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I was distressed to find that when I connected my Samsung Galaxy S3 to my computer using a USB cable it did not appear as a disk drive.

Android Jelly Bean 4.1 does not support USB Mass Storage Mode (UMS) instead of an UMS option, users will have to make use of MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) or the older PTP protocol.

The reason for this is explained here, it might be a good reason but I don’t care because now my camera workflow is broken. I use ACDSEE to manage my photographs and although it can detect MTP or PTP devices because of a bug in the Galaxy S3 it cannot retrieve the thumbnails for the images on the phone. Aha! I thought, “I will use Windows Explorer” but that also can’t see the thumbnails.

The internet is full of workarounds. If you are willing to root your phone you can use this hack. Another user resorted to installing an FTP server on his phone which is clever but smacks of desperation. If you are willing to pay for an application, PTPDrive will give you back your drive letter.

In the end I used a relatively simple and (I think) elegant solution. I installed Dropbox on my phone and my PC and set up Dropbox to sync my phone with my Dropbox folder over wi-fi. Since I have less than 2GB of storage this is a free solution. I don’t set Dropbox on my PC to sync automatically because I use my laptop on a mobile connection quite often but it only takes a few minutes to sync when I do connect.

Now all the images on my phone are automatically imported to my PC and I can process them using ACDSEE in the usual way.

As a bonus Dropbox now supports links for sharing so if I need to share an image or video with a client I can simply sent them the link. Very cool.

[update 01 February 2013 9 pm]

After my photos finished uploading I checked my mail and Dropbox have given me 48 GB free with my Samsung S3. My first computer had a 10MB disk and now I get 48 GB free with my phone!