You asked for it, so we’re going to give it to you!  There are at least two iPhone apps that can sync your documents over the air!  I tried Box.net [iTunes link] and MiGhtyDocs [iTunes link].  Up until recently, you needed a wifi network to sync your documents to your iPhone.  Both of the apps I am reviewing only require an Internet connection to sync.  And you don’t really upload the file to your iPhone.  The files are uploaded to a website which the apps can read.  Both apps are free, but they really do come at a price – a lack of features.

MiGhtyDocs

Last week, the first Google Android platform mobile phone, the T-Mobile G1, was released and one of its features is syncing Google Documents over the air.  MiGhtyDocs attempts to mimic that feature.  And I wouldn’t say it’s entirely successful.

Google Documents already comes with its own upload restrictions. You can only upload:

  • Most types of documents (e.g. MS Word, HTML, .txt)
  • MS PowerPoint presentations
  • Spreadsheets (e.g. .csv, .xls, .ods)
  • Adobe PDF

MiGhtyDocs only supports documents and spreadsheets. This is not looking good.

Documents load fine, but spreadsheet support is not very good. I uploaded five MS Excel spreadsheets.  The results range from very good to very bad.  Some spreadsheets showed up in a weird alignment.  One spreadsheet couldn’t load at all.

The one great feature MiGhtyDocs has is its ability to view a document even when you don’t have an Internet connection.  The green dot next to the document name (pictured, above) means the file has been saved in a cache and you don’t need the internet to view it.

MiGhtyDocs has tremendous potential to be a great app.  With a few more updates, it may even be usable.

Box.net

You can go to Box.net to sign up for a free gigabyte of space to upload your documents for later viewing on your iPhone.  I have to say that this app exceeded my expectations in many areas.

Like the Datacase and Air Sharing apps, Box.net supports mp3s, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, pictures and PDFs.  It even was able to display my mhtml file, which is a file neither Datacase nor Air Sharing could view.  However, the free subscription does not allow you to upload a file more than 25MB, so I couldn’t upload a video to check that out.  Also, PDFs, especially large ones, take some time to load and view.

The only reason why I cannot recommend Box.net over similar wifi syncing apps is its lack of landscape mode.  PDFs are almost impossible to read without landscape mode.

Box.net is a great first attempt at over-the-air document synching.  Hopefully, landscape mode, which is its only blemish, can be added in a future update.

  • iPinda

    Sugarsync.com is een heel goed en betaalbaar alternatief. Heeft geen van de hierboven beschreven onvolkomenheden. En ondersteund zelfs mp3 streaming!! En dat werkt heel goed. . Gratis voor de 1e 45 dagen met 10 GB diskspace. Daarna kun je instappen voor $ 2,49 per maand. Dus ik zou zeggen: Try before you buy!

  • I look at SugarSync as MobileMe’s little brother. The plans are a bit more flexible and can be paid per month rather than per year. But, I’m not willing to pay a monthly or annual fee to carry a few important documents on my iPhone.

  • iPinda

    @clay
    Sorry for posting in Dutch. I just visited a Dutch iPhone blog before I entered this blog :-))
    I agree that you don’t want to pay for a few important docs. I use Sugarsync also as a profession for syncing more then hundreds of technical docs.

  • The best of those seems to be Mobile Files that is free (with ads), works both for MobileMe and the local drive and works fine.

  • Correct me if I’m wrong, but everything about MobileFiles looks like it’s supposed to be used in conjunction with MobileMe. I’m not paying $99/year for that. Isn’t there some kind of middle ground? Only one can hope…