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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > iPhone to iMac bluetooth transfer

iPhone to iMac bluetooth transfer
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Posting Junkie
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Aug 30, 2013, 11:23 AM
 
The only reason I'm starting a thread here is because googling anything with "iPhone" in it returns so many useless searches it's insane.

Here's the rub, can I send a file (such as a picture) to my iMac via bluetooth? I've tried the same method that worked flawlessly on my Samsung Galaxy S to no avail on both my iPhone 4s and my g/f's iPhone 5. Any attempt to browse device returns a "device not supported" error, and there is no "share via bluetooth" option within the phone that I have found.

Is this just something the iPhone can't do, or am I missing something?
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 11:25 AM
 
I think I googled this a week or two ago and the only solutions I saw were turning on the icloud photosharing/sync which is not a solution at all.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 11:36 AM
 
Don't think you can. Basically the iPhone doesn't allow direct file system access, so you can't drop it from the Mac, and sending it the other way would mean implementing the send action in every app - doable, but few do it.

Do you use Dropbox? That's the best solution to file transfers to/from my iPhone that I've found yet.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
sek929  (op)
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Aug 30, 2013, 11:37 AM
 
So the most expensive smartphone on the market can't perform a function as simple as transferring a file via bluetooth, that's.......kinda ridiculous.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 11:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
So the most expensive smartphone on the market can't perform a function as simple as transferring a file via bluetooth, that's.......kinda ridiculous.
Something I did with my Motorola RAZR in 2006 no less.
     
sek929  (op)
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Aug 30, 2013, 11:43 AM
 
I used to transfer my shitty pictures from my LG flip-phone to my iMac years ago, and my Galaxy S made it easy as hell to transfer my photos as well. There are definitely times when Apple's closed ecosystem pisses me the hell off and this is one of those times.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 11:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
There are definitely times when Apple's closed ecosystem pisses me the hell off and this is one of those times.
But you're trying to do something within the ecosystem. Its not even unreasonable!
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 11:57 AM
 
Well yeah, but like P said that would involve some kind of file system access mentality that the iPhone just totally isn't going to get on board with.

I just find it baffling that the process of snapping a pic and sharing it on the web was actually easier 5 years ago with a flip-phone than it is on a flagship smartphone. Kind of embarrassing eh?
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 12:00 PM
 
Its not unreasonable to let iTunes look through your phones photo contents and pull them. Just like it does with music. And notes.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 12:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
I just find it baffling that the process of snapping a pic and sharing it on the web was actually easier 5 years ago with a flip-phone than it is on a flagship smartphone. Kind of embarrassing eh?
Gonna wholeheartedly disagree with you on this one. There are a plethora of ways to share a photo, Dropbox being my number 1 option. Bluetooth file transfer has always been a pain, and once you get it to the computer, you still have to upload that to a service. Sure, it is lame you cannot transfer a file via BT, but there are better, faster ways of doing what you want to do.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 12:22 PM
 
It's a flaw in general (and Dropbox is the fix) but if it's one of the standard formats like photos, you can either sync via iTunes WiFi sync (which is faster than Bluetooth anyway) or just let Photostream handle it. Or just do the share to web thing directly from the phone.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 12:24 PM
 
Honestly, if I want a single photo I just email it to myself.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 12:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
So the most expensive smartphone on the market can't perform a function as simple as transferring a file via bluetooth, that's.......kinda ridiculous.
The reason the iPhone is among the most expensive is because it's one of the best.

One reason why the iPhone is one of the best is because its entire design shields users from any complexities it can.

One of the biggest complexities for users to deal with is a file system.
The fact that users don't ever have to deal with a file system is pretty much a direct consequence of never even having been able to since the inception of the platform.



Anecdotal support:
I used to use bluetooth file transfer with my previous phones, and several times, I'd get stuff on a commuter train that was obviously intended for somebody else. Interesting.

Receiving a file on that tiny Nokia 6320 that everybody in Europe who wasn't using a Sony-Ericsson seemed to have for a while involved a long and convoluted process of navigating to whatever location the file would need to go into in order to be of any use whatsoever. Attempting to backtrack resulted in the loss of that file. I have no idea whether the ringtone we were trying to transfer ended up on that phone twice, but I was unable to locate it ever again and ended up sending it a second time.

Bluetooth file transfer was complete shit, IMO, and by the time the upsurge of Android smartphones made it even somewhat less than complete shit, E-mail and data contracts and Wi-fi had already obsoleted it.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 01:20 PM
 
I love how people are telling me what I should find acceptable.

