File sharing from an old Mac to iPhone
August 23, 2011 10:13 PM   Subscribe

I have an old MacBook (purchased in 2007) running OS X 10.4.11. I have a new Verizon iPhone running 4.2.10. Is there a way I can share/send a PDF from my MacBook to my iPhone without Internet?

My MacBook's iTunes (9.2.1, which I think is up-to-date) is too old to sync with my iPhone, so I sync my phone with iTunes via another Mac. Right now I'm out-of-town with just my MacBook and iPhone. I don't have Internet except through data on my iPhone (or at a local cafe). And I haven't set up my phone as a hotspot.

I have been working on a document on my Mac that I'd like to email. And if I could do it with my phone, that'd save me some logistical complications.

But I can't get any files onto my phone through iTunes, since my iTunes is too old (and to upgrade at this point, I think I'd need to buy a new Mac OS, which I won't be getting since I will be getting a new MacBook sometime soon). And Bluetooth sharing is apparently crippled except for the address book (I was able to discover my phone via Bluetooth but not actually share any files).

I've been googling a whole bunch for this (but, again, on my iPhone, so it's a bit of a pain). I can't seem to find a way to do it. My phone will sync with the Mac iPhoto, and I do have an old iPod Touch which syncs with this MacBook, but I don't think either helps with this situation.

I'll probably bite the bullet tomorrow and head to a cafe with wifi. But do you happen to know of a way to do this via network sharing instead?

And, if I do have to get on wifi, can you suggest an app or something that will make this possible for next time I'm without Internet? Thanks!
posted by bluedaisy to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Option 1:
You'll have to use the "Create Network " function in the Airport menu to create a computer to computer network. Then you will have to create a WebDav folder on your Mac and then connect to it with your iphone using an app like GoodReader (highly recommended)

This should all take you about an hour if your a Geek God, several hours if you're kinda good with OS X or infinity if you're like the rest of the world.

Option 2
If you do have internet access on your iPhone AND your iphone is jailbroken TeatherMe (I use it - costs $1) from Cydia will allow your iphone to become a hotspot which will give your Macbook internet access and you can simply email the PDF to yourself and pick it up on the iphone. Total time for a total newbie - under an hour.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 10:38 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Something like FileMagnet will do the trick.

FileMagnet (or programs of the ilk) allow you to do it over an ad-hoc network. Just click on the airport menu and select "Create Network...", then do everything on the iPhone as normal.
posted by 47triple2 at 10:39 PM on August 23, 2011

Ah, I use Air Sharing which is $3 on iTunes.
posted by 47triple2 at 10:41 PM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]

Something like FileMagnet will do the trick.

Net program! But unfortunately the FileMagnet uploader (the part that runs on the Mac) requires 10.5 and above :(
posted by Poet_Lariat at 10:42 PM on August 23, 2011

Does it need to stay as a PDF? If you're just sending it to somebody to look at, would a JPEG be good enough?

Since you say your phone will sync with iPhoto, you could do this.
posted by Pinback at 11:11 PM on August 23, 2011

Poet and 47, would it be enough for me to download airsharing or goodreader as apps, or would I also need to download something to my Mac? I set up the network, but before I start mucking around with WebDAV, I want to make sure I won't end up frustrated that I need to get online with my computer. Thanks.

Pinback, that's brilliant! I tried importing a PDF into iPhoto earlier and failed. I had no idea I could send a PDF to iPhoto. Though now I'm not sure how to get a JPEG onto my phone through iPhoto (iPhoto will import from my phone, but can I actually export without iTunes?).
posted by bluedaisy at 11:32 PM on August 23, 2011

Setting up a WebDav server using Tiger's internal Apache server is not simple. You probably don't want to do this . I would recommend PinBack's method as being the easiest . If iPhoto will import from your phone then it will upload as well.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 12:12 AM on August 24, 2011

Air Sharing did it! I was able to buy their $2.99 app, and it was easy to set up sharing using Bonjour.

Poet, I could not figure out how to get a photo from iPhoto to my iPhone without syncing via iTunes.

Thanks to you all for helping!
posted by bluedaisy at 1:41 AM on August 24, 2011

Glad to see that it worked out for you. Just wanted to note, though, that setting up a server on the MacBook does not require WebDAV. Good reader will grab things from http just fine so:
-create network
-system prefs->sharing->start web sharing
-copy PDF to your ~/Sites dir

Done. Sharing this way is one way only, but it works in 2 minutes.
posted by mce at 9:13 AM on August 24, 2011

You can do this all with Mac OS and iOS built in features:
1. Create a network in the Airport menu on the Mac.
2. Connect to this Wi-Fi network on your iPhone.
3. Turn on Web Sharing under Sharing in System Preferences. Note the location of your personal website here.
4. Copy the PDF to your ~/Sites folder.
5. On your iPhone, open up Safari and go to http://[your personal website address]/[filename]
(where [your personal website adrress] and [your filename] are replaced by their actual location and file name)
6. When the PDF comes up in Safari on your iPhone, tap on "open in iBooks."
7. Disconnect from the WiFi network you just created so that you can again connect to the Internet.
8. Go back into iBooks and send the file by email.
posted by andrewraff at 11:21 AM on August 24, 2011

Thanks mce and andrew! That was just the simple solution I missed yesterday.

I had the option of opening the PDF in Air Sharing or DropBox, and then could email it with the link on DropBox, which was especially handy. Hmm, what if I didnt have one of those?

Anyway, thanks again, all!
posted by bluedaisy at 5:44 PM on August 24, 2011

« Older Finding someone for the job   |   Inspiration images for map-based artwork Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.