Dropbox users: iPad -> Dropbox (solution)

Discussion in 'iPad' started by MisterEd, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. MisterEd macrumors 6502

    Jan 2, 2006
    Hi guys,

    Just wondering if anyone out there uses pages (or similar) on their iPad, and was trying to get the documents into their Dropbox folder (or anywhere locally on their mac come to think of it).

    Not sure if this is the easiest way of doing it, so suggestions are welcome!

    It basically involves having a Mac left on at home, using Mail and a simple rule to run an Applescript, saving the attachments of particular emails to your dropbox folder.
    Anyway, here's how I do it:

    • email document (usually .pages) from iPad to myself, with subject 'Dropbox'.
    • Mail.app on my iMac (constantly running at home) contains the following rule: "If mail is from [myself] AND subject equals [Dropbox] THEN run applescript, delete message.'
    • The applescript grabs the mail attachment, and saves it to an 'emailed' folder in my Dropbox, meaning that the file is usually online within minutes of having sent it from the iPad.

    For those who want to try it, here's the script I'm using: (remember to change the path for the file to be saved to!
    Paste it into Applescript editor, and save as a script if you wish to use.

    using terms from application "Mail"
    	on perform mail action with messages theMessages for rule theRule
    		tell application "Mail"
    			repeat with oneMessage in theMessages
    				set {mail attachment:theAttachments} to oneMessage
    				repeat with oneAttachment in mail attachments of oneMessage
    					save oneAttachment in ("Hackintosh:Users:Ed:Dropbox:emailed:") & (name of oneAttachment)
    				end repeat
    			end repeat
    		end tell
    	end perform mail action with messages
    end using terms from
    If anyone else has a simpler method, please share! Thanks :)

  2. CristobalHuet macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Mind = blown.

    I will give this a shot when I get my iPad. :D
  3. pooryou macrumors 65816


    Sep 28, 2007
    I believe you can also use Goodreader on the iPad if you want a self-contained solution.
  4. danpass macrumors 68020


    Jun 27, 2009
    Miami, FL
    nice work there.

    I've emailed then RDP'd into my computer to move a file into dropbox.

    sidenote: a direct download into goodreader can be done by adding a 'g' as part of the http address.

    example: ghttp://xyzPDFfile.com

    though it only works using the safari browser since it would not work the one time I tried it using Atomic (may have been iCab lol). Don't know if that has been addressed yet otherwise.
  5. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    There's a much, much, much easier solution to this.

    Buy Documents To Go for the iPad. It'll let you access your Dropbox folder from within the app itself. Changes made to any Dropbox document from your iPad will automatically sync. You can even save new documents into your Dropbox folder.

    Works like a charm for me.
  6. BMJT macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    ^ But you can't edit .pages files, which is what the OP is using.
  7. REBELinBLUE macrumors regular

    Oct 2, 2007
    London, UK
    I was trying to set up a maildrop script on my server that would copy emailed attachments to dropbox (so I could copy them back to Air Sharing) but it wasn't working so in the end I used box.net which has the option to email files to your account.

    Then I just log into it via Air Sharing HD (which has the option to open files in other apps) and copy the files back locally (or to dropbox if I wanted, but I prefer having my files locally on a device without a constant connection).

    Means I don't have to leave my mac on all the time either.
  8. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    I just downloaded Dropbox and it looks like an awesome system, way better than iDisk (which I also have), but the inability of iPad Pages to export back to Dropbox, or edit a file from it directly, is maddening. We shouldn't have to jump through these crazy hoops just to move files around to and from the iPad. I love my iPad, but the file handling is a MAJOR FAIL on Apple's part.
  9. Tulipone macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2009
    Huntingdon UK
    I started a fairly similar thread recently asking how to edit and use Dropbox. i cannot believe that Apple think that this is a good way of using the iPad and that something must change with the OS update.