Here's the deal. I take a cute picture of my cat, I beam it to my computer wirelessly without any syncing or other programs, then I use the full-fledged Facebook interface on my Mac to upload it and share. Anything that isn't this process requires extra work and added frustration. Including the ability to select a photo, and then zap it to my Mac via Bluetooth does not require me to see or interact with the file system so the exclusion of such a feature is ridiculous.

I'm not a power user, I do not sync my calendars and address book to my Mac, I have no music on it. I just would like to have the option to painlessly send a quick file to my Mac using the wireless interface that both devices have, simple enough?
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 01:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by abbaZaba View Post
Gonna wholeheartedly disagree with you on this one. There are a plethora of ways to share a photo, Dropbox being my number 1 option. Bluetooth file transfer has always been a pain, and once you get it to the computer, you still have to upload that to a service. Sure, it is lame you cannot transfer a file via BT, but there are better, faster ways of doing what you want to do.
Uhhh, what exactly is faster then selecting a photo I just took and clicking "share via Bluetooth" and having it appear on my Mac? I don't care about integration with apps or online services, sending one simple file to a computer is tech that is a decade old, why exclude such a simple function?

Edit: Unless I'm missing something the dropbox app wants to move all my photos into my dropbox instead of letting me select individual photos I would like to be in there.

Editx2: This has been yet another fine example of an Apple device missing a simplistic function and the Apple faithful rushing in to defend the reasoning behind such an oversight, not only defending it, but rationalizing why it shouldn't be an issue in the first place.
( Last edited by sek929; Aug 30, 2013 at 01:32 PM. )
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 01:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
I love how people are telling me what I should find acceptable.

Here's the deal. I take a cute picture of my cat, I beam it to my computer wirelessly without any syncing or other programs, then I use the full-fledged Facebook interface on my Mac to upload it and share. Anything that isn't this process requires extra work and added frustration.
How exactly is this process LESS work than opening the Facebook iOS app and uploading the photo of your cat?
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 01:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
Edit: Unless I'm missing something the dropbox app wants to move all my photos into my dropbox instead of letting me select individual photos I would like to be in there.
You are missing something. The Camera Upload feature serves as a way to upload all photos in the camera roll automatically, when the app is launched. If you do not want this, turn it off.

Instead, navigate to the folder you want to put the photo, tap the ellipses (...) in the top right of the app, and tap Upload. Select the individual photos you want to upload.
     
sek929  (op)
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Aug 30, 2013, 01:43 PM
 
Because the Facebook app is complete garbage, does not let you manage your albums (everything goes into Mobile Uploads), and I find typing anything on an iPhone screen to be excruciating, not to mention I am sitting in front of a modern Mac and the process I am describing worked great on a goddamn flip phone.

I get it, there are a number of ways to go about what I am describing, that is not the issue at hand, the issue at hand is how a simple process involving two devices with wireless transfer technology does not work because Apple doesn't think I need to use it.

This issue right here, this is the exact reason people buy Androids, something I'm sure you'll all scoff at, but it's the truth.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 01:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by abbaZaba View Post
You are missing something. The Camera Upload feature serves as a way to upload all photos in the camera roll automatically, when the app is launched. If you do not want this, turn it off.

Instead, navigate to the folder you want to put the file, tap the ellipses (...) in the top right of the app, and tap Upload. Select the individual photos you want to upload.
Theres the info I needed, thank you. Dropbox will just have to take over this duty, but the process is still borked. Instead of the file itself having the sharing options I want, I need to use the dropbox app itself to handle uploading to my machine.

I get it, I'm a dinosaur, integration of ones smartphone has reached a level I no longer care to participate in, but I just figured that something simple and familiar could be accomplished using some of the highest end hardware available today.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 01:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
I get it, there are a number of ways to go about what I am describing, that is not the issue at hand, the issue at hand is how a simple process involving two devices with wireless transfer technology does not work because Apple doesn't think I need to use it.
I will speak for myself here and say I simply do not understand why you want to use Bluetooth over Wifi. I am going out on a limb here, but I am guessing you have Wifi at your home where you modern Mac resides. Both the modern Mac and the modern cellphone are already on the wireless network; why transfer via a separate, slower wireless protocol?

This was easy (not sure I would call that process easy, I'd go with 'possible') on a fliphone because Bluetooth was the only option.

The nice thing about Dropbox uploading is that you can access the photo from any internet connected device with a browser. If you're at a friend's house just login and snag the photo there. No need to try to pair your phone with their computer, if it even has Bluetooth.

