Tuesday, September 4, 2012

iExplorer Mac/PC software enables direct access to iOS devices

10/6/12: I switched from iExplorer 3 to the earlier version iExplorer; detail below.
9/28/13: For image transfer, I switched from iExplorer to Microsoft Windows XP Scanner and Camera Wizard; detail below.

An iOS developer led me to Macroplant's iExplorer (version 3) PC software (also available for Macs), which allowed me to send him a folder from my USB-connected iPod to help debug a problem with his iOS app. I subsequently found this short PCWorld review of it. iTunes 10 or higher is required. For my Windows XP PC, I did need to upgrade my .NET framework before I could successfully install iExplorer.

I don't sync iPod photos to iTunes or iCloud, but occasionally want to transfer a small number of them to my PC. Previously I would e-mail the photos to myself, then download them to my PC. iExplorer simplifies that task, even though the free Demo Mode only allows copying one at a time (9/16/12: The quantity of data &/or total files allowed to be transferred is apparently also restricted in Demo Mode; restrictions may differ in versions later than 3.). Registering for $35 unlocks access to all features.

I did not have any luck attempting to mount a folder on the iPod as a "disk". iExplorer crashed, preventing shut down of my PC, after which I didn't pursue further tests.

I also often got a seemingly minor Remote Procedure Call error on Windows when quitting iExplorer, but I just ignored that, and it never seemed to cause other problems.

Apparently this app was formerly called "iPhone Explorer".

10/6/12 update:
iExplorer 2 PC

I eventually learned that the Macroplant folks generously continued to provide their discontinued freeware iExplorer 2 on http://www.macroplant.com/downloads.php. At this time, I continue to only have occasional need to transfer photos from my iPod to my PC, and have switched to using this version.

Photos (and videos) can be found in the "Media/DCIM/100APPLE" folder (not in the "Photos" folder). When you click on a photo, a good sized image of it appears, but there is no thumbnail list view (as there is in iExplorer 3).

Screenshots taken on the iPod are PNG files, whereas pictures taken with its camera are JPG files.

9/28/13 update:
Microsoft Windows XP Scanner and Camera Wizard

I eventually had a need to repeatedly transfer larger quantities of images from my iPod to my PC, and began using the Microsoft Windows XP Scanner and Camera Wizard (available under Accessories in the Start Menu), a software program which also appears as a choice when connecting my iPod via USB to my PC. See Apple's explanatory support article, iOS: Importing personal photos and videos from iOS devices to your computer.

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