Upload files from your iPhone in your browser
by Matthew James Taylor on 6 November 2011
iOS 5 has just been released and it's full of awesome new features for your iPhone or iPad, but there was one feature that I'm really disappointed they didn't add: File uploads in mobile Safari.
The way I see it, if you can upload files through mobile Safari on your iPhone you can do away with a whole swag of apps and just use websites instead. Sure there are a lot extra features an app can use like the camera or gyroscope etc. but most of the time uploading files (like photos or videos) is all you really need to do. For example, if I want to write a blog post I can do that directly through a form in my browser, but if I want to add a photo I'm out of luck. The 'file' form input is disabled in Safari so it's impossible.
Well, those days are over!
Today I discovered a new web browser that's available in the AppStore where I can upload files. It's called WebUploader. This browser is missing a few features that Safari has, like a built-in Google search in the top bar, but it seems to do the right thing where it counts. File uploads work beautifully! You can choose any photo or video from your camera roll or any music from your iTunes library. Once you have chosen the file you want to upload you have the option to zip it before the upload starts - very neat. It's not a free app, But at 99 cents here in Australia, I'm not complaining.
I'm so happy because now I can blog from anywhere and upload whatever pictures I like. I'm no longer tied to my laptop.
If you want your website visitors to be able to upload then you need to ask them to download this new browser. That may not be a perfect solution because many people won't want to do this. But hey, you could always detect a user's browser and place a message next to the 'choose file' button that explains what to do to enable file uploads. I guess that's the best we can do for now... Hurry up Apple and enable file uploads in Safari!!!
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