FarFinder iPhone Client Released

FarFinder iPhone Client Released

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Flying Mac has announced the release of FarFinder for iPhone, the native iPhone client for their Macintosh remote access product. FarFinder lets iPhone users browse, view and download their Mac's files from anywhere. FarFinder also provides access to a Mac's files from any web browser on any platform - OS X, Windows or Linux.

Features:
FarFinder for iPhone gives users secure access to any Mac running FarFinder's Mac software. Users have access to the Mac's complete file system, including connected network drives such as Apple's Time Capsule.

Users can view all documents the iPhone supports, including iWork files, Microsoft Office documents and PDFs, with additional support for RTF, RTFD and web archives. A slideshow function provides easy image viewing, and can display image files such as Photoshop which the iPhone would not normally handle. The iPhone can stream music and even video from the Mac if bandwidth allows.

FarFinder provides a Mac-like experience, with Finder-style icon and list views, custom file icons (where not forbidden by Apple) and quick access to Finder sidebar items. Spotlight is also available, allowing the user to easily search the whole Mac. Advanced features include displaying hidden files, showing file extensions and opening packages.

Files and whole folders can be downloaded to the iPhone for times when there is no network available, and for easy access to frequently-used documents and large media files.

Additional features include sending files and folders by email without needing to download them first, and the ability to look through the remote Mac's iSight camera. This latter feature is particularly popular with users.

FarFinder for iPhone replaces FarFinder's Mobile Safari interface, which gave iPhone users access to a subset of the features described above. The native application delivers not only additional features, but also a huge performance and usability increase.

Security:
FarFinder maintains excellent security, using an encrypted connection to transfer all data (with the exception of high-demand media files). Users must enter the user name and password of a valid Mac account to connect, and these login details can optionally be remembered using the iPhone's secure keychain. Once logged in, the user is restricted to files their account would normally be allowed to view.

Competing products:
Applications such as Air Sharing and Briefcase allow users to store files on the iPhone. FarFinder does this too, but also provides access to the whole computer at any time. This means it is not necessary to copy files to the phone before leaving the Mac, eliminating the risk of forgotten files and providing for unforeseen requirements.

Searchlight provides remote Mac access, however it is Spotlight-only and doesn't allow file system navigation. ReachMyFile is probably FarFinder's closest competitor, but FarFinder has the advantage of its browser interface, providing big-screen access and file uploads when a Mac or PC is nearby.

Long delays in the App Store:
FarFinder's release comes after a delay of over three months waiting for App Store approval. The main causes of the delays were Apple's slow response times and their drip-feeding of required changes. The Flying Mac blog contains specific details and opinion on this developer's App Store experience.

Pricing and Availability:
The FarFinder iPhone application is a free download. Target computers must be running the FarFinder Mac software; this costs $35 (USD) for an individual licence and $65 (USD) for a family pack. FarFinder comes with a 20 day, fully functional free trial period.


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Skylight
Skylight - March 16, 2009 at 2:14pm
What a great app, I'm sold!
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