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ahostmadsen

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 28, 2009
1,095
834
I have this goal of making the iPad pro work as a laptop replacement for me (so I can justify upgrading to the new Pro). Not when I'm working at my office -- there are things that can be done better on a Mac -- but when I'm away from my office. I finally found the missing ingredient, an app that means I can do all my work on iPad. BUT, it has poor Dropbox integration. Grrr.... I blamed the developer, but I got a reply from them which starts: "Firstly, it must be said that Dropbox access (and access to other file storages) is all an unfortunate mess on iOS."

On Mac, an app just needs to access the file system. On iOS developers needs to jump through hoops for every separate cloud service. Rich developers like MS can do it, but I'm sure that is a big hurdle for small developers. iOS needs a file system, Apple!
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,757
15,253
Jacksonville, Florida
I would be shocked if Apple didn`t. A file system is the next logical step for me. The new Pros are designed for the future.

Prepare to be shocked!

We have been asking Apple to give us a files system for years and all we got is their stupid little file folder. I was forced to go to Dropbox and can access all my files form there. I think Apple thinks the iPad would be "too productive" if they gave us a real file system and would compete with their MacBooks.

Due to Apple's security, I can not see them letting us download what ever we want onto the iPad. This is why they force you to use iTunes.

I might be wrong and Apple could surprise me, but can't see it happening.
 

rowspaxe

macrumors 68020
Jan 29, 2010
2,214
1,009
I used to think this but now I would settle for enhanced icloud functionality. An ipad finder system
must be readily accessible for cross platform use.

For instance, Sketchbook by default saves its files to icloud: no tedious exporting. Also the browse function starts within this folder tree, so when i save reference art from windows to the Sketchbook folder on icloud, it is readily accessible.Finally, the Sketchbook folder appears with a special Sketchbook icon, which makes it easy to see on icloud.

No Dropbox. No itunes. No photos.

I work cross platform with icloud on windows. This functionality has greatly simplified reviewing
current work and setting up new ipad projects from the desktop.
[doublepost=1545239739][/doublepost]
I would be shocked if Apple didn`t. A file system is the next logical step for me. The new Pros are designed for the future.
Are they? Or did Apple chip development just rapidly exceed expectations?
 
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ahostmadsen

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 28, 2009
1,095
834
I used to think this but now I would settle for enhanced icloud functionality. An ipad finder system
must be readily accessible for cross platform use.

For instance, Sketchbook by default saves its files to icloud: no tedious exporting. Also the browse function starts within this folder tree, so when i save reference art from windows to the Sketchbook folder on icloud, it is readily accessible.Finally, the Sketchbook folder appears with a special Sketchbook icon, which makes it easy to see on icloud.

No Dropbox. No itunes. No photos.

I work cross platform with icloud on windows. This functionality has greatly simplified reviewing
current work and setting up new ipad projects from the desktop.
[doublepost=1545239739][/doublepost]
Are they? Or did Apple chip development just rapidly exceed expectations?
The app I found does work with iCloud, but not really Dropbox. That is the issue: developers have to implement different things for different cloud services. Much of my work is collaborative, and other people use Dropbox or Google Drive, not iCloud. So, I need Dropbox.
 

MyopicPaideia

macrumors 68020
Mar 19, 2011
2,155
980
Sweden
The app I found does work with iCloud, but not really Dropbox. That is the issue: developers have to implement different things for different cloud services. Much of my work is collaborative, and other people use Dropbox or Google Drive, not iCloud. So, I need Dropbox.
Do they really? Don’t they really just have to access the Files App, which has built in cloud service integration (Dropbox, Box, iCloud, OneDrive, Google Drive) That is how I understand it, the Files App provides iOS extensions that remove the requirement for developers to integrate individual cloud services themselves manually.

Maybe an actual developer can chime in here?
 
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rowspaxe

macrumors 68020
Jan 29, 2010
2,214
1,009
The app I found does work with iCloud, but not really Dropbox. That is the issue: developers have to implement different things for different cloud services. Much of my work is collaborative, and other people use Dropbox or Google Drive, not iCloud. So, I need Dropbox.
Which app?
 

Krevnik

macrumors 601
Sep 8, 2003
4,097
1,304
Do they really? Don’t they really just have to access the Files App, which has built in cloud service integration (Dropbox, Box, iCloud, OneDrive, Google Drive) That is how I understand it, the Files App provides iOS extensions that remove the requirement for developers to integrate individual cloud services themselves manually.

