SplashData’s File Magic Review


Applications that allow you to transfer files from your Mac or PC to your iPhone or iPod Touch and back again aren’t unusual these days. There are many currently available, and a number are quite good. File Magic comes a little bit late to the game, but it’s clear that the folks at SplashData took their time to think through how to best manage this task; they have come up with one of, if not the best, solutions.

To begin using the application, you first need to download the application to your iPhone for iPod touch, and you’ll also have to download the server software to either your Mac or PC. (That software is available here.) I am a bit mixed on this, since there are options available that don’t require additional software. Fortunately, the desktop software is free and is simple enough to use.

Upon first starting of both the app and the server, the program asks if you want to connect the two. Once you indicate in the affirmative, the connection happens automatically.
The user interface is as nice as I have seen. On the iPhone/iPod Touch the files are sorted based upon type. There’s an area for documents, one for music, one for video, one for images, one for e-mail, one for “others” (the dangerous black hole of “miscellaneous”), and an area for folders that you have transferred. That’s right, the application makes it simple to transform both individual files and entire folders. What I particularly like is that these areas are easily distinguishable one from the other, and are large enough to be “finger friendly”. If you want to grab images that you transferred, it is simple to do so with a thumb. The graphical interface for the server looks similar and provides an easy area into which you can drag files or folders you want to transfer. That’s right, the application is able to easily handle drag and drop file movement.

Once files are transferred to the iPhone/iPod Touch, they can be opened from within the application itself. That includes music/videos (non DRM) and images, as well as text documents.

file4The desktop server makes it simple to import your address book. Why is this important? Because while File Magic is one of the better, if not the best, applications for transferring files it has one special functionality that sends it over the top– the application allows you to create an e-mail on your notebook, transfer that e-mail to your iPhone and then send it from there. Why would you want to do that? Let me answer the question with an example…

You’re out on the road and need to send some e-mails. Best case scenario would be having a wireless data card for your notebook, or finding a high-speed Internet connection to use. But that’s often easier said than done. Yes, the iPhone is a perfectly capable e-mail device (and many of us use it as much or more for sending e-mails these days), but there’s no question that it’s easier to type an e-mail on a large keyboard. This application allows you to use your data-disconnected notebook to quickly write e-mails and then, with the push of a button, transfer the e-mails to your (almost always data-connected) iPhone in order to send them.

Once AT&T permits tethering, those of us who will be activating the option won’t have need for this functionality. But for now, it’s a great service to have available, and it’s simply part of an already excellent application.

file5Finally, a recent update adds yet another useful feature – you can now “beam” files wirelessly between iPhone devices. You can also email files as attachments from File Magic on the device. Finally, in the new version the company has tightened up security with a password option to protect File Magic access.

It is a very nice app overall. My biggest current complaint is the lack of support for documents created using iWork. Other than that it works well, and I especially liked the feature that lets you create an e-mail on your notebook, transfer that e-mail to your iPhone and then send it from therefor those times when a WiFi connection is not available for your notebook.

Full information on File Magic can be found at www.splashdata.com/filemagic.

You can get it in the App Store.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. If you are shopping on Amazon anyway, buying from our links gives Gear Diary a small commission.

About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.