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Use an IMAP email account for file storage on iPhone iOS devices
Since the iPhone, unlike an iPod, does not do disk mode, one cannot store files in memory and attach them to an email on the iPhone (as I used to do on the Treo). I needed to be able to store certain files that I would be emailing to many recipients in the course of a job.

The solution is to use IMAP as the mail protocol (either a vanilla IMAP server, .Mac or, it looks like Yahoo Mail on the iPhone uses IMAP). Once you're syncing via IMAP, creat a new folder on the IMAP server (via Mail app on the Mac); I called mine AttachmentFiles. Next, email yourself the files you want to use, and then move the received email to the new folder. Sync up with your iPhone, and you will see the new folder and the email therein.

To send those files, just choose the email that contains the one you want, and forward it with the option to include attachments.
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Use an IMAP email account for file storage on iPhone | 9 comments | Create New Account
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Use an IMAP email account for file storage on iPhone
Authored by: Loren on Jul 05, '07 09:02:24AM

My iPhone only shows the inbox for my IMAP server. None of the subfolders. How did you get your iPhone to show other folder?



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Use an IMAP email account for file storage on iPhone
Authored by: ZenBrayn on Jul 05, '07 11:37:58AM

I too have seen this behavior. One of my IMAP accounts only shows an Inbox (despite the fact that I have multiple folders on the server), while another account shows all of the folders on the server. Does anyone know if there is a Mail.app, iPhone Mail, or server side configuration setting to change?



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Use an IMAP email account for file storage on iPhone
Authored by: Loren on Jul 05, '07 12:32:18PM

I think it's server side. .Mac mail and Yahoo mail both let you access other folders that are at the same level as your inbox. But on my IMAP server, my folders are all subfolders of the inbox and that's where the problem lies.



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Use an IMAP email account for file storage on iPhone
Authored by: superg on Jul 05, '07 01:08:23PM

I fixed this with my IMAP account by setting the IMAP Path Prefix to "INBOX". It's in the advanced tab under the Accounts preference.



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Use an IMAP email account for file storage on iPhone
Authored by: ZenBrayn on Jul 05, '07 02:53:28PM

Thanks superg! That fixed it.



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Use an IMAP email account for file storage on iPhone
Authored by: palletguru on Jul 05, '07 01:44:08PM

I was dismayed that the folders in my IMAP account did not load (aside from the INBOX). I thought to myself that I would have to wait for a software update from Apple to fix this. Well, by changing the prefix to INBOX, like the previous poster, I now see all my messages. Nice!



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Use an IMAP email account for file storage on iPhone
Authored by: RichTherrn on Jul 05, '07 02:28:01PM

I did the same, except I set the Mail for dot mac preferences to store sent mail ON the iPhone. emailed a document to myself from dot Mac... then when I got it on the iPhone, I used the move icon to move it to the local Sent folder. (you could use the local Draft or local Trash folder as well).
This way I have access to important documents even when I don't have WiFi or Edge access... Its a very clunky way of having some local file storage.



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Use an IMAP email account for file storage on iPhone
Authored by: mjosephschaller on Jul 06, '07 11:03:08AM

You could create a folder in Mail called MyFiles, and then create a Rule to put anything with "[MyFiles]" in the Subject into the folder called MyFiles.

Then any file with that prefix in the Subject would be automatically filed for you, and could be forwarded from there.

I don't have my iPhone yet, so I can't tell if you have to physically have the file on your iPhone to forward it, or if it might merely reside on your IMAP account server and forward from there. Perhaps someone else can test this.



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Use an IMAP email account for file storage on iPhone
Authored by: Loren on Aug 24, '07 09:56:07AM

FYI, I had to wipe my iPhone and rebuild it and with the current releases it looks like I no longer need INBOX as the IMAP path.



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