Photo Transfers on Iphones

My daughter went on vacation and took lots of pictures on a brand new Iphone. As with any digital camera, the pictures must be transferred to a computer. If you own an Apple computer, this can be an exercise in frustration if you don’t know some simple tips. Yes, you can import into Iphoto and choose to delete on the Iphone. But what if you don’t want to use Iphoto? I think Iphoto is clumsy in many ways, starting with how it stores pictures not as JPGs but in a proprietary database which can grow to dozens of gigs. And yes, you can export photos from Iphoto, but that’s also clumsy. Itunes appears to have a method for syncing photos to a folder of your choice, but it does not seem to work, at least not in the direction of camera->computer.

There is an easier way. Let’s start with transferring the photos. Suppose you are old fashioned and really just want the photos, in their native JPG format, to be put into a folder of your choosing, just like we used to do back in 2003. This is done by hooking up your Iphone to the Mac, quitting all applications that open automatically to try to sync or import, and starting the Preview application. Then within Preview, click File/Import From Iphone, and choose which folder the photos will be transferred to. It’s simple and it works.

You might then want to delete the photos on the Iphone. In fact it’s recommended so that you don’t run out of storage space. Stay in Preview and notice the red diagonal “Do Not” icon just to the left of the “Import to” field at the bottom of the window. This is a delete button. If you hover over it, it states that it is the delete button. Select all the pictures on the Iphone, using “Edit/Select All” and then press this delete button. Presto: All your photos on the Iphone are deleted.

If you like this method, you might want to stop Iphoto from starting when you connect your Iphone. To do that, start Iphoto and click Preferences  ->  General  ->  “Connecting camera opens:” and choose “No Application”.

Similarly, if you don’t want Itunes to start automatically when your Iphone is connected, start Itunes and click Preferences -> Devices -> “Prevent from Syncing Automatically”.

One more very important note about your Iphone. Photostream will eat up all your monthly allotment of data in a few days if you take a lot of pictures. I turned off photostream on the Iphone. I don’t think it’s necessary for photos unless you have an unlimited data plan. So turn off photostream. Ditto for Icloud. There’s an option on the Iphone to just use these when connected to Wi-Fi. So if you do want to use it, make sure this option is enabled. I believe it’s disabled by default. Just make sure you regularly backup your phone data using Itunes and your Apple PC using Time Machine.

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