Review: Transfer Pictures & Photos Wirelessly between iDevices – Redux

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Photo SenderMediaTransferPhotoSync

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A few months ago I reviewed three nice universal apps that streamline the transfer of photos between iDevices and your desktop (see TMA review). Since then I’ve kept my eyes open and found a few more which are also noteworthy. These are quite different apps from each other with unique features that you might find appealing.

Photo Sender – Similar to the previously reviewed Photo Transfer app. What makes it stand out is its ability to add some simple effects plus do in-app down-sizing for quicker transfers.

MediaTransfer – Perfect for the person who takes lots of snapshots and just wants to periodically dump new ones to a folder his or her computer without any fuss — and it’s FAST!

PhotoSync – Lots of options and a very nice user interface. The best transfer app I’ve seen for sending and receiving photos and videos between devices and other services.

Photo SenderMediaTransferPhotoSync
Computer to iDeviceyesnoyes
iDevice to Computeryesyesyes
iDevice to iDeviceapp to appnoapp to app
Video Transfernoyesyes
Bluetooth OptionnonoiDevice only
Picture Previewat transfernoyes
Universal Appcomingyesyes

 


Photo Sender 1.01

Photo Sender is a good transfer app but unlike many, it provides options to slim pictures down so they don’t take up so much space (which is usually OK if you don’t need high resolution). It also includes options to post your photos directly to e-mail, DropBox and social networks like Facebook or Twitpic plus you can add some simple effects before transfer.

To move photos off an iDevice you first prepare a set of them in 5 Steps:

  1. Select pictures from albums/events on iDevice
  2. Select output format (zip, multi files, animated GIF, etc.)
  3. Select size of each photo (4 choices – small to full resolution)
  4. Select photo effect (none, border, greyscale, oil paint)
  5. Preview and choose e-mail, save or upload

You can preview the photos as larger images before transfer. This is good, however, it would be more convenient to examine them first on the iDevice’s thumbnail selection screen to help choose the best among similar photos.

Computer Transfers

To transfer photos or videos to your computer, prepare a batch of pictures as described above and Save them locally in Step 5. Then  press the Transfer button and start the Transfer Server (you’ll get a URL to type into your computer’s browser).

From your computer, you can select and pull any saved batches to your hard disk or choose pictures on the computer to upload (push) to the iDevice.

iDevice to iDevice Transfers

Sharing pictures between iDevices is easy when both devices are running the Photo Sender app. Pictures are selected as before and then transferred app to app over a shared WiFi connection using the Upload to Storage button in Step 5. Press Transfer using Photo Sender on the receiving device and it’s name should show up on the sending device where your photos can be pushed via the upload button.

Sending photos to Dropbox or to Twitter or Facebook is done in a similar manner.

Summary

Photo Sender is a nice app for transferring photos especially when you want to cut down their size before transfer (important when uploading lots of them or posting them to social networking sites). Its requirement to save batches locally before transfer to a computer seems is an extra step but it’s still straightforward. Detailed instructions for the app are available on the developer’s web site.

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Photo Sender – The Ultimate Multi Photo Sharing ToolDeveloper: Dion Cho
Reviewed Ver:1.01Min OS Req:4.1
Price:$2.99App Size:4.6 MB
  • Reduce the size of pictures to reduce transfer time
  • Post to e-mail, DropBox and social networks (Facebook and Twitter)
  • Can preview photos before sending
  • Can upload pictures from a computer
  • Not universal (but coming)
  • Must save batches before transfer to a computer
  • Detailed documentation is only available on the web site

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MediaTransfer v2.03

This free app has fewer features than the other two, but its purpose is simple: fast transfer of photos and videos from iDevice to computer. Unlike other transfer apps, this one moves media strictly via ftp.

MediaTransfer dumps all pictures in an iDevice to a folder on a computer’s hard disk. Once transferred, the app remembers what was sent and doesn’t resend them again unless requested. This makes it an ideal tool for quickly transferring the most recent photos to a computer without needing to select them individually. Note that iOS currently doesn’t allow apps to remove photos from an iDevice after transferring them, so they still need to be manually deleted.

The initial set up takes some effort, but once completed, it works great. Read the documentation which explains how to run a (free) ftp server on the computer and identify a directory (or create one) for MediaTransfer’s repository. On the Mac, for example, the default directory is the Pictures folder.

You get to Settings by a strong swipe from bottom to top on the iDevice screen (press hard). There’s a long list of options available you can see by scrolling up. Most aren’t needed but I decided to edit two things.

