Puzzling Files app

Discussion in 'iPad' started by DA23Gam, Mar 31, 2018.

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  1. DA23Gam macrumors newbie

    DA23Gam

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2018
    Location:
    Gamlingay
    #1
    I come from a Windows & android background & am familiarizing myself with ios 11 on an ipod (2017).
    I'm confused with the Files app since it works in a totally different manner to any kind of file manager I've seen.
    Now because I'm often out of reach of wifi I'd like to copy photos directly to my ipad & this is where the confusion arises. I have read that it's not possible to create folders or copy & paste on the ipad & that before I can save a file to it I need to initially open the photo in an ios app & then save it from there.
    So I've installed icloud on my PC and have simply dragged & dropped a photo from Windows Pictures folder to icloudDrive: simple. This shows up in the ipad Files app on the icloud Drive. My ipad is not listed.
    Next I installed PS Express on the ipad & opened the photo. I then tapped 'Save & Share' which gives me a few options.
    The first is Camera Roll. I tried saving to that but I've no idea where Camera Roll is on the ipad & it's not listed in Files. In the Photos app however there is now an album (PS Express) containing the photo.
    I guess from this that Camera Roll must be on the icloudDrive somewhere even though it's not visible.

    So back to PS Express. The next options in 'Save & Share' are a long list of applications such as Facebook, Instagram etc - not what I want. At the very bottom of the screen is 'More' which contains, among other items, 'Save to files' & 'Save image'.
    'Save to Files' gives me the 'On my ipad' option but the available folders listed are Garage Band, Keynote, Numbers and Pages. None of these are feasable locations for photos & I see no way to create a new folder.
    'Save image' has no options so I select that. I now find that the Files app is just as before: the photo shows on the icloudDrive but 'On my ipad' doesn't show. In 'Photos' I now have two identical copies of the photo in the 'All Photos' folder & the same photo in the PS Express folder!

    So, the question is this: How do I save photos to my ipad that will be available when I'm off-line?
     
  2. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #2
    If you use ‘Save Image’, it already saves the image locally (and to iCloud Photo Library if you have it enabled). You use the Photos app and not Files app to access the images.

    If you have iCloud Photo Library enabled, depending on available storage, it’s possible that iOS might downgrade the quality of the image stored locally on your device. To prevent that from happening, you can change the setting in iCloud - Photos from ‘Optimize iPad Storage’ to ‘Download and Keep Originals’.
     
  3. DA23Gam thread starter macrumors newbie

    DA23Gam

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2018
    Location:
    Gamlingay
    #3
    Oh OK. I was using Files (as well as Photos) as I was led to believe it was a File Manager. It just seems a little odd to me that a File Manager doesn't show you your local files or allow you to manage them.
    Thanks anyway.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 31, 2018 ---
    Also, just where is Camera Roll located? Locally or the cloud? If in the cloud then why can't I see it? Both Dropbox and Onedrive manage to behave like a normal file system - why not icloud.
    Probably because of my background I'm used to keeping control of my files, organizing them by type, subject etc., using copy, cut and paste when required, viewing their size and date at a glance and launching their associated application at file level. To me ios seems all back to front, haphazrd, clunky and in places, inexplicable.
    Hey Ho, looks like I've some learning to do.
     
  4. Eric5273 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #4
    Each app has its own space that no other app can access. In addition to this, there is common space that is centrally located which all apps can access. The Camera Roll belongs to the Photos app only. If you noticed, when you try to open something from the Camera Roll from another app, a pop up will appear asking for permission to access the Photos app. That’s what happens whenever an app tries to access files that belong to another app.

    Files is another app just like all the others. However, it can access iCloud Drive, which is that common space that all apps can access. The Files app keeps all files locally on the iPad and syncs them to the cloud when you have an internet connection. No need to worry about if it’s local or in the cloud — everything in Files is actually both local AND in the cloud.

    You may want to try the free Documents by Readdle app. It’s a file manager with more features than Files. It has an option in its settings where you can turn on access to the Camera Roll. It can also access any cloud service or FTP site, and allows you to move files between iCloud Drive and these other cloud services. You can also find a file in Documents and choose to open it with whatever app you wish. Then to save it back to Documents, just tap the share button in the other app and choose “Open in Documents”, or you can save it directly to your chosen cloud service if the app you are using has a direct connection to that cloud service.

