We recently saw how the new features that Apple introduced in the iOS 13 and iPadOS softwares permit your iPhone and iPad to connect to not only external storage, web servers and USB thumb drives but also access files on forgotten peripherals like Iomega’s Zip drive.
iDB reader Niles Mitchell is back at it again! This time around, he’s going to attempt to connect his Apple Watch to an Iomega Zip disk. But will it work? Watch the video for yourself!
Apple Watch has no interface to connect to USB devices, so how did he do it? With a little help from Rumpus, which is an FTP and WebDAV server for macOS. It’s got a built-in web file manager that makes it a cinch to access any shared drives/folders through a web browser.
But wait a minute, Apple Watch doesn’t have a web browser!
That’s true, but it’s also true that watchOS lets you open URLs embedded in iMessages. Niles basically used Rumpus to turn a connected Iomega Zip drive into a shared folder, then sent himself a link to the share via iMessage. By opening the underlying link in Messages on his watch, he was presented with the Rumpus web interface.
From there, he was able to access the individual files on the connected Zip disk, right on his watch, and do things such as check out file names, delete items, see metadata and even open supported file types, like pictures. What he couldn’t do is upload files to the Zip disk via the web server because watchOS currently does not support accessing the file system.
I’ve been following Niles’ work for some time now. His videos do a great job showcasing how the improved Files app in iOS 13 and iPadOS can connect to some ancient devices thanks to the ubiquitous USB protocol. I urge you to watch his clips showing the Files app interacting with peripherals such as Sony’s Walkman, Apple’s iPod nano music player Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, a PSP console and even a Casio graphing calculator!
Needless to say, he was even able to connect an Iomega’s Zip drive to an iPhone.
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