Consequently, AirDrop in iOS 7 is supposed to make this even easier, but we'll have to see.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 02:03 PM
 
Transfer how over Wifi exactly? Drop box?

I assume there is no feature to use Wifi to instantly teleport a file direct from Phone to Mac without any middleman? Transferring a phtoto using old terrible bluetooth is plenty fast, and like I said is the shortest route from picture I just took to file on my computer. If you have any way of simulating such a process any other way I am all ears, I really am.

Edit: I get it, I'm going to use dropbox now, but there is no good reason sharing over Bluetooth isn't an included option.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 02:12 PM
 
Bittorrent Sync.

Create a folder for your photos on your Mac

Add folder to Bittorrent Sync iOS app via QR code

From phone, add files to that folder and watch them sync to your Mac via wifi, no middleman involved.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 02:15 PM
 
I'll give that a shot, thank you. Another issue is that my g/f wants to send her photos to my computer as well, and the paltry 2GB drop box folder won't be able to cope with the amount of photos she takes in one month.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 02:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
I'll give that a shot, thank you. Another issue is that my g/f wants to send her photos to my computer as well, and the paltry 2GB drop box folder won't be able to cope with the amount of photos she takes in one month.
Then add your photo folder on your Mac to her BT Sync app on her iphone. You do this by scanning the QR code displayed on the Mac. The size of the folder is limited by the size of whatever HDD it resides on.

For what it is worth, I just noticed the BT Sync iOS app has a feature like Dropbox where it will sync the entire Camera Roll, if you want it to. Otherwise you can select photos individually
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 02:29 PM
 
Yeah BT Sync seems like the way of the future for the level of file transferring I'll be doing. I'll get the g/f's phone set up tonight and then we can both dump whatever we need onto my iMac with relative ease.

Thank you for your help.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 02:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
I love how people are telling me what I should find acceptable.
I hope you weren't referring to my post. That was certainly not my intent.

Anyway, AirDrop will do what you ask via Wi-Fi, come September.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 02:46 PM
 
Add me to those who used to transfer picts from an old-world phone (BlackBerry Pearl) to the Mac via BT.

For such a task I really like PhotoSync

Home - www.photosync-app.com
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 03:01 PM
 
Two things that have been said, but I'm not sure you tried yet:

Photostream: just enable it and your photo shows up in iPhoto without doing anything.
ITunes sync: just enable it, and you can trigger from either side. You can disable a lot of the syncing stuff if you just want to sync photos.

I guess that you want to do it the way you always did, but there are other ways. If we take the inevitable car analogy, you're trying to drive to work from home and find that your usual way is blocked by roadworks - roadworks that are going to be finished by September 20th or thereabouts - and you don't want to try any of the other roads you are being directed to.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 06:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I hope you weren't referring to my post. That was certainly not my intent.

Anyway, AirDrop will do what you ask via Wi-Fi, come September.
I may have been expecting to become a bit defensive about the subject but I was simply frustrated there was no built-in iPhone system to easily transfer files. If IOS 7 allows me to easily beam a file to my Mac then it'll be about damn time IMO.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 09:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
So the most expensive smartphone on the market can't perform a function as simple as transferring a file via bluetooth, that's.......kinda ridiculous.
The iPhone is definitely not the most expensive smartphone on the market. Verizon has 2 Android phones at a higher price (with contract) and 4 phones at the same price point as the iPhone 5.

Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
I'll give that a shot, thank you. Another issue is that my g/f wants to send her photos to my computer as well, and the paltry 2GB drop box folder won't be able to cope with the amount of photos she takes in one month.
Dropbox increases your available space when you turn on Camera Upload and upload pictures. I'm up to 9+GB of free space between Camera Upload space and referral space (for inviting friends to Dropbox).

Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
I may have been expecting to become a bit defensive about the subject but I was simply frustrated there was no built-in iPhone system to easily transfer files.
You mean like Photostream? I used to use Bluetooth to zap pictures to my Mac, but ever since getting a real phone, I've never had to (or wanted to) do that again.
     
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Aug 31, 2013, 06:59 AM
 
Ok I'm not going to argue about this, yes this is something Apple should have made more simple
for those not wanting to turn on Photostream and share other files!

Anyway this will hopefully be in iOS7 & Mavericks.
Still if you want to try Instashare - Instashare – Transfer files the easy way, AirDrop for iOS & OSX & younity
The second does a lot more but isn't FREE.
     
   
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