What do you actually need an iOS File System for?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by spac3duck, May 20, 2017.

  1. spac3duck macrumors regular

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    Mar 31, 2017
    #1
    I can totally understand the need for wireless mouse input for an iPad based on my use case but I'm perplexed as to the reasons so many people feel they 'need' access to the file system on the iPad?

    My hypothesis is that people are either:
    - Stuck with the mindset that anything worthy of calling itself a computer 'must' allow the user access to the file system, or
    - Actively use the file system on their OSX device in some way that they cannot replicate on their iPad

    Thoughts and theories?
     
  2. hovscorpion12 macrumors 65816

    hovscorpion12

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    #2
    A file system is because users want the ultimate organization of their files. I truly believe that iCloud drive is the only file system that any user needs, but because we are so used to have the the ability to dive into an app's file on windows or Mac OS, we are expecting apple to treat our iOS devices the same.
     
  3. spac3duck thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    I agree with you that iCloud will fit the needs of the majority although it can also allow users to organise their files as they please, subject to app centric filing of course.

    Do people regularly dive into the files of an app?

    As an analogy, it sounds like people want to be able to lift the bonnet of the car to have a look, tinker and or modify the engine but ultimately, the majority of users will, on a daily basis, just use the vehicle as a source of transportation. (Maybe I should have made that analogy more focused on the boot where people would actually store stuff like a file system....unless it's a Beetle or Porsche haha)
     
  4. sparksd, May 20, 2017
    Last edited: May 20, 2017

    sparksd macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    How about photos as an example use case. I have hundreds of GBs of photos, including RAW images and processed versions of those RAW images (sometimes multiple variants of those processed versions). There are many different ways I may want to sort these thousands of files and many different apps I want to access the same files with. A file system gives me a way to efficiently manage them (and back them up). And there's a variety of reasons I'm not interested in keeping them in the cloud other than to share subsets with other people.

    Similarly, people may want to segregate (and sort) significant amounts of data on a project-by-project basis.

    Edit : I should qualify the hundreds of GBs of photos - on a trip, it's really tens of GBs - but still thousands - of photos to sort out. I don't want to imply that I'd keep my entire store of photos on an iOS-based iPad.
     
  5. alecgold macrumors 6502a

    alecgold

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    #5
    That is a bit beside the question here.
    But you could import them from the sd card with the sd-lightning dongle, sort them with adobe lightoom for iOS, copy them back to an sd card or copy them back to an ssd with the USB dongle.
    That might not be your preferred workflow, but it is available/workable.

    Edit: But your use case is much more suited for an laptop, like many professional photogs do.
     
  6. AmazingHenry macrumors 65816

    AmazingHenry

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    #6
    I agree with you that a file system is not something that most users (the ones who mainly use just Safari, Mail, and social media apps) do not need a file system. However, for power users, they create a lot of files and need an easy way to organize and open them. If you do a ton of word processing, you may want to organize your documents into folders, and you can include other resources such as photos in those folders. You may also organize files by project, having one folder include webpages, Word docs, photos, etc.

    So, it's not useful for everybody. But considering it's called iPad "Pro", this Pro feature should be included with it.
     
  7. alecgold macrumors 6502a

    alecgold

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    #7
    Why should it be included? It is, rudimentary with iCloud.app, but here are so many flavors of these apps that each have their own twist to it?!
    Does windows come with acrobat? Or macOS with photoshop?

    Edit:typo

    Editedit: can you still seriously work with PowerPC?
     
  8. sparksd macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    True, let's set that one aside. How about multiple projects that must be segregated and where you have a polyglot of file formats, e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, JPEG, txt, MP3, MP4, etc. ad infinitum but you want to keep associated files together because of logical association, irrespective of format. You may have multiple phases within each project, requiring further sorting. Not an everyman scenario but not unusual. (And I can't use the cloud because of the proprietary nature of the data).
     
  9. alecgold, May 20, 2017
    Last edited: May 20, 2017

    alecgold macrumors 6502a

    alecgold

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    #9
    No problem, I have, maintain and create folders with a host of files. Pfd and word mainly, but also files created by GoodNotes or notability (combined notes with MP3) pictures and movies. All in a project folder with sub-folders. I can store these on the iPad itself or in the cloud.
    --- Post Merged, May 20, 2017 ---
    iPad locally is less convenient but you can airdrop it to other devices when in a trusted environment

    How do you handle files in email then?!
    (I use protonmail for secure email.)
     
