iBeacon

24 07 2014

Aeronautical beacons are well-known but the only relation to my topic is that the communication between Apple’s iBeacons and mobile devices also works over the air but not in the visible frequency spectrum of electromagnetic waves but in the invisible near frequency spectrum.

About waves …

Your iOS devices are nothing without waves.
Waves are the food for every mobile device connected to the internet, your carrier, or an iBeacon and contain the information e.g. needed for your browser to show websites, for a phone call to transmit your voice, and for an iBeacon connection to exchange data if you are near to it.

You all know water waves, seismic waves and waves that transmit the sound from one person to another or from speakers to your ear. Sometimes sound waves contain good news or bad news. Whatever is transmitted by waves it’s always INFORMATION.

In case of iPhones contacting your carrier or iPads contacting your wireless access point, waves are Electromagnetic Waves. In contrast to water waves (propagating through water), the sound (propagating through gas) and seismic waves (propagating through the earth) electromagnetic waves don’t need a medium. They also can carry information while propagating through the vacuum with the speed of light (about 300.000 m/sec). That’s pretty fast and helps when transmitting information to your device because there are many disturbers around us and so information has to be transmitted several times before being identified as those destined for you.

Look here for waves in motion

Simple Wikipedia

Properties of waves are among others the amplitude (height of cycles) and the frequency (number of cycles per second). Sound waves have a low frequency when we hear a deep tone. The frequency is measured in Hertz (Hz).

20140409-165651.jpg

Image (1) shows an AM (amplitude modulated) wave and Image (2) an FM (frequency modulated) wave. You all know AM and FM if you ever looked on a radio’s dashboard. The more important method is to transmit information with a frequency modulated wave.

In an area of interference signals may be extinguished due to the fact that a wave peak may meet a wave trough.

About iBeacons …

iBeacon is Apple’s name for a technology that allows mobile apps to know how close they are to tiny, low-cost, wireless transmitters called hardware iBeacons.
iBeacons technology isn’t a development of Apple’s. Many recent Android devices already support it. iBeacons broadcast signals using the well-known Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) standard, allowing precise, indoor geo-location (often called ‘Micro- location’) where smartphones or tablets are not able to receive GPS signals from satellites, but also contextual interaction and engagement, as proximity to an iBeacon can trigger some specific app functionalities or even launch an app.

Bluetooth low energy, Bluetooth LE, or BLE, marketed as Bluetooth Smart, is a wireless personal area network technology designed and marketed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group aimed at novel applications in the healthcare, fitness, security, and home entertainment industries. Compared to “Classic” Bluetooth, BLE is intended to provide considerably reduced power consumption and cost while maintaining a similar communication range.
Bluetooth LE was originally introduced under the name Wibree by Nokia in 2006. It was merged into the main Bluetooth standard in 2010 with the adoption of the Bluetooth Core Specification Version 4.0.
Mobile operating systems including iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry, as well as OS X and Windows 8, natively support Bluetooth low energy. The Bluetooth SIG predicts more than 90 percent of Bluetooth-enabled smartphones will support the low energy standard by 2018.

iBeacon-enabled apps are notified when the device moves in and out of the range of iBeacons. They monitor the distance as their proximity changes over time. This allows apps to know precisely where they are not in terms of a map but relative to known points within a building.

20140409-165835.jpg

iBeacons are tiny battery-operated radio signal stations you can place wherever you want; if your Mobile device gets within range, it senses iBeacons and locates itself.
iBeacons broadcast a “I am here!” message (approximately once per second) to any device within range of the Bluetooth Low Energy radio signal; since each iBeacon has its own ID, the Mobile device can tell them apart and recognize the context of the world around itself.
iBeacons usually just identify themselves by an ID but do not transfer other data than this.

Micro-locating a device can initiate interaction, engagement, and contextual information. Mobile apps receiving signals of iBeacons can be triggered triggered to perform a specific action on a specific mobile device at a specific time and in a specific location.

