How to make iPhoto work with Android phones

by Volker Weber

When I plug an iPhone, or any camera for that matter, into my Mac, iPhoto loads and offers to import the pictures. Not with the Android G1 though. iPhoto loads, but it cannot find pictures. The reason is that it is looking in the wrong place. There is a directory called DCIM on the SD card and inside that directory is another one called Camera, which contains the photos.

You need to do two things to make it work:

  1. Make sure DCIM is not dcim. The G1 does not mind, but iPhoto does.
  2. Create a link from DCIM/100ANDRO to DCIM/Camera.

On a Mac that is pretty simple. Open Terminal and, assuming your SD card is called G1, enter:

cd /Volumes/G1
mv dcim DCIM
ln -s Camera 100ANDRO

Or, if you prefer to use the Finder, create an Alias 100ANDRO for Camera:



iPhoto will now look into DCIM/100ANDRO and find the photos in DCIM/Camera. Bingo.



If there was an easy way to sync iTunes with an Android phone I may well be tempted by the HTC Hero. O2 in the UK really pissed me off with the latest iPhone release.

Matt White, 2009-07-01

This should do it. Supports the Dream and the Magic, and Hero will not be different.

Volker Weber, 2009-07-01

You could also give the new Cameras pref pane from Flexibits a try -- dunno if it works since I ain't got no Android phone here to try...

Thomas Cloer, 2009-07-01

Thomas, that does not make a difference at all. Cameras registers itself as the capture device handler. When you connect a device it jumps in and loads the software the users wants to use for that particular device. In this case, iPhoto. Which can't find anything on the device because it is looking in the wrong place.

You have two choices:

Fix iPhoto to look where Android stores its photos.
Fix the device to show the photos where iPhoto goes looking for it.

I chose the latter.

Volker Weber, 2009-07-01

Too bad. Still the same in 8.0.4? Then your hint is even more useful!

Thomas Cloer, 2009-07-01

Yes, also in 8.0.4.

Volker Weber, 2009-07-01

With my HTC Hero this is no longer required? Perhaps the Android 1.5 update?

chris lindley, 2009-08-09

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