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Interestingly enough, one of the iPhone's biggest flaws is one of the original iPod's best features: the ability to store and transfer files on its drive. With a 4GB or 8GB capacity, the iPhone is as capable as any of the USB flash drives on the market, with the ability to hold hundreds of documents and files.
But Apple opted to limit the iPhone's file storage capability to email attachments, and developers have been working on a workaround ever since the tantalizing gadget hit shelves. But until a legitimate way (read: non-hack) to physically store file on the iPhone arrives, a couple of apps have surfaced to circumvent Apple's virtual road block.
The first, called Readdle (click here on your Mac; click here on your iPhone), offers "a simple way to access your doc, gif, html, jpeg, pdf, rtf, txt, xls files with iPhone." You sign up for a free account and get 50MB of storage. On your computer, you can access your account and upload files into your personal Readdle folder. You can rename files, organize them into folders and, of course, access right on your iPhone.
Readdle is a simple way to carry files from work to home - and maybe catch up on Romeo and Juliet.
To get the ball rolling, Readdle has supplied a few documents for your viewing pleasure, including short works from Charles Dickens and H.P. Lovecraft, a few Sherlock Holmes mysteries and Shakespeare plays, and a nifty ruler tool, which turns your iPhone into a 2.5-inch measuring stick.
Last week, Transmedia jumped into the fray by offering its Glide Mobile sync and transcoding service for iPhone users (click here from your Mac; click here from your iPhone). Glide is a more robust option than Readdle, with 2GB of storage (for free) or 10GB for $4.95 per month. Picking up where Readdle leaves off, Glide offers a place to dump your multimedia files (including .wmv, .mpg, .mpeg, .avi, .divx, .mov, .mp4, .3gp.,wma .wav, .au, .mp3, .m4a, .aiff, .aac and .ac3).
Glide offers an array of tools, but most of them can't rival the iPhone's sleek apps.
Along the same lines as Readdle's literature library, Glide offers a few songs that can be streamed over EDGE or Wi-Fi. The service is fast but a bit more confusing than Readdle's, with options like Chat, PhotoEdit, Blog, and Bookmarks that are either in development, or just not very useful. Uploads are a little slow, and Glide overlaps several of the iPhone's own multimedia tools.
Plus, you can't edit them any of the files. But until there's an app called Edittle, these two apps will have to do.