Summarized, iBeacon signals can

  • precisely locate you within a building
  • triangulate constantly and quietly in the background
    When you pull out your phone, the right content is there waiting for you. This immediacy is one big advantage Bluetooth now has over clunky predecessors like NFC and QR codes.
  • make suggestions what you can do with the help of an iBeacon capable app

iBeacons therefore make it possible to seamlessly engage with people in a physical space through their mobile devices.

Some examples …

Contextualized deals
iBeacons technology allows to convey specific, customized deals to shoppers based on time and day, their purchase history, their loyalty, etc. Think of very customized offers; for example a shopper has checked an item in a store but did not purchase it. The retailer then can offer the shopper a discount via email or directly on the mobile device the next time he enters the same store (or an other chain store).

Monitoring shoppers behavior
Monitoring shoppers behavior (store visits, walking-paths, etc.) is another possibility. With the help of an iBeacons the retailer may get the information (in real-time) that the shopper has been standing in front of one specific display for more than three minutes; sensing second-by-second a shopper’s (inferred) interest about a specific product, the system can supply additional information such as online reviews and – talking about fashion – other available styles or colours. As you go on shopping, a blue tie might (metaphorically) tell you: “I’m perfect with the gray suit you purchased here last week”.

This is one side of a coin and this application of iBeacons might be nerve-racking for many of us who already suffer from the constant onslaught of ad on TV, on websites, and nearly all other areas of live.

So let’s have a look on the coin’s backside.

In developed countries with public health care the emphasis on personal responsibility has been the best way to both reduce costs and make the system more efficient. In America you have to go through the gauntlet of health care providers and insurance providers and pharmaceutical companies to take charge of your own good health. If Apple’s iBeacon software is installed in the next ambulance to arrive at my home then an iPhone might light up with your emergency information automatically once you are inside the vehicle. You might not even be conscious. But your iPhone can give them what they need to know to start treating you. The device might also tell them you have had high blood pressure for the past six weeks and rising. All this with a personal tracking iWatch and the M7 motion processor on the iPhone.

To emphasize the more useful applications of the iBeacon technology let me another example.

You are walking through a museum of art, iBeacon micro-locates you and provides information about the artist of an artwork you are looking at.

It would be no problem to write further 10 blogs about possible applications of this technology. It’s up to the creativity to find out nearly unlimited further applications.

20140410-164458.jpg

Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts HD for iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. The DOCX file format is suggested for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool. The file contains the image as well as a detailed outline of all topics.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

The crux is that a new operating system provides an option – like for Location Services – to turn off the bit radiation which might affect our health. The two communicating devices, the iBeacon and the iPhone – shouldn’t get control over our most important processor, our brain.

Platforms …

The great news about iBeacons technology is that both Apple (with iOS and OS X) and Google (with Android) have committed to support for Bluetooth LE – this means very, very broad availability (literally millions of devices are already iBeacon-enabled) and there is no danger of launching services targeted at a single operating system.

What about Microsoft?

Microsoft appears to have recently added support for Bluetooth Low Energy in Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8; Nokia’s recent Lumia WP8 phones are confirmed to include BLE hardware.

Some technical details …

An iBeacon identifies itself using three customizable values

  • Proximity UUID (128 Bit)
  • Major (16 Bit)
  • Minor (16 Bit)

So there are three levels to identify a micro-location: only Proximity UUID, Proximity UUID and Major, Proximity UUID and Major and Minor.

For example

  • Proximity UUID identifies your entire retail company, Major identifies a specific store and Minor specify individual shelves or different checkout tills inside each store.
  • Proximity UUID identifies your museum, Major identifies a specific gallery within the museum and Minor identifies an exhibit within that gallery.

The radio signals of iBeacons allow to calculate distances in qualitative

  • Immediate
    (less than 50 cm)
  • Near
    (approximately 50 cm to 2-5 m)
  • Far
    (more or less between 50 cm and 30-50 m, depending on walls, the iBeacon output power, and many other factors like interference)

Bluetooth low energy is not backward-compatible with the previous, often called Classic, Bluetooth protocol. The Bluetooth 4.0 specification permits devices to implement either or both of the LE and Classic systems. Those that implement both are known as Bluetooth 4.0 dual-mode devices.