    I am kind of intrigued to know who leaves a mac on at home when they are not there for this solution to work.
  10. Aduntu macrumors 6502a


    Mar 29, 2010
    You can move files between your email and Dropbox directly within Goodreader. Email document to yourself, open email account in Goodreader, paste file to Dropbox.
  11. jmmo20 macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2006
    If only dropbox added a personal email address to get your files into your dropbox :)
  12. iCheddar macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2007
    South Dakota
    Let's hope there is some manner of file management coming. The brief exchange Jobs had at All Things D with the CEO of Sugarsync would seem to suggest so.

    As far as my method, I use Chronosync to manually sync Goodreader with my Dropbox folder. I'm slowly integrating DocumentsToGo into my workflow as well.
  13. tpeacock3 macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2010

    Can you please provide some more details how you are using Chronosync to sync up all your Dropbox files to Goodreader and vice versa. Previously, I have just been copying everything downwards to the IPad over and over, but syncing would be much faster.

    Also, QuickConnect Office for IPad was just released. I downloaded it today and it appears to perform upward syncs of files downloaded from Dropbox perfectly. You just save your changed file and QuickConnect asks you to confirm it goes back into the appropriate folder in Dropbox and then it uploads the file. It works great!

    I have not explored QuickConnect extensively for its ability to edit and format Word and Excel documents. But I was able to make minor edits and changes, upload them to Dropbox and then view the changed documents on my main Dropbox account from another computer. And that was my primary goal all along.
  14. Bodhi395 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    I don't get why a third party app like Documents To Go can easily use dropbox to save and sync right from the app, yet Apple's own iWork apps can not save and sync files from Mobile Me. Come on Apple, get on this!!
  15. iCheddar macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2007
    South Dakota
    With Goodreader open and mounted as a drive, I selected my Dropbox folder, and set the delete files option to Move to Trash, and I selected the root folder on my iPad WebDAV drive, and set the delete files option to delete immediately. Then I set the whole synchronization to bidirectional.

    With this setup, I sync everything before I head out the door, and before I use my desktop again. With bidirectional syncing, if I change something on the desktop it syncs to the iPad and if I change something on the iPad it'll sync back to the desktop.

    Mind you it's not like the entire process is flawless, I usually have troubles with my Public or Documents To Go folders, and I get errors like this. So you will need to babysit the syncing a little bit, and when it comes up with an error like this, you'll need to tell it which version to use.

    Overall though, Chronosync is great. I used to use it to keep my home folder in sync between my desktop and my Macbook Pro. But I replaced the MBP with my iPad, haven't looked back.
  16. CristobalHuet macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Got my iPad a few days ago and just tried this out.

    I really want to use Pages to take notes in class, but I absolutely need to be able to sync to Dropbox (for one, easy access on my Mac...second, peace of mind knowing my file will get backed up).

    Your method works well, but I made a few adjustments to suit my own needs.
    (note: I use Gmail to make this work). I wanted to hide the email sent from Pages from my iPad's inbox as well as my Mac's inbox. The rule on Mail.app deletes the message from the inbox, but if you go to Mail on your iPad, it's still there.

    To accomplish this, I logged onto Gmail's web client and created a new filter.

    -> ON GMAIL

    FROM: [my email]
    TO: [my email]
    Subject: Db

    I use "Db" as the subject and not "Dropbox" so it can go quicker from Pages. :p

    Next step...I told Gmail to "do the following" upon receiving a message with the criteria above: "Skip the Inbox (Archive it)"

    -> ON MAIL.APP
    Modified rule to include messages whose subject is "Db".

    -> ON IPAD
    On iPad, to speed up the process again, I created a new contact..."me" (with my email address). So whilst exporting to mail from Pages, I type "me" in the "to" field and my email address fills itself out quickly.

  17. bluedog3401 macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2008
    What happens when you make some changes and email a second version of the file to the dropbox?

    Does it overwrite the previous version, add a "filename-1.pages" dash-one to the filename?

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