Often times there is a need to quickly transfer a file from your Mac to your iOS device or the other way around. In addition, you may want to securely send a file to someone else. You can use iMessages to quickly, securely, and easily share files. Apple is working on an even easier solution (when you are in proximity with another person or device) called Airdrop that will debut with the release of iOS 8 (coming September, 2014). Until iOS 8 is released, and in case your device is not new enough to transfer files via Airdrop, here is a quick and easy way to send a file between your Mac and an iPhone, iPad (Mini), or iPod Touch using iMessages.
First, you need make sure that you have an Apple ID and that you have set up your device and your Mac to send and receive iMessages. To make sure iMessages are enabled go to settings on your iOS device and tap on Messages. The iMessage switch should be in the on position (the green should be showing in iOS 7 and iOS 8). Ensure that you have set up your Apple ID as one of the addresses where you can send and receive messages. Next, make sure iMessages are enabled on your Mac (open the Messages app and enter the Apple ID and password that you entered on your iOS device).
Now that you have made sure that iMessages are on for both your Mac and your iPhone, iPad (Mini), or iPod Touch, you are ready to easily and quickly send a file between your devices.
Sending a file from your Mac
Open up the Messages app on your Mac. Click on the new message button and enter in your Apple ID email address in the To Field. Next drag whatever file you want to send to your iPad (Mini), iPhone, or iPod Touch into the Message Field. You will notice a little green plus appears and then when you drop the file it will be added to your iMessage. Add any text if you would like. Then, press Send. The file will then be sent to your iOS device.
You can also securely send files to other people this way as long as they have iMessages set up on their Mac or iOS device. Follow the same steps but add their Apple ID into the To Field when you create a new message in the Messages app. Because iMessages are all encrypted as they are sent, this is a highly secure way to send files (much more secure than email). For more info on how secure iMessages are, check out this article on CNET: iMessage Encryption trips up Feds’ Surveillance.
Once you receive the iMessage with the file on your iOS device, tap on the file and open it up. If you just sent a Pages document for example, you can easily open that document in Pages on your iOS device.
Sending a file from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch
You can also easily and securely send a file from your iOS device back to your computer using iMessages. For example, if you would like to share a Pages document all you need to do is open up Pages, tap the Share button at the top left of the screen when all your documents are visible, select the document, tap which format you would like the file to be converted to, and then select Message as the method to send the file. Your device will automatically create a new iMessage for you. Type in your Apple ID in the To Field (or another person’s Apple ID or iPhone phone number if you want to send the file to someone else). Then, send the file.
It’s as easy as that. Now you have a way to easily, quickly, and securely send files between all of your devices.