It is important sometimes to download iPhone email attachments directly to your iPhone. You might want to review a document or file off line for any reason. Unfortunately, the iPhone iOS restricts you from doing so due to restrictions in the iPhone file system access.
When you receive an attachment through your iPhone email, you can view the document right in the email application by default if it is a supported iPhone document.
However, you can't simply download the attachment to your iPhone or iPhone 4 for off-line view.
Moreover, if the iPhone attachment is not supported, you can't even open it. You will get a grayed out attachment that is dead.
This is a way by Apple to protect the iPhone file system from malicious downloads that can hurt the iPhone OS performance. Therefore,
you don't have access to the directories in the iPhone file system.
The good news is that there are solutions to this problem that allow you to easily view those dead email attachments, and save them to your iPhone for future view.
Once you jailbreak your iPhone and have full access to your iPhone file system, with some iphone hacks, you can download iPhone attachments from your iPhone email applications, and save them locally on your iPhone without restrictions.
There are third party iPhone applications that do allow you to save files locally within the application itself without the need to jailbreak. Once you open the email attachment with a specified third party application, it will be saved in that application.
Buzz Player, VLC Player, and OPLayer are such third party applications that allow you to save your unsupported video formats locally on your iPhone.
AttachmentSaver is an extension or an iPhone hack that you can buy from Cydia for $3.0. It allows you to download iPhone attachments from the email application to a directory in your iPhone or iPhone 4 file system Located at /private/var/mobile/Library/Attachments.
After installing Attachment saver from Cydia, a dead attachment file like a VOB video file which is not supported on the iPhone will become downloadable as you can see in the pictures on the right below.
AttachmentSaver doesn't have an iPhone icon that will appear on your iPhone home screen. Simply open your iPhone email application, and open an email with an iPhone attachment. Whether the attachment is supported or not, you will have the option to save it locally on your iPhone file system.
The email attachment will show up with an arrow meaning you can click on it. Once you tap the iPhone attachment, you will see a download activity circle and the download in MB will be displayed.
For example, the avi file shown below shows 1.4MB of 16.4 MB is being downloaded.
After the iPhone download is finished, the file attachment turns into a blue link that you can tap once to view if the file is supported or Save to Disk to save it to your iPhone. Tap the "Save to Disk" button to save the attachment to the Attachment directory.
iFile is one of the best Cydia applications for your Jailbroken iPhone. It costs $4.0 and allows you to access your files any where in your iPhone. Therefore, you can access your downloaded iPhone attachments from the iPhone email application by browsing to the
/private/var/mobile/Library/Attachments directory. Then you can open the downloaded attachment with any third party iPhone application of your choice.
For example, you can download an email attachment that is an AVI video file. Then, open iFile and browse to the attachment directory on your iPhone, and then open the avi video using a third party applications like VLC player, or OPlayer if they are installed. You can also use iFile to browse files downloaded using iPhone Safari.
Download iPhone Attachments Without Jailbreak:
If you don't have a jailbroken iPhone, you can still have the option to open an attached file with a third party iPhone application that supports this iPhone email attachment.
Once the iPhone email attachment is downloaded from the internet in your iPhone email application, you can tap and hold on the attachment to get the option to open it with the available iPhone applications that are installed on your iPhone.
Some third party iPhone applications allow you to save files locally on your iPhone within the application itself.
When you select to to open an email attachment with a third party application that has the ability to download iPhone attachments. Then that iPhone application will automatically save the attachment locally within the application itself which you can view at any time off-line.