want to open.  iWork, photos, office docs, pdf, web docs – in addition to music and movies.  This really comes in handy.  See the developer site for a list of file formats supported.  Instead of having to use iTunes to copy photos onto your device you can just drag a folder of images over and use the AirSharing viewer to display them.

Notice in the image to the right that the ip address of the device is displayed at the bottom of the screen.  The ip address can be seen elsewhere in the interface of AirSharing too, like the settings page.  You can also turn AirSharing off when you’re not using it, which Murphy would recommend.

If you’ve got a big web page you want to review later you can save it as a web archive in Safari and transfer it to your device using AirSharing.  That way you can read it later offline.

Summary

AirSharing makes ferrying files using your iPhone or touch easy.  Yes, wifi is a little slow, but it’s a pretty simple solution that doesn’t need any third party software on your Mac or PC.

In addition, you can copy content like photos, audio, and movies to your device without going through iTunes.  For some that might be worth the price of admission.  Check out AirSharing at the developers site.  $6.99.

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3 comments to “AirSharing”

  1. Thanks for this. I’d looked at this a while back and forgot about it. Gonna try it now.

  2. Cool. Now my iPod is a portable drive too. Thanks.

  3. I am looking for some idea and stumble upon your posting :) decide to wish you Thanks. Eugene

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