  10. spac3duck thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 31, 2017
    #10
    The native iOS Photos app allows you to efficiently manage thousands of photos using albums in addition to facial recognition and much more in terms of metadata i.e. location, date, category etc. In fact, that metadata is a much more powerful way to sort and search for content e.g. I can type 'Dog' into both iOS Photos or Google Photos on my iPhone and both applications will deliver me pictures of dogs in all of the photos from my trips. The Photos app falls short in terms of RAW support however it does grant extensive 'Share to' capabilities for exporting options.

    Maybe some additional features within iCloud Drive would be more than sufficient to assist the workflow of your photo process than a dedicated file system?
    --- Post Merged, May 20, 2017 ---
    Could that be caused by a naming conundrum? i.e. It's easier to have files grouped into a folder if they are inappropriately labelled. For example:

    Project Atom
    img3699.jpg
    firstDraft.docx
    aHFSSKKD.mp3

    Compared to:
    Photos App
    projectAtom.jpg

    Word App
    projectAtom.docx

    Music App
    projectAtom.mp3
     
  11. bufffilm macrumors 601

    bufffilm

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    #11
    Go back and read the threads discussing this. iCloud Drive can't substitute for an open file system. Period.
     
  12. sparksd macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Doesn't work for me. I prefer logical grouping, not functional grouping. Just different ways of working and why I prefer a file system supporting it.
     
  13. spac3duck, May 20, 2017
    Last edited: May 20, 2017

    spac3duck thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    Go back and read my original post.

    I didn’t mention iCloud Drive and anything that I have subsequently, was in response to posts from the other members who were referring it. (To give iCloud Drive some credit, it does allow you to access all your documents from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Windows PC which is something OSX Finder cannot) However, both iCloud Drive and Finder are just a GUI for reading and writing to the respective operating system file systems.

    Can you identify the parts of the File System in macOS that so many people feel they 'need' access to which isn’t a part of the iOS File System?

    Edit: Added the word 'cannot'
     

    Attached Files:

  14. bufffilm, May 20, 2017
    Last edited: May 20, 2017

    bufffilm macrumors 601

    bufffilm

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    #14
    I don't own a Mac so I cannot comment about that. I will just comment about what I see.

    Now for the iPad...I am on ios7 so if it's changed on iOS since then, say so.

    For starters, data on the iPad is siloed by app.

    Movies that I put on my iPad via iTunes and viewed thru the VLC app are kept separate and apart from the movies copied there by the AVPlayerHD app.

    I would like the ability to define a default app for movies (doesn't matter if it's M4V, MP4, AVI, etc) and even better if I can override this ad hoc when I wish.

    Far as I know, you can't do this now. And that is stupid. And backward.

    It's 2017...not 2010.
     
  15. Mathias Denichi macrumors 6502

    Mathias Denichi

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    Jun 21, 2013
    #15
    For me its more a single place to open a file in ANY program without having to constantly save and export a file to bring to another app.

    Video editing example, I have to record, or save a video into drop box. Then to edit the sound, I have to export into a video to audio converter, then convert to audio, then save the file, then upload it to icloud drive to open in garage band. I then have to save the file from Garage band and export to drop box. I then have to import from drop box back to Lumas video editor, since not all apps are icloud supported yet. Then export the final file.

    Between all of this, time is greatly increased for the same results, and instead of importing and editing the same file copy in 3 different programs, I end up with 5 different files and a total of 500-600mb for a 30s editing video clip. With a file system, I could reduce the file copies significantly, and probably end up halving the space from not constantly exporting and importing constant copies of the same file to every app I use in my workflow.
     
  16. bufffilm, May 20, 2017
    Last edited: May 20, 2017

    bufffilm macrumors 601

    bufffilm

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    #16
    You've outlined the second shortcoming of the iPad...couldn't have said it better.

    Having to create multiple copies of files for various reasons.

    It's 2017...not 2010. Tell me again that the iPad will replace my PC or laptop.
     
  17. kipwheeler macrumors member

    kipwheeler

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    #17
    For me, I have several hundred PDF files on my iPad, perhaps nearly a thousand. (I play a lot of older, out-of-copyright role-playing games, and my gaming needs include complete scans of rules books, others are individual pages, others are maps, reference charts, and so forth. If I could simply put those files in folders and move the whole folders around the way I want them, I could vastly simplify the task of finding the desired file, clustering it with similar material, and moving folders to folder for nesting materials--especially when I'm at a friend's house with no wifi, so iCloud isn't an option.
     
  18. sparksd macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Have you looked at apps like GoodReader? You can create and move folders within it.

    Readdle's Documents is also nice - you can drag and drop in it.
     
