Is it better to store files in the cloud if I want to edit documents across different platforms?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by hajime, Mar 19, 2018.

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Where do you store the files that are being edited and viewed across different platforms?

  1. Locally on the iPad

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Locally on the Mac

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. In iCloud

    10 vote(s)
    52.6%
  4. In Dropbox

    9 vote(s)
    47.4%
  5. One copy under each OS

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Open for suggestions

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. hajime macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #1
    Hello, due to a lack of file system like Mac OS, am I correct that if I want to edit and view the same set of files from both Mac and the iPad and sync across multiple machines/platforms, I better store the files in Dropbox or iCloud? What are the pros and cons for each of these two services?
     
  2. sjleworthy macrumors 65816

    sjleworthy

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Location:
    Penarth, Wales, UK
    #2
    I suppose a cloud service is much the same as any other cloud service. Take your pick. Personally i use dropbox for cross platform editing. Cant find any issues with it.
     
  3. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
  4. thisismyusername macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    #4
    It depends what kind of files you're talking about. If you mean documents/spreadsheets/etc, then I prefer to use Google Docs/Sheets/etc because it's available on every platform and doesn't require any paid apps (e.g. MS Office). If you mean files that require more specialized apps, and assuming they're relatively small in size, then I use Dropbox but only because I've been using it for years and I have no reason to change.
     
  5. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #5
    I use OneDrive and OneDrive for business
     
  6. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #6
    Agreed! OneDrive is GREAT. My iPad 2017, iPhone, Windows development machine, personal Macs --- OneDrive is great. I recommend it over Google Drive because you have the physical file with OneDrive and Microsoft's concurrent editing is at Google's level now - you can have many people or personal computers editing one file at a time and they all stay in sync perfectly. Having the physical file makes it easier to have Arq backing up everything on your PC too.

    Word on Mac is great - even better on iPad. $99/year for Office 365 with 5 licenses/installations that can be moved around.
     
  7. CrystalQuest76 Suspended

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Location:
    West Cost A Lot
    #7
    For work i use SharePoint, as required since its integrated wtih MS Office. For personal stuff, i use iCloud and iWork apps with the cost built into the purchase of the Apple products. Don't need anything more.
     
  8. sracer macrumors 604

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    #8
    It depends upon the apps being used. I use iWork (latest version) on my iPad Mini 4, iPad Pro, Macbook Air, and iMac. For those files I use iCloud. It works seamlessly and reliably (enough). Added bonus is being able to use iCloud and iWork in a pinch in a web browser.

    For everything else, although I have an Office 365 subscription with gobs of OneDrive space, I use dropbox. Dropbox syncing is extremely quick and reliable and their desktop client app is flexible and consistent with selective syncing. Microsoft has often fiddled with its OneDrive client to change the ability/granularity of syncing files.
     
  9. Krayzkat macrumors 6502a

    Krayzkat

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    If you use iCloud for Pages & Numbers then they will sync whenever you open them on each iOS or MacOS device. You can also edit/use these files on any computer through www.icloud.com
     
  10. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #10
    Been using DropBox for years now. Have one account where I can keep all my stuff safe while designating certain folder with all of my company bids and other files for my employees to be able to access.

    Works good for me!
     
  11. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #11
    So, as iPad users, cloud services are our friend that make life easier?
     
  12. Eric5273 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #12
    Yes, but remember that just because your files are stored in the cloud does NOT mean they are backed up. If you delete a file by accident, then it could be gone forever. Therefore, I make sure to back up all my files separately.

    I haven’t found an automated solution yet to back up my iCloud files, so I use an app called Documents by Readdle. Once per month I download all my iCloud files and use the Documents app to zip them into a single large zip file. Then I upload that single file to OneDrive and store it in an Archive folder. That way everything is duplicated.

    Obviously if you have large amounts of media files, then that will not work. But for work files (Microsoft Office, PDFs, etc.), this works very well. I have around 2 GB of work files, and the entire zipping process only takes a couple of minutes.
     
  13. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #13
    Personally, I use Dropbox. I don't think OneDrive was even an option back when I started using Dropbox and I've just stuck with it. However, I do remember joining the SkyDrive beta. Google, I'd only use for photos since it breaks support for software that's reliant on specific file naming conventions.

