Turn Your iOS Device into Mass Storage!

May 20, 2011, By Christian Cawley

There are various advantages to having the massive storage that your iPhone offers accessible from your Mac. However in designing the iPhone icon to launch and I had devices apple decided that the storage would be available only to the Portable device itself and not the computer that it is synced with.

Clearly having anything from 32 GB of additional storage would be a considerable advantage, yet if Apple has prevented access to this storage from Mac OS X, then surely this space remains permanently inaccessible?

Turn Your iOS Device into a Mass Storage Device!

It seems that Apple are more concerned with allowing additional storage space for media that can be synced from iTunes than allowing the user to add whatever data they want to their iOS device.  Considering that the older iPod devices would allow you to store whatever the data you considered necessary, the current state of affairs is clearly unfortunate; however it is also more than likely an attempt to ensure the security of your iPhone or iPad. As such, you can kind of see Apple’s point, and it is one shared by other manufacturers.

However all is not lost. With the help of a useful app called Phone Disk, you can use your iOS device as external storage by mounting it as a new disk drive!

Using Phone Disk

To turn an iPad or iPhone into a mass storage device, head to www.macroplant.com/phonedisk and download a trial version of the software (available for PC or Mac, you’re looking at $20 or £13 in the UK; multiple licensing options are available).

Once downloaded, use the installer to setup the software, and when done open Phone Disk from the Applications screen.

When the software is running, whenever you connect your iOS device to your Mac you will see it listed on your desktop as a new drive that you can drag files to. Basically, treat it like an external hard disk drive or a USB flash device!

You best option for use would be to setup a folder for items that you want to store on the device (perhaps to copy them to another computer) and use this exclusively, as you will notice that other folders are visible that you should probably steer clear of.

Automatically Mount Your iPhone as a Disk

Rather than remembering to run the Phone Disk software every time you sign into OS X, you can configure your user account to launch the app by default.

This is pretty simple to set up – go to System Preferences > Accounts > Login Items and add Phone Disk to the list of items. Next time you login, the iPhone or iPad will automatically be mounted as an additional drive.

When you’re done, however, don’t forget to drag the drive to Trash before disconnecting it from the cable, to ensure safe removal.

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