Version Reviewed: 1.0
iPhone Integration [rating:4/5]
User Interface [rating:4/5]
Re-use / Replay Value [rating:5/5]
Beloved though our iPhones and iPod Touches are, they can't do everything, even if we'd like them to cook us breakfast, or drive our cars, or...store our stuff. Wait a moment. Sure, your iDevice can store stuff, but it's pretty picky about what sort of "stuff" qualifies. If you want to load your iPhone with something other than music, videos, games, or photos, you'll need an app. As Apple's commercials remind us, there's an app for pretty much anything...even if the provided feature should have been included to begin with, but, hey, beggars can't be choosers.
Enter Discover, an app that lets you use your iPod as a wireless thumb drive. There a few different apps that do the same, but Discover has a distinct advantage: it's free. (There are ads, but what did you expect?)
You'll need your wireless turned on, of course. When you open Discover, after batting away a few ads, a "hint" screen pops up with instructions on how to connect to your iPod. On your computer, type your iPod's IP address (Discover gives it to you) into the browser, and a clean interface will load. You can upload and download files, and the interface supports multiple file selection, which is a nice plus. It's simple, painless, and, on the whole, it works like a charm.
There are some areas of your iPod or iPhone that are locked out, probably thanks to Apple-mandated restrictions, but you can create new folders and load your files in there. The interface can be a bit slow to load, but once you grasp how everything is set up, it works like a charm.
On the Discover side of things, viewing files (even when connected to your computer) is simple and painless. Discover supports audio (mp3, WAV, ACC, etc), video (H.264, MPEG-4), documents (.doc, .docx), spreadsheets (.xls, .xlsx), Powerpoints, pdfs, and some other formats that I'm probably forgetting. The reader can lag with larger files; Powerpoints and pdfs will experience bad lag if you're scrolling through a huge presentation or an enormous epic, and hi-res images will load slowly and in chunks—but I've come to expect that on my iPod. The image viewer is so much better than the built-in iTunes sync, which always feels like an afterthought. You can manage your photos, of course, which iTunes doesn't support, and photos aren't resized upon uploading, so you can pinch and zoom to your heart's content. eBooks benefit from bookmarking and page jump. Discover even integrates with MobileMe and (supposedly) allows you to share files across devices (haven't been able to try this, as none of my friends were around to test it).
The major problem with Discover is the speed. It's not really a huge issue, but it could use some improvement. Large images load in pieces if you're zoomed in, and lag as you scroll; pretty much any large file will have some minor difficulties. Also, while I love the image viewer for single images, it's annoying to scroll through large albums. You have to tap the screen to show the menu, then tap the "next image" button; I'd rather swipe to move back and forth, which is how Apple's Photo app works.
All in all, Discover is definitely a useful app, and one that every iPhone/iPod Touch user should have. At its currently unbeatable price, there's no reason not to grab it, and its wide-ranging utility makes it a must-have. So long as your computer has wireless capabilities, your iPhone may soon be replacing your flash drive.