I suppose this might work for an iPod touch as well, but the ones I have and have seen don’t have cameras. OK, on to the tip! Recently I wanted to get all of my pictures copied off of my iPhone and onto my computer running Linux, specifically Debian 5.0. Normally with something like a USB thumb drive this is easy, once you plug it in, even if it doesn’t auto mount itself you can at least look in your messages file to see the actual device path in order to mount it manually. However, what I noticed with my iPhone (3GS version 3.1.2) is that not only did it not auto mount, my messages file didn’t list any information about a device path for me to mount it manually.
From here naturally I turned to Google, but everything I came across talked about installing iFuse and some kind of ipod-convenience package or said it couldn’t be done, or my favorite that you had to have a jail-broken phone in order to do it. Now, I didn’t want to install a bunch of packages I wasn’t familiar with just for this, and I darn sure didn’t want to jail-break my phone either. If for no other reason than because I was convinced that if I could do it in Windows (connect to my iPhone and copy my pics off), there had to be a way to do it in Linux too, without having to alter the device. I am hard headed that way, but in this case it worked.
Now this might be obvious and simple to everyone else, and if so I am sorry to bore you, but it wasn’t something I was familiar with. I did have an inspiration though, something so simple I just knew it wouldn’t work but I decided to try it out anyway. I fired up gthumb which was conveniently installed already, and is a tool for doing just what I wanted to do, importing pictures from a digital camera among other things. I then plugged in my iPhone and gthumb picked it up immediately and started pulling up a list of all my pics on the phone. From there I could import, rotate, delete originals and more, easy as pie. It worked perfect, and was very simple, just like it should be.
In the end, I found that I didn’t have to install any software hacks or jail-break my phone, just use the right tool for the job. Ain’t Linux grand?