iPhone OS 4: File transfer via iTunes sync

Again it looks like the iPhone is finally getting in iPhone OS 4 what the iPad got in 3.2 with the file/document transfer feature now exposed in iTunes sync.

While the iPad version identifies document-friendly apps (like Apple's own Keynote, Numbers, and Pages) and lets you find and sync over files, the iPhone OS 4 beta 3 version currently only shows Mail and doesn't really let you do much. However, it stands to reason this will at least reach feature parity with the iPad when Apple releases iPhone OS 4 to the public later this summer.

Now all we need is an elegant way to share and wirelessly sync those documents across multiple devices and users. MobileMe 2.0, where are you?

For more check out our complete iPhone OS 4 beta preview and feature walkthrough.


Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • File Sync ? Like for documents ? Yes. I asked them for exactly this. I asked then for a finder on the iPhone and a section in iTunes ( like applications or music ) to manage documents but also act like a drop box.
    I think apple is on their way to good things. If they push the capabilities of the ipad in 2011 I might get one.
  • Beta 3 recognises Stamza and lets you copy files over via iTunes!!! :)
  • For me it also showed stanza but it wouldn't let me sync any items to mail.
  • Stanza even :)
  • ...which would be handy if had a desire to carry a bunch of files in your pocket. Isn't this what micro-flash drives are for? Everyone already has one on their keychain anyway.
  • krypto74: No, it's for adding files to application sandboxes via iTunes over USB, instead of whatever (not always reliable) wifi transfer method or internet downloading method the app developer chose to implement.
  • check this video about the iphone out!!
  • Hmm, I think it would have been better if this was exposed as virtual folders via USB Mass Storage so you don't need special drivers or even iTunes installed on every computer you use this with. I don't like how they're turning iTunes into an even more bloated gateway. If they insist on using their own stuff for syncing can we at least have a trimmed down service that runs in the background?
    Also, does this allow for apps to share files between each other? I'm thinking it would be really useful to have a network share browsing app (which itself would technically support any file type) that could dowload Word docs for example, then open the docs in Quickoffice or DocsToGo edit, save and upload the new version back to the network through the first app. Kind of like a real computer...
  • @TKM: thanks for the clarification, I was lost on the concept.
  • I hate iTunes. It's crappy bloated software. Just enable mass storage mode already.
  • I'd like to see all app data exposed in this way so you can move game backups around easily. Ever start a long iPhone game and lose your progress because of a hardware glitch? I have, and fear of it happening again is keeping me from enjoying Inotia 2, Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars, and Final Fantasy.
  • I don't see how to get to this feature now that iOS 4 is released. Maybe it was cancelled.
  • Exceptional highlights with regard to upload files for getting me personally get moving. I am going to keep this specific website link and revisit this.
  • I have done mine successfully..
    read this..it may help youhttp://badtzmar00.blogspot.com/2011/02/iphoneipod-and-itunes-transfer.html