Bluetooth LE uses the same 2.4 GHz radio frequencies as Classic Bluetooth, which allows dual-mode devices to share a single radio antenna. LE does, however, use a simpler modulation system.

iBeacon vs NFC vs QR-Codes …

I think we must not talk about QR-Codes which are powerful for industrial production but not accepted as a relevant source of information by the majority of people. Admittedly we might find QR-Codes on boxes containing iBeacons or NFC Tags.

Since Apple’s 2013 announcement, the press has been praising iBeacon for its ability to passively identify the in-venue presence of smartphone-equipped consumers. They have also been praising it for its ability to passively notify and then subsequently deliver localized information. These features, along with the press’ embrace of iBeacon’s perceived ease-of-use, location services, energy efficiency, security and low cost, have made iBeacon the sweetheart of the tech industry.

Since the press’ enthusiasm for iBeacon has gone largely unchallenged, many have taken the liberty to label NFC as irrelevant because it lacks iBeacon-like features. But, is this the truth?

20140410-163806.jpg

Although the NFC environment is very different and has many non-overlapping applications, it is still compared with iBeacons.

  • NFC range is up to 20 cm (7.87 inches) but the optimal range is < 4 cm (1.57 inches). iBeacons have a significantly larger range.
  • NFC can be either passive or active. When using passive mode, the power is sent from the reader device as radio signals. Whereas although Passif (a company acquired by Apple) has worked on reducing the energy consumption, a battery pack is still needed inside iBeacon tags at this time.
  • Most smartphones ship with both Bluetooth 4.0 LE and NFC support but at this time, no iOS device has been released with NFC support.
  • A BLE beacon is great for passively enabling a retailer’s mobile app to deliver promotions, coupons or offers direct to the consumer’s smartphone when the consumer is in the general vicinity. NFC can’t do that. But if you want to research a specific Nikon SLR, for example, you can scan an NFC-enabled shelf tag next to it and study to your heart’s content. BLE can’t deliver that much location granularity.

So the final conclusion is:

iBeacon is the much more powerful technique mainly because of it’s range and automated communication.

Advocates of the NFC technology might argue with the lower costs of NFC tags (about 0.5$) compared to iBeacons (about 25$). But because of the limited range you need far more NFC tags distributed e.g. in a retail store (approximate price Apr 2014).

iBeacon demo …

Here is a video showing iBeacons in action.
It was published on December 10, 2013 by InnoQuant, an advanced analytics software company founded in Barcelona in 2010. InnoQuant provides data analytics services and software solutions to solve problems of Big Data Analytics such as real-time mobile marketing.
InnoQuant technology allows users to monitor, analyze and engage their customers via mobile apps providing strategic tools for their business.

Summary …

iBeacon technology is extremely powerful and flexible, so engineers, marketers, and others have the opportunity to create new important applications to improve people’s lives and to create business value for big and small companies. But don’t worry about the innovative new big brother. Instead of crying ‘Stop bothering me!’ just turn Bluetooth off.

I’m sure that apps of serious retailers will offer some options to choose the kind of information you want to receive. If not they are at risk that customers will delete the app, block information flow, or in a worst case scenario, say Good Riddance to the company.

Related links …

iPhone’s Dining Habits

Mystic signs of progress

About Bluetooth

List of BT Smart Devices

Thanks for visiting my blog beacon.





Air Display by Avatron

28 11 2013

AirDisplay by Avatron Software Inc., USA, transfers the screen content of a Mac or a Windows PC to the iPad or the iPhone if computer and iOS device are within the same WiFi network. Either it’s used as an extension to the computer’s screen showing windows which are dragged into an invisible area on the computer or just control the computer via the touchscreen of the iOS device.

Installation …

There is an iOS app (paid version) and a desktop companion app (free) which have to be installed the devices. Once the app is launched on both devices the screen content of your computer is transferred to your iOS device.

