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

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.