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You're a Mac-person on the move. Out and about, doing the Meet-and-Greet, making the rounds, closing the deals, getting things done, and the whole time relying on your iPhone to keep you in touch with the world.

And you're thinking "life is good" when you suddenly realize that you forgot to bring a copy of the new report you were supposed to read — and you've only got an hour before the meeting! What to do?

Relax, you already installed the iPhone Mail Rules so it'll be easy to use your iPhone to locate the PDF or Word document on your office or home computer and mail it to your iPhone. That's right, use your iPhone to retrieve files from computers anywhere!

How It Works

When you run the iPhone Mail Rules installer, a series of mail rules are created in Mail, each designed to perform a specific task, such as sending you a file from your computer as a mail attachment, or adding a photo taken with your iPhone to your iWeb blog or iPhoto library.

The mail rules are triggered by email messages you send from your iPhone to the computer you installed the rules on. Each rule has a specific conditions that must be met in order for the rule action to execute:

  1. The email message must be from the email address you specify.
  2. The subject of email message must begin with one of the installed commands.
  3. The subject of email message must end with a 4-character security code you specify.

Here's a list of the rules and how to use them:


Add to Blog • This rule will add a photo taken and sent by your iPhone to your iWeb blog.

To use it, send the target computer an email, containing a photo, with the subject "Add to Blog" (no quotes), followed by a space and your 4-character security ID, and add the text of your blog entry as the body of the mail message.

For example, send the target computer an email with a photo with the mail body: This car really did look like a giant fish.

When the Mail application on the target computer receives the message sent from your iPhone, the mail rule will be triggered and it will extract the image attachment from the message and add it to the your iWeb blog with the description: This car really did look like a giant fish.

NOTE: iWeb is not currently designed to be non-interactive. If you have more than one site in your iWeb document, iWeb will display a sheet for you to choose the destination blog. Since, you're not at the computer, this will cause the rule script to fail. So, if you use this mail rule, only have one site in the iWeb document.


Add to iPhoto • This rule will add a photo taken and sent by your iPhone to your iPhoto library.

To use it, send the target computer an email, containing a photo, with the subject "Add to iPhoto" (no quotes), followed by a space and your 4-character security ID, and add any description as the body of the mail message.

For example, send the target computer an email with a photo with the mail body: This car really did look like a giant fish.

When the Mail application on the target computer receives the message sent from your iPhone, the mail rule will be triggered and it will extract the image attachment from the message and add it to the your iPhoto library with the description: This car really did look like a giant fish.


List Folder • This rule will send you an email containing a list of the items in a folder specified in the triggering email. This is very useful for locating and getting the name of a file on the target computer.

To use it, send the target computer an email with the subject "List Folder" (no quotes), followed by a space and your 4-character security ID, and then place the full UNIX path to the folder whose contents you want to see, as the first line of the body of the mail message.

For example, if you want to retrieve a list of the contents of the Documents folder on the target computer, place a UNIX path like this as the body of the message in your iPhone:

/Users/<YourHomeDirectoryName>/Documents/

When the Mail application on the target computer receives the message sent from your iPhone, the mail rule will be triggered and it will locate the folder indicated by the UNIX path in the message contents and send you a message containing a list of the folder's contents.

NOTE: For this and the other mail rules to work, you must leave the target computer on, connected to the internet, and set to periodically retrieve messages.


Send Document • This rule will send you an email containing a document specified in the triggering email. Since the iPhone has the ability to view certain mail attachments, Microsoft Word documents, PDF files, and image files work best.

To use it, send the target computer an email with the subject "Send Document" (no quotes), followed by a space and your 4-character security ID, and then place the full UNIX path to the document you want to see, as the first line of the body of the mail message.

For example, if you want to retrieve a PDF document located in the Documents folder on the target computer, place a UNIX path like this as the body of the message in your iPhone:

/Users/<YourHomeDirectoryName>/Documents/report.pdf

When the Mail application on the target computer receives the message sent from your iPhone, the mail rule will be triggered and it will locate the document indicated by the UNIX path in the message contents and send you a response message containing the document as a mail attachment.

NOTE: The iPhone will not open documents that don't have a name extension, so make sure your documents end with the appropriate name extension: Report.pdf instead of Report.