I was recently perusing the internet, and saw a question from a Reddit user that would make for a great how-to article. User “highdefinition3” asked how to transfer documents between computers using the iPhone.
Now, there’s no way to do this with methods that are built-in to iOS. Apple doesn’t provide a way to use an iOS device as disk storage like the old iPods did. However, there are definitely ways to do this through various apps. One good way to do this is through the app GoodReader. It’s available on both iPhone and iPad, though through separate apps, although both function in similar ways.
There are two primary ways to transfer files between computers using GoodReader as an intermediary: through iTunes, and through a web browser.
iTunes file transfer is simple, and can be done through both over USB and wifi. Select the device from the sidebar in iTunes, then click on the Apps tab. Scroll down to iTunes file transfer. Then select GoodReader. Either use the “Add…” button or drag and drop any files into the directory.
Repeat this process on the other computer to download files from the iOS device. Note that while it’s possible to download entire folders from iTunes, opening and downloading individual files from a folder is not quite possible in iTunes yet. Packaging folders as a ZIP file is the easiest way to transfer folders.
The other method is to use GoodReader’s wifi transfer capability. Launch GoodReader, and select its wifi option. This sets up a wifi server that can be used to upload files to the device from a web browser, and then any other computer on the network can also download files from that device. It is also possible to map the drive as a network drive, allowing for files to be transferred to and from the iOS device as if it were an actual storage device.
The downside to this and many other apps is that they are all essentially stuck in the app – if the app is deleted, then the files disappear. Public computers may not have USB access, or limited permissions that would make downloading the files or setting up the network file server difficult. As such, this may be best not be a serious method of file transfer, but as a matter of convenience in a pinch.