iPad as a computer replacement: end of year 1, Post 1: files.app
After iOS 11 released in beta form last year i added it to [my iPad Pro](https://imgur.com/gallery/eqmkoWS) immediately. I fell in love with Apple’s direct attention to iPad in iOS 11. From drag and drop to pushing for better Pro apps, I decided to commit to iPad as my primary, then eventually only, computer.
[Part 2: RAW photo managment here.](https://reddit.com/r/apple/comments/8rsopu/ipad_as_a_computer_replacement_end_of_year_1_post/)
I got the 10.5” iPad Pro day 1 of release, loaded it up with iOS 11, then affinity photo once it launched. This was the beginning steps of me using my iPad instead of my MacBook. My personal use case for my MacBook included these factors:
1. Powerful RAW photo editing tools including ability to import photos from my camera and store them for clients if needed.
2. ability to create work documents for my job in the navy, these documents were a staple of my training program and job as a workplace supervisor for certain tasks.
3. ability to execute betas and manage beta profile for my Apple TV.
4. Allow my social networking to remain streamlined with ability to fetch documents and information on the fly. Drag and drop and split screen were crucial. One of my hobby’s include discussions of apple and tech online.
5. finally, i simply needed the ability to download any file type from the internet and manage them.
I wanted to cover how I accomplished these tasks on my ipad, and why by December I was all in on ipad and sold my MacBook Pro 15” w/Touch Bar.
First off Files.app. Many people dismiss the implementation as half assed and lazy, and on the surface it seems to be true. I needed a file system that could manage multiple documents at once, compress and uncompress multiple formats, act as a local storage system, and allow simple transfer of old documents to external sources for backup and easy retrieval.
One of the perks of files.app is that it has a third party integration system. Any app that acts as a file container like Dropbox will show up as an option in files. So this is where all of the power comes in and where apple shines: files doesn’t need to natively handle these things if its third party containers can. So i have spent the last few months experimenting and researching good systems. Thanks to some help from Federico Viticci and reading his work on Macstories.net and listening to the podcast Appstories, I was able to accomplish this easily.
These are the apps in my files.app “locations”: [Dropbox](https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dropbox/id327630330?mt=8), [FileBrowser Biz](https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/filebrowser-for-business/id854618029?mt=8), and [icab mobile](https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/icab-mobile-web-browser/id308111628?mt=8), [iZip Pro](https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/izip-pro-zip-unzip-unrar-tool/id479665601?mt=8).
These apps all have a lot of functionality and can be used for a variety of use cases. For example [this method by Viticci allowed me to handle #3.](https://www.macstories.net/ios/installing-tvos-betas-over-the-air-from-ios-with-icab-and-dropbox/). iCab as a native download manager and downloads seen in the file container in files.app make this easy.
FileBrowser lets me have a local storage system, access local files on my networked computers, and see all this in the files.app. I can also connect the San disk iExpand flash drive to the ipad and manage it in FileBrowsers native interface. Much better than the garbage san disk app, and again seeable in the files.app. I can take RAW photos from my camera, place them in photos.app and back up the unedited RAW copies in my 128GB iExpand drive. Quite versatile and taking care of 1, and as far as editing those photos, i use Affinity photo with its amazing RAW editing suite, but ill get into that in a different post.
And finally iZip pro lets me take files from iCab that were downloaded as zip or 7z and unarchive them. All the files can be found in the “on my ipad” section of files.app. I can also create password protected zips from this app. I’d prefer a better interface, the app is a little lackluster, so if anyone has a better archiving app recommendation I’m all ears.
And i think that is all i got for today. Files.app is new and has plenty of room to grow and these apps keep getting better with each update. Making ipad a computer replacement easier than ever.
Let me know what workflows you need covered by ipad in order to switch. Of course coding for swift and making apps is obviously not possible on ipad yet. Thanks for reading!