Sunday, August 17, 2008

iPhone sync: WebDav, FTP and now ... AFP

After I read this review I, somewhat impulsively, installed Data Case:
DataCase Turns your iPhone into Wireless Storage Drive [iPhone Apps Review] - iPhone Hacks:

...One of the most anticipated iPhone apps, DataCase developed by Veiosoft has just hit the iPhone App Store.

The app turns your iPhone into a wireless storage drive that can be accessed by any other device on your wireless network, and includes a viewer for the most popular file formats such as Word, Excel, pdf, etc...
Sounded useful. I think it cost me $7-10.

Of course, on first try it didn't work. I was proud of myself for quickly figuring out the trouble. From my Apple Store post:
When I first tried this with 10.4, it seemed to mount, then I lost a connection. With 10.5 it didn't let me mount. When I looked at the settings, I saw it uses AFP -- apple file protocol.

I thought AFP was extinct!

It's a very curious choice, I think it says something about the limited options developers have to connect the iPhone to anything. I'm surprised there's any AFP support on the phone...

I had disabled AppleTalk eons ago on my machines. I restored AppleTalk and I was able to connect...
Wow. Now I've seen everything. Apple's astounding decision to bar everyone except the Missing Sync team from the USB cable is leading to the resurrection of all sorts of almost extinct file protocols. WebDav (yech), FTP, and now AppleTalk!?

So where the heck did this AppleTalk/AFP support come from? I'm sure Apple didn't just leave it on the iPhone. As always, Google is our friend (Nov 2007 - when iPhone apps were all hacked into unlocked phones ...):
Insanely awesome iPhone hacker and developer "Core" just finished implementing AFP for the iPhone and iPod touch. This software connects your iPhone (or touch) to your computer using AFP, the AppleTalk Filing Protocol. Your iPhone shows up on your desktop as a disk with full read/write access.
The great irony of the iPhone is that it combines features of the year 2015 with the year 1984 - requiring astounding gyrations to substitute for a Palm III.

A lesser irony is that Apple's bloody minded barracading of the sync cable is resurrecting near abandoned file protocols ...

PS. Omni Group? Maybe you should install the "Core" server into OmiFocus ...

1 comment:

  1. Gordon, nice blog and you are mostly correct. However, respectfully, webDAV is not an ancient technology. It's not new, but it's one of the most reliable and secure technologies available. Yes, I am a little biased because SwissDisk is a webDAV based secure online service. Syncing to SwissDisk via a webDAV app is easy. You are obviously aware of OmniFocus. It's the best way to maintain privacy and sync the iPhone real time via our secure wireless link. Sound fair? I hope you approve my post, thank you!