iPad needs a file system. Yesterday.

Discussion in 'iPad' started by CoryTV, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. CoryTV macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2006
    I can get over the lack of flash. I understand that HTML5 will eventually work with most of the video based sites (which is why 95% of the people want flash on this thing). What is kind of a major impediment, however, is the lack of sharing files between apps. It's absurd, really.

    The iPad is being sold as a productivity device, not just a mobile device. But I can't share PDFs or downloaded document files between apps or while using safari? That's craziness. I wasn't expecting this feature, but in usage yesterday and today, I really found this lacking-- I know they implemented "file sharing" in 9.1, but this is on a PER APP basis. That seems plain stupid.

    I feel sketchpad pro is one of the defining, evolutionary apps on this thing. It's truly enabling, and the way you interact with the interface is everything you want it to be (except pressure sensitive, natch)-- And when I was done with my first sketch, I wanted to post it to facebook.

    Yes, I can "save to photos" then use the facebook app to post... But this idea of APPS for websites is absurd. WTF do I need a facebook app and a Digg App and and engadget app when I should just be able to use freakin safari? --- If there was a "lite" filesystem implementation, we wouldn't need all this duplication of effort, and clutter on our homescreens. Apps are great-- for applications, not for websites...

    ..and they're buggy. ABC app crashes all the time. If that's the major problem with Flash on the iPhone, [instability] WHAT'S THE FRAKKIN DIFFERENCE? Other than blame? It's like Steve Jobs doesn't want to take the rap for the app crashing or something. Fine, pop up a little note that says "Flash has crashed this app." Problem solved.

    Other things that seem so obvious that aren't there:
    gestures in safari. It works SO WELL in sketchpad pro (3 finger swipe back/forward seems like a no brainer for safari)
    Although the cut and copy interface was fine for the light usage on the iphone, now that I'm doing more "realish" work, it seems like it takes a really long time to highlight text, and make insert type edits after-the fact.. a multi finger gesture would work nice here. although I suppose the keyboard dock (or bluetooth keyboard) will take care of that w/ ctrl...

  2. HXGuy macrumors 68000

    Mar 25, 2010
  3. CoryTV thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2006
    well, no... that's my point..

    Thanks for the link! I saw that after I posted, and it actually proves my point, I think... Why should you need a workaround app to do something very basic that should be done by the base-OS? (and is done by osx, but hidden from the UI)

    Having to kludge together a jpeg uploader like that is silly. Any app should just be able to access file.jpg and upload it or whatever. But your iPad is a benevolent dictator, just like Mr. Jobs. :)

    Same goes for printing... You should just be able to save and print documents, but because of the "sandbox" style apps, with no file system, you can't, unless you completely implement printing and driver support on a per-app basis.
  4. HXGuy macrumors 68000

    Mar 25, 2010
    Ok but then you would need to install drivers..and there are probably hundreds if not ore out there. Who would guarantee their compatibility? Then it leads to crashes...and the need for a more complex system which means less performance or less battery and more heat build up...so then you eventually end up with a regular computer, but maybe touchscreen.

    That's not what the iPad is and i don't think thats what it should be. It's a purpose built device and if it spur poses don't match your needs then it's just not for you I think.

    I mean it's like taking a bicycle and then complaining that it doesn't go fast enough and isn't self powered.
  5. CoryTV thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2006

    ..my point is a file system, not print support and drivers. They aren't the same thing. If you had a file system, you could simply drop your documents or pdfs or whatever, and if HP wanted to make a "print" app, they could, and while not as convenient as a regular "printer driver" on a notebook or netbook it at least would be, you know, possible..

    You don't even need "overwrite" capabilities.. just a place where other apps can access "communal" files and save new ones...
  6. Vesuvio Cat macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2010
    iPad seriously needs a Finder-type feature. That is, by far, my biggest and perhaps only problem with it. I'm not comfortable not being able to see my files or just assuming that Goodreader is managing my PDFs. I do anthropological fieldwork in West Africa and am away from Wi-Fi for months at a time. What happens if Goodreader stops working?
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    If we're being technical now... the iPad (and the iPhone and iPod touch) has always had a file system (including having had one yesterday). What you don't have is a file manager or the ability to mount it like a drive on your computer's desktop. They're not the same thing as a file system.
  8. CoryTV thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2006
    Yes, I know it already has a "file system." I even said that in a previous post. I meant it needs a "file system" in that it needs a system for manipulating files. :rolleyes:
  9. kultschar macrumors 6502a

    Mar 26, 2010
    I have a 32GB on the way :)

    If it would allow me to see network shares to work on docs and also allow you to install some generic driver for printing it would replace my working iMac.

    Im sure this will eventually happen but will trickle in slowly
  10. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    You're not getting it. A computer-like device with no file system is EXACTLY what Apple was aiming for. This isn't a product for the geeks. It's functionality is enough for a big slice of the market.
  11. FSUSem1noles macrumors 68000


    Feb 23, 2006
    Ft. Lauderdale
    That's the whole point of the iPad, it doesn't have a dedicated OS.. which is my main gripe about it, yet if you read the some of the posts here.. "iPad will kill laptops, yada, yada"...

    No, it won't, not even close..
  12. jclardy macrumors 68040


    Oct 6, 2008
    My main annoyance with this was the lack of txt file support. Pages should be able to open a plain text file. Maybe I'll make an app for that...

    I understand Apple's positioning of the device but since we have to connect it to a normal pc to sync we should be able to easily drag any files on and off.

