Best photo collage apps for iPhone and iPad: iPhoto, Moldiv, Pic Stitch, and more!


Best photo editing apps for iPhone: Lightroom, Photoshop, Snapseed, and more!


These are the best private photo sharing apps for iPhone


Best camera apps for iPhone: VSCO Cam, ProCamera 7, Camera+, and more!


Best photo filter apps for iPhone: Snapseed, Litely, Mextures, and more!


Best selfie apps for iPhone: Picr, Snapchat, FaceTune, and more!


Steller for iPhone lets you turn your photos and videos into shareable stories


Photo Cast for Chromecast is your Google flavored AirPlay photo alternative


Make your iPhone better than a DSLR with these six apps!


Droplr discontinues free accounts, adds unlimited file sharing and increased upload limits


Snapchat 6.1 update brings smart filters, fancy text, and a front-facing flash


500px updated for iOS 7, finally lets you edit image info


Instagram Direct now lets you send private and group messages


OKDOTHIS gives you lots of photo ideas, encourages creativity and image sharing


Loom for Mac updated with Photobooth uploading, new uploader interface


PhotoSweeper for Mac review: Rid yourself of duplicate pictures effortlessly


Flipagram lets you easily create short videos with your Instagram and Camera Roll images


Camera Plus is back, with more features and a brand new design


Filterstorm Neue for iOS takes an old favorite to new levels, optimized for speed


Photo storage service Everpix shutting down

Instashare for iPhone and iPad review: share files between iPhone, iPad, and Mac instantly

Instashare review: Transfer files between your iPhone, iPad, and Mac instantly

Instashare lets you quickly and easily transfer video files, music files, PDF presentations, and more between iPhone, iPad, and Mac over local Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth. There's no pairing or fancy setup needed. As long as two or more devices are running Instashare in the same area, you're good to go.

When you launch Instashare you're taken through a quick tutorial of how to use it. Afterwards, you're ready to start transferring files. Instashare supports both WiFi and Bluetooth transfers. That means if both of your devices have Bluetooth functionality, you don't even have to be connected to the internet in order to share files wirelessly. To share an app from Instashare for iPhone and iPad, just find the file you'd like to share via your camera roll (photo or video) and hold down and drag. You'll be automatically taken to the transfer screen where you can drop it to whatever device you'd like.

There are certain apps such as document and media apps that have share buttons. You should also see a send to Instashare option which will automatically launch the file sharing option and let you choose a device you want to share it with. The Mac version of Instashare is a free download from the Instashare website. It will basically sit in your task bar where you can drag files directly to it. While Instashare does support all file types, I have noticed that larger files sometimes time out during transfer and I'm not sure why this is. I experienced it frequently when trying to transfer audio or video files from iPhone to Mac.

Once you've received files from another device with Instashare you can view them natively inside Instashare or choose to save them or share them wherever you'd like. If you have any third party apps installed that support those specific file types, Instashare will also give you the option to open them directly within that app. For example, if you're viewing share options for a photo and have photo editing apps installed, you'll see an option to open them directly within that app.

The good

  • Bluetooth support means you don't even have to be connected to the internet to share files
  • You can easily add and remove trusted devices within settings whenever you'd like
  • Supports any file type, not just photos or videos

The bad

  • Seems to have trouble transferring larger files resulting in time outs or errors
  • When sending multiple files at once, they show up in one bulk upload that you have to scroll through
  • Sometimes devices that are within the network or paired don't show up correctly

The bottom line

Many people have wished for OS X AirDrop to come to iOS. It hasn't yet. Meanwhile, Instashare is shaping up to be a great way to share all kinds of files between iPhone, iPad, and Mac but it isn't quite there yet. The amount of errors, timeouts, and strange UI bugs I experienced would keep me from using it as a dedicated file sharing service. For the time being, an option like Droplr that also offers link shortening services is probably a better one.

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

More Posts



← Previously

T-Mobile USA will offer free iPhone 5 to iPhone users switching from another carrier

Next up →

SimCity coming to Mac on June 11

There are 23 comments. Add yours.

ame says:

What are the requirements for Mac? The website doesn't seem to give any sort of data on that. Like minimum OS and that...

