How to wirelessly send pictures and video between iOS devices and your computer

Currently Apple requires you to use an USB cable and iTunes to transfer pictures between a computer and an iOS device. This tutorial will show you an application that allows you to wirelessly transfer pictures and videos between a computer and iOS device(s).

Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
4 min read

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

Currently, if you want to transfer a picture or video from your iPhone to your iPad, Apple requires you to sync the video on your iPhone to your computer, then sync your iPad to your computer (moving the video from the computer to the iPad). The ability to exchange pictures between your iDevices and your computer wirelessly exists; we are going to show you where to find it and how to use it. Follow along!

The first thing you will need to do is to buy and install the Photo Transfer App (iTunes Link). The app will set you back the price of a small mocha, $2.99.

The good news is that the developer made the app as an universal binary, so it will install on both your iPad and iPhone, meaning you won't have to buy more than one copy.

You will not need to install anything on the computer you will be using to send and receive pictures from. The service only requires you to have a working Wi-Fi connection and a working Internet browser. (Make sure the devices you will be using to transfer pictures and videos are both on the same Wi-Fi network before you start.)

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

When you open the app you will see be presented with a screen like the one above. As you can see, the app defaults to PC Transfer.

To get your computer and your iPhone or iPad talking, you need to navigate your computer's browser to the URL listed on this screen of the app. The URL you enter will vary depending on if you are using a Mac or a Windows machine.

To enter the URL, open your browser of choice and type the URL shown to you in the app like you would any other URL, press return.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

After you have entered the URL, you should be presented with screen like the one above. Your computer is now ready and eagerly waiting for pictures to be sent over from your iPhone or iPad.

On your iOS device tap on Select Photos & Videos. You will be presented with all of the photos stored in your device's Photo Library. Select the pictures and/or videos you would like to send to your computer. Once you are finished, tap Done in the upper-right-hand corner.

Go back to your computer and the page we navigated to earlier, if the photos aren't already visible, click on Refresh.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

You can now save the pictures to your computer. Decide on what resolution you would like, medium or full, click on the corresponding link. A new window should open showing you the photo. Right-click on the picture and select Save Image As or Save Target As. Decide where you would like to save the picture, name the file, and press Save.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

You can also send pictures and videos to your iOS device by tapping on the Receive button under PC Transfer on your iPhone or iPad. In your computer browser, click on the Upload button for whatever type of media you wish to transfer. Navigate to the location of the media, select the file(s), click on Open.

You will then see a screen like the one pictured above once the transfer has started. After all the files have been saved, you will receive an alert on your iOS device confirming the total number of items that have been saved.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

But wait, there's more! This same app allows you to transfer pics and vids between your iPhone and iPad.

Follow these easy steps to enable the transfer:

  • Open the app on both your iPhone and iPad (This can be done between any two iOS devices, not just iPhone to iPad. iPhone to iPhone, iPod touch to iPhone, etc.).
  • Select the Device tab from the bottom row of options.
  • Designate which device will sending and which will be receiving.
  • On the device that is sending, select the pictures and videos to transfer, press Done.
  • On the receiving device tap on Get Photos.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

You will see a progress dialog on the receiving device, as well as an alert once the transfer has finished indicating how many files have been saved.

If the receiving device has issues finding the sending device, click on Manual Entry and follow the instructions.

You can now cut the cord between your computer and your iDevice and transfer your pictures wirelessly. While this method isn't ideal for transferring a large quantity of pictures, when you are a hurry and just need one or two pictures, this method is ideal.