Turn your iPhone into a Web server

Turn your iPhone into a Web server

Summary: A new iPhone app called "ServersMan@iPhone" turns the iPhone into a full-blown Web server. The name is said to be a tribute to Sony's "WalkMan.

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serversman.pngA new iPhone app called "ServersMan@iPhone" turns the iPhone into a full-blown Web server. The name is said to be a tribute to Sony's "WalkMan."

Once the app is installed, PCs on the internet can access the iPhone to upload or download files through a browser or they can use the webDAV protocol. If the PC and the iPhone are on the same network, the PC can connect directly. If they are on separate networks, then FreeBit's VPN software will engage the connection.

The app was developed by a Tokyo-based venture company called FreeBit and is currently only available in the Japanese App Store but is coming to the U.S. App Store in March according to the report.

While an app like this could be used for transferring files to and from the iPhone (think: USB mass storage device/flash drive) there are several apps that already do this quite nicely (my favorite is Briefcase (iTunes, $5).

A couple of web servers (Apache, lighttpd) are available for jailbroken iPhones but this appears to be the first iPhone Web server officially allowed into the App Store.

The killer application for this technology would be "a truly decentralized social web of people trading data and human information in ad hoc ways over open protocols" or, as a commenter said, "Goodbye Facebook: hello community." If everyone with an iPhone suddenly becomes a walking Web server (and Wi-Fi router) the possibility of a true mesh network comes one step closer to reality.

Can you think of a creative use for an iPhone-based Web server?

Tip: Read, Write, Web

Topics: Servers, Browser, iPhone, Mobility

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4 comments
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  • Well, this is great for students!

    It's great for those who collaborate with other
    students for their group projects (group
    assignment, for example). I think it's suitable
    for a place where students can bring their own
    laptops and connect wirelessly to an iPhone-
    based web server.
    Grayson Peddie
  • Cool!!! We can't do that on our Windows Mobile phones!

    Oh, wait, we can, and have been able to for years.

    [i]If everyone with an iPhone suddenly becomes a walking Web server (and Wi-Fi router) the possibility of a true mesh network comes one step closer to reality.[/i]

    The beautiful irony of this application is that I bet you anything it needs to be running in the foreground for anyone to access your iPhone web server. Remember, only 1 process allowed! So your Utopian dream of having an iPhone mesh would require that everyone keep this application in the foreground... always. HILARIOUS!!!!! :)
    NonZealot
    • Absolutely correct and it's even worse than that...

      It won't run unless the phone is actively on AND the program is the application currently running. This means, you can't even be in standby mode. The screen has to be active. So, we'll all be getting about 1 hour of battery life with this running. It is basically a quick file transfer utility being over-hyped as a "web server."

      Supposedly the 3.0 firmware will fix at least part of this by adding background execution of applications. It isn't clear, though, whether these background applications will continue operating while the phone is in standby mode. If so, it might make this usable as a social networking tool. If not, it will still be a glorified file transfer utility.
      BillDem
  • Oh, and mesh cell phones are already here

    [url=http://www.developingtelecoms.com/content/view/1556/26/] HTC Max 4G [/url]

    Hmm, I wonder what OS it runs?
    [i]Running Windows Mobile 6.1[/i]

    Oh. :)
    NonZealot