Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Exchange Text Between an iPhone and a Mac Without Internet Access iOS devices
I was on a ferry this morning with no WiFi access to the Internet, an iPhone from which I could e-mail via 3G and an e-mail on my Mac I needed to send. With no wireless modem, no tethering plan and no Internet, I didn't think there was anyway I could get the text of the e-mail onto my iPhone without retyping it.

After a little thinking, I came up with the following solution that makes use of iPhone apps with WiFi syncing and the Airport menu's create network command.

First I tried setting up a network with the Mac, but an iPhone won't stay on a WiFi network unless it has an internet connection. So while I could initially find the network from my iPhone, it wouldn't stay connected.

It turns out you can defeat this by turning off 3G and Cellular Data in the Network section of General Settings.

With 3G and Cellular Data switched off, you can open up WiFi settings on your iPhone and select the network you've created with your Mac. In a minute, you should see the WiFi bars on your iPhone and you can sync using an app like Things that uses a shared WiFi network between devices.

[crarko adds: I've done things similar to this when in areas with no external access.]
    •    
  • Currently 3.33 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (9 votes cast)
 
[12,295 views]  

Exchange Text Between an iPhone and a Mac Without Internet Access | 20 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Exchange Text Between an iPhone and a Mac Without Internet Access ' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Exchange Text Between an iPhone and a Mac Without Internet Access
Authored by: garza on May 03, '11 08:24:44AM

Or you could make a new note in Mail.app and just sync your notes to your phone, no network changes needed



[ Reply to This | # ]
Exchange Text Between an iPhone and a Mac Without Internet Access
Authored by: adrianm on May 03, '11 09:16:54AM

And how would you do this without a network connection?

The point of the hint is that there is no wifi connection and the mac has no tethering capability.

---
~/.sig: not found



[ Reply to This | # ]
Exchange Text Between an iPhone and a Mac Without Internet Access
Authored by: garza on May 03, '11 10:58:47AM

you can sync your notes with iTunes...tho, I'm assuming if you have your laptop with you, you are also carrying a sync cable

Edited on May 03, '11 10:59:55AM by garza



[ Reply to This | # ]
Exchange Text Between an iPhone and a Mac Without Internet Access
Authored by: gregraven on May 03, '11 04:13:10PM

Using 3G?

---
--
Greg Raven
Apple Valley, CA



[ Reply to This | # ]
Exchange Text Between an iPhone and a Mac Without Internet Access
Authored by: Reaperducer on May 03, '11 08:29:44AM

Didn't this used to be possible via Bluetooth? I remember I used to send text files to my old SonyEricsson phones from my Mac by selecting the file in Finder and pressing Apple-B. I think I was also able to highlight text in an app and send the text only via a "Send to Bluetooth..." option in the Services menu.

(Sorry, not near my Mac or phone right now to test this out.)



[ Reply to This | # ]
Yes. It's a missing feature in iPhone
Authored by: lullabud on May 03, '11 09:05:33AM

Many bluetooth phones let you browse portions of the filesystem over bluetooth. I had two Sony Ericsson phones that would let me do this, the T68i and the T610. There are many bluetooth features that have been left out of the iPhone.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Which apps? And only text?
Authored by: ad7am on May 03, '11 08:50:47AM

Are there any other iOS & Mac apps that can do this? And what about exchanging other formats, such as the full HTML source of a web page or a .docx file? At the very least, if the length of the text isn't limited, this could be a great (albeit somewhat of a PITA) alternative to paying for tethering.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Which apps? And only text?
Authored by: milkmage on May 03, '11 12:28:58PM

http://tapbots.com/software/pastebot/

kinda does what you want. if you can copy it, you can paste it mac to phone and vice versa.

works beautifully (but only over wifi)



[ Reply to This | # ]
Which apps? And only text?
Authored by: Beweis on May 04, '11 12:44:35AM

My favorite App for this is "Good Reader". It allows me to exchange any files (full resolution photos, RTF, docx etc.) via Wifi und send them direct out of the app. No format or size limitations.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Exchange Text Between an iPhone and a Mac Without Internet Access
Authored by: rajington on May 03, '11 10:07:17AM

There are apps like Air Sharing (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/air-sharing/id289943355?mt=8 paid but free alternatives exist) that actually host a web server (and other protocols) on your phone where you can upload files (once you've created the network like the hint describes). The same kind of apps also allow you to use the new file transfer options in iTunes, under the Applications tab when you select your phone, you should be able to drag any file type.

