Connecting a Lumia 920 or other WP8 device to a Mac/Linux/iPad
So the folks over at Nokia Connects have sent me Lumia 920 to have a play with. This isn’t a review, that’s not what I do here (it’s a good phone though, I’m liking it). If you’re interested in my opinions, follow me on twitter @the_accidental. Anyhow, I head @whatleydude ranting on The Voicemail (go subscribe – it’s full of ace) about the problems getting media off the 920 to a Mac. There’s the official Windows Phone app of course, which kinda works, but isn’t that great. But you have other options too, some of which will work on Linux too. Be sure to read till the end, I just sussed out how to mount the 920 as a drive on my mac…
MTP. Media Transfer Protocol – it’s how a WP8 device presents itself to a computer. So any software that can talk to an MTP device should in theory be able to talk to the Lumia. Sadly, not all are up to date enough, or there’s some other incompatibility. But some do work, and I’ve been doing some investigating. First, what should work but doesn’t:
- LibMTP – on my Mac at least doesn’t pick up the 920, but no reason it shouldn’t', I think it just needs a couple of tweaks to a header file and a recompile (get in touch if you want more info, but if you do you can probably sus it yourself). A shame as several apps depend on it.
- MTP-Fuse – cos of the above. However, if this was working that’d rock – your Lumia would just show up like any other disk drive on OSX or Linux. I could probably make this work, but truthfully I don’t have the time to spend on a phone I only have temporarily.
- Aperture / Image Capture / iPhoto – i.e. the default ways of getting images on a Mac, a shame. Maybe in the next camera kit update?
The good stuff, note that on a mac you need to kill the “PTPCamera” process after connecting and unlocking your Lumia before something else can attach to it:
- An iPad via a camera connection kit. This works great! Except….you need a powered USB hub. The 920 tries to draw power to charge, the iPad can’t supply it, and where the N8 would reconnect not drawing power the Lumia doesn’t. So unless you can supply power too, no dice.
- The Dropbox app will pull in the photos, as it speaks MTP.
- lib-Gphoto2, Mac and Linux. On a mac, easiest way to get it is via Macports - “sudo install gphoto2″ and you’re good to go! Then you can either transfer photos via the command-line as below, or you can use an app based on it, like GtKam.
- And here’s the best for last, just checked, and gphotofs works :-) So you can mount the lumia as a drive. On a mac, use macports to get fuse4x and pkgconfig, then you can download and compile gphotofs as normal. Then mount with “gphotofs some-directory” – still the caveat about killing the ptp monitor. And here’s some proof:
So, that’s a bit of a fiddle. But it works, there’s your proof of concept. It’s for someone else with incentive (i.e. actually owns a Lumia) to package this up neatly!