Every once in a while you may find yourself in need of transferring a file from one computer to another. In the old days, you’d have to use some sort of external drive that plugged into the computers through USB or firewire. Boring! Today- you don’t need a single wire. (Except the ones that provide power to your computer.) You can do all of your file transferring needs with your iPhone via WiFi! I know, it’s like magic- only real!

Since there are a helluva lot of these apps available, I’m going to review and compare eight of them: Memory Stick, iDownload, Files, File Magic, Flash Drive, DataCase, Air Sharing and ReaddleDocs. I apologize if I’ve missed your favorite. Hopefully this will help you narrow down your choice when it comes to that important decision of choosing the file transferring app that’s right for you. So here they are, in order of cost- from lowest to highest. (And remember, you can only view the files you upload- these are not EDITORS of any kind.)


Memory Stick

 

 

Memory Stick v1.0 | Published by Softalk Ltd | Via App Store | $.99 | Released: 12-31-08

 

Overview

As with all of the file transferring apps, you can connect to a PC or Mac over a WiFi connection. You can use Windows Explorer or Finder, or you can connect through a web browser using the phone’s given IP address. Once you upload your files, you can even view some of them, including Word and Excel documents, PDF files and many graphic files. Unfortunately you can’t listen to any audio files you upload, like you can with some of the other apps.

Bottom Line

Memory Stick is a barebones file transferring app. There’s no way to organize your uploaded files in the app, (you have to do your organizing on your computer while connected to the device). Also, you can’t listen to mp3 files that you may upload. (Some of the more expensive apps allow that feature.) Though it’s not a fancy looking app, it gets the job done, if all you need is a basic external drive.

Verdict: Should Be Free 


iDownload

 

 

iDownload v1.0.1 | Published by Silicon Studios | Via App Store | $.99 | Released: 01-02-09

 

Overview

iDownload isn’t exactly a conventional file transferring app. It’s more designed to download files from the Internet onto your phone when on a WiFi network. I guess this is so if you’re not around the Internet often, you can take advantage of the WiFi when you have it. It still works as a file transferring app though. As with all of the featured apps here, you can connect to Mac or PC. You can view most files AND you can listen to your audio files. A neat feature of this app is that you can connect and share files with other iPhones. I guess that’s neat. No, it is. It’s neat.

Bottom Line

This is a pretty bare bones file transferring app. It’s only a dollar, so you kind of get what you pay for there. You still can’t create folders in the app to organize your files. Also, I was only able to connect through a web browser. I tried using Finder to connect to the IP address the app gave me, and it never once worked. So I’m not sure if you always have to use a web browser or not.

Verdict: Should Be Free 


Air Sharing

 

 

Air Sharing v1.1 | Published by Avatron Software, Inc. | Via App Store | $4.99 | Released: 12-15-08

 

Overview

We reviewed this app earlier, but allow me to go over the features. Like the others, Air Sharing works on both Mac and PC via WiFi, and you can view files/video/audio. There’s a passcode lock option as well as an option to turn you’re phone’s sleep off, or to a longer time of inactivity while the app is in use. Unlike all of the other apps though, Air Sharing lets me view rtf files. I don’t know why none of the others did. Very strange- because at my job a lot of people send files created in Text Edit on the Mac. While there’s no finder, you can press the folder name and a list of all available folders will appear so you can navigate around a little faster.

Bottom Line

Since this was the first file transferring app I was introduced to many moons ago, I’ll always have a special fondness for it. However, I can say quite objectively that it’s not the best of the apps I reviewed. Its inability to create folders in the app is frustrating. (That’s a big deal for me, as you may have guessed by now.) I like to keep things organized, and I don’t want to have to do it all on my computer. Other than that, it’s a solid app. I’ve never had a single problem connecting to it, (I’m looking at you, iDownload). It’s a solid app that will get the job done- but it’s not the best. Sorry, Air Sharing… I hope we can still be friends.

Verdict: Download Worthy

 

File Magic

 

 

File Magic v1.0 | Published by SplashData | Via App Store | $4.99 | Released: 01-02-09

 

Overview

File Magic was created by the most notable developers of the file transferring app bunch, Splashdata. Splashdata, has been creating windows mobile and palm software for years so I was excited to try their iPhone variant. Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way: Supports both Mac and PC, but no ability to organize files in app. What makes this app unique, is that it comes with File Magic iPhone Desktop Companion. You will need the desktop client to sync with your iPhone, but once you download it, all you have to do is drag and drop. It is a lot nicer than the web interfaces of the other apps. It also reads all file types it supports, including .doc and .rtf files and allows users to set a password. A drawback for me is along with no being able to organize my files in app, I can’t even organize them in the desktop client. It shows all files by type but you can’t move the files around. I can choose to organize everything into a folder on my desktop and then drag the folder onto my iPhone, but that’s about it.

Bottom Line

File Magic is the easiest file transferring app to use on the iPhone. Since it is backed by Spalshdata, who has a great record of updating apps frequently, it is well worth the $4.99 price tag. I wish they allowed for some sort of organization but at least they let you transfer entire folders at once, keeping the file structure in tact. It also reads as many, if not more, file types than any other file transferring app in the App Store. If you’re looking for simplicity with a pretty desktop client to go with it, File Magic is for you.

