iPads for business – Part 4: Storing Data and Files - Geek Guru

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iPads for business – Part 4: Storing Data and Files

At Geek-Guru we have found that one of the greatest challenges in swapping your laptop for an iPad is managing your data. On your laptop you will be used to storing files on the hard drive or a USB pen disk. Files can be copied over at will and stored pretty much where and when you like. This is not the case with the iPad. Apple made a design choice early on to highly restrict access to the underlying file system on the device. You can’t just go nosing around on the C:\ drive like you can on a PC. This has some benefits, in that you are less likely to damage or delete some important system file, but also a lot of drawbacks. How do you get files on to the device, how do you share files between apps and how do you get those files back to your desktop or laptop when back in the office?

How should it not be done?

It is possible to add files via iTunes. Don’t!

How it should be done?

The easiest way to solve all of the issues presented by the iPad file system is to use a cloud synchronisation program. These will enable you to sync easily between multiple devices including PCs, MACs and Laptops. They also keep a copy of your data in the cloud meaning backup is covered automatically.

Accessing files on the iPad just involves downloading your cloud app of choice, finding the file and using the apps ‘Open In’ functionality to open the file in your chosen editor or viewer. Some editing packages (such as Quick Office HD) even have built in tools to access cloud services directly without using a third party sync app.

Some apps to consider

At Geek-Guru we have done a great deal of research on the various sync platforms and have some brief tips below. We’ll be reviewing some of these in more depth in future posts but for now this should be enough to get you going:

  • Dropbox – The original and still considered by many to be the best. You get 2GB of free space and support for this platform is very high in regards to integration with other apps. However, additional space can be expensive and support for multiple users is very dear. There is also no web editor for files.
  • Box – Probably one of the best in regards to enterprise file sharing between multiple users. Very well thought out apps and top notch cloud access but you do pay a premium for these features. Probably the most expensive option so only worth considering if you need the enterprise features.
  • Sky Drive – Microsoft’s cloud offering is our platform of choice for Windows users who also use Microsoft office. 7GB of free space, very slick integration in Windows and web versions of Office tools, such as Word and Excel, make this great for single user access. However, there is currently no shared access available and the iPad app could arguably be a little more developed.
  • Google Drive – Our app of choice for shared access. Very well priced and good apps available for both PC and IOS. However, web editing does involve embracing Google apps (their own version of Office) and a lot of people are not yet ready to drop Office completely. You can use this for storage alone, and continue to use Office, but then you might ask yourself why not just use Sky Drive?

Posted on by Tim
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