So... where are the files in the iPad Pro?

nmaxcom

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 28, 2014
59
6
I bought it originally to draw with its pen and I have no complaints about that.

I'm a first-time IOS user, but being a screen and having folder-like things and apps, games... I thought I could also use it to comfortably read. Wrong.

I'm a power user and it took me a while to figure out how to "download" some books I have in my GDrive with that awkward "copy to" and then a very limited group of apps (not all the book readers I installed appeared etc). It's all so backwards.

And then I victoriously managed to have a book in a reader that supported PDF (imagine that! much adrenaline). It was a crappy reader so I tried another one: the book was nowhere to be found in the "Downloads" folder. Each damn reader had its own sandbox-like fs or something.

If I'm not wrong in the diagnostics... what the hell? How can I access the actual fs? I don't care if I have to plug through my MBP (this is what I was trying just now with an app called iBrowse and failed miserably).

And the "File managers" for iPad? Oh my god aren't they cute. I tried no less than a dozen of them, I promise. They are the same thing! They only manage what you give them what a bloody joke.

Did I miss something big? How do you people navigate this horrendous thing?
 

casperes1996

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Jan 26, 2014
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Every app is indeed sandboxed. For security purposes, no app knows anything about any other app's data unless it goes through the user's explicit confirmation of sending data from one sandbox to another.

There's a built-in Files app that you can use to store data that other apps can then bring up a UI for. The apps won't actually know what the UI is then showing, but you as the user will know, can pick a file and the file will then be linked to said app's sandbox. Oh, and just use iBooks.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
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The thing is, there is no such unified files app to allow a user to AT LEAST browse through multiple sandboxed app Documents folders, let alone a file system available in a jailbroken device.
If your iPad is still in iOS 11.2.2, stay there and see if jailbreak is an option. Current files app is far from something like Fidner in macOS.
 
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eVolcre

macrumors 68000
Jan 7, 2003
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565
I bought it originally to draw with its pen and I have no complaints about that.

I'm a first-time IOS user, but being a screen and having folder-like things and apps, games... I thought I could also use it to comfortably read. Wrong.

I'm a power user and it took me a while to figure out how to "download" some books I have in my GDrive with that awkward "copy to" and then a very limited group of apps (not all the book readers I installed appeared etc). It's all so backwards.

And then I victoriously managed to have a book in a reader that supported PDF (imagine that! much adrenaline). It was a crappy reader so I tried another one: the book was nowhere to be found in the "Downloads" folder. Each damn reader had its own sandbox-like fs or something.

If I'm not wrong in the diagnostics... what the hell? How can I access the actual fs? I don't care if I have to plug through my MBP (this is what I was trying just now with an app called iBrowse and failed miserably).

And the "File managers" for iPad? Oh my god aren't they cute. I tried no less than a dozen of them, I promise. They are the same thing! They only manage what you give them what a bloody joke.

Did I miss something big? How do you people navigate this horrendous thing?
I can sense the frustration but your post did make me laugh a bit. :) nice one.

Your best bet for reading? Get the kindle app. Set up a kindle email. Mail the books to that email and it’ll show up in the kindle app. I do use a kindle and I suppose I could copy them over but it’s so much easier this way. Do you have calibre? Another good option paired with stanza front end. You can browse your entire library and move what you need. Can’t answer the other questions but for reading this is your best bet. Kindle email supports mobi, pdf and word. I think txt as well not sure. The only thing that doesn’t work is ePub but with caliber (or any free online converter) it’s incredibly easy to change formats.

Come to think of it I believe that the new calibre sets up some kind of local server on your laptop that even iBooks can access. Let me know if I can help anymore on the book reading front. Other questions about files I’ll let the experts answer and read along hoping to learn as well.
 
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Newtons Apple

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Mar 12, 2014
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Jacksonville, Florida
I bought it originally to draw with its pen and I have no complaints about that.

I'm a first-time IOS user, but being a screen and having folder-like things and apps, games... I thought I could also use it to comfortably read. Wrong.

I'm a power user and it took me a while to figure out how to "download" some books I have in my GDrive with that awkward "copy to" and then a very limited group of apps (not all the book readers I installed appeared etc). It's all so backwards.

And then I victoriously managed to have a book in a reader that supported PDF (imagine that! much adrenaline). It was a crappy reader so I tried another one: the book was nowhere to be found in the "Downloads" folder. Each damn reader had its own sandbox-like fs or something.

If I'm not wrong in the diagnostics... what the hell? How can I access the actual fs? I don't care if I have to plug through my MBP (this is what I was trying just now with an app called iBrowse and failed miserably).

And the "File managers" for iPad? Oh my god aren't they cute. I tried no less than a dozen of them, I promise. They are the same thing! They only manage what you give them what a bloody joke.

