Why Do I Want to Do This?We’re huge fans of the iOS stable of devices, especially the iPad, but we’re not such big fans of iTunes. As old school geeks, we like just opening up a device and dumping files onto it. The file syncing features of iTunes leave a huge amount to be desired (and performing a task like copying over a pile of comic books or the like is needlessly fiddly and complex). Further more, there’s no option to simply open up your iOS device like an attached flash drive and copy files between your computer and your device. We don’t know about you, but when we want to transfer a bunch of files and hit the road, we want to transfer a bunch of files and hit the road–silly fiddly syncing processes just frustrate us.
iFunBox brings back that kind of easy just-sending-it-to-my-flash-drive file manipulation to your iOS devices–no more waiting for iTunes to chug through all sorts of backup, syncing, and other routines just to get the file you want where you want it. You don’t have to totally uninstall iTunes (and we certainly recommend keeping it around to perform iOS device backups), but you will definitely find yourself using it a lot less.
What Do I Need?For this tutorial, we’ll be using iFunBox on a Windows 7 machine and an iPad, but the application is also available for OS X and works with all iOS devices. To follow along you’ll need:
- One Copy of iFunBox (Free)
- One iOS Device
- In addition to the above, it would be handy to have a few files on hand that you’ve been putting off transferring to your device because of the kludgy iTunes transfer process (we have a bunch of comics to load into Comic Zeal).
Installing and Configuring iFunBoxThe Windows version of iFunBox is available both as an installer and as a simple portable app. If you would like to formally incorporate it into Windows, grab the installer. If you would like to create a portable copy (that you can easily sync to other computers via DropBox or otherwise take with you), grab the portable one. We opted to use the portable version; we like portable apps.
- The initial installation is quite straight forward (either run the installer or unpack the portable app’s ZIP). Run iFunBox.exe to start the process. You’ll see a screen like the one above.
- If you haven’t already attached your device via the USB sync cable, do so now. When your device is connected, you’ll see a unique tab for it in the upper right hand corner:
- Clicking on the tab allows you to switch between attached iOS devices (if applicable), as well as eject the currently selected device or turn on Wi-Fi sharing (more on this in a moment).
Three Ways to Import FilesNow that we have installed the app and checked out the default interface, let’s get down the important part: using iFunBox as a really fast and really simple file transfer/syncing tool.
If you want to import files to the core iOS apps–Music, Video, Photos, Ringtones, etc.–the Quick Toolbox tab is the way to go. You can click on the appropriate icon in the Export section up top to dump the contents of that app or you can click the icon under the Import section at the bottom for a fast-access drag and drop pane like so:
- We know after years of fiddling in iTunes this is probably shocking to you, but yes, you can really can just drag a bunch of pictures right onto the pane and transfer them to your device.
- If you want to transfer files into applications that would normally require the iTunes File Sharing feature, navigate to the Managing App Data tab:
- Here we see all the apps that support File Sharing from within iTunes, including the application that started our whole quest for a way to avoid iTunes: Comic Zeal.
- If you double click on the icon of one of the apps, you’re presented with a file browser pane in which you can drag and drop files right onto your iOS device:
- You can reverse the process, too. If you are at a friend’s house and you want to copy the media you put on your iPad, you can fire up iFunBox and copy things from it instead of to it.
- The last way, and by far the most powerful, to copy and manipulate files is the Classic view. Switch over to the iFunBox Classic tab and you navigate the entire directory structure of your device:
Now, instead of jumping through hoops to transfer files to your iOS device (and waiting through the painfully slow iTunes-based transfer), you can drag, drop, and fire off your files to your device as fast as the sync cable can go.
Note: If this Tutorial and News worked for you (and it should work), please leave a comment below. Thanks.