I have so many apps that allow me to access my iPhone using a web browser on different ports. For example, Air Sharing lets me access my iPhone on http://IP_ADDRESS:8080. Brushes allows access on the same port. I don’t have any ready examples, but I’d be willing to bet other apps allow access via port 80 and 8081.
Unfortunately, although Air Sharing and Brushes use the same port, there’s no way for me to transfer a file for Air Sharing at the same time I transfer a file for Brushes. I have to fire up Air Sharing on the iPhone, transfer the file, then quit Air Sharing. Then I have to fire up Brushes, transfer the file for it, and quit Brushes. This process repeats for every file for each application that I want to transfer.
This is because each app can only write to its own space on the iPhone drive. Air Sharing can only write to it’s special area, and Brushes can only write to it’s special area. What would be awesome is if there was a special area denoted to incoming files on port 8080 or 8081 or whatever, and then allow every iPhone app to read/write to this area. Brushes, for example, would read any and all graphic files written to this area. Air Sharing would be able to read any file, graphic or otherwise. This would lead to less-complicated apps because each individual app would not have to incorporate its own server for importing/exporting. Any web browser would be able to open port 8080 or 8081 or whatever, and this could be password protected. I guess this is the equivalent for /tmp for iPhone apps, with the exception that only the person using the handset can delete files. All other apps can read/write to it, but only the person with the handset can delete. This adds a/n (un)certain PEBKAC level of security, in that the user can see/delete files written to this directory.
It’s not perfect, but it’s got to be better than relying on XX number of apps opening their own server. It also simplifies file transfers to a certain extent, and that’s not a bad thing. Right?
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