Did I miss something big? How do you people navigate this horrendous thing?
This why the iPad will never replace my computer. Apple will never allow the iPad to be what it could. It is still highly desirable for cruising the Internet.
 

Koh Phi Phi

macrumors regular
Nov 15, 2017
157
324
Welcome to iOS, and to one of the reasons as of why iPads (as long as iOS doesnt evolve) will never be a full desktop replacement.

PS: to achieve cross-app file sync'ing, you will have to commute them through iCloud... Yep, I know...
 

Makayla

macrumors regular
Dec 20, 2016
200
209
You are not missing anything, op, that's iOS for ya.

As others have eloquently stated the cylo approach to the file system is so very limiting it cannot even fully accommodate of my casual usage, let along my "pro" usage.

Oh and don't get me started on iCloud.
 

LovingTeddy

macrumors 68000
Oct 12, 2015
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Cloud storage will be the best way to manage
No. I disagree. Cloud storage is the worst way to manage file. It is awkward and inefficient.

The whole iOS way of managing file is disaster. I really never use iPad for any mission critical app.

I am trying to fill out my wife's immigration application. All the forms and explanation documents, pdfs, scanned images, chat logs are stored in a folder. Think about thousands of pictures, all these pdf documents in the cloud storage, this is the worst nightmare.
 
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DNichter

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Apr 27, 2015
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Philadelphia, PA
No. I disagree. Cloud storage is the worst way to manage file. It is awkward and inefficient.

The whole iOS way of managing file is disaster. I really never use iPad for any mission critical app.

I am trying to fill out my wife's immigration application. All the forms and explanation documents, pdfs, scanned images, chat logs are stored in a folder. Think about thousands of pictures, all these pdf documents in the cloud storage, this is the worst nightmare.
Any personal documents I have, I store in iCloud. No problems for me at all so I can’t really speak to the issues you’ve had. Definitely not for everyone though.
 
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Starship67

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Oct 28, 2017
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The most amazing thing I find, is people who don't research something before they buy it then complain about it.
For most the iPad when used as intended there is not a need for access to a file system, thats the ease of it. This is what laptops and desktops are for. I use an iPad daily for many of my day to day workflows and have had no problem finishing work without access to a file system and navigate it quite easily.
 

LovingTeddy

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Any personal documents I have, I store in iCloud. No problems for me at all so I can’t really speak to the issues you’ve had. Definitely not everyone though.

It is more about how people being so used to one type of workflow and it is very hard for people to change.

I am filling out immigration application for my wife (spousal sponsorship program). I organized my files into several folders and stored it in my hard drive. I put all application form in one folder called forms, i put all world documents for additional information, explanations in other folder called letters. I put all pictures we took in other folder called pictures.

It is hard to do all these with iPad.

And to add more difficulties, some of the government forms will only works with Windows or Mac version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If attempted to open the file, i get error message indicated this file is only compatible with Windows or Mac version.

iPad won't be replace my trusty ThinkPad anytime soon. I love this laptop and it handles all the tasks well.
 

Eric5273

macrumors 6502a
Apr 12, 2009
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It is more about how people being so used to one type of workflow and it is very hard for people to change.

I am filling out immigration application for my wife (spousal sponsorship program). I organized my files into several folders and stored it in my hard drive. I put all application form in one folder called forms, i put all world documents for additional information, explanations in other folder called letters. I put all pictures we took in other folder called pictures.

It is hard to do all these with iPad.

And to add more difficulties, some of the government forms will only works with Windows or Mac version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If attempted to open the file, i get error message indicated this file is only compatible with Windows or Mac version.

iPad won't be replace my trusty ThinkPad anytime soon. I love this laptop and it handles all the tasks well.
I keep my files stored exactly the same way you describe, and I use an iPad Pro. I have the Documents by Readdle app, and on there I keep everything stored in the iCloud folder, which Documents also syncs to local storage as well (in case you don’t have internet connectivity). I have a whole nested folder structure where I store all the files for my business, which consists of PDFs, Word & Excel files, JPEGs, and a few assorted others. Then a couple of times per month I zip the whole folder structure into a single zip file as a backup, and upload that to a different cloud storage as a safe backup just in case. That process takes less than 5 minutes. It works fine for me :)
 
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Makayla

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Dec 20, 2016
200
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Apple's pushing iPad as a laptop replacement is creating all kinds of confusion and threads like this one are very helpful in setting realistic expectations for consumers.
 
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DNichter

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Apr 27, 2015
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Philadelphia, PA
It is more about how people being so used to one type of workflow and it is very hard for people to change.