  19. kipwheeler macrumors member

    kipwheeler

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    Nov 1, 2016
    #19
    I haven't--but I'll give it a look. They allow folder movement and re-naming of folders, duplicating copies of folders?

    Can you keep more than one file type in a folder--i.e., some Filemaker Pro databases and some PDFs and some image files?
     
  20. sparksd, May 20, 2017
    Last edited: May 20, 2017

    sparksd macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Yes, Documents I think being more capable. It's pretty sophisticated and powerful - and polished.

    https://readdle.com/products/documents

    Also, some good file management info here:

    https://www.macstories.net/stories/one-year-of-ipad-pro/2/#file-management
     
  21. Saturn1217 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 28, 2008
    #21
    Omg. I just spent so long trying to get manga files onto my iPad to read. I downloaded them on my iPad into the Documents app. I needed to compress them and rename the file extension (zip to cbz)on my mac so I had to export to mac then I needed to get them into a manga reader that didn't have support for cloud services. So I have to go into onedrive app where I have the converted files and export them one by one to the manga app. All of which involves the files being saved twice (once in Onedrive and again in the manga reader).

    If I had a file system this would have been so much easier. I need to be able to, from any app, access just one version of my file and then access that same file from another app. I do this all the time on my MacBook. If the iPad is supposed to be a laptop replacement it needs to be able to handle file management, the most basic of computing tasks. I want all my files in one place not spread across tons of local apps and cloud services (because no app seems to support all the same cloud services and iCloud doesn't offer enough storage by default and isn't cross platform).

    Sorry for the rant but I have literally been struggling against iOS lack of file management since my first iPad and it is the number one reason why my iPad is only good for Netflix, games and note taking with the Apple Pencil.
     
  22. alecgold macrumors 6502a

    alecgold

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    #22
    This can be done in documents5? Or am I missing the point?
     
  23. spac3duck thread starter macrumors regular

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    #23
    1. Create a new folder within iCloud Drive.
    2. Put files into this folder.
    3. Finished.

    For example:
    1. I create a new folder within iCloud Drive on my MacBook called "stuffToRead"
    2. I place the files I want to read within that folder e.g. week1Slides.pdf, week1Tutorial.pdf
    3. I go to my iPad, open that folder, select the file I want to open and choose the application to do it with. (I could even mark up, annotate or sign the PDF from within iCloud Drive if I was too lazy to use another application)

    The lack of organisation of files from the launch of the iPad was frustrating. Things have changed since then.
    --- Post Merged, May 21, 2017 ---
    Is that more of a problem with the limited capabilities of an application? e.g. if you had one application that was good enough to edit video and audio, you wouldn't need to export and save to other programs etc?
    --- Post Merged, May 21, 2017 ---
    It's 2017...not 2013 and iOS 11 is likely to launch imminently. Considering the superseded operating system you are running, have you even been able to use iCloud Drive on your device?


    I don't know if there is an Apple supported method of defining a default app without Jailbreaking the device, however you can certainly choose which app you would like your file to open with if using iCloud Drive.
    --- Post Merged, May 21, 2017 ---
    So you are saying that you're "Stuck with the mindset that anything worthy of calling itself a computer 'must' allow the user access to the file system"?

    My MacBook Air didn't come with any 'air' but that naming convention was rather a method of distinguishing a difference between the other products in the laptop lineup, so couldn't the iPad Pro moniker simply relate to it's ability to use the Apple Pencil input?
     
  24. kipwheeler macrumors member

    kipwheeler

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    #24
    sparksd, on first read, it sounds like these programs still need cloud-based storage--i.e., you need internet access for them for full functionality? Am I misreading that? That gets me back to the original problem mentioned earlier--using the iPad primarily in locations where I don't have internet access.

    Though the folder building process looks quite promising and easy....
     
  25. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #25
    No. No. Please no.

    Documents is NOT a file manager. It might try to mimic one, but it's not. Every time it is mentioned as a file manager option, I re-download it to give it a try (thinking that perhaps it was updated since the last time I tried it). It still falls short.

    Documents is just another iOS app that happens to offer the ability to manipulate files within it's own sandboxed storage area. It is NOT a universal file manager for iOS. That is a significant difference.

    Documents is fine for "read-only" files but using it to manage files that will be modified by multiple applications is quite a convoluted flow.

    If I have 2 apps that I need to use to edit a particular file and I have that file in Documents, I have to "save copy to..." or "send to..." app#1, make changes, send the file back to Documents, and within Documents send it to app#2, and then back to Documents.

    That results in 3 copies of the file... in app#1's sandbox, app#2's sandbox, and Documents.
     

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