Files App game changer?

ColdShadow

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Sep 25, 2013
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So with the announcement of Files App (and other new features) in iOS 11,I suddenly changed my mind about iPad and it's potential to actually replace laptops for many users.

I had numerous iPads during past few years,the last one being Pro 9.7 but sold them all gradually as I felt they were becoming less and less relevant.
However now I'm considering buying a 10.5" Pro.

File management is extremely important and lack of it was the biggest barrier for the iPad Pro to become what Apple wanted.

Still I wonder if I'm being too optimistic about Files App and that certain limitations might still hold it back?

It's undeniable how much more you could do on Android vs iOS just because it had file management.

Thoughts?
 

Feenician

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Jun 13, 2016
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It’s hard to tell at this stage as it’s basically just the iCloud Drive app with a lick of paint and doesn’t do much (local integration not working, 3rd party storage not working, unclear if it will expose USB storage or NFS/SMB/AFS file shares). I think the real test will be how it’s integrated with the rest of the system and I just posted a few thoughts on it in another thread

Right now its still exposed as the “Save to iCloud Drive” option though there’s an extra part in that dialog which has the option “On my iPad” (which either it doesn’t work, or the Files app isn’t displaying things saved that way). Also the dialog is still as horrible as ever, presenting a long list of the entire iCloud hierarchy completely expanded (i.e. All nested folders shown).

As this will likely become the equivalent of the OS-wide standard Open/Save dialog I’d like to see several things: -

- Give it a name that’s more general and informative than “Save to iCloud Drive”. It will be able to do a lot more.

- Expose a bit more power and make it a bit more Finder/Files-like. Different view options and defintely not a mile long pre-expanded list, ability to create folders, to move/delete existing objects etc.
 

cswifx

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Dec 15, 2016
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It’s definitely a game changer for me. With the integration of third party cloud storage services in the future, I can see it being quite powerful. We’ll see what Apple can bring to the table.
 
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Tanax

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Jun 15, 2011
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Files app is just a way to show all your cloud files in one place. It doesn't allow you to access the file system on your iPad like you can on a computer. It might be a game changer but just keep those limitations in mind
 
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Jan.K

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Nov 29, 2015
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It would be a game changer if Files would support local network shares, USB storage and direct editing of the files (not copying them in the separate apps). I don't need access to the iOS filesystem or some fancy "cloudstuff"
 

Feenician

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Files app is just a way to show all your cloud files in one place
No, there’s a local storage bucket too. Storage is the key word though, it doesn’t show OS managed files, just documents stored locally. There’s no reason for it to be otherwise.

It would be a game changer if Files would support local network shares, USB storage and direct editing of the files (not copying them in the separate apps). I don't need access to the iOS filesystem or some fancy "cloudstuff"
Network and USB would be nice. They weren’t mentioned at the keynote. I must find time to drill into some of the dev sessions. As for direct editing of files, not only is it already possible in iOS10 but it was explicitly talked about by Craig Federighi.
 

richpjr

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May 9, 2006
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I can not wait for that day
Agreed. Kind of funny to think about the many people who rationalized why access to the file system was not needed and the many arguments by those who wanted access to it. Now if they just added mouse support for the times I use my smart keyboard, it would really increase my productivity.
 

Feenician

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Agreed. Kind of funny to think about the many people who rationalized why access to the file system was not needed and the many arguments by those who wanted access to it. Now if they just added mouse support for the times I use my smart keyboard, it would really increase my productivity.
There still is not "access to the filesystem" in the way most people who keep asking for "access to the filesystem" want it. Files is more of an enhanced iCloud Drive client with some local storage and 3rd party cloud storage plug-ins.
 