Allyson Kazmucha says:

Not sure, I wouldn't imagine very much but it talks about AirDrop so maybe you need at least Lion? Not sure, their website is not nearly as informative as it should be :\

freebass says:

"The bottom line

Many people have wished for OS X AirDrop to come to Mac. It hasn't yet. "

i'm guessing you meant iOS? :)

ame says:

She might have in her review, but I am talking about Mac. Not iOS.

freebass says:

yes…i was only referring to the line i quoted.
i know "Reading is fundamental", which is why i was left a bit confused at the end :)

ame says:

AGREED. I poked around on there a great deal, I tweeted them the same question and got no reply either.

I was hoping it might not require Lion yet. I don't want to have to upgrade all my stuff, the version of CS I am on won't work on Lion and I don't really wanna buy all new CS yet.

simsk08 says:

I really don't understand why on this earth is so complicated to just transfer a file from iPhone/iPad to a computer and vice versa. I have the iTunes installed but I use file transfer utility (third-party) to transfer files between my Mac and iPhone/iPad:

It's easy to use and work perfectly with both my iPhone and iPad mini. I guess it's available for Windows PC as well.

Riddlemer says:

Check out my PhotoToMac iPhone app. It transfers Camera Roll photos to your Mac over WiFi (no cable required!).
There's a free version available to give you the opportunity to try it out.

Michael638 says:

iPhoto works great for beaming photos, but not video from iPhone to iPad, uses Bluetooth.

asuperstarr says:

This is interesting, I will have to do more reading up on this one. Thanks for the review.

escapedrift says:

Only problem I had with the app was it made my video file into a zip file, so I couldn't use it on my phone.

simpleregrets says:

Been using the iOS and Mac app for a couple of weeks and for me the only problem is that the iOS app keeps the files you send in a cache mode so the disk usage become very heavy when you send videos. Mine is currently at 2GB and there is no way to clean the cache, i have been deleteing and reinstalling the app when this happens. Airdrop support would be awesome.

omniusovermind says:

Apps like this wouldn't be required if iOS wasn't such a silo'd OS. Android has been able to move files of any type between any devices, anywhere for years now

Turer Black says:

Thank you for the review, very interesting. For video files transfer I use ArkMC, it can share and download media files from external DLNA servers. I can share my video including iTunes on iPhone and download to iPad running ArkMC. Also I download movies from Serviio or WD My BL to watch during the flight.

jannie mart says:

Are you searching for an utility tool that helps you to transfer your iPad files to your computer then use iPad transfer for Mac software. It is one of the best software that helps you to transfer your iPad files to your computer in just few simple clicks. It is easy to use so just <a href="">get software Transfer from Apple ipad2 to ipad3</a>. It supports all the iOS devices and is compatible on Mac operating system.

jannie mart says:

If you want to transfer file from iPod to your computer then use iPad transfer for Mac software. It is designed with advanced technology and helps you to transfer all types of files. It supports all the Apple developed devices like iPad, iPhone, iPod, etc and provides you an user-interactive interface.
Read More:

Steve Hawkins says:

Smart App for all professionals who want to share confidential documents on a regular basis!
Also, this is a great professional file sharing app.
Agora Briefcase is a unique, stylized app which is so fun and easy to use to keep your files secure and share them safely with your friends or colleagues. Great app!
Link =
This is one of the best File Sharing Apps on the iTunes Store. For a full list of their apps, please visit

RyanJ81 says:

This app is not bad and the speed is fast, it can also make iPhone or iPad a flash drive.

dean tom says:

I hanppen to know an app, it helped me a lot. And it has introduced many other problems that you would meet about iPad, iPhone and iPod, maybe you want to know more in here:

Brian886 says:

iCloud - mobile trans. simple.
see this

Daviredlly says:

I feel like I have tried everying but I know there must be something I am missing! I rebooted my
phone, deleted all my backups in itunes, removed all the music from my phone by unchecking songs
and then trying to add them (in this case only 1 playlist stayed on the phone), tried manually moving the songs from itunes into my iphone by dragging them.... I can't even remember what else I did.

but I use Vibosoft iPhone to computer transfer app, works!

henrikcederblad says:

[ Q ] : Will this app support transfer from Mac to Mac in a local network?

(…AirDrop is not an option since it's SO slow in my experience.)