Easily access photos from iOS devices in Finder

Apr 09, '12 07:30:00AM

Contributed by: kirkmc

Transferring photos from an iOS device to a Mac can be a hassle. This is especially the case for those of us who take screenshots on an iPhone or iPad and want to use them on our Macs. I generally e-mail them to myself, but I won't be doing that any more.

A tip published on The Iconmaster website last week shows a nifty way to get near-immediate access to these files on your Mac. Here's what you need to do.

  1. Make sure you have Photo Stream turned in on each of your iOS devices, as well as on your Mac.
  2. Go to ~/Library/Application Support/iLifeAssetManagement/assets/sub. You'll see a bunch of subfolders with names like "013184d3f181aa175db7e48b08817861eff8cac25a".
  3. Perform a search for .png files in this folder. Enter "png" in the search field; you'll see only the .png files, which are all the photos currently in your Photo Stream.
  4. Save this as a Smart Folder by clicking on the Save button just below the search field. You can save this where you want: by default, this goes in the Saved Searches folder, but you can check the box that says Add to Sidebar if you want quick access from the Finder sidebar. You can also choose a different location for the Smart Folder, such as your Desktop. If you want this folder in the Dock, add it to the Dock by dragging the folder there.
  5. Whenever you need to get quick access to a photo or screenshot that you took on an iOS device, just open this folder and find it. If you have a lot of files, you might want to add the Date Created column (right-click on the sort headers and choose Date Created), then sort by this date (click on that header so the most recent date is at the top).
[kirkmc adds: As mentioned in the comments below, using png only finds screenshots; use jpg if you want photos, or kind=image if you want both.]

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