How can I transfer text and pdf files to my iPhone?
March 7, 2009 5:30 PM   Subscribe

Transferring files (namely txt and pdf files) to the iPhone 3G, how is it done? I broke it out of jail already, so what's my next step?

I have an Intel iMac running Leopard and a 3G iPhone. I "jailbroke" the thing the other day with the Pwnage Tool and have a few Cydia apps running.

What I am really interested in is reading txt and pdf files on this iPhone, really the main reason I jailbroke it in the first place. There are some good ebook readers like Stanza, eReader, and Kindle on the iTunes app store, but I need help in transferring the pdf or txt file from my iMac to the iPhone and able to be read by one of those book readers.

I've seen a few methods in which you use WiFi, but alas, I don't have a WiFi connection, so that's out. I've tried out PhoneView, but it doesn't seem to be the right program for the job.

So to reiterate, how can I transfer the txt and pdf files on my computer to my iPhone and read them with an ebook reader?
posted by zardoz to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You have a WiFi connection, just turn on Internet sharing on your iMac and/or create an AdHoc WiFi network.

The readers in the App Store are going to be designed to pull stuff down from the web or a special web service. Stanza works with Bookworm, but i think it is only for ePub titles.
posted by Good Brain at 6:06 PM on March 7, 2009

Response by poster: good brain--thanks for that, but I'm not up on that first part...any pointers on internet sharing and an AdHoc network?
posted by zardoz at 6:24 PM on March 7, 2009

Best answer: There are a number of apps that will let you transfer your files to your phone and read them. Filemagnet is one of them. It uses WiFi for the transfer, but as the previous poster said, it takes about 30 seconds to create an ad-hoc Wifi network using your iMac. It also lets you view the files.

Jailbreaking your phone is unnecessary for this.

Getting them into a specific e-book reader would be different. With the Kindle reader, for example, I'm 90% certain it doesn't read files you don't buy from Amazon. eReader appears to use a Palm ebook format and not PDF, so there would be some complex file conversion there.

Stanza looks like it can do everything you want - it comes with a free desktop app that will transfer the files (over Wifi, see above).

BTW, you probably already knew this, but you can also email yourself a PDF file and view it on the phone.
posted by mmoncur at 6:27 PM on March 7, 2009

here's a video that explains how to create an ad-hoc network - use your iPhone instead of a mac for the second part.
posted by mmoncur at 6:30 PM on March 7, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks a lot, guys. I'm almost there, I think. I got the AdHoc WiFi network set up and my iPhone is connected via this tutorial. But I seem to have another roadblock: the iPhone/AdHoc network isn't showing up in my Finder window. The fight continues...
posted by zardoz at 7:00 PM on March 7, 2009

I didn't jailbreak my ipod touch, but I use Stanza's desktop client in conjunction with the ipod/phone app - both free - to transfer files - also, Briefcase lite (free) does this, and so does Airsharing (not free). All allow for wifi transfer and reading of Word docs, excel files, pdfs, etc.
posted by rtha at 7:17 PM on March 7, 2009

Huh? Why not just use DiskAid instead of all this excess complication? You fire up the application, plug in the device, and bam, full access to the filesystem. That seems a hell of a lot easier than monkeying around with networking just to transfer a couple of files.
posted by majick at 7:18 PM on March 7, 2009

Response by poster: majick--I tried DiskAid and got connected to the root folder, but soon realized I have no idea where to put the txt files--can you tell me? Namely how can I read them with an ebook reader on the iPhone?
posted by zardoz at 7:45 PM on March 7, 2009

Well, that depends entirely on what you're using to read the text files. For myself and plaintext, I'd probably just read it with less in a terminal, but if you want to use something else for a fancier presentation, most likely that something else will have a directory called "Documents" inside that particular something else application's sandbox. Try putting files there.
posted by majick at 8:26 PM on March 7, 2009

The adhoc network won't show up in Finder, because it's not a real file-sharing type network. For the "legit" approach, you would have to use an app (such as Filemagnet Uploader or Stanza's desktop app) to do the transfer.

The "jailbreak" approach would be what majick said above, but some apps might not handle it correctly when you drop a file into their directory.
posted by mmoncur at 8:51 PM on March 7, 2009

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