One of the great things about the iPhone is that it can become just about anything thanks to the vast selection of apps that you enjoy through the App Store. However, thanks to some pieces of software you can truly turn your iPhone into things that you never thought of, thus enabling some really novel uses for it.
Perhaps the most popular example of this is using your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch as a portable USB drive to store documents and all kinds of files, being restricted only by your iOS device hard drive size.
If you want to use your iPhone or other iOS device as an external USB hard drive, here are three different applications that allow you to do it.
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We’ve already written about iTools before when we showed you how to transfer apps and ringtones to your iPhone without using iTunes. But iTools is much more capable than that. This Mac and Windows application, besides allowing you to visualize and transfer native content to your iOS device, also sports a very handy External Hard Drive option that turns your iPhone and other iOS devices into real external hard drives.
To enable this feature, first download iTools from the links above and install it. Then open the application and connect your iPhone to it until it is detected.
Once it is, among the options on the left pane of iTools, click on External Hard Drive. You will notice that iTools has already created a folder named Removable hard disk for you to place your files into.
To transfer your file or files, simply drag them to the folder within the app. Alternatively, you can also click on the Import button at the top of the iTools window and then select your file or files, which will be transferred and will show up immediately inside the folder.
iExplorer is an application for both Windows and the Mac that predates iTools and offers similar functionality.
Note: iExplorer is now a paid (and quite expensive) app. The links above are for the free versions of iExplorer that are no longer available through the developer’s website.
Once installed on your PC or Mac, open iExplorer and plug your iPhone or other iOS device to your computer’s USB port. iExplorer should immediately recognize it.
Once it does, open the Media folder and click on the New Folder icon at the top of the iExplorer window to create a new folder.
After naming your folder simply drag and drop your file or files into it within the iExplorer app window to transfer them.
Of the applications mentioned, iPhoneXdrive is the most recent to hit the market. It is free and is available for Windows users only (at least for now). I haven’t had a chance to give it a try yet, but according to reviews and testimonials, the application offers very similar functionality to the other two mentioned above. What makes it more attractive though, is that its developers have promised to keep it free and to update it constantly, so users can expect more features to be added to it in the future.
Important Note: In none of the above your file will be available through your iPhone or iOS device. These applications turn your iPhone into a real hard drive, so it will behave like one, which means you will have to plug it to your Mac or PC in order to access your files.
So, there you go. Three different alternatives to turn your iPhone or other iOS device into a fully functional external USB hard drive. All left to you is just to think about which files you want to carry with you at all times.