Treating the iPhone like an External Drive

Of course the cord (or as the pros call it, cable) that connects the iPhone to the MacBook isn't around. Because it usually months between actually dealing with moving data back and forth between the iPhone and computer.

Some people are more organized when it comes to cables than others. Even in this time of Clouds and Wifi, most of us at least somewhere have a knotted mass of tangled, misshapen wires, many of which will never be used again. Power cables, data cables of various sorts. Does anyone still use telephone cables? Some of them are obsolete. Some we can't even tell what they go with.

You can label them with tape.  But with the wrong kind of tape that can become a gluey mess and I forget what kind works. Wait! Wait! They actually make labels specifically for this stuff. There are the handheld machines like the Brother ones that range in price from like $30 - $150. And there are ones you can write on manually like Kable Flags — which actually comes blank or in pre-filled sets like Entertainment, Computer Cables, Home Theater. The Unitag ones mostly have really good reviews and are basically plastic clips that can be removed and reused.

Another thing that can be useful, though maybe not for big power adapters, is to hang the cables on hooks or pegs. We made some really nice simple cable pegs for our studio along the lines of this tutorial, but ours are at an angle, as described in this PDF. They would have been way uglier than they are without the help of my super-skilled neighbor David Alley, though.

In this article from iHeart Organizing, a shoe organizer is used to store cables. And Terry White recommends using a plastic drawer-based organizer.

But this article isn't supposed to be about cable organizing. It's supposed to be about connecting my iPhone (4 — the one with the cracked screen) to the MacBook. And I think I'm remembering that the data cable I had actually died and the replacement is just a power cable: hard wired to the plug. So it's off to the store...

OK. Back with the cable. The iPhone is plugged into the computer now. I'm using an app called iExplorer. It's like $40 dollars and lets you mount your iPhone just like a flash or other USB external drive. It even has built in features to export specific file types like apps, images, videos and music. Here's a screen shot of me grabbing all of the iPhone photos and exporting them to a directory (folder) on the MacBook.

moving from phone to macbook

Whereas hooking up a camera to your MacBook, iPhotos gives you to option to delete the photos from the phone when importing. With iExplorer it's a little more involved. First you need to enable mounting the iPhone as a drive. At least with iExplorer version 4, you do this by right-clicking (with a track pad this is probably a two finger touch) on one of the items in the left navigation area:

picture of mount as drive dialogue

Then you will get a dialogue asking for permission to install the FUSE extension, which is free.

install FUSE extension

Do so and now you will be able to mount your iPhone as a drive and follow these instructions to remove images from it.

Here is deleting over 400 photos from the phone:

selecting the images
Selecting the images — first go to Media > DCIM > 100APPLE
the delete command
Right click to bring up this dialogue
confirm deletion
make SURE they are already on your computer if you want to keep them — as well as backed up (elsewhere), if you're smart.
iExplorer doing it's thing
iExplorer doing it's thing

That's a blog for today, folks!

Enjoy the free space on your iPhone. And being able to edit and sort your media on the computer rather than within a screen the size of your palm.