Review: Transferring Pictures Wirelessly between iDevices


Photo Transfer Pic Transfer WiFi Photo

We all know that you can transfer a picture or video between a Mac or PC with an iPhone or iPad by just plugging the device into iTunes and syncing. Other options are to do so using e-mail or even MMS. Oh… but that’s so 2007! Surely there’s an app for that?

In fact there are several. Photo Transfer, Pic Transfer and WiFi Photo are great examples and can come in really handy when you want the flexibility to select and transfer multiple items at once. Let’s take a look and see why they’re so useful.

First of all, since we have WiFi and bluetooth, it should be all we need to move pictures and videos around! A picture transfer app can make this task easy by allowing one to choose multiple pictures or videos and push or pull them to the device of interest. The big advantage over a cable is that you can move pictures not only to your computer but to a friend’s iDevice directly without going through the extra step of e-mail (as long as both devices need to be running the same app).

As universal apps, these three all have identical functionality on both the iPhone and iPad (I did not test them on an iPod Touch).

######### Photo Transfer Pic Transfer WiFi Photo Transfer
Computer to iDevice yes no no
iDevice to Computer zipfile Mac only zipfile
iDevice to iDevice app to app app to app no
Video Transfer yes yes no
Bluetooth Option iDevice only iDevice only no
Picture Preview at transfer thumbnail only at selection
Universal App yes yes yes



Photo Transfer 2.2

Of the apps reviewed here, this one provides the widest number of transfer options: iDevice to iDevice, iDevice to Computer and the only one to do Computer to iDevice. A connection between the computer and the iDevice is made by typing a URL or IP address into a computer’s web browser that shares the same local WiFi connection. This is nice because the app can connect to almost any computer that uses a modern web browser.

Computer Transfers

To transfer photos or videos to your computer, launch the app and choose your options to Send to PC.

Press the Select Photos button and navigate through the albums on your device; then tap the picture or video thumbnails you wish to transfer.

Enter the the listed URL on any computer’s web browser to make the connection.

From your computer’s browser you can preview the photos as larger images before transfer. This is nice, but it would be more convenient to examine them first on the iDevice’s thumbnail selection screen to help choose the best among similar photos.

Press the Download link on the browser and the selected photos are transferred over WiFi as a zipfile.

Uploading pictures or videos from computer to iDevice is done by selecting them one at a time from the computer’s browser and then pushing it to the iDevice via the Upload button on the browser screen.

iDevice to iDevice Transfers

Sharing videos and pictures between iDevices is easy when both devices are running the Photo Transfer app. Pictures or videos are selected as before and then transferred app to app over a shared WiFi connection.

A progress bar is displayed as pictures and videos are pulled to the receiving device. Transferred items are placed in the default photo album.


Photo Transfer provides excellent step by step instructions for each transfer function as well as tips for troubleshooting connection problems. It is the most costly of the three apps reviewed here, but it is a good value for the money.

App Summary
Title: Photo Transfer App Developer: Enrique Rodriguez
Reviewed Ver: 2.2 Min OS Req: 3.1
Price: $2.99 App Size: Size: 5.9 MB
  • All the options you need.
  • Great help text for troubleshooting connection problems.
  • Can transfer pictures from Mac/PC to iDevice
  • Difficult to distinguish similar pictures at selection time.
  • Requires same app to transfer pictures between iDevices.




Pic Transfer v3.2

If you use a Mac or only want to transfer photos between iDevices, then this app may be the one for you. Pic Transfer will move pictures between iDevices using either a WiFi or bluetooth connection or from an iDevice to a Mac (only) using a free desktop application.

This app has a simple user interface and can transfer lots of pictures without using a zipfile. There’s no help included with this app, but it’s so simple to use, it probably doesn’t need one. Pictures or videos are selected by touch from album thumbnails on the iDevice. As can be seen below, there’s no way to examine similar pictures (two checked ones in second row) before transfer so you either transfer both or guess.

After pictures are selected, the receiving device (Mac or iDevice) is set to Receive and the transferring iDevice is set to Send. Choose the receiving device from the menu on the sending device and voila the pictures are pushed over.

Here is the Mac app user interface that controls where received videos and picture are saved. It’s free and available on the Mac App Store.

Transfer progress is shown by a progress bar and count. The same general user interface is used on all transfers.


Pic Transfer is a great solution for doing quick picture and video transfers between iDevices or directly to your Mac. For 99 cents it’s a nice clean way to skip the MMS or e-mail transfer hassle. It’s the transfer app I use to download screenshots for my TMA reviews.

App Summary
Title: Pic Transfer Developer: Objective App LLC
Reviewed Ver: 3.2 Min OS Req: 4.0
Price: $0.99 App Size: Size: 0.6 MB
  • No nonsense user interface that makes connection and transfer very simple.
  • Multiple pictures are transferred individually without zipfile.
  • No need to enter a special URL to connect to a Mac.
  • PC picture/video is not supported (Mac only).
  • Similar pictures are difficult to distinguish when selecting for transfer.
  • Requires same app to transfer pictures between iDevices.




WiFi Photo Transfer v1.3

This last app has less features than the other two, but it’s free. It only supports photo transfers (no videos) from iDevices to your computer. Like Photo Transfer, you launch the app and enter the multi-digit local iDevice IP and port address into your desktop/laptop browser.

This isn’t as difficult as it sounds and once set up, pictures are easily pulled from your iDevice by the browser. One very nice feature is that the browser interface presents a list of your albums and allows you to preview individual pictures in larger than thumbnail size on your iDevice as you select them.

You can transfer photos one at a time by clicking on the thumbnails either in full resolution or as large/medium/small web-friendly jpg images using the save features of the browser. Multiple pictures can be selected at once and transferred as a compressed zip file.


While limited in features, if all you want to do is transfer photos to your computer, this app is ideal. It isn’t as slick as the other two, but it gets the job done.

App Summary
Title: WiFi Photo Transfer Developer: Janos Barkai
Reviewed Ver: 1.3 Min OS Req: 4.0
Price: Free App Size: Size: 3.0 MB
  • Selection of pictures is managed and previewed by receiving desktop device.
  • It’s free!
  • No iDevice to iDevice transfer.
  • INdividual transfers must be manually saved in the browser.


Ray Gans works as a Community Manager for an open source software vendor in the SF Bay Area and loves apps, wine & cheese and boardgames. He bought his first Mac in 1984 and has been one of the Apple faithful ever since. You can catch him on the TMA forums as Aeaea.

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