Device To Device Transfer

Why should I transfer my data over thousands of miles using an internet connection although my devices are only a couple of inch apart!

Normally nobody takes care of an efficient transfer method but sometimes there is no WiFi or Cellular connection. In this case you cannot transfer data from one iOS device to another except you use iTunes on your computer. That’s certainly not comfortable.

Connections between two devices in general can be established via WiFi, an internet connection (e.g. syncing via iCloud) or a connection method called Bluetooth (henceforth referred to as BT).

Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances (using short-wavelength radio transmissions in the ISM band from 2400–2480 MHz) from fixed and mobile devices, creating personal area networks (PANs) with high levels of security. Created by telecom vendor Ericsson in 1994, it was originally conceived as a wireless alternative to RS-232 data cables. It can connect several devices, overcoming problems of synchronization.

While most people think of BT as the way that wireless earpieces get connect to phones, it’s actually a more general purpose technology that allows many kinds of devices to be used.

This post will give you some detailed information about BT and its application from within BT capable apps.

Turning on Bluetooth …

Complete this procedure to connect with accessories for iPad/iPhone e.g. BT Keyboard or BT Headset:

The process of connecting a BT device to an iPhone is called PAIRING. Regardless of what kind of device you’re pairing to your iPhone, the process is basically the same. Follow these steps to complete the iPhone/iPad BT pairing process.

Begin by making sure your iPhone and BT device are near each other. BT signals can only extend a few feet.
Next, put the BT device you want to pair with the iPhone in discoverable mode. This allows the iPhone to see the device and connect to it. Making a device discoverable requires different steps on different devices. For some it’s as easy as turning them on, for check the manual.
Go to Settings, tap BT and turn it on. A list of all the discoverable BT devices will appear.
If the device you want to pair with is listed, tap it.
To pair some BT devices with the iPhone, you need to enter a passcode. If the device you’re trying to pair is one of those, the passcode screen will appear. Consult the device’s manual for the passcode and enter it.

Keep in mind that BT is a short-range connection (distances up to 164 feet/50 meters) and will be lost if you move the connected devices too far apart.

While BT doesn’t drain as much battery as Wi-Fi, keep it turned off when not in use.

Using Bluetooth …

You cannot pair iPhone and iPad.
Nevertheless BT can be used for the ‘Personal Hotspot‘ feature for providing an internet connection for iPad via the cellular connection of an iPhone or vice versa.

Even if you could pair these devices you wouldn’t have any benefit because there are no apps provided by Apple (Photos, iWork, iMovie, Calendar, etc.) which support data transfer via BT.
I may be wrong but that could be the reason why pairing of two iOS devices makes no sense from Apple’s point of view. Anyway, a programming interface is available so that app developers are able to support BT if needed.

Applications using BT …

These apps for example support BT:

Safety P+V (Photos management)
Safety Notes (Notes management)
Phone Drive (File Management)
Wireless Drive (File Management)

How it works …

Let’s have a look on Safety P+V by 83Technology, an app with a perfect UI.
This app is for managing photos and videos in folders which can be created by the user. You additionally may define a password to secure the data. Further features are:
transfer photos from and to the camera roll
move photos and videos from one folder to another
print photos and open them in another app

Here is a description how to transfer photos or videos between two iOS devices.

On both devices WiFi is turned OFF and BT is turned ON.
The devices must NOT BE PAIRED.

  • Open open SAFETY P+V on both devices.
  • Tap the Sync icon on the device which is the sender.
  • Select iOS Wi-Fi / Bluetooth Transfer. The other device is then listed under ‘Devices nearby’.
  • Select the objects you want to transfer and tap on Send.


The selected files are transferred into the ‘Image Sharing’ folder from where you can move them into other folders.

Other apps supporting BT …

There are some other apps available in Apple’s App Store supporting a BT connection between two iOS devices. But on my point of view all these apps make no sense.
Why? Consider the following situation:

You want to transfer an iWork document to another device.
If an internet connection is available the best way is to use iCloud as the documents are synced automatically. If there is no Internet and no WiFi connection available you have to firstly transfer the document to the local folder of the BT supporting app via ‘Open In’. Then the file must be transferred from the BT supporting apps local folder via ‘Open In’ to the iWork app.


Summary …

BT is a reliable, powerful, fast and secure wireless technology for data transfer with minimized power consumption. Apple’s BT implementation on iOS devices is mostly incompatible with smartphones or tablets from other vendors.
For some inexplicable reason it’s not available as a standard feature for data transfer between iOS devices.

Thanks for reading my post.