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richpjr

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There still is not "access to the filesystem" in the way most people who keep asking for "access to the filesystem" want it. Files is more of an enhanced iCloud Drive client with some local storage and 3rd party cloud storage plug-ins.
It will be very interesting to see how much, if any, it changes before iOS 11 ships.
 

whg

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Aug 2, 2012
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I had been using Stratospherix's FileBrowser for a long time and the current app from apple looks very much limited in comparison
So true, with FileBrowser I can easily Access files stored in the local network's AirPort, and other PCs shared drives. I really hope that the new Files app gets more features until final release. Yes, and allow mouse support when a keyboard is connected. Why can I use a mouse in the JumpDesktop app but not in Word or EXCEL?
 

user1234

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Mar 3, 2009
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It seems to be a great way to move files around iOS, but for me to take it seriously it would have to support external USB storage and network shares. When the iPad had USB Type-C and these features are added I may be interested in an iPad again.
 

Shirasaki

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May 16, 2015
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Well, if I must say, iOS file app is just a stripped down version of Documents, with another skin. I can do everything iOS file app can do in Documents, except tagging integration with Mac OS X.
The game changing feature in my mind is drag and drop, and dock, and better multitasking support in general. File app is not one of them.
 
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Feenician

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wrong.
you can access local storage (iPad's storage) too.
look at the locations on the left..
Im well aware of what it should and will do. Note that i said “at this stage”. The version in the current beta has On My Ipad but doesnt work, and there is no 3rd part integration yet. Like i said, for now its just iCloud Drive
 

canesalato

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Jan 31, 2010
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wrong.
you can access local storage (iPad's storage) too.
look at the locations on the left..
but we still don't know what this means. Will it be free and transparent? In that case, it's indeed a game changer. Or will the "On My iPad" folder be only writable by Apps to make their own silos and users have write permissions only within app-specific folders? Or perhaps a mixed model (like current iCloud Drive), where you have write access but Apps write their own silos and you can not move files outside of app specific folders. Second and third options would both be disappointing to me.
 

Tanax

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Jun 15, 2011
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You still won't have access to the actual file system. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, I personally can't wait to try this out for myself.
 

stulaw11

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Jan 25, 2012
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The question is impossible to say at beta 1 as it barely does anything in its current form.

And I dont think root file access is necessary at all to make a file app like this useful. Most people, 99.9% or more, have no need to access the root file system of the device as long as they can access the local storage portion. There is nearly 0% chance Apple ever lets root system access happen as they dont want people messing up their devices who delete a system file or dont know what they're doing and then coming in saying this phone is crap (it reflects bad on satisfaction ratings as well)

And icloud drive kind of takes care of the apps that use the "local storage portion" (like the app folders would be in local storage say on Android) as you can access the files/docs in the icloud drive folder that app stores them in.

This is going to be great to have icloud and your say Onedrive and Dropbox all in 1 app not switching between each company's app; and you cant transfer files between services on mobile as there is no way to currently (well you can via sharesheet but that gets messy and tedious)
 

canesalato

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Jan 31, 2010
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The question is impossible to say at beta 1 as it barely does anything in its current form.

And I dont think root file access is necessary at all to make a file app like this useful. Most people, 99.9% or more, have no need to access the root file system of the device as long as they can access the local storage portion.

And icloud drive kind of takes care of the apps that use the "local storage portion" (like the app folders would be in local storage say on Android) as you can access the files/docs in the icloud drive folder that app stores them in.

This is going to be great to have icloud and your say Onedrive and Dropbox all in 1 app not switching between each company's app; and you cant transfer files between services on mobile as there is no way to currently.
But free access to local storage (without documents being locked in App folders) is not the same as root access. They are very different things. Nobody is asking for the latter, I think (nobody that knows Apple); but the former would really suck
 

stulaw11

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But free access to local storage is not the same as root access. They are very different things. Nobody is asking for the latter, I think.
Of course, and again, we just have no idea yet. The app does nothing right now except access icloud drive. The local section ("on my iphone") has nothing there yet.

I presume that it will also require devs to update their apps (just like Dropbox, Onedrive, etc have to update their's to integrate with Files) to see anything in local storage. Ie. like the files/docs the app syncs with icloud will likely be able to be accessed there to manipulate; again just an assumption how it may work. They havent said anything yet officially.
 

DNichter

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Apr 27, 2015
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Hopefully it's a game changer. I am kind of gambling that it will be (MacBook up for sale). In it's current state though, it doesn't do much.