Getting documents on ipad - why so difficult?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Abazigal, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. Abazigal macrumors G3

    Abazigal

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    Singapore
    #1
    Is there a reason why icloud and dropbox's functions seem so limited on ios devices?

    With dropbox, I can view, but not edit documents. To do so, I have to first open them with the appropriate iworks app, but afterwards, to save it back into dropbox, I have to email it back to myself, then open in dropbox.

    With icloud, I need to first upload the files to the icloud.com from my imac. Is there an osx app which opens a folder for me to work from, like dropbox?

    Same for notability. I can only open pdfs from dropbox (which take forever to sync, and I am limited to 2gb), but not ibooks. You would think that with up to 64gb of storage in the ipad, this would be a match made in heaven, but no.

    Don't get me wrong - I like apple products, but some of their engineering decisions have me scratching my head is bewilderment. Why deliberately hobble your own products so much?

    Or am I overlooking something? :confused:
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    Sync the documents you want on your iPad through iTunes.
     
  3. Abazigal thread starter macrumors G3

    Abazigal

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    #3
    I can do that, but isn't the whole idea to do away with the need for syncing via itunes? So I don't have to go plug in my ipad to my imac and all that. :confused:
     
  4. tekno macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    #4
    I agree. There are many awkward work-arounds, but no easy, straightforward way of syncing documents. The same applies to iCloud. And this was the main reason I ditched the iPad altogether.

    It's things like this that make me honestly wonder if Apple employees actually use Apple products.
     
  5. OTACORB macrumors 65816

    OTACORB

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    #5
    I use Dropbox and it keeps my desktop, laptop and now iPad in sync. From that I can pull docs into whatever doc program I want. Most all of the work with Dropbox. No need for iTunes.

    Dropbox shows me all my files in folders. I do not what else you need. Your post makes no sense.
     
  6. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

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    Sep 13, 2011
    #6
    iCloud on OSX is still in its infancy. The next update brings significant added capabilities, and makes several API calls available to developers. It will get better. Be patient.
     
  7. David Menzel macrumors member

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    Apr 1, 2012
    #7
    I hope and think that OSX Mountain Lion will fix some of the issues and complicated workarounds e.g.:

    http://www.apple.com/macosx/mountain-lion/features.html#icloud
     
  8. Zcott macrumors 68020

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    Belfast, Ireland
    #8
    The previous poster is right: Mountain Lion has support for iCloud for documents. Save a document on your mac and it'll instantly be available on iOS. Which will be fantastic.
     
  9. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

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    Apr 27, 2005
    #9
    Yeah, but then that only applies to iWork documents. What if I want to sync Office docs across all my devices. SOL in that case.

    The reason it's so hard transferring and editing documents across devices is because Apple insists on sandboxing all its apps. I can still remember my surprise when I opened a file on an Android device via that was synced through Dropbox. After making some changes, I went about the usual roundabout iOS way of trying to sync the changes back to Dropbox. Turns out, it's all done automatically in the Android version of Dropbox because the two apps can actually communicate with one another via the same file. The lack of this feature is my biggest frustration with iOS.

    Having said that, I'm still a diehard iOS fan and do not plan on switching to Android anytime soon. But, I wish this is something they'd fix. Even a simple folder that all apps can access would go a long ways towards fixing this issue.
     
  10. erawsd macrumors 6502

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    Jul 1, 2011
    #10
    I think file management is one of those areas where Apple is going to have to admit that they had it wrong -- or at least were ahead of themselves.

    Apple effectively killed the file system, but it hasn't led to anything but wide spread frustration for everyone. Power users are forced to rely on third party tools and goofy workarounds. While the others are just left in the dark since there is nothing intuitive or easy about the current set up.

    Future updates to iCloud will likely fix these issues but right now its a very half assed implementation.
     
  11. iClive macrumors regular

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    Feb 23, 2012
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    UK
    #11
    How do I do that? I'm not a great fan of iTunes and only use it when absolutely necessary, but I can't see how it supports syncing of anything but "Apple content" (i.e. music, movies, apps, podcasts, ibooks, etc) :confused:
     
  12. erawsd macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    #12

    You have to connect your device to iTunes then navigate to its "app" section. Scroll down to the "File sharing" section, find the app you want to open the files in, and drop them in its folder.

    Honestly, its much easier to just use dropbox. Even better, if you don't mind spending a little money the best route to go is to just use QuickOffice since that gives you two way Dropbox Syncing.
     
  13. Eadfrith macrumors 6502

    Eadfrith

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    #13
    I think Apple said tha tablets will eventually overtake desktop/notebooks computers. If this is the case I think they will need to take a look at how iOS handles files.
     
  14. iClive macrumors regular

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    UK
    #14
    there's another thread going about could you live with the iPad as being your only mobile device and that's basically the conclusion everyone is coming to
     
  15. Abazigal thread starter macrumors G3

    Abazigal

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    #15
    Opening them from dropbox is no issue. I can live with the minor loss of formatting (why doesn't pages for ipad support calibri font?), as I am still using office for mac (may consider trying out iworks one of these days, but there is currently little incentive to, as my workplace uses windows/office).

    The problem then comes when I want to save it back to dropbox. I have the option of emailing it or sharing it, but not to send it back to dropbox. As mentioned above, the only alternative I have is to first email it to myself, then open the attachment in dropbox. Why the need for such a tedious workaround?

    So dropbox is really only useful as a file viewer, not document editor.

