Dealing with Data Files in iOS

Discussion in 'iOS 8' started by HD Fboy, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. HD Fboy macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2008
    I use my iPad for work. I have about 10mb of data files I want have easy access for in my iPhone and iPad both to show customers and to easy to email several files on one email. These files are pdf's, Excel Spreadsheets, Word Documents, and PowerPoint Presentations. Most of the Microsoft Office documents don't show up correctly unless they are under running under their native application.

    Keeping where the files are under their native apps on the iPhone and iPad is a challenge.

    Right now I have them on iCloud but that's not the perfect solution either, what if I don't have service?

    Is there an app that will allow me to easily transfer the files between the iOS devices and the Macbook Pro and keep them in one list?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. culb0743 macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2013
    You might want to try uploading them into Dropbox or OneDrive. Use Microsoft Office for iOS to view and distribute the PDFs. Microsoft recently dropped the Office 365 subscription as a requirement to use the apps. They are essentially free for personal use, but I'm not sure what that might entail for you. The best advice I can offer is to purchase an app called PDF Expert by Readdle to manage PDFs. With PDF Expert, you can continue to use iCloud Drive for storage (actually, any of the big name cloud-based storage vendors for that matter), or if security is an issue, store the files on your iPad locally; PDF Expert allows you to password protect documents in its local storage library; in addition to the iPad's native PIN/Touch ID protection and encryption, the extra app-specific password adds HIPAA compliance, if that's a concern (2 locks). I've used PDF Expert for years and its rock solid, with an excellent team of developers and support staff behind it. It renders PDFs better than any other app in its category; that may sound odd, but I deal with a lot of fillable forms I have clients fill out on the iPad; I've had lesser apps completely botch fillable forms. It does all your asking for and much more. You should give it a look. If the $9.99 they're asking for PDF Expert puts you off, you can try Documents by Readdle; it actually may better suit the use case you listed and is free; it's a very comprehensive filesystem/ document manager, likely the best free option you'll find. Documents offers the same document management capabilities (including the security features I mentioned) and UI as PDF Expert, albeit without the annotation and form fill-in features. GoodReader by Good.iWare is another option that will serve you well as a document manager. All of the apps I've mentioned take advantage of the basic iOS sharing capabilities (email, iMessage, etc.); Readdle's implementation is the most user-friendly, whereas I find Microsoft's a little convoluted. I may be wrong, but I don't believe any apps I've listed have the ability to attach multiple files to a single email. For that you'll need an alternative email client like CloudMagic or Acompli. Hope this helps and good luck.
  3. HD Fboy thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2008
    Thanks. Anything under $100 is OK.

    It does frustrate me that the iOS won't allow some subset of standard computer file management. It would make the iPad/iPhone much more attractive tool for business related functions.
  4. Readdlemate Suspended


    Jan 26, 2009
    Thanks a lot for so kind words about PDF Expert 5 and Documents 5!

    To send multiple email attachment go to the main Documents folder, tap Edit on top right and mark files you want to send. Then tap "Mail to" button on the appeared toolbar.

    Hope this solution works for you.

    Best regards,
    Your Readdle Team
  5. AppleP59 macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2014
    Can you tell me (or are you able to point me to where I can find out)
    What sort of security does Documents 5 use?
    / How safe are my Documents?
    Where are they stored?
  6. gordon1234 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    There are stored locally on your device, within Document 5's application sandbox (the only place on the device it has read//write access.) as of iOS 8, the entire local device storage is encrypted.


    As of iOS 8, this should become a non-issue. Any application that allows for remote or local data storage can register with the OS as a Storage Provider. Any application that implements the storage provider API will be able to access documents and read and write to them directly in the storage location.

    FYI, Android is moving in this direction too. It's had a storage provider API for a long time, which is the preferred way to manage files. Technically apps can also access the device's file system directly, but it's really clumsy. OS and application data files are mixed in with personal data. It would be like if OS X only let you save files in /Library. I suspect they'll get rid of local storage direct access at some point.
  7. notrack macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2012
    Afaik there is no practical way to edit documents in place on iOS. For example, I sync files with sugarsync from my Mac, but I can't edit them.
  8. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    I'll second (or third?) Documents. Aside from being free, interfacing with a Mac is very easy. As long as they're on the same wifi network and the network doesn't isolate devices, you can mount the iPad as an external drive to the Mac. From there, you can copy items to and from the iPad. Security-wise, you can have Documents request authorization each time, or you can specify a username and password with which the Mac mounts the iPad. The only downsides to this transfer method are that it's wifi-only, and that if the iPad's (or iPhone's) screen shuts off, the drive unmounts.

    The Documents app itself has native support for reading many file types, including PDFs and Word documents. Even if it can't open a document, it's fairly easy to shift it over to an app that does support it.

    It's one of my most-used apps. It's incredibly useful and well-made, I'm always surprised that it's still free.
  9. gordon1234 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    Apple's "Document Picker" APIs take care of this in iOS 8. Assume both parties have properly implemented it, you can use an app to edit any supported document format that resides in a cloud service and save it back to that service "in-place" without creating multiple copies.

    Now, finding working implementations of this is a bit tricky right now, but iOS 8 has only been out for a few months.
  10. zosokm macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2012
    I use filemaster . ITs an excellent app which allows you to create folders (looks like a windows file explorer). It can natively unzip files and you can choose files to email. Can read most files as well including pub. You can also connect to dropbox and one drive from within the app
  11. notrack macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2012
    Thanks for pointing that out. However, I have a different view on that. My requirements aren't particularly demanding. Just sync my documents from the Mac and edit them on the ipad. iOS is 8 years now and still can't do that. Sugarsync does an excellent job on the syncing part since I can set which Mac folders I want on my iPad. Even offline. But buzzwords like "Document Picker" don't sound very promising. Seems to be something like another workaround.
    I hope I don't sound too negative here but I've been waiting and hoping for years now and I don't think that there will be much going on soon.
  12. gordon1234 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    It's not a "buzzword", it's an API that does exactly what you want to do. You open your document editor, hit Open or Edit or whatever, select the document that is located in SugarSync, make your changes, close the document, and your changes are saved back to SugarSync. Exactly what you're asking for. That's it - that's what the API does. It hasn't been available all these years, but is has been available for the last several months. All that is missing is the Apps you want to use supporting it. It looks like SugarSync has not been updated in some time and therefore does not yet register with the OS as a storage provider. If you want this functionality, email SugarSync as well as the developers of whatever word processor you want to use. Apple has provided the pieces, but it's up to developers to implement them.

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