I would not recommend it for internet access without tethering. It'd be extremely complicated. Maybe the browser/RSS apps that can cache webpages are a good alternative.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Exchange Text Between an iPhone and a Mac Without Internet Access
Authored by: ronwatl on May 03, '11 11:16:01AM

Bluetooth won't work - for general use the iPhone BT only supports select audio profiles, but not any file transfers. Actually tried (just in case) & got "macbook not supported" when trying to pair.

However you should be able to set up an "ad hoc" WiFi network on the Mac and configure the iPhone to connect with the selected SSID & password.
Then you would be able to use any app that allows file transfers & browsing (there are many - some I use: ezShare, FileApp, Flash Drive).



[ Reply to This | # ]
Where can I find the "Things" App...
Authored by: Mister Ed on May 03, '11 01:01:41PM
Where can I find the "Things" App you mentioned in the last paragraph?

[ Reply to This | # ]
Where can I find the "Things" App...
Authored by: harges on May 03, '11 02:25:51PM

"Things" is a task management app by Cultured Code. The website is here: http://culturedcode.com/things/.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Exchange Text Between an iPhone and a Mac Without Internet Access
Authored by: marksch on May 03, '11 01:55:17PM

"[...] an iPhone won't stay on a WiFi network unless it has an internet connection"

This is incorrect. With all internet features turned off, I can connect my iPhone to my MacBook's wifi. While my MacBook is not connected to the internet, I can put files into my MacBook's sites folder and access these files through Safari on my iPhone. This way, I can play QT movies and sounds, open text files in the browser and test any web sites and web apps I'm currently working on, without an internet connection. I did this several times while abroad.

Best,

Mark

---
Mark

Economy-x-Talk
Have your own custom software created
http://economy-x-talk.com



[ Reply to This | # ]
Exchange Text Between an iPhone and a Mac Without Internet Access
Authored by: harges on May 03, '11 02:40:41PM

Good idea. How do you determine the URL with which Safari can find the Sites folder on your Mac?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Exchange Text Between an iPhone and a Mac Without Internet Access
Authored by: marksch on May 04, '11 05:13:57AM

After connecting to your wifi, you can use the IP address that Airport has assigned to itself. You will find this IP address by going to the Network preferences panel and selected your active Airport connection in the left column. Suppose that your IP address is something like 169.10.10.1 and your user name is John, then you migh try a URL of the form http://169.10.10.1/john/dir/file.php.

---
Mark

Economy-x-Talk
Have your own custom software created
http://economy-x-talk.com



[ Reply to This | # ]
Exchange Text Between an iPad and a Mac Without Internet Access
Authored by: Jai Gill on May 03, '11 03:01:33PM

Slight variant but this is exactly how I transfer information almost instantly between my MBP and iPad using an app called ShoveBox (the iPhone version at x2 on my iPad) running on both platforms.

I start on the MBP by creating a WiFi network which is password protected (default 40-bit WEP) which then appears in the available WiFi networks on the iPad's WiFi settings so I select it and insert the password to connect.

It is effectively a private WiFi bubble between the two.

Fire up ShoveBox on the iPad and it syncs within seconds.

Question I have is: how can I monitor this bubble to ensure it has not hacked into it? Are there any tools for the Mac to monitor user created WiFi networks?

---
JG



[ Reply to This | # ]
Exchange Text Between an iPad and a Mac Without Internet Access
Authored by: joelseph on May 07, '11 08:12:16AM
Question I have is: how can I monitor this bubble to ensure it has not hacked into it? Are there any tools for the Mac to monitor user created WiFi networks?

Good question! I've wondered that for quite some time... I've had several occasions to use internet sharing from my Mac to another WiFi device, and I've often wanted to see what devices are connected to that network and what IP addresses the Mac assigns for them. Anyone know of utilities that can provide this info? I suppose something like Scany (for iOS devices) would work... but it sure would be nice to have a Mac utility to do this!

[ Reply to This | # ]
Exchange Text Between an iPhone and a Mac Without Internet Access
Authored by: jaydisc on May 04, '11 03:13:27AM

Turn on Internet Sharing on the Mac. Then your Mac will supply the iPhone with an IP address.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Exchange Text Between an iPhone and a Mac Without Internet Access
Authored by: glusk on May 06, '11 07:12:33PM

It's true. The iPhone hates staying connected to a WiFi network that has no internet access. I make local networks regularly for reasons you state here plus control of devices, etc. and I often switch in to airplane mode and then turn WiFi back on. I hadn't thought of turning off cellular data (which leaves phone calls intact while forcing data to WiFi). Thanks for the hint.



[ Reply to This | # ]