    Also, I was watching Steve's keynote on icloud, and the way he was selling it, he made icloud sound like the apple version of dropbox. Save/edit files on your mac, and it will automatically sync all the changes across all apple devices you have. Now, it seems this really only works on ios devices (ie: iphone+ipad for most of us), and the only real benefit is for calender/contacts?. There is no way I can save my files on my imac and expect it to auto-sync? :(

    Forgive me if I sound like I am ranting. I guess I probably misunderstood how these services worked and tried them out with too high expectations. :p
     
  16. mortenandersen, Apr 8, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012

    mortenandersen macrumors 6502

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    Norway
    #16
    No such "takeover" will ever happen

    As if from a holy source: ... that tablets eventually will overtake desktops/notebooks...

    If there is only one reason why this will never happen, it sure is the lack of a good physical keyboard on a tablet alone (and how can that ever be possible?!).

    BTW I think people eventually will get tired of carrying around BOTH a tablet AND a keyboard in addition, because in many situations a hardware keyboard is just what you need - or is the optimal kind of keyboard.

    Finally, ZAGGfolio (and Clamcase, among others) has come with a viable solution, but then we are not longer talking about just a tablet, an iPad, and its obviously limiting power for being a productive device, because text input with such kind of a device is by far sub-optimal, to say the least.
     
  17. Stealthipad macrumors 68040

    Stealthipad

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    Apr 30, 2010
    #17
    You are missing the point.

    The Op and I along with many others want the files ON our iPad. I use DropBox and it works well but NOT on my iPad or iPhone. there time when I can not get on the net to DropBox and would like these files ON my iPad for my use. DropBox should then sync when it does get a connection.

    This is how it should work. But Apple will continue to keep a noose around our necks called iTunes:(
     
  18. OTACORB macrumors 65816

    OTACORB

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    #18
    Then all you have to do is while you do have internet access is to have them download as favorites in dropbox and they are always on your device. You clearly don't understand how to use Dropbox. There are lots of times when I have large files I don't want to wait to download during meetings, so I download them as favorites in advance. This puts them on the iPhone or iPad for immediate access.

    My suggestion is learn how to use Dropbox or at least read the help file!
     
  19. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #19
    That's fine if all you want to do is look at the files on your iPad and you never change them. But the problem is if you edit the files you copied from Dropbox to your iPad, then depending on the app, there is no easy way to copy them back to Dropbox. This is especially true with Apple's iWorks apps. There is a service called Dropdav at www.dropdav.com that lets you upload fles from iWorks apps to Dropbox, but it's a paid service. And I'm hoping that Apple will eventually add more functions to iCloud so it will work more like DropBox. For me, the convenience of the iPad makes it worth dealing with workarounds like having to email the files to myself or having to download them from the iCloud website on my desktop. Plus, I've learned that with technology, it usually pays to be patient. Most of the things I thought "If only I could do X with computers" have eventually come true, though some took longer than others!
     
  20. OTACORB macrumors 65816

    OTACORB

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    #20
    That depends on what apps you are using. I don't use iWorks, so you are probably right in regards to that, because Apple does love to set limitations. However, the apps that I am using does allow me to copy back or upload back to dropbox. Granted as other posters have said it would be nice if there was auto sync, but for now I can download, work on my documents, upload them back to dropbox and then have access to them on my desktop. It works for me, but clearly it doesn't for everyone especially if you are using iWorks. I've never cared for iWorks and gave up on it.
     
  21. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #21
    You are right that other apps offer more Dropbox integration than iWorks. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a Office suit that works properly with Japanese input, so I'm stuck with iWorks. But perhaps for other posters, alternative office suits other than iWorks is the answer.
     
  22. Stealthipad macrumors 68040

    Stealthipad

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    Apr 30, 2010
    #22
    DO NOT tell me that I do not know how to use drop box! I was one of the fist beta users of the software and I know ALL to well how it works. I need and want access to over 4500 words files and 300 Excel files and I can NOT make them all my favorite!:mad:

    Thanks for your useless insite!
     
  23. Abazigal thread starter macrumors G3

    Abazigal

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    Jul 18, 2011
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    Singapore
    #23
    I am trying to use dropbox to its fullest.

    I won't always know beforehand that I need a certain document. Sometimes, a colleague just asks for a document and I may have to pull it up from my ipad on the spot, and 3G doesn't work in my office, plus the wifi is slow as molasses and blocks dropbox access.

    I have also used dropbox as a very indirect way of transferring files that I normally can't find a way of copying over to the ipad, but I still find it quite troublesome. I have to wait for it to sync on my computer (which does not let me install dropbox, so I have to use the web version), then download.

    When I outside my office, I can use 3G, only problem is that it isn't much faster (put it down to an overburdened 3G network plus my telcos' reluctance to upgrade the infrastructure).

    I want to use the ipad in place of my laptop to show presentations in class, but I find the prep work is quite heavy. If I copy my ppt slides into keynote, that screws up all the formatting, and ....

    So yes, while my problems cannot be attributed solely to the ipad, due to my circumstances, it is times like this, I wish there were some kind of extension that lets me plug in a flash drive, the same way I can attach sd cards via a camera adaptor. :(
     
  24. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

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    Apr 27, 2005
    #24
    Actually, there is. Check out the Kingston Wi-Drive, Maxell Airstash or Seagate Satellite. They basically amount to wireless flash drives. And you don't need an existing wifi access point because they all can act as access points themselves. It seems like with this solution you wouldn't even need to convert PPT to Keynote (although have you considered apps like Docs to Go or Quickoffice).
     
  25. iClive macrumors regular

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    #25

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