Federico Viticci Gets It

Courtesy: icreatemagazine.com

In another fantastic post, MacStories.com‘s Federico Viticci explores document management apps in iOS 8. He does his usual exemplary job. Head over for a thorough discussion of document pickers in iOS and the apps that allow (limited) file management.

If (somehow) you’re not familiar with Federico’s site, get over there ASAP. Bookmark it.

Anyway, with iCloud Drive, we have access to the iCloud online file system (like in Yosemite). The problem is that each app (in iOS anyway) can only access the files it is supposed to access according to the file type the app creates. In other words, Pages in iOS accesses .pages documents. You can’t open a .pdf file in Pages. In fact, as far as Pages is concerned, those other file types don’t exist.

I know Apple has tried hard for years to shield us iOS users from a directory tree and other types of file management. That may be a fine goal or ideal for an inexperienced user, or simply a user that doesn’t care about file management and has no need or desire to poke around for other file types.

But what about the rest of us?

I know I would love to have a Finder app open files in the reverse order: find the file, then double tap it to open the file in the appropriate app. Sometimes I search for flies by name (or date, or…), and I don’t want to have to decide what type of file it is, then launch the associated app, then “Open” (or its equivalent).

We need a, iOS Finder analog. I promise, Apple, we can handle it.

This is all accessible from a desktop (Yosemite, Windows iCloud Drive), but if Apple really wants users to grab their iOS devices as a laptop/desktop replacement, they have to allow us laptop/desktop functionality. Users who don’t  need file-level access don’t have to use it, or it can be a toggle in Settings.

For me, iCloud Drive looks like a Dropbox killer in that it’s so deeply embedded in the operating systems of Yosemite and iOS 8. But I need to have file-level access.