    For example, I get an email with a PDF document. I can view it in preview from Mail but what if I need to get to that file often? If there is not a dedicated app for it I have to open mail and search for it on the mail server meaning I need to have wifi to get to it. Not exactly simple, easy or useful.
  13. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003

    Those that are saying it will kill laptops are idiots and know nothing. Jobs even stated it, it's a new class of device.
  14. IronLogik macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2009
    I don't know if anyone pointed this out yet but the reason some apps crash is likely a result of not having an actual iPad to test on prior to releasing the app.

    Some developers wanted to release on launch day. That meant that they wouldn't have the ability to test it before releasing the app to you to enjoy. Odds are those bugs will be worked out asap and we probably don't need to worry about this issue happening in the future since the device actually exists and developers can get it and test on it.

    As for your other issues. iPhone OS 4.0 is likely going to be a dramatic upgrade. 3.2 is in my mind a stop gap before 4.0 is announced and released. Hopefully that will solve some of your issues.
  15. Harmush macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2008
    does iwork.com not work with ipad's version of iWork?

    also why not just use your iDisk app? or something similar? online dropbox or something, thats good enough for a file system and its on your main computer too.

    i can see your point about uploading pictures to facebook, but i don't think the facebook app boths that many people. all be it i've only used an iphone with a much smaller screen. real sites would be more of an experience on the ipad.
  16. shakenmartini macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2008
    I think that the "file system" is a work in progress. I think OS 3.2 is a stop gap.

    There are a lot of hints in the dev docs that something new is coming.

    However I do agree that today the filesystem is a bit primitive.

    As long as it gets improved soon I'll be happy.
  17. jmmo20 macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2006

    the point is that even if you use iDisk or Dropbox apps from the iPad, the iWork or any other app won't be able to access files from the idisk/dropbox apps.

    that's one of the reasons I jailbroke my iphone.. i use iFile to manually move files from the dropbox app to the goodreader documents folder. A real PITA.
  18. str1f3 macrumors 68000

    Aug 24, 2008
    So you don't think that the OS won't progress much further than this forever? If this was meant to be a full computer, eventually, do you think Jobs would've mentioned it? This is a complete lack of foresight. I guess over at Macworld they're also wrong.


    the truth is that Apple is methodically rebuilding the Mac OS. It makes no sense to make this as a device for the "every man" when they will always ultimately have to deal with the Mac which is far more complicated.

    For those who say that the filesystem would complicate things with drivers, well Apple is already starting to simplify that. For well known printing manufacturers Apple is providing the driver updates through the software updater on the Mac. The end user will only update and never see the file system.

    The iPad is meant to be a laptop replacement today (for those who don't need to carry everything everywhere) but not meant to be your sole computer. Apples current thinking is that they would like you to buy an iMac and an iPad. This is the reason why there was such a serious upgrade to the recent iMacs, especially on the high end models.
  19. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003

    Where did I say the OS wouldn't progress? Why is MacWorld any more an authority on what Apple may do in the future than anyone else? :rolleyes:
  20. Vesuvio Cat macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2010
    I don't think being able to manage your files is a "techie" thing. I think it would just be incredibly convenient - isn't that what this thing is supposed to be, after all?
  21. keyofnight macrumors regular


    Mar 19, 2009
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Alright—let's cut the talk of what iPad is supposed to destroy or what role it is supposed to play in the market. Let's just talk about what this device could do with a few simple changes.

    Here's a simple list of demands—worded in (somewhat) clear terms:

    • It would be nice for iPad apps to have access to the same files. Imagine an "Open File" dialogue like the Finder in MacOS X. They could even implement the multi-column view . I think this is the simplest)

    • It would be nice for third-party apps to share files with one another. (Think filetype handlers on the average web-browser. The problem here would be: how would you select the "default" application for opening a PDF? Also, what if you wanted to open it in Pages, not Goodreader? Sounds like these ideas clash with the iPad's design.)

    • It would be nice to be able to put files on the iPad from the Finder in Mac OS X.(Imagine the Disk Mode on old iPods. We would plug the iPad in, drag documents over, eject, and enjoy. Or, it would be nice to have bonjour filesharing like we do between Macs: find the iPad in the list of networked devices, drag the files over, and enjoy. Many people jailbreak to get this kind of access to their iPhones and iPod touches.)

    Alright. Any objections to these demands?
  22. iVoid macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2007
    Wasn't the iPad supposed to have a USB disk mode that was common across apps and mounted on the desktop like a USB disk?

    But, I agree, that Apple's initial "Every app can only write their own disk space and can't write elsewhere." idea was good from the standpoint of preventing data from being overwritten by error/malicious software, but not having a common 'user drive' really makes sharing data between apps and syncing data a hassle, if not impossible in some cases.

    The fact that every app has to figure out how to sync data is also a pain. And usually requires the user to manually sync stuff.

    Having a common user drive would allow one sync operation and one place for things. Basically Apple made things too simple and now will have to reinvent stuff they pulled out from the initial Phone OS X build.

    Not having a central user directory also makes multi-user login much harder to implement, since right now each App only has one spot for storing it's files.

    Printing would be nice as well. Not needed as badly on the iPhone, but the iPad needs it.
  23. CJS7070 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 10, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    The ability to upload files via a web-based uploader would be nice.
  24. ImperialX macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2007
    Tokyo, Japan
    This was actually part of the 3.2 SDK, and Apple just chose not to implement it in the end. It does give us hope though - it's definitely doable through a later software update.
  25. ukyo229 Guest

    Jan 27, 2010
    One of the great things about the OS, is that it DOESN'T have one

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