File Sharing/Backup is a Must!

26 May

Many of us have files within apps on our iPads that are starting to build up . Because of this, you may be worried that you will lose these files if something would happen to your iPad. Actually, there are many apps out there that let you share files, back-up files to your computer, upload files onto your iPad from your computer/network, and much more.

Below is a detailed list of several file sharing apps available for iPad. These apps give you the ability to save files back and forth between your iPad and computer, as well as give you many other amazing time-saving features. Check out the list below and pick what works best for you.

1. Dropbox is best with classroom and grade level document/file sharing. If we are willing to pay the cash, $99.00 for 50 GB of storiage, this is probably the best option for school wide document sharing as well. However, Dropbox gives users 2GB of storage for free, which is more than enough for one individual’s files. Especially if we are using Dropbox for our classroom files only.

The only problem with dropbox is that you must download software onto your computer to access files. Once you do this, moving files is literally as easy as draging the files over the dropbox icon on your desktop and dropping them in. Hence the name “Dropbox”. After this drag and drop, you are now ready to access your files from your iPad or any other Dropbox ready device.

For directions of how to set up Dropbox, click here.

2. Office2 HD is best with classroom file sharing of documents. Actually, I havent had the opportunity to use this as much as I would like, but while at home, I am able to connect directly to my iPad from my computer by maping a netword drive or through Internet Explorer. I did this by following these directions.

The issue with Office2 HD, along with any other app thatconnects from an iPad directly to a computer through WiFi, is that while at school our district’s security software blocks this connection between your iPad and computer from happening. However, our IT department is working on solving this issue. Hopefully sooner than later.

3.iDisk is best with school-wide document collaboration.This is mostly due to the fact that you must purchase storage to use it.

iDisk is the only file sharing app that fully functions with Apple’s “big three” document apps; Pages, Keynote, and Numbers.  Actually, there are many file sharing apps that allow you to open documents on Pages, Numbers and Keynote, but iDisk is the only app that conveniently lets you save the file back onto iDisk from the “big three” when you are done editing.

With iDisk, you can map a network drive to iDisk on your computer, use Internet Explorer to access your files, or sign in at to upload files to and from your iPad. lets you upload files to and from iDisk on any computer in the world without downlaoding any kind of software onto the computer. However, you can only upload one file at a time which can be cumbersom if you are trying to move large amounts of files.

To move large amounts of files, you must map a network drive on your computer to your iDisk account by following these directions. When you do this, it may take up to 10 minutes to move 10 simple documents. Longer if the files are pictures.

In my opinion, if you do not use Pages, Keynote, or Numbers, iDisk isn’t the best option for you.

4. Filebrowser is best with classroom, gradelevel, or school wide use.

Filebrowser lets us connect to our district wide Network drive and lets us view and save files to and from the iPad. However, I have only figured out how to connect our “H” drive to my iPad which has been really convenient. I am in the process of discovering how to do this with all the other network drives as well. To learn how to connect to the “H” drive, bring your iPad to me and I will show you how to set it up. I do not feel comfortable posting information about this on our blog.

Filebrowser lets you view files and open them in other apps in your iPad. However, editing is not an option.

5. GoodReader is best with classroom, grade-level file sharing.

Actually, GoodReader allows you to view most any type of file. Actually, it lets you view some video formats that you otherwise would not be able to view on the iPad. However, you must download these videos onto the iPad which can take quite a long time and very incovenient if you are just trying to watch a simple short video.

As for documents and other files, GoodReader is awesome! GoodReader allows you to connect to district networks, google docs, and an array of other file sharing apps. Most of witch are listed on this post.

6. DocsToGo is best with classroom file sharing. However, I do not have a lot of experience with DocsToGo file sharing. From what I have read, you can set up something similar to Dropbox where you can drop files into a downloadable desktop icon. Do not quote me on that.

What I can say about DocsToGo is that it is a great document reader/creator. It has somewhat of a learning curve, but once you figure out how to use it, DocsToGo is actually really slick. I usually open files from email into DocsToGo for storage and easy access. This way I can organize my files and open them in other locations on the iPad rather easily.

I probably only use a fraction of what DocsToGo is capable of, but I use it none-the-less. Let me know if there is anything I may be leaving out here that is worth mentioning.

File Sharing on iTunes is best for everything. Plus, it is easy for those of you who have iTunes installed on your computer. Simply plug your iPad into your iTunes ready computer and move files from any app on your ipad to any folder, drive, or network on your computer. You do not even need to be signed in under your itunes account. This is super convenient and fast, as long as you have your cord to connect your iPad to your computer.  To learn how to do this, follow these directions.

(**I have had issues doing this with iTunes on  my Windows 7 laptop. I am able to move files from apps and onto apps for about 30 seconds. Then all of a sudden, everything mysteriously disappears. The files are still on the iPad, just not viewable on the file sharing screen. I am trying to figure this out with no success as of yet. )

Other Honorable Mentions (These are here mostly because I haven’t been able to use any of them but heard great things. If you have used these, please let me know how they work out.)

1 Comment

Posted by on May 26, 2011 in iPad Organization


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One response to “File Sharing/Backup is a Must!

  1. Jarrett Tan

    July 19, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Hi there,

    I’m an elementary school teacher in Melbourne Australia who has just gotten an iPad, and I have just recently discovered your great blog. Unfortunately, my school server doesn’t allow us to use Dropbox. Do you know of any way to get around this?


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