How does it work without a file system?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by peterpan123, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. peterpan123 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 24, 2014
    #1
    Hello, I am a Mac user but I use Samsung Galaxy Note due to the S-pen. I am considering to switch to iPad PRO. I heard that in IOS used by iPad, there is no file system. I cannot understand this as when user creates a document, it is saved as a file. Am I right? Why people said that there is no file system in IOS?!
     
  2. Pakaku macrumors 68000

    Pakaku

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    Aug 29, 2009
    #2
    There's definitely a file system, you just can't normally access it.
     
  3. garyleecn macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 25, 2014
    #3
    There is actually a file system ever since ios8. Almost all apps (especially big names) has integrated iCloud Drive.
     
  4. sparksd macrumors 6502a

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    Seattle WA
    #4
    To provide data security, iOS uses what's called a sandbox approach to encapsulate data (files) in an application's space - Google "iOS sandbox" to get a host of explanations.
     
  5. peterpan123 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I am still a bit confused about how things work. So, I can create some files in an iPad PRO, then somehow transfer them to Mac/PC for modifications or vice versa. Am I right? Is this "somehow" as simple as drag and drop? Can I transfer a bunch of files all at once?
     
  6. iPadDad macrumors 6502

    iPadDad

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    #6
    There is a file system, iCloud Drive, works brilliantly!
     
  7. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

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    #7
    This really depends on the app that you're using. Under iOS, you can only access files contained within an app from that app. So, for example, if I create a text document in Pages, I can't then open another writing app and be able to access that file. However, I can use Pages to "share" that file with another app, whether it be another writing app or an app like iCloud or Dropbox.

    Storing a file in an app like Dropbox (or my personal preference for non-cloud storage, Documents) is essentially like having it in a basic file system. This is because those apps can accept virtually any file type and, even if they can't open it, themselves, they act as a launching ground for you to then open the file with apps that can do something with it.

    As for how you shuffle files back and forth between your iPad and other i-devices or your computer, there are a few options. If you have a newer Mac (in general, 2013 models or newer), you can simply Airdrop between your Mac and your iOS devices. Shuffling files to and from the cloud may be fine, if you have a fast internet connection and aren't working with confidential files. Otherwise, Documents (and probably others) has a "wifi drive" mode, which allows the app to present itself as a removable storage drive to your computer, which can then be accessed from the Finder just like any hard drive.

    I don't know how Android handles its file system. If it's like a standard computer, then the iOS way of doing things is bound to feel restrictive. Ultimately, you're jumping through a few hoops to do the same things that are easily accomplished on a computer. But at this point Apple has added enough features that it doesn't take too much effort.
     
  8. Cakefish macrumors 6502

    Cakefish

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    Oct 14, 2015
    #8
    Yes, Android's file system is just like Windows or desktop Linux.
     
  9. engineerben macrumors regular

    engineerben

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    Greenville Tx
    #9
    All the stuff everybody else has said, with the additional observation that IOS is just BSD Unix under the hood, with a file system and all. Apple doesn't allow apps to directly expose the file system to users. But it does allow apps to expose an "open in" dialog to allow you to open a file in a different app, and if you need to transfer a file off of the device, Dropbox or iCloud Drive are options.
     
  10. pacorob macrumors 65816

    pacorob

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    #10
  11. BrennerM macrumors regular

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    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    #11
    When people say that the iPad doesn't have a file system, what they really mean is that the iPad doesn't come with a "Finder"-like app to allow you to view all of the files on the iPad. The files are there behind the scenes but they are compartmentalized so they can only be accessed within the application that created them.

    iOS gives applications a way to "send" any file to another application via the "Open in" paradigm, which effectively creates a copy of that file in the other application. But there is no way for anyone (except Apple) to write a true "Finder" app for iOS because any given app cannot get access to all files from all applications. And Apple has thus far chosen not to deploy that sort of app. iCloud Drive is an online file storage system and while it might work for some people, it definitely is not the same as a true Finder app on the device.
     
  12. LittleLuth macrumors member

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    Oct 27, 2014
    #12
    If you are a MSFT app fan, and/or use a PC or some combination of devices that include a Windows machine or two, then OneDrive works well, too. You can run it as an app in iOS just like iCloud Drive and Dropbox. I have found it works nicely when toggling between iOS, Mac OS X and Windows for access to files, etc. I think you get 1TB or something with Office365. Personally I end up using all 3. I use iCloud Drive for Apple-centric stuff and most photo back-up, OneDrive for MSFT Office-oriented docs, Excel files and so on, and then I basically use Dropbox as a back/repository for it all. I don't bother running iCloud on my Windows PC (which is a Boot Camped Mini) but you can do that as well. Personally, I don't understand the griping around not having a file system exposed in iOS - these various storage apps/services work great.
     