1) I created a directory called MediaTransfer in my Mac’s Pictures folder and entered its name into the ftp path.

2)  Then I set the Auto Transfer to OFF (scroll up to see it). This lets me choose when MediaTransfer begins the transfer.

Now whenever I want to transfer the latest pictures I’ve taken on my iPhone, I just start the app, press Transfer and all my latest pictures are sent to my MediaTransfer folder.

Summary

While limited in features, if all you want to do is transfer photos quickly to a computer, this app is ideal. You don’t have to waste time selecting photos, just start the app and transfer all the latest ones over. I found it very helpful to transfer screen shots I took for this review article. There is plenty of documentation and setup videos available on the developer’s web site — I strongly encourage you to review it.

Tap It Rating - 3/5

App Summary
Title: MediaTransferDeveloper: MapPin Software
Reviewed Ver:2.03Min OS Req:4.2
Price:FreeApp Size:2.8 MB
  • Fast and elegant solution to move pictures from iDevice to computer
  • Extensive documentation describing set up and use on developer web site
  • Set up is complex and may be too much for some users
  • Limited ability to select pictures
  • No inter-iDevice transfers

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PhotoSync v1.1

For flexibility in your picture transfers, look no farther than PhotoSync. This app is easy to use and has the most options and best user interface for selecting and transferring. All pictures can be viewed within the app by pressing the “eye” button at the bottom of the screen and selecting a picture.

Computer Transfers

Transferring photos and videos to or from your computer can be done via an free Mac or Windows application or via the web interface. Each method has it’s place depending on your needs.

PhotoSync Companion is a free desktop application that connects to PhotoSync via WiFi on the iDevice. With this application, one or more photos/videos can be selected on the iDevice and pushed to the computer. Where possible, this is the easiest and preferred method for transfer.

Transfers done in this way is called syncing and, like MediaTransfer, it syncs the chosen camera roll or album/event with pictures already saved to a directory on the computer. Unlike MediaTransfer, however, specific pictures can be selected to transfer in PhotoSync if desired.

For example, if you have 100 pictures saved on your iPhone, you can copy them all over to your computer into a directory set up in the Companion’s preferences. Later, after taking several more snapshots, you can choose to sync just the new ones but leave the 100 previously transferred alone or choose specific snapshots for transfer instead. This may seem complicated, but trust me, it’s easy to manage and very handy.

Photos/videos selected on the computer can be pushed to the iDevice as well. Transfers from the computer can be done via drag and drop or through a standard file dialog. Both Mac and Windows versions of PhotoSync Companion are available for download from the developer’s web site.

If you’re at a friend’s house who doesn’t have the Companion installed or if you want to pull pictures off your iDevice, you can type in a URL in a computer’s browser (similar to Photo Sender). PhotoSync has a beautiful web interface that allows easy selection and viewing of pictures on the iDevice. Choose a picture you want and click to download it.

iDevice Transfers

Photsync provides an iDevice to iDevice transfer capability, provided that both devices are running the app.

Transfers are done similarly to computer transfers where one, some, or all pictures can be sync’d from one device to another. iDevice to iDevice transfers can be done using (slower) Bluetooth when WiFi isn’t available.

Other Transfers

Transfers can be made from Photosync using the FTP protocol (you’ll need the ftp server address to do this). Dropbox and Flicker transfers are supported too. Like other devices, all three cloud services can be synced with one, some, or all pictures on the device.

Photos can also be copied to the clipboard and/or e-mailed from the view screen (press the “eye” button to get there).

Summary

For the most flexibility in moving your photos and videos between devices, PhotoSync is hard to beat. And the attractive and easy to use interface is just icing on the cake.

Update for v1.2 (6/20/2011)

  • Transfer photos/videos to Picasa, Facebook, Flickr and SmugMug.
  • Quick Transfer allows transfer of all new/selected pictures to a default computer (or service) by a long press on the sync button.
  • Resize photos before transfer to a computer or iDevice.
  • And more…

Kiss It Rating - 5/5

App Summary
Title: PhotoSync – wirelessly transfers your photos and videosDeveloper: touchbyte GmbH
Reviewed Ver:1.1Min OS Req:4.2
Price:$1.99App Size:10.8 MB
  • Attractive and function user interface
  • Fully featured with lots of options
  • “Eye” function to display pictures inside the app
  • Extensive help for troubleshooting
  • Upload to Dropbox and Flicker
  • Help text requires internet connection
  • Syncing devices and albums is an essential (and good) concept behind the app – but could confuse some users

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