Ever since the original iPhone came out, people have complained about Apple’s decision to prevent its use as a portable drive. Apple’s original iPods (excluding the iPod Touch) all supported the use of the device as an external drive which would show up in Windows or MacOS as another disk drive.
There have been a myriad of solutions for iOS devices released over the years that enable similar functionality however this has normally involved the use of Wi-Fi and an FTP program to make it work. Some solutions also need you to jailbreak your device which may contravene corporate security policies if used with your work e-mail or Wi-Fi network. Otherwise, there are some users who just don’t like the idea of hacking their device.
Luckily, there is a great solution called Phone Disk from Macroplant. it’s a relatively small download (just under two megabytes for the bandwidth impaired) and installation is a snap (just make sure you have at least iTunes 9 installed as well as MacOS X 10.5 or later if you are on a Mac). When the application runs for the first time, it will ask for a registration code or offer to give you a limited time trial. Up to 1st December, you can get a code from the Phone disk page which will unlock the full version of the software (worth $10) for free – that’s a pretty sweet deal!
You may need to restart your computer before Phone Disk will work properly but other than that you should be able to see your device as a regular drive.
The great thing about Phone Disk is that you aren’t just limited to one device at any one time, you can plug in as many devices as you like as long as you have free drive letters for assignment. There are also a handful of options that you can change in the Phone Disk application such as:
- Starting Phone Disk on boot,
- Changing the presented root folder for the device to the real root folder of the device (however this requires a jailbreak),
- Reuse of the same drive letter when reconnecting a device.
It really couldn’t be any simpler and I think the best thing is that you won’t know the Phone Disk application is there at all (no nag screens, flashing windows or popups). Check it out!