20131127-175452.jpg

Controlling the computer can be easily done by just tapping on controls. The menu of Air Display on the computer allows to select the iOS device on which the computer’s screen is shown.

Applications …

AirDisplay can be effectively used for

  • GTD
    Filling your iPad screen with your utility apps, like iChat, Mail, iCal, and Calculator
    Initiating or controlling tasks on your computer while sitting in another room
  • Business
    Moving your iWork and Office tool palettes and inspector windows onto the iPad, and let your document fill the screen.
  • Office
    Carrying an extra monitor down the hall to a meeting.
    Helping a colleague without leaving the room by looking on his screen.

20131127-190228.jpg

  • Presentation
    Retrieving some information from a computer while sitting in a conference room.
    Note
    If you want the information to be shared with an audience this can be done by connecting the iPad to a beamer with Apple’s Digital AV Adapter.

20131127-180130.jpg

  • Administration
    Copying a locally saved document to a network storage to make it available for colleagues.
  • Writing a short note on the local workstation.

20131127-180415.jpg

  • Medicine
    Let a patient or family member watch a procedure on a wireless video monitor.
  • Real estate or Sales
    Hand a client a mirrored display while you work at the laptop.
  • Programming
    Use the extra display area for such auxiliary development tools as Console, Terminal, and the Debugger.
  • Music
    Use your iPad as the ultimate control surface for Logic or Pro Tools.

AirDisplay 2 …

In November 2013 Avatron released AirDisplay 2 (which is quite expensive but worth buying) with these added features:

  • AirDisplay 2 now connects up to 4 iPads simultaneously to create unique presentations you drive from your Mac to start training sessions or presentations.
    This multi-client support will also be available for Windows in the near future.
  • New streamlined and iOS 7-ready interface
  • Improved performance

Summary …

AirDisplay is a useful tool for establishing ad-hoc connections to computers within the same WiFi network. The mobility within an office is no longer restricted when using AirDisplay on an iPad.

Your desktop is always with you.

Other products of this reliable company continuously updating it’s products are Air Login, Air Sharing, and Print Sharing. See my review of Air Sharing below.

Related links …

Presentation, Presenting with iPad (1)

Air Sharing, iWebDAV Connection

Remote Control, TeamViewer

Remote Control, AirLogin

Thanks for taking my blog into your viewing screen.





Speed Test

25 08 2013

Nature with it’s electromagnetic waves traveling with the speed of light helps us to retrieve information from the internet pretty fast even if the way data is taking is by far not the shortest possible.

Using a link from within an app a website opens after about 3 sec including the opening of Safari browser. It’s quite fast compared to a bus, a car, a high speed train, or even an aircraft.

The speed of light …

If there is a cellular connection to the Internet data can be transmitted without using a medium in contrast to sound which needs the air or the earth to propagate and to transmit information like the cry ‘Help, help’.

Electromagnetic waves transfer data in vacuum at the speed of light. None of Apple’s innovative techniques can make it faster. It’s a law of nature (a universal physical constant) found out by

Ole Rømer first demonstrated in 1676 that light travelled at a finite speed (as opposed to instantaneously) by studying the apparent motion of Jupiter’s moon Io. In 1865, James Clerk Maxwell proposed that light was an electromagnetic wave, and therefore travelled at the speed c appearing in his theory of electromagnetism. In 1905, Albert Einstein postulated that the speed of light with respect to any inertial frame is independent of the motion of the light source, and explored the consequences of that postulate by deriving the special theory of relativity and showing that the parameter c had relevance outside of the context of light and electromagnetism. After centuries of increasingly precise measurements, in 1975 the speed of light was known to be 299,792,458 m/s with a measurement uncertainty of 4 parts per billion. In 1983, the metre was redefined in the International System of Units (SI) as the distance travelled by light in vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second. As a result, the numerical value of c in metres per second is now fixed exactly by the definition of the metre.