Maybe an actual developer can chime in here?

It’s still messy, but that’s what Apple intends. The problem is that apps needed this before iOS 8, so they implemented integration themselves using libraries provided by Dropbox/etc. Then when Dropbox/etc dragged their heels integrating with the document picker (which became Files later), there was a good period of time where despite Apple having “the unifying solution”, apps weren’t really getting anything important by integrating, so they keep writing more custom integration.

So a lot of legacy still exists with the old integration. And there’s still services that don’t integrate into the document picker, even now, but it’s becoming rare.

The document picker does a lot of smarter things that devs/users should be interested in, such as allowing an app to reach into Dropbox’s sandbox for a file, eliminating the need for copying files all over the device, but that support is spotty too since the provider and “consumer” of the file both need to support in-place viewing/editing, leading to another chicken/egg problem.

The big gap though in my mind, is that Apple really should be integrating some core functionality as “providers” in Files, such as flash drive and SSD support. I’d also like a good SFTP provider that lets me reach into my Mac server more easily through the document picker (the existing ones are meh, at best, and Panic killed Transmit so that’s starting to age from lack of fixes).

As a developer, I can see what Apple has been trying to build and how it is a good approach long term for having both a security-conscious filing system, and dealing with the reality that more folks are storing files on servers. Elevating cloud providers to be “equal” in the document picker & Files is a worthy goal. But as a developer, I also have to laugh at Apple expecting devs to spend effort adopting it without some carrot or stick involved. It just doesn’t work if you can’t bypass the bean counters’ input on the decision to do the work or not, or give them something juicy they can send onto the users that greatly outweighs the costs.
 

sparksd

macrumors G3
Jun 7, 2015
8,800
26,561
Seattle WA
I used to think this but now I would settle for enhanced icloud functionality. An ipad finder system
must be readily accessible for cross platform use.

For instance, Sketchbook by default saves its files to icloud: no tedious exporting. Also the browse function starts within this folder tree, so when i save reference art from windows to the Sketchbook folder on icloud, it is readily accessible.Finally, the Sketchbook folder appears with a special Sketchbook icon, which makes it easy to see on icloud.

No Dropbox. No itunes. No photos.

I work cross platform with icloud on windows. This functionality has greatly simplified reviewing
current work and setting up new ipad projects from the desktop.
[doublepost=1545239739][/doublepost]
Are they? Or did Apple chip development just rapidly exceed expectations?

No Internet connection = no iCloud (or any cloud).
 

ahostmadsen

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 28, 2009
1,095
834
Do they really? Don’t they really just have to access the Files App, which has built in cloud service integration (Dropbox, Box, iCloud, OneDrive, Google Drive) That is how I understand it, the Files App provides iOS extensions that remove the requirement for developers to integrate individual cloud services themselves manually.

Maybe an actual developer can chime in here?
That should be how it is, but it's not. I think one issue is that latex apps need access to a whole folder, not just a single file. It might modify several files. So, it basically needs to sync that folder all the time.
 

Krevnik

macrumors 601
Sep 8, 2003
4,097
1,304
No Internet connection = no iCloud (or any cloud).

That doesn’t have to be the case, if you can do local caching of changes. But I still get the point, because providers have been pushing more and more to have “sparse” copies of data locally by default. :/
 

secretk

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2018
1,494
1,228
No Internet connection = no iCloud (or any cloud).

Also I am not sure why but accessing iCloud files from Windows computer is slow. Liker super slow, tortoise levels slow. It's really unproductive. I don't see anyone willing to use iCloud that does not have Mac to be honest.
 

sparksd

macrumors G3
Jun 7, 2015
8,800
26,561
Seattle WA
But with Dropbox you can keep your actual files on your device and synced when the Internet is available.

True. But my interest is for those times when I am traveling for significant periods in areas with poor to no Internet connectivity. Because of that, I don't count on cloud services and would like better on-board file management. I currently use FileBrowser as a de facto file manager.
 
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sracer

macrumors G4
Apr 9, 2010
10,247
12,934
where hip is spoken
I would be shocked if Apple didn`t. A file system is the next logical step for me. The new Pros are designed for the future.
A universally-accessible file system, along with support for mice/trackpads, and support for USB peripherals has been the "next logical step" for quite a few of us for the past few years. None of which has happened.