Verdict: Download Worthy

 

Flash Drive

 

 

Flash Drive v1.0 | Published by Readdle | Via App Store | $4.99 | Released: 12-30-08

 

Overview

I feel like a broken record here. You can connect to both Mac and PC via WiFi, and view most files, audio and video included, so long as they’re supported by the iPhone’s OS. You can email the files from the app, if you’re into that sort of thing. There’s a passcode lock option to keep the bad guys out and… oh my goodness… you can CREATE FOLDERS within the app!!! That’s amazing! I can organize the heck out of my files! Sweet!

Bottom Line

This is the first of two apps by Readdle, and they even told me that ReaddleDocs is far superior to both Flash Drive and OneDisk (which I didn’t review because it wasn’t a standard file transferring app). Flash drive is a solid file transferring app. It has and does everything that I’d need one to do, and it’s reasonably priced.

Verdict: Must Have


DataCase

 

 

DataCase v1.0 | Published by Veiosoft, LLC | Via App Store | $6.99 | Released: 08-05-08

 

Overview

In case you missed our previous in-depth review, let me sum this app up for you. Connects to both PC and Mac via WiFi? Check. Connect through web browser or ftp application? Check. View files, including audio and video? Check. Now that we got that out of the way- DataCase doesn’t have a finder option- but it does have a filter. You can select to see only your audio, video, docs, or photos. So, at least they’re trying. When you create a new volume, you can decide if you want it browsable, readable and writeable to the outside computer logging in.

Bottom Line

DataCase is a fine app. I just wish that it featured a better way to organize your files, because like most of the apps I’ve reviewed- there’s no way to create folders within the app. I do like the simplicity of this app- and I like the fact that you can see how much storage space is left on your phone right there on the home screen. Is it worth the seven dollars? Yes- but Readdle’s Flash Drive works just as well, and it’s cheaper.

Verdict: Download Worthy 


Files

 

 

Files v1.2.1 | Published by Olive Toast | Via App Store | $6.99 | Released: 12-29-08

 

Overview

As with all the other apps, you can connect to a Mac or PC via WiFi. You can view most all files, including audio and video. What’s different about this one? Couple things. You add your uploaded photos to your iPhone’s photo gallery. Sweet. The app also allows you to email your uploaded files. There’s also a nifty finder option that could come in handy if you have lots of files and you’re trying to find a particular one. You can enter a passcode lock to keep unknown/uninvited people out of your phone. There’s also an option to prevent your phone from being able to sleep while the app is in use.

Bottom Line

This is a pretty good app. It still sucks ass that you can’t create folders in the app. (And if you can, please tell me because I searched and searched). There’s a free version, Files Lite that you might want to consider too. The only downside is you have a 200 mb storage limit. Which… is pretty goddamn small when it comes to flash drives. Also, the free version doesn’t have the passcode lock or the file name search… or the ability to add photos to your photo gallery.

Verdict: Download Worthy 


ReaddleDocs

 

 

ReaddleDocs v1.2.1 | Published by Readdle | Via App Store | $9.99 | Released: 01-10-09

 

Overview

Ooh, the most expensive of the apps I’m reviewing. This is exciting! Okay, remember what I said about Flash Drive? Same rules apply. What’s the difference, you ask? I’m glad you asked, thank you. Check this out. You can access your MobileMe iDisk, Box.Net, Filesanywhere and any other service that supports WebDAV access. You don’t seem impressed. How about this- ReaddleDocs allows you to exchange files with other iPhone users, so long as you both have the ReaddleDocs app. You can also save documents from the web into your device using the built-in web browser.

Bottom Line

This is probably the best of the bunch. If you have a MobileMe account, this app could come in real handy. I don’t have one. So- it doesn’t really mean much to me. But I do like the fact that I can create folders in this app, (just like Flash Drive). I like to be organized. Sue me. The ten dollar price tag (currently) is kind of steep- you could buy a real flash drive for that price. But this app has everything you could need.

Verdict: Must Have

 

The Final Word

 

 

I’m going to be 100% honest here. If you need a file transferring app to take the place of a flash drive- any one of these apps would work for you. Their primary function- acting as an external drive- works just fine. Some connect easier than others. I didn’t notice much of an uploading/downloading difference between the apps either. (And if I had, it could have been due to my wireless network, and not necessarily the app).

I’d also like to give a quick heads up to everyone: Be sure to disconnect from the drive on your computer before you close the app. Because when I tried to disconnect the drive afterwards- it crashed my computer. Like that famous Creedence Clearwater song goes, “Pinwheel keeps on rollin’.

If you’re looking for the best of the bunch- as I’m sure you are- then there is a winner, though not a stand out by any means since they’re all so similar.

 

The Winner

 

ReaddleDocs | $9.99 Must Have

 

 

If You’re On A Budget

 

Flash Drive | $4.99 Must Have