    If you instead just choose to save a file without specifying a cloud service or another app, it will just save the file to that app’s local space, which no other app can see, including Files. Keep in mind that if you have iCloud backup enabled, then your entire iPad, including files kept locally in each app, are being backed up. So if you have files which you intend to only use inside a specific app, then there is no problem just keeping them there. But if you need to move them between apps, or between computers, then I suggest storing them in iCloud Drive.
     
  5. Abazigal macrumors G4

    Abazigal

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #5
    Files isn't a file manager in the conventional sense. It's simply a way to let you view all your existing file container apps (both local and cloud-based) in one place.

    If you want a file container, try the Documents app.
     
  6. DA23Gam thread starter macrumors newbie

    DA23Gam

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2018
    Location:
    Gamlingay
    #6
    Thank you for taking the time to give your clear explanation.
    To me, the way this works is so unintuative.
    This morning I opened icloud drive on my PC. I then copied & pasted onto it a couple of folders, each containing a number of photos.
    From the Files app on the ipad I could see them in the icloud drive location.
    However, the Photos app can't see them there.
    So, back to the Files app I selected all the photos showing in the icloud drive. Opting for 'Move' to 'On my ipad' gives me various apps own folders to choose from but no option to create a new one. I selected Adobe Acrobat. The photos were Copied there (rather than Moved!!!) but still Photos couldn't see them.
    So then I tried 'Share' - 'Save images' and voila! suddenly Photos could see them.
    I find it disconserting that I now have no idea just where the photos now are.
    Also it would seem that I now have two copies of the photos on the ipad: in icloud drive & in the unknown location where Photos can see them. This seems pretty inefficient to me so I then have to go back to icloud drive & delete them.
    Now this all very well but (a big but) Photos only shows the photos - not the file name or any other information and there's no search facility. I can't seem to organise them by creating logically named folders either.
    OK, I concede, I'm new to Apple's way of working & it may be I'll get used to it but the famous Apple phrase: 'It just works' keeps going round my head.
    As I said earlier, I'm from a Windows & android background where there is proper file management. On my android tablet I have the option for an external memory card (128Gb for £35!). I plug it into the PC I fill it with photos, re-insert it into the tablet and instantly they are viewable and editable with file names etc. I know at all times their location and I have complete control. That's a far better example of 'It just works' don't you think.
    Thanks anyway.
     
  7. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #7
    On the PC, iCloud Photo Library is in a separate location from your iCloud Drive files. Try looking in your Pictures/Photos folder. In the iCloud program settings on Windows (accesible via the system tray icon), you can select the folders that iCloud Photo should use for download, upload and shared.

    Unfortunately, Apple doesn't really believe in traditional file management on iOS. If iOS's native system frustrates you, I recommend just using either Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox exclusively and ignoring the native apps.
     
  8. DA23Gam thread starter macrumors newbie

    DA23Gam

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2018
    Location:
    Gamlingay
    #8
    OK, I think it's finally sunk in.
    Many thanks for your help and patience.
     
  9. Rhyalus macrumors 6502

    Rhyalus

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    #9
    Hello All,

    I was going to start my own thread, but since the OP seems ok, I would like to ask a related question.

    When I go into General and iPad storage, it says that there is 13.6 GB of storage tied up with this app. I have no services added here (I have dropbox and onedrive apps, elsewhere).

    What documents or files contribute to the Files size of 13.6 GB?

    Thanks,
    R
     
  10. DA23Gam thread starter macrumors newbie

    DA23Gam

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2018
    Location:
    Gamlingay
    #10
    Not too sure what you mean by 'tied up with this app' but surely the 13.6Gb is the sum of the space taken up by the apps listed including the system or IOS (at the bottom) which is the largest (in my case 5.51Gb). So mine (iPad 2017, 32Gb) states: 11.7Gb of 32Gb used.
     
  11. Abazigal macrumors G4

    Abazigal

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #11
    You may want to check the size of files and documents in the iCloud Drive app (located in settings, iCloud, iCloud storage).

    I recently had 17gb of undocumented storage taken up in iCloud Drive section of iCloud, and finally took the leap of faith by deleting all files and documents on my iPhone. After downloading the remaining files, it took up just over 2 gb (which is the size in the iCloud Drive folder on my Mac), but I can only assume that it's due to some prior caching of files and the OS refusing to free up the space even after the files were long deleted). I had enabled icloud desktop and documents some time back but disabled it after the feature turned out to be more of a nuisance, so maybe it was due to that.

    I don't seem to have lost anything, and I just reclaimed a ton of iCloud storage.

    Basically, to double-check, right click in your iCloud Drive folder on your Mac and see how much space it is taking up. If there is a huge discrepancy, you can PM me and we can work something out.
     

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