It is a fact that the iPad is fast becoming a laptop-replacement device for many users, primarily for productivity tasks—such as emails and documents. And users aren’t entirely averse to using the iPhone too to quickly edit a document, particularly with the bigger screen size of the iPhone 6 Plus. But, unlike a Windows computer or an Android tablet, Apple’s smartphone operating system doesn’t let users access files in a typical folder structure. This makes it tough if you want to continue working on that document on another device.
Some new-age file managers for the iPhone and iPad not only make it easy to access documents and files, but also offer value-adds such as closer integration with cloud-storage services, enabling file-sharing.
There are three apps which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store directly on to an iOS device.
This is a free app that allows files stored on the iOS device to be copied, moved and renamed. Users can also mark certain files as favourites, enabling quick access in a separate folder. The app supports Office document formats (iWork, Microsoft Office and PDF) and can search within documents for a particular word or phrase. It supports cloud-storage services too—Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Box and SugarSync. The built-in media player supports most of the popular music and video formats, which is a plus point given that iOS supports very few media files. Colourful icons and easy-to-read text make this app convenient to use.
$5.99 (around Rs.380)
The rich functionality of this app makes it useful for power users. Along with basic file management options such as access, copy and delete, FileBrowser allows remote access to files on other computers and Network-attached storage (NAS), with complete control of two-way copy, uploading, editing, deleting and streaming. The app can stream media files on the home network. It is Apple AirPlay enabled as well—if you have an Apple TV streaming box connected to your TV, you can stream videos and enjoy them on the big screen. Usually, the audio-streaming support extends to FLAC high-definition audio files too. The interface is simple. The app also supports Apple’s Touch ID biometric sensor (available in iPhone 5s and later), which makes it mandatory to authenticate user identity via a fingerprint scan before data can be accessed.
By Steven Zhang
This application ticks all the correct boxes for an iOS file manager—it gives access to remote computers, file servers and NAS and provides access to cloud-storage accounts. FileExplorer lets users see and work on files stored in the iPhone or iPad’s storage, and has wide support for document, image and video-file formats, including PDFs. This app is meant for professionals who need to regularly access data stored on a variety of devices across the network. It supports Windows, Mac OS X and Linux computers, Apple’s Time Capsule storage and NAS servers. The cloud-storage services available include Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and Box. The extremely robust integrated media player supports HD video files (up to 720p resolution) in all the usual formats, including MOV, MP4, M4V,MPV, AVI, XVID, MKV, RMVB, WMV and FLV. Users can also set a password to prevent unauthorized access to their files and data.