I agree with @Newtons Apple. Apple is NOT going to provide a universally accessible filesystem on iOS for the foreseeable future. THAT goes directly against the design philosophy of iOS. iOS started out, and continues to be, a smartphone OS. It's been expanded to function well on tablets, but the underlying core is still the same. Sandboxed local storage is deeply ingrained in iOS and it is why Apple put the work into the Files.app (which is essentially Apple's version of Documents by Readdle). That's as close as it's going to get.
 

DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
9,385
11,183
Philadelphia, PA
I am expecting some improvements to the files app, but I wouldn't expect anything like what is on a Mac. I access files via Dropbox without issue on either the Files app or Documents, so I am not sure what the problem is.
 

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,929
3,677
We’ve described what the problem is, many times, including right here in this thread. If you use primarily one cloud provider, that also happens to be a well integrated one, like iCloud or Dropbox, and your workflow is relatively simple, it’s probably not that big of a deal.

But when you deal with cloud providers outside of those two, things get messy, really quick. Literally every time I go to work with files on my iPad (and really, I’ve been trying - a lot more than usual since I got my 11” Pro - it does about 85% of what I need) - I end up jumping around from one app to another until I find the right combination of permissions to get what I need done. It was mentioned above, but the main issue is that Apple has left file management integration in the hands of individual developers. That means every app handles files a bit differently. The Files app kind of tries to centralize that but it doesn’t support every service, and not every app fully supports Apple’s method here. This is a monumentally stupid way of doing things. Files should be handled by the operating system. Not individual developers.

Further, there is no ‘real’ sync. On my laptop I know that if I shut down and next time I open it up I’m offline, all my cloud files are there. In iOS I must manually trigger a sync prior to going offline, and then leave the app open until it finishes lest the sync get cut off with no notification in the background.

Again. Stupid.
 

rowspaxe

macrumors 68020
Jan 29, 2010
2,214
1,009
Also I am not sure why but accessing iCloud files from Windows computer is slow. Liker super slow, tortoise levels slow. It's really unproductive. I don't see anyone willing to use iCloud that does not have Mac to be honest.
I found that to be the case until mid-2018. Now it seems as fast as one drive, but will have issues occasionally
which require me to quit out icloud and restart icloud. No reboot, but stil a pain (2x in 6 mos)
[doublepost=1545247619][/doublepost]
..the main issue is that Apple has left file management integration in the hands of individual developers. That means every app handles files a bit differently. The Files app kind of tries to centralize that but it doesn’t support every service, and not every app fully supports Apple’s method here. This is a monumentally stupid way of doing things. Files should be handled by the operating system. Not individual developers.
yes!
Further, there is no ‘real’ sync. On my laptop I know that if I shut down and next time I open it up I’m offline, all my cloud files are there. In iOS I must manually trigger a sync prior to going offline, and then leave the app open until it finishes lest the sync get cut off with no notification in the background.
need partial syncing, like oneDrive
[doublepost=1545247843][/doublepost]
I agree with @Newtons Apple. Apple is NOT going to provide a universally accessible filesystem on iOS for the foreseeable future. THAT goes directly against the design philosophy of iOS. iOS started out, and continues to be, a smartphone OS. It's been expanded to function well on tablets, but the underlying core is still the same. Sandboxed local storage is deeply ingrained in iOS and it is why Apple put the work into the Files.app (which is essentially Apple's version of Documents by Readdle). That's as close as it's going to get.
So if refined, is a cloud based "finder" enough in 2018? I think yes.
 

jaseone

macrumors 65816
Nov 7, 2004
1,245
57
Houston, USA
FileBrowser handles all the major cloud platforms, sFTP, WebDAV and just about anywhere else you can store files plus it extends the Files app so anything accessible in FileBrowser is within the Files app as well. Just about the only thing missing for it to be a full filesystem to me is the ability to read & write directly to external drives, I currently do that via a NAS using the Ravpower FileHub but that is a pain.

I can even copy photos as files from my camera or memory card direct to the Files app bypassing the Photo library and import into Lightroom from the Files app using the FileHub and then connect an external drive to the FileHub to back them up, just wish you could do that directly without the NAS.
 
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secretk

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2018
1,494
1,228
I found that to be the case until mid-2018. Now it seems as fast as one drive, but will have issues occasionally
which require me to quit out icloud and restart icloud. No reboot, but stil a pain (2x in 6 mos)

I bought my iPad two months ago so the experience I share is recent. It's quite annoying. With OneDrive I can open and edit files and it would be efficient enough. With iCloud is a mission impossible on a Windows machine. For this reason I try to not to use iCloud and I make sure to configure this in settings for every apps that allows me to do it.
 
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