|iFiles must-have app for transferring files (photos, videos from your camera roll and more)
to cloud storage, including webdav servers like OwnCloud
How does an iPad app get to be on my list of favorite apps to have? It has to allow me to pull content from my iPad to my computer wirelessly. I’ve only stumbled on a few apps–the three mentioned in this blog post–that have made this possible. The LAST app mentioned is the one I’d buy, though, so don’t go spending money until the end of the blog post! 😉
iPad apps featured here include:
- Transferable – allows for easy access via WiFi from your computer’s web browser to photos.
- MyWebDav – allows for easy access to upload/download/delete files.
- iFiles – This is a must-have app that provides webdav, cloud storage (dropbox, box, Gdocs, lots more) support for all files you create on your iPad.
Transferable – WiFi Photo Transfer
The first app is one I picked up for free via an Appsfire announcement…I’ve already picked up quite a few apps available for free for a day, so I encourage you to check them out! The app is Transferable ($.99 app that I got for free). The beauty of Transferable is that it turns your iPad into a photo web server that you can browse with your computer provided you know the IP address, as represented in the screenshot below:
The second app is one my team at work stumbled upon, which caught me completely by surprise–MyWebDav. This is a free app that allows you to tap on the wireless button at the bottom left corner of the app, then it provides you with an IP address–based on whatever subnet you are on–essentially turning your iPad into a file-sharing server that does NOT require login/pwd or authentication of any sort. While some IT folks might have concerns with this (just imagine students turning it on to share files from one iPad to another, or iPad <—> Computer), it offers some powerful options.
Here’s what it looks like with captions underneath each image:
|This is my iPad list of files displayed on my LubuntuLinux machine|
|If you click on CHOOSE FILES button, you can actually select information to upload from your
computer to your iPad. Once there, the documents can be opened in your favorite iPad app.
|What the files look like after uploading (I uploaded 5 files at once, which was neat!)|
Unfortunately, while MyWebDav makes for a nice way to get files on/off your iPad, it’s essentially separated from other apps on your iPad AND lacks authentication. That means, if I can connect to your iPad while you have MyWebDav running, I can delete files on your iPad!
And, it won’t solve a problem like the one below:
Launching an iPad initiative and students need to be able to turn in assignments. Some times, the only way to get those assignments off the iPad is for the student to send an email with the item as an attachment.
GoogleDocs, given its poor performance on the iPad, won’t do the job at all. If a child creates a video in an app like Videolicious, they can use iTunes to get it off the iPad OR email it to someone. I pray that there is either 1) an Owncloud add-on that enables email attachments to your space; 2) Email to Moodle somehow or other.
Each iOS app runs in an isolated runtime environment. Additionally, the part of the file system that the app has access to is isolated. An app can work only with data in its own app bundle (i.e. the app package that gets installed), or its isolated file system portion. One app cannot get access to another app’s file system portion, or to the device’s system portion. In summary, each app runs in its own sandbox. (Source)
iFiles – Multi-Purpose File Management/Transfer Tool
Of course, there is an app to accomplish this. You can use the $3.99 iFiles app to…
…allow you to store, share, view and manage files on your iOS device. You can connect to iFiles from any Mac or PC and drag and drop files straight from the Finder, Windows Explorer, as you would with any other shared folder, or you can share files with your friends over bluetooth.
Unlike MyWebDav, with iFiles you can “secure remote access to your data by setting a username and password” in the settings of the app. More importantly, it provides support for many services, including WebDav, Dropbox, Box.net, GoogleDocs and others (check screenshot below). If you’re running your own Owncloud WebDav server, then you can put content online.
This makes it a must-have app for iPad deployments where you need to get files on/off quickly.
Here’s what it looks like in action:
|iFiles sharing via WiFi is similar to MyWebDav except that it allows for login/password, which is nice security feature!|
|You can add services like those shown above–even more below, including Amazon and Sugarsync–
that you can connect to. iFiles does an AWESOME job.
|You can select photos, videos in your Camera Roll, PhotoStream, etc and save them to
the services. In fact, I managed to get my pictures for this blog entry off the iPad by using iFiles
to save them to Box.net
|Here’s what it looks like saving to Box.net|
What’s more, you can easily upload content (e.g. photos) to sites like Facebook:
It’s all pretty amazing stuff. While I can open files using iFiles that are stored in GoogleDocs, for example, using Pages or Documents-To-Go Premium, it’s a bit more difficult to use iFiles to upload that file back. That’s the old workflow, though. The new iPad workflow is simply to use whatever app you “open in” the file, and then have that upload back to wherever.
I have to say that iFiles solves the problem of sharing videos, pictures to WebDav. Since many of the free apps will send files to your Camera Roll–either as pictures or video–that eliminates the question of sending files out. If you’re opening files on GoogleDocs, then you have several choices of what to open the file in–Any installed Office suites. On my iPad, I have Pages, Docs-To-Go Premium, SmartOffice2
Of course, the problem is that you could do this for free on a netbook running Linux, but you have to pay for the privilege on an iPad. Sigh.
Anyways, I spent my $3.99 for iFiles…well-worth the investment.
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