  13. joeblow7777 macrumors 68040

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    Sep 7, 2010
    #13
    Yeah, for all of 5 GB unless you pay for more.

    It's sad that iOS doesn't really offer a file system to the extent that Windows and Android do. It's perhaps the main reason why I was reluctant to invest in an iPad for some time.

    However, there is a free app called simply "Documents" which handles file management surprisingly well.
     
  14. sparksd macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Documents is a nice app - I have it - but I prefer FileBrowser as it has similar functionality and allows me to open and view a file in Dropbox without downloading and keeping a copy locally on the Air 2 (which you can delete, of course). Same with NAS access - with FileBrowser I can stream videos on my NAS with the FileBrowser or select another app like Infuse to view it with. GoodReader is yet another good file manager option.
     
  15. Maury macrumors 6502

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    Mar 25, 2008
    #15
    Every app has its own complete Unix file system from / down.

    Most of the structure is the real system too, so one app's /lib is the same directory as another.

    However, as you get into the "user side" of the structure, the folders are not shared, and mapped into the application itself.

    So for instance, in Flappy Bird there is a directory corresponding to ~/Documents where it can save things, and that's a different ~/Documents than the one in Safari.

    For any one app it appears there is a single normal file system.
     
  16. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #16
     
  17. rowspaxe macrumors 68000

    rowspaxe

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    #17
    Not really. I just think ipad enthusiasts are blind to how lame these work arounds are. I get impatient with good reader for pdf management--you recommending it for general file management!
     
  18. doboy macrumors 68000

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    #18
    This is a good recommendation. Love FileBrowser and especially GoodReader.
     
  19. sparksd macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I'm not an ipad enthusiast (more of an Android enthusiast, really) and I'm not blind. I am sorry you are impatient. It would really be more useful if you stated factual reasons as to why you don't like it - that would help the OP - as opposed to just lashing out. Sounds like an iOS device would not be a good purchase for you.
     
  20. s2mikey macrumors 68020

    s2mikey

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    #20
    Ditto to whats been said. I do NOT count the clud as a real file system. God forbid you have no internet access or whatever. Rut Roe. Maybe you have documents or data that you'd prefer not to have on the cloud? There are plenty of reasons that the cloud isnt a real file system. That being said, there is NO reason why a pro-level device such as the iPad pro cant have a way to easily move documents around and such. Its just nonsense. IMO.

    I have no problem with it on my iPad but this is a Pro device. No need to "save" people from themselves by allowing file system access, lol.
     
  21. engineerben macrumors regular

    engineerben

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    Greenville Tx
    #21
    Well, I'm an iPad user, and I have to say that rowspaxe has a point. File management jobs that one wouldn't even think about in OS X one must spend a few brain cycles trying to figure out. Things like, "How am I going to move this movie onto an SD card so I can give it to an associate? I'll move it to iCloud, and...no, I'm on cellular, it'll take forever. I'll get that little Leef thingy that...no, it's in the other bag. I'll dock my iPhone with my Macbook, figure out the protocol for getting at files, and..." By now, on any other platform you'd have moved the file and you'd be on about your business.

    Look, I love Apple stuff, own a bunch of it and I'll probably buy the iPad Pro with all the fixin's. Somewhere along the line Apple is going to need to figure out how to legitimately manage data files without breaking their sandbox architecture, and the "open in..." dialog isn't the final solution to that problem.
     
  22. sparksd macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    I actually agree 100%. Coming to an iPad earlier this year after many years with Android, Windows, and Unix variants I had a difficult time adjusting to the iOS approach on files. File management is really a pain and I think Goodreader is a viable option for someone to at least look at.
     
  23. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68020

    Ulenspiegel

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    #23
    @peterpan123: You can not access and utilize the file system as you do it on Windows, Linux or Android. It means that for the iOS user there is no file system in a classical sense.
     
  24. joeblow7777 macrumors 68040

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    #24
    This is so true. On iOS moving files around can often be like trying to solve a puzzle.
     
  25. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    Jul 16, 2014
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    europe
    #25
    And sometimes it is an infinity puzzle without conclusion.

    I was planning to buy pro too, but the lack of a real manageable filesystem i just a bigger ipad and i dont need another ipad. Im using NAS to store my files to access them from anywhere with any device and it is a pain in an ass with ios.
     

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