This article is for iPhone OS 2.x. Please refer to this older post for iPhone OS 1.x.
Unknown to many iPhone (and iPod touch) owners is you can mount your device as a thumbdrive! All you need is a Mac (or Linux) and install the Netatalk (an open source implementation of Apple’s AFP protocol) package via Cydia. After that, you can manipulate your device’s content in a Finder window, such as copying files to it for transport/archive, installing themes, etc.
Installing Netatalk (ported to iPhone OS 2 by Jay Freeman) is a breeze. Just launch Cydia and look for the “Netatalk” package (it’s filed under the “Networking” section.) If you want a way to toggle Netatalk on and off, you’ll need the “Netatalk Toggle for BossPrefs” provided by yours truly.
For Leopard user, your device will show up automatically in your Finder’s sidebar, under SHARED. Simply select your device, and enter the user name “mobile” (or “root” if you want to access as the root user) with the password “alpine”. Momentarily you’ll see two drives mounted on your desktop. Party on!
For Tiger user, you will mount your device by going to Finder, select “Connect to Server …” from the “Go” menu. Then type “afp://192.168.123.88/” (without quotes and to replace 192.168.123.88 with your device’s actual IP address first) and hit the Connect button (see pic). Voila!
For Linux user, here’s the home page of Netatalk for you to figure out how to add one more service to your OS.
For Windows user … Sigh. No cool iPhone thumb drive for you. It’s a Mac thing.
Do you need to use the USB cable to connect your device to your computer? No. Netatalk for iPhone connects wirelessly via Wi-Fi.