Some time ago, I looked around for a way to access my iPhone to use it as a portable hard drive, almost like a generic USB device, for copying files back and forth between computers. I decided on PhoneView. At the time I didn't even care too much about the other features it offered. As time has passed, I've liked it even better and better.
The application has been polished with each release and now includes a very substantial feature list. In no particular order, here is what the just-released PhoneView 2.3 brings to the table:
- View pictures on the iPhone. This was a lifesaver to me when iPhoto suddenly refused to import any of the pictures I had taken on my iPhone. It includes a thumbnail of the pictures (and videos) as well the time-stamp. You can even import them directly into iPhoto.
- Displays Safari's history, bookmarks, and open windows (ever visit a site on your iPhone and then wish you could remember where it was?). It also includes the ability to search the browsing history (URLs and Titles).
- View/Play/Export Visual Voicemail. Got a message you want to save? You can copy it as an .mp4 (or add it to iTunes, although I can't imagine anyone wanting to do that). The filenames include the date, time, and name (if known).
- Shows you a list of music, ringtones, videos, podcasts, and audiobooks on your iPhone, and allows you to copy them off the iPhone if you need to (preserving metadata)
- Use iPhone (or iPod touch) as a portable drive
- Access the full "Media" folder on non-jailbroken devices (jailbroken devices will have the full file structure displayed)
- Allows you to view/export SMS and MMS messages (MMS support is new in 2.3)
- View, Edit, and Create Notes
- View call log, including whether the call was incoming or outgoing, completed, missed, or cancelled (it also integrates with your address book, so you will see who those calls came from
- Play/Export/Delete Voice memos
The best part of PhoneView is that it does not require you to jailbreak your iPhone, and it is quickly updated to support each new version of the iPhone OS. I've never found myself unable to access my iPhone through PhoneView.
PhoneView can only be used over USB. I wish they would come up with a way to access the iPhone over Wi-Fi, but my guess is that is not possible because they would have to have an iPhone app to serve the phone's data, and I have a hard time believing that Apple would approve such a thing. Fortunately, I have an iPhone cable around most of the time.
The application costs $19.95, but that includes free upgrades for life. If you ever find yourself wanting more access to your iPhone, PhoneView provides the easiest way to just about every corner of your iPhone.