[digg-me]One of the reasons I chose an iPhone is because of the large amount of onboard memory.  However, a non-jailbroken iPhone can only sync files through iTunes.  That means you are limited to the files you can upload to your high-tech device.  That’s where applications from the App Store come in.

There are many apps that can fill this need.  However, two seem to stand out from the rest.  Datacase [iTunes link] was one of the first of the wifi file syncing apps.  And, Air Sharing [iTunes link] is apparently the most popular wifi file syncing app.  As of this writing, Air Sharing is No. 48 on the iTunes Top Paid Apps list.  That ranking, however, may or may not be skewed by the fact that it was offered as a free app for a limited time.  Keep in mind that these apps can only view documents and not edit them.

For a long time, I believed Air Sharing (pictured, left) was superior to DataCase because of how smoothly it handles PDF documents.  However, it appears that DataCase has made significant updates to compete with Air Sharing.

I downloaded the same files to both apps to compare how each app performs.

PDF – Winner: DataCase. Like I said earlier, I believe both apps handle this file type fairly smoothly.  When turning to landscape mode, there is a noticeable pause on both apps.  But, I’ll give the nod to DataCase.  DataCase has controls to go to the first and last page, which is helpful for PDFs that are hundreds of pages long. Datacase also has a great bookmarking feature, to tab pages that you frequently go to.  Air Sharing does have an accelerated page turning function if you hold down the button.  But, that doesn’t cut it when you’re trying to get to page 200.

Excel – Push. Both apps perform equally well when viewing Excel documents.  But, then again, I don’t have really complicated Excel documents.

MP3 – Push. Both apps had no problem playing the same MP3 file using QuickTime.

Pictures – Air Sharing. I downloaded a JPG to both apps.  I’ll give the slight edge to Air Sharing because I can use a double-tap OR a pinch out to zoom.  A single tap in Air Sharing removes the border for full-screen viewing.  In DataCase, a single-tap removes the borders but cannot recognize a double-tap to zoom.

MHTML & QuickTime Movie – Push. Although you can upload them, both apps equally failed at displaying an MHTML file and playing a QuickTime movie.  Granted, MHTML is a weird file type but I knew both could view HTML files.  And for some reason, neither app can play QuickTime movies which is really disappointing.

Setup – Air Sharing. Air Sharing is by far easier to set up.  It has instructions right inside the app.  DataCase’s setup is a bit quirky, for Windows XP users at least.  It’s best to go to the Veiosoft website to learn how to set up DataCase.

Graphical Interface – DataCase. Air Sharing has a straightfoward look to it, which is not bad in itself.  But, DataCase brings a lot to the table.  The opening screen of DataCase shows a doughnut which is a graph of the amount of free space on your iPhone.  As you fill up Datacase, you will see colors which represent the different types of files.  Also, when you’re uploading large files (pictured, above) DataCase tells you how far along you are in your uploading.  It’s also nice to see which types of files are taking up the most space.  And, you can filter out certain file types when navigating.  One nice feature that Air Sharing does have, however, is the ability to easily navigate through a string of folders.  On the other hand, I’m not sure why you can’t create folders in the Air Sharing app alone.  You have to do it in the shared folder on your desktop.

Both apps are $6.99 in the App Store.

  • Amzz

    great, but any of them used without wi-fi?

  • Journeyman

    Then there’s the new app called ‘Files Lite’. Once the files are transferred to your iPhone (via wi-fi), wi-fi is no longer needed to view the docs. And it’s completely free.

  • Amzz,

    I don’t know of ANY file tranfer software for the iPhone that doesn’t use a wi-fi connection. If you stumble upon one, let us know!

  • Iphone Girl

    Does anyone know where you can get airsharing application Free?

  • Iphone Girl

    Im using datacase and seems once you’ve loaded your files you can view them without wifi.

  • Iphone Girl,

    Unfortunately, the free download for Air Sharing has come and gone. But, if you use the search function here at iDB and have a jailbroken iPhone, you might be able to find a way…

  • ceg

    I also used Airsharing a long time. Then I gave DataCase a try again and I have to agree with u. They have made a lot of improvements…

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  • thomas

    DataCase is a ripoff. There is ZERO support and it hasn’t been updated in OVER a year. I doesn’t work with 3.0 )S and the developer has never answered a single email when asked about if an update is coming out or why the app can’t play .mov files.

    I want my $7 back just so this fly-by-night developer doesn’t have my money for a completely unsupported app.