Easily transfer photos and videos between Macs and iOS devices

The Photo Transfer App lets you transfer photos and videos between your iOS devices and to and from PCs and Macs. A companion Mac app makes it even easier to swap between iOS devices and your Mac.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops, desktops, all-in-one PCs, streaming devices, streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
2 min read

Last year, Jason Cipriani covered Photo Transfer App, an iOS app that let you move photos and videos around on iOS devices and Macs and PCs. For the latter, it required a browser-based interface that required the cutting and pasting of URLs. Now, Mac users have it even easier; the Mac app provides easy drag-and-drop functionality.

The Photo Transfer Mac app is free, but you'll need to have the $2.99 iOS app on any device you'd like to connect to. Your devices need to be on the same Wi-Fi network, too.

Launch the Mac app and then click on the Discover Devices button to connect to your iOS device(s). The iOS app will need to be running on any iOS device you'd like to connect to. But once it's running, you won't need to touch your iOS device. Once the Mac app sees your iOS device, its name will appear below the Discover Devices button in the left-hand column. Click on its name and you'll see your Camera Roll, Photo Stream, and any iPhoto folders you've synced with your device. You can ignore the iPhoto folders, since their contents are already located on your Mac (unless you have multiple Macs).

Photo Transfer's Mac app lets you drag and drop photos and videos from your iOS device to your Mac. Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

To transfer photos and videos from your iOS device to your Mac, simply click on a folder and click on a thumbnail to select it (or hold down the Command key while clicking to select multiple). Then drag your selection to your Mac's desktop or a folder. Done and done. You can also use the "Download selected" button at the bottom of the Mac app to initiate a download if you aren't the dragging-and-dropping type.

To move photos and videos from your Mac to an iOS device, click the "Upload to album" button at the bottom of the Mac app. This opens a window, where you can navigate to a folder, select the files to transfer before clicking the "Upload files" button. The photos and videos will then get added to the Camera Roll on your iOS device.

Uploading photos and videos is a quick, two-step process of selecting the files to transfer and clicking the upload button. Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

A third button at the bottom, "Create album," lets you create new albums on your iOS device, which is handy should you want to move photos or videos but not to an existing album.

There are two minor drawbacks with the Photo Tranfer Mac app. First, you can only view 100 photos at a time. The app doesn't let you scroll through all of the photos and videos in your Camera Roll, which would be quicker than having to select the next group of 100 thumbnails to view using the pull-down menu in the lower-right corner. Secondly, there is no way to sort so that you see, for instance, only photos or only videos on your Camera Roll, as you can with the Scotty app I covered earlier. Like Scotty, however, the Photo Transfer App transfers full-resolution photos and videos.