Files ▪ May 12

When Apple was designing the Mac app iDVD, then-CEO Steve Jobs directed his development team to build a dead-simple DVD-burning application: instead of a mess of options and windows, Jobs wanted one window with one button marked “Burn,” which would be pressed once the desired video file was dragged-and-dropped into the window. Years later, when Jobs wanted Apple’s iOS devices to be even simpler, he dumped the Mac’s windows and drag-and-drop file system in favor of a grid of icons. There wasn’t even a trash can to worry about — instead, iOS would automatically discard unused files as needed.

While that’s great in theory, the reality is that iOS actually leaves bits of trash sitting around on your device, and there’s no easy way to clean everything up at once. iTunes aggregates various types of lingering files as “Other,” but doesn’t have a trash can, nor does it provide direct access to your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch file system so you can purge trash on your own. Consequently, your device may be holding a large collection of junk that could be dumped to free up gigabytes of space.

Below, I’ll show you how to clean your iOS device for free using two apps, one of which you definitely already have installed…

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Files ▪ December 1, 2014

Files ▪ August 29, 2013

From time to time, I find myself needing to send some files from my Mac to my iPhone, or from my phone to my computer. This is especially true with things like screenshots for reviews. In the past I have used Photo Streams or email to get the images from my phone to my Mac, but both of those are a little more annoying than they need to be.

Using a Photo Stream requires me to open iPhoto on my Mac, which means it will probably take forever just to grab a few images. For email I have to select all the images from my Camera Roll and either mail them five-at-a-time from the photos app, or copy them, switch to Mail, paste them into a message (which somehow bypasses the absurd five-image limit on in-line sharing in the Photos app) and then address the message to myself and wait for it to send, then wait for it to arrive on my computer.

There are also a ton of apps that allow you to connect to your phone through a web browser to transfer files, but those require the app to be running on your phone, and for the app to be in a specific mode to receive the files. It’s not seamless and it’s not as effective as it could be.

This is not a good workflow. That’s where DeskConnect comes in. DeskConnect is an pair of apps for iOS and Mac that avoids all of the unpleasantness of connecting the two devices and allows you to seamlessly send files from one to the other.

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