Transfer files to your iOS device remotely

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Reader Jim Ross seeks a slicker way to add files to his iPad. He writes:

I admit it, I’m a lazy iPad user. My Mac is up in the attic where I work and I use my iPad downstairs on the couch. I occasionally want to add an ebook or comic or word processing file to my iPad but hate having to go upstairs to sync that file with my iPad via iTunes. Is there a way to do this remotely?

There is, but you’ll need a third-party utility to do it. Follow the comments that go with this story and you’ll likely find a number of suggestions. Here’s mine: Stratospherix’s $4 FileBrowser. It works like this.

In order for FileBrowser to “see” your Mac you must enable SMB sharing on the Mac. To do that, select the Sharing system preference, choose File Sharing from the Service pane, click the Options button, and in the sheet that appears enable the Share Files and Folder Using SMB (Windows) option. Enable those accounts that you’d like to share with FileBrowser. Click Done and close System Preferences.

On the iPad launch FileBrowser and tap the Plus (+) button in the Locations area. Enter the address for your Mac in the Address area (this will be in the form of something like 192.168.X.XXX or 10.0.1.XXX, for example). If you’d like to assign a name to your Mac as well as enter a username and password to access it, flip on the Show More Settings switch and configure the now-revealed settings accordingly. When you’re done, tap the Save button in the top-right corner.

Your Mac will now appear in the Locations area. Tap it to access its files. You can view some files directly within FileBrowser—movies, music, and pictures, for example. If you have a file type that can’t be opened within FileBrowser but can be within another app—ePUB and mobi ebook files, cbr comics files, or Keynote presentations, for example—tap the blue triangle that appears next to the file, tap Open In from the resulting menu, wait for the file to transfer to your device, and then select the app you’d like to transfer the file to. For example you could choose to open an ePUB file in iBooks or a mobi file in the Kindle app or a cbr comics file in Comic Zeal.

Again, others may have a different way to do this, but I find FileBrowser to be just the ticket for my needs.

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