    I've got a FreeFileSync backup set up copying docs with versioning to another folder on Dropbox. Then apart from Dropbox replication on my desktops and laptops, also have the Dropbox folder backed up to NAS. I really should back it up to portable HDDs, though, for weekly offsite swap.
     
  14. ozaz, Mar 21, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018

    ozaz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    Yes, cloud syncing is the easiest way to work with files across multiple platforms. I don't use iCloud because it's not fully cross-platform. Of the main true cross-platform cloud sync providers I use Dropbox because it's speedy, extremely reliable, and widely supported in 3rd party apps. I can't recall a single issue I've had in the 8-9 years I've been using it.

    OneDrive and Google Drive are cheaper than Dropbox. But I tried OneDrive a few years ago and didn't find it reliable (this may well have changed). I did try Google Drive as well but I can't remember why I rejected it for general file syncing. It might have simply been because I had built up lots of confidence in Dropbox and was wary of making a full switch to a different service. Might also have been because of better MS Office support in Dropbox.

    I do however use Google for my online photo and music storage needs.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 21, 2018 ---
    This is true of course. But the OP does mention he/she has a Mac so isn't it easier just to make sure that everything is always fully synced to the Mac and then just use standard back up practices to keep the Mac backed up (e.g. Time Machine)? I'm not familiar with iCloud Drive; If this isn't an option with iCloud Drive that would be a strong negative against it in my opinion.

    It might also be worth mentioning that most or perhaps all cloud storage providers have a facility to restore recently deleted or previous versions of modified files (usually up to 30 days). This is not a substitute for proper back up but its worth knowing about this safety net. It's saved me on many occasions by giving me much easier/quicker access previous versions of files than my main backup.
     
  15. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #15
    1. Locally on the Mac
    2. In iCloud
    3. In Dropbox
    4. One copy under each OS
    Since I use both Dropbox and iCloud, and 1. and 4. is the same as answering 2. or 3.
     
  16. sracer macrumors 604

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    #16
    It depends.

    In spite of the "bolted on" Files.app (which is little more than Apple's version of Documents by Readdle), iOS natively supports sandboxed (private) file spaces on a per-app basis. That means that for files accessed by more than one app, a copy of that file is placed in the "sandbox" for each app that has accessed it. When an app saves changes to the file, the file is then updated in the sandbox... and if the app supports cloud storage, the file is uploaded to the cloud it came from.

    This is a very convoluted approach to expanding the file system functions in iOS. I find it somewhat ironic that many of those who complained about, and dismissed chromebooks for "always requiring access to the internet" (which hasn't been true for quite some time) have no problem heavily relying on cloud services for their iOS devices.
     
  17. sjleworthy macrumors 65816

    sjleworthy

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Location:
    Penarth, Wales, UK
    #17
    Exactly all this :)
     
  18. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #18
    Thank you very much for pointing that out.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 21, 2018 ---
    Thanks for the suggestion. Anybody using this approach? Is it satisfactory?
     
  19. @rch1t3ct-27 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2018
    #19

    iCloud Drive supports 30 day deletion: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201104
     
  20. sparksd macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Location:
    Seattle WA
    #20
    I use OneDrive (Office 365 subscription) and Dropbox as they are both reliable and work well with my mix of platforms (iOS, Windows, Android).
     
  21. Eric5273 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #21
    Good point. The reason I do it my way is because I’m iPad only, no Mac. So I duplicate everything on 2 cloud services, that way if for some reason a file is lost on one, it is always archived on the other. And yes, the cloud services keep deleted files for 30 days, so that’s why I do my archive process once per month.
     
  22. parseckadet macrumors 65816

    parseckadet

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #22
    I'll go back to the original question here. Cloud services are not your only option for syncing the files back and forth, though they are by far the most convenient. You also have the option of syncing via iTunes, but this requires connecting your iPad and your Mac every time you want to switch from working with one to the other for your changes to carry across. Like I said, using a cloud service is more convenient, but some choose to use this method because they don't trust cloud services for a variety of reasons (privacy being the most prevalent).

    Myself? I use mostly iCloud, but I also have Dropbox for files I need to access on MacOS and Windows. And everything is duplicated to my NAS for backup purposes.
     

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