I am filling out immigration application for my wife (spousal sponsorship program). I organized my files into several folders and stored it in my hard drive. I put all application form in one folder called forms, i put all world documents for additional information, explanations in other folder called letters. I put all pictures we took in other folder called pictures.

It is hard to do all these with iPad.

And to add more difficulties, some of the government forms will only works with Windows or Mac version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If attempted to open the file, i get error message indicated this file is only compatible with Windows or Mac version.

iPad won't be replace my trusty ThinkPad anytime soon. I love this laptop and it handles all the tasks well.
That's fine that it doesn't work for you, but it's not hard to manage at all. I have my iCloud folder set up the exact same way. I have all my documents from when I bought my house in a folder called "House", I have all my documents that I am working on for work called "Work."
 

LovingTeddy

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I keep my files stored exactly the same way you describe, and I use an iPad Pro. I have the Documents by Readdle app, and on there I keep everything stored in the iCloud folder, which Documents also syncs to local storage as well (in case you don’t have internet connectivity). I have a whole nested folder structure where I store all the files for my business, which consists of PDFs, Word & Excel files, JPEGs, and a few assorted others. Then a couple of times per month I zip the whole folder structure into a single zip file as a backup, and upload that to a different cloud storage as a safe backup just in case. That process takes less than 5 minutes. It works fine for me :)
That's fine that it doesn't work for you, but it's not hard to manage at all. I have my iCloud folder set up the exact same way. I have all my documents from when I bought my house in a folder called "House", I have all my documents that I am working on for work called "Work."
Thanks for the tips and suggestions. I would try this. Though I still think ability to move files through USB or SD card is fair superior than upload and download to/from cloud storage is more convenient. But that just me
 
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DNichter

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Apr 27, 2015
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Thanks for the tips and suggestions. I would try this. Though I still think ability to move files through USB or SD card is fair superior than upload and download to/from cloud storage is more convenient. But that just me
They have wireless hard drives as well, which may be a better solution for you. Either way, whatever works best for the individual is the way to go.
 

casperes1996

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Jan 26, 2014
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Thanks for the tips and suggestions. I would try this. Though I still think ability to move files through USB or SD card is fair superior than upload and download to/from cloud storage is more convenient. But that just me
This can be done as well. There are several ways of accomplishing it. I'm not sure if the Files app can see storage devices, but there definitely are third party devices and apps that allows this
 

eVolcre

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Jan 7, 2003
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They have wireless hard drives as well, which may be a better solution for you. Either way, whatever works best for the individual is the way to go.
I was just going to recommend that. Someone posted a sweet setup with two 12.9 iPad pros a couple of months ago. The linchpin was a wireless HD that also serves as a router. Comes with its own file browser and you can plug in a usb stick , or a SD card right into the drive. Was fairly small as well and not that expensive.

If you’re interested post here. I don’t remember the make but it should be in my amazon history.
 
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sparksd

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Jun 7, 2015
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I was just going to recommend that. Someone posted a sweet setup with two 12.9 iPad pros a couple of months ago. The linchpin was a wireless HD that also serves as a router. Comes with its own file browser and you can plug in a usb stick , or a SD card right into the drive. Was fairly small as well and not that expensive.

If you’re interested post here. I don’t remember the make but it should be in my amazon history.
I've been using the wireless RAVPower FileHub for a couple of years and it works great with third party file managers:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016ZWS9ZE

I handles an attached 4TB HDD without a problem.
 

sparksd

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That was one of the exact ones I researched. It’s still two things to carry around right? The other one had a built in 2 or 4TB drive.
I prefer it to wireless drives (which I also have) because it allows me to use different storage devices with it - it's more versatile. Plus, it has the Ethernet port and SD card slot.
 

eVolcre

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Jan 7, 2003
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I prefer it to wireless drives (which I also have) because it allows me to use different storage devices with it - it's more versatile. Plus, it has the Ethernet port and SD card slot.
Good point. I guess I could look it up but easier to ask you. What’s the inputs on it? Can i plug in my monster 6TB thunderbolt drive if I want? Multiple drives?
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Good point. I guess I could look it up but easier to ask you. What’s the inputs on it? Can i plug in my monster 6TB thunderbolt drive if I want? Multiple drives?
That things bloody brilliant! Power bank too? And you can plug in one usb stick and everyone can share or copy files. Way way more useful than just a wireless HD! Thanks for that. I’ll put it on the list. Drives are so small these days anyway I bet I could find a mini 4TB portable.
 

rui no onna

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Oct 25, 2013
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Did I miss something big? How do you people navigate this horrendous thing?
It was worse before. The Dropbox app and native Dropbox support in the apps I use have made things a lot easier. I think that was circa iOS 9 or something. I use PCs not Macs so Dropbox works better than iCloud for me.
 
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