Within media like cables it’s slightly slower, about 90 km/second (324,000 km/h or 201,324 miles/h).

With the speed of light you would need

From geostationary sattelite to earth 119 ms
From Sun to Earth 8.3 min
Across the Milky Way 100,000 years

And from Cupertino (Apple’s Headquarter) to Cologne in Germany?
Well that’s a problem. The app Google Maps showed me neither the way nor the distance. But there is a more severe problem: Light propagates linear. So a light beam would’t go the way to Cologne.

Internet connection …

If you connect your device to the Internet data is transferred via a couple of stations.

With the app Nice Trace the way the data takes from source (the server where you get the data from) to destination (your iPhone or iPad) can be reported.

This is the way my website http://iNotes4You.com is transferred to my device.

20130620-073937.jpg

Measuring the speed …

I want to compare the apps

SpeedTest by Ookla, USA

http://www.ookla.com/

Speed Test by Russian Internet Solutions LLC

http://www.appannie.com/app/ios/qip-speed-test/

cnLab Speed by cnLab AG Swiss

http://www.cnlab.ch/speedtest/

20130620-074252.jpg

My home configuration is a Cable Internet Connection from German provider UNITYMEDIA with a Cisco Modem and Apple’s router AirPort Extreme working on 802.11 a/b/g/n standard in the 5 GHz band. The device was an iPad 3rd Gen.

To eliminate ups and downs of the data transfer speed I measured the transfer rate for downloads under the following conditions:

50 repeated measurements
every day for one month at 8 am, 1 pm, and 9 pm

The apps used different test servers.

To compare the results I calculated the mean value of all measurements for each app.

Do the measured values come close to the everyday usage of your device with all the ups and downs of the internet connection?

Yes, they do.

Here is the result of using the app FTP Client PRO by Anders Havn with which I downloaded a file of 305 MB file size under the same conditions described above.

20130620-074509.jpg

Here are mean values of all the results I took over a period of one month:

20130620-074553.jpg

An alternate app …

If you are interested in an app which combines speed test with network analysis try

Net Analyzer by Jiri Techet

This perfect universal All-In-One app gives you all informations about a network including standard tools such as ping, traceroute, port scanner, whois, and beyond providing geolocation for all discovered servers.

Additionally I was impressed of Jiri’s perfect website for mobiles.

See this gallery to get an overview of the features:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Summary …

The results of all apps are within +-4.5 %. Differences may be caused by the different test servers used during measurements. All apps do what they are intended to do but cover just one functionality except Net Analyzer by Jiri Techet.

Thanks for visiting http://iNotes4You.com.





Network (3) Port Forwarding

25 04 2013

Parts (1) and (2) of my articles about networks gave you some basic knowledge about networks and discussed the possibility to connect from the LAN to the WAN or in other words from the devices at home to the webservers in the outer world.

The reverse way, connecting from WAN to LAN, is basically not possible. Only in case of requests from a device within the LAN data goes the reverse way, e.g. entering an URL like http://iNotes4You.com as the request and getting the answer (the website content) delivered by WordPress.com servers.

The main reasons why a WAN-LAN connection won’t work:

  • 1 Most of the ISPs (Internet Service Providers) assign varying IP addresses to your connection so that it is not possible to keep a stable connection over the time.
  • 2 For security reasons nobody should be able to compromise your LAN.
    So a Firewall/Router will not accept incoming requests which were not initiated by a device within the LAN.

20130223-103821.jpg

The solution is Port Forwarding an applications communication with another application.

Dynamic DNS …

The first problem of varying WAN IPs can be solved by using a service called Dynamic DNS (DDNS). Some companies offer this service without charging.

For example you can register at no-ip.com. After completing the registration process you can define a hostname and download the so-called DUC software (Dynamic Update Client) which has to be installed on the computer you want to connect to.

20130404-162705.jpg

The main idea is to get a HOSTNAME which can be used instead of the varying WAN IP. The DUC client on the computer inside the LAN frequently determines the actual WAN IP and transmits the result to the DDNS provider. Your request from outside your LAN first is transmitted to your DDNS provider via the HOSTNAME. DDNS returns the actual WAN IP of your LAN and a connection can be established.

