Air Sharing Gives You iPhone File Sharing Goodness

The theme for today is file sharing apps that just work.

While browsing The Silicon Florist in my feeds today, I saw a post from Rick about Air Sharing, an iPhone app built by Avatron Software a company based in Vancouver (WA not BC).

As of yesterday, Air Sharing had 700,000 odd downloads in about a week, which sounds like a lot. I burned out pretty fast on iPhone Apps, especially in light of the recent, heavy-handed approach to apps that duplicate functionality in an Apple-built app.

Air Sharing caught my attention because as Rick says:

Using Bonjour and the standard WebDAV interface, Air Sharing allows iPhone and iPod Touch users to mount the devices as a wireless drive on any Mac, Windows, or Linux computer; drag and drop files between the device and computers, and view documents in many common formats.

Basically, it’s like working with any other drive. Wirelessly.

Awesome. This gives me another way to carry files with me, just like a thumb drive, but on a device I’m carrying anyway. One fewer thing to carry or lose. Plus, use it with Dropbox (covered earlier today), and you have access to shared files if you need them.

Imagine your laptop doesn’t make it to OpenWorld next week (gasp), and your thumb drive is in the laptop bag with it. Doh. If you had Dropbox, you could get that presentation file and load it to your iPhone for safe keeping. It’s always nice to have Plans B, C, and D, just in case.

Like Dropbox, Air Sharing just works. Install it, review the help and away you go. You’ll be copying files to your iPhone (or iPod Touch) in a matter of minutes, on any O/S. I copied my OpenSocial slides to my iPhone as a test.

Here’s the file in OS X:

Now that it’s on my iPhone, I can view it in Ubuntu, connecting via WebDAV:

And here’s what the file looks like on the iPhone:

How sweet is that?

There are still gaps on the iPhone though, e.g. the screenshot I took above was saved into Photos, leaving me no way to move it to my Air Sharing folders. So, I had to email it to myself, very old school. Obviously, this isn’t Air Sharing’s gap, it’s Apple’s.

Air Sharing works on wi-fi only, which isn’t that big a deal. You’ll also need to keep the app open if you plan to move files, since the iPhone O/S won’t let apps run in the background. That’s a universal bummer, though.

Air Sharing is free as of now, with the longterm price said to be $6.99. Get it now, or wait, either way, it’s a pretty useful app that just works.

Your thoughts? Find the comments.



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