Q: I would like to store files on my iPhone 3GS (32GB) so that I may access them if I am away from my computer or transfer them to another computer. These files are predominantly Windows Office 2007 files. While I would ideally like to view the files on my iPhone it is not a must have. I simply want my iPhone to act like a flash drive for these files and would prefer the ability to sync via the USB cable as opposed to uploading the files to an external site. Can this be done?
A: There are several applications on the App Store that can be used to transfer files to your iPhone and store them and view them on the device. Due to Apple SDK restrictions, however, none of these applications provide USB Mass Storage device support. Instead, you either sync your documents via an online service such as iDisk or Dropbox or you transfer them directly between your computer and your iPhone via Wi-Fi using either a web browser or a dedicated file transfer app. You may want to check out apps such as Air Sharing or FileMagnet for this purpose.
Alternatively there are third-party applications such as TouchCopy that you install on your PC or Mac that can store files on the iPhone via USB. While this provides for file transfer without having to deal with Wi-Fi synchronization, the obvious disadvantage is that you would need to install the application on each computer that you plan to use your iPhone with.
It’s worth noting that the iPad apparently will include a USB mass storage mode. Since the iPad uses a slightly newer version of the iPhone OS, it is possible that Apple may also introduce this feature to the iPhone in a future OS update.