So DYNAMIC DNS SERVICE provides a constant ALIAS for a varying WAN IP of your LAN.

Opening the firewall …

You already know that data on the Internet is sent to and from IP addresses. Sending or receiving data is done on ports. Ports are virtual pathways on which Internet data flows.

For a Watchguard SOHO Firewall a custom service has to be defined and the related traffic has to be allowed. The service must include the definition of an IP of the computer you want to connect to as well as the port for communication.

20130223-113321.jpg

While things may differ slightly depending on your Firewall’s/Router’s firmware, the below mentioned fields are pretty standard:

  • Application or Service Name
    The name of the application you’re forwarding this port for. You can use any descriptive text you want—this field is here to help you remember why you set this up; like the name suggests, you normally want to use the name of the application you’re setting up port forwarding for. I’s a good idea to also include the computer’s name along with the service if port forwarding is used for the same applications on different computers.
  • Port to
    ‘Port to’ is the port on your local IP address. If you were setting up VNC for a local computer, you’d fill this in with 5900 as that’s the standard port number for VNC services.
  • Port from
    ‘Port from’ is the port on your external IP address. Generally you use the same port as entered in ‘Port to. This works just fine when you’re configuring only one machine for one type of service. But say you wanted to be able to remotely access two or more computers using VNC. If you used 5900 on a single, external IP address they would be in conflict. The router would see a request for port 5900 and not know which Local IP address should handle that request since the port forwarding table has two. To solve this problem, you can use the standard port for one and not for the other—kind of like an apartment building has a single address but multiple apartments. You can use port 5900 for one and 5901 for the other computer. In that case you have to first set the port (the computer you want to access) when using VNC on an external IP address. This way you can set up identical services with a single External IP and different Local IPs without conflicts.
  • Protocol
    This is where you specify whether or not your service uses the TCP protocol, UDP protocol, or both. When you look up your ports you’ll also want to make note of the protocols used. In most cases it will just be TCP.
  • IP Address or Service Host
    This is where you specify the LAN IP of the computer you want to access. You can easily find this information in your computer’s network settings. The IP address will generally be in the 10.0.x.x, 192.168.x.x, or 172.31.x.x format. Because these IP address are generally dynamic (changing over the time), you have to set up static IPs or so-called DHCP reservations.
  • Enable
    You need to enable the port forwarding rule (on Watchguard routers you do it by setting the rule to ALLOW). By using DENY you are able to save the rule but it won’t be active or function in any way.

The firewall is now opened for authorized incoming traffic to a specific computer using a specific port.

The communication is done by the VNC Server software which can be downloaded from the RealVNC website.

After installing the DUC client software from No-Ip and the VNC server software from RealVNC on your PC it looks like this:

20130223-123521.jpg

VNC viewer on an iOS device …

To configure the VNC Viewer app on an iOS device you just have to enter the HOSTNAME, the PORT for communication and the credentials you defined in the VNC Server software on your computer.

20130223-122829.jpg

Summary …

The connection to a computer inside a LAN from an iOS device outside the LAN works with a

  • Dynamic DNS account and an Update Client (DUC)
  • Configuration of the firewall for a specific computer and a specific communication port
  • Server software (VNC Server) on the computer
  • Client software (VNC Viewer) on the iOS device

In a typical small office environment, a router assigns private network addresses to internal computers while the router gets a public IP from the ISP.
If the public IP is not static, Dynamic DNS services must be used to configure the VNC Client
by using the Dynamic DNS address instead of an IP address.

Connection to a computer in the LAN requires an installation of VNC Server software.
A unique port number must be assigned to each computer that should be reached from outside the LAN.
20130223-134054.jpg

Useful links …

Former articles about networks

Network (2) Apple Airport Router

Network (1) Addressing

If you want to use Port Forwarding you should visit

Portforward.com

Port Forwarding VNC on Apple Airport

You will find the settings for many Soft- and Hardware products as well as a software product called PFConfig which supports automatic configuration (29.29$).





iWebDAV connection

2 04 2013

There are lots of utilities connecting an iOS device with cloud services like Dopbox, iDrive or Google Drive. But Usually these apps cannot connect two iOS devices like an iPhone and an iPad.

Avatron Software Inc., USA offers an app where two iOS devices can be connected via WebDAV with some additional benefits like connecting to cloud services and displaying many well-known file formats. It’s called Air Sharing.

See my blog

WebDAV Basics
WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning) is a method that allows you to edit and manage files stored on remote servers. The comnection is based on the HTTP-protocol with extensions like creating folders and deleting files on the remote device.

for more information about this topic.

The features of Air Sharing …

Remote File Servers

Google Docs
Dropbox
MobileMe iDisk
FilesAnywhere (WebAdvanced account)
MyDisk.se
Other WebDAV servers
WebDAV over secure HTTPS connection when available
FTP
SSH (sftp)
Box.net
Access email attachments (POP3 and IMAP servers)
View documents directly (automatic local cache)
No Wi-Fi required

File Sharing

Auto-detects other users on same Wi-Fi network
Connects to Air Sharing on another device

File operations

Save images to Photos
Browse zip archives without unzipping
Delete, New Folder
Email attachments
Move, Copy, Paste, Duplicate
Get images from Photos
Download from URL (copy link in Safari, paste into Air Sharing Pro or HD
Zip (supports password-protected archives)
Print documents

Document formats

iWork (Pages, Numbers, Keynote)
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), subject to iOS compatibility
Web archives (web pages downloaded by Safari)
HTML web page
RTF (Rich Text Format) and RTFD (with embedded images)
Plain text (many file extensions) with auto-detection of character encoding
Source code (C/C++, Objective C/C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, XML, shell scripts, Perl, Ruby, Python, and more) with syntax color-coding
Movies, audio, and images (standard iOS formats)
PDF (even password-protected, with Search, table of contents, thumbnails, Go To Page

I agree to the developers announcement: These are tons of features.

An application …

Let’s see how it works, when connecting two iOS devices within the same WiFi network and transferring a document from Apple’s iWork suite from an iPhone to an iPad.

Consider the following situation.
You want to directly transfer a spreadsheet created with Apple’s Numbers to a colleague. The more complicated way would be to save the document on a cloud storage and share it with him by E-Mail. Keep in mind that iCloud doesn’t support direct sharing as it only syncs files across devices with the same Apple ID. The Apple ID personalizes the storage and hence a direct transfer between two iCloud accounts is not supported.

Establishing the connection …

Open Air Sharing on both devices.
The app will automatically connect the two devices using Apple’s Bonjour networking services.

Bonjour is Apple’s implementation of Zero configuration networking (Zeroconf), a group of technologies that includes service discovery, address assignment, and hostname resolution. Bonjour locates devices such as printers, other computers, and the services that those devices offer on a local networking.

Using the Bonjour identification is convenient because it’s independent of the varying IP-Address you automatically get when connecting to a WiFi network.

If Bonjour is not available …
To establish a connection without Bonjour from iPhone to iPad you have to configure a WebDAV connection. Within Air Sharing app tap on ‘+’, select ‘Other WebDAV’ and enter the required data. To identify the remote device you must use it’s IP-Address.

Note
Both, IP-Address and Bonjour-Name are displayed on the remote device when tapping on the WiFi icon.

20130203-134511.jpg

Transferring files …

20130203-142547.jpg

What you see on the screens …

20130203-150324.jpg

Reading PDFs …

20130203-152215.jpg

Summary …

4 stars for a sophisticated app. You may find the missing star in deep space. It’s name is SMB!

A special feature I found very useful is mailing a whole folder. Avatron’s app automatically creates a ZIP-File and opens the mail client.

Thanks for reading my blog.
I appreciate your comments.








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 183 other followers

%d bloggers like this: