A few months back, I wrote up a simple guide to the iPad and touted the powers of the app Documents by Readdle. My major beef with the iPad was the inability to upload and download files. Documents solved this problem, but only for documents transferred to the cloud. I wrote about the utter lack of local file sharing on the iPad. I was wrong.
Documents includes local file sharing, as I learned by accident. I was trying a few other apps (unsuccessfuly) and followed their instructions to set up remote login and file sharing on my wife’s iMac. Both settings are in System Preferences and it did not take me more than 5 minutes to hunt down the checkboxes. The other apps could see the iMac for downloading files. None could upload files. I started up Documents to see if it too could download files, and to my great surprise, when I hit the “edit” button, I saw an upload “button”. It’s real.
The only files available for upload are files in the Documents app. For photos and videos, this means first copying over content from the iPad’s built in photo library. There seems to be no way to copy over songs and podcasts from iTunes on the iPad. All other files must be opened in and saved to Documents.
To test the upload, I used a 370mb video file. On our 802.11n wireless network, the transfer should have taken about 3 seconds at full speed. (My wife’s iMac is wired into ethernet). The actual transfer took about 10 minutes. At least it worked. None of the cloud storage services (not Dropbox, G-Drive, Skydrive, or Box) would take a file that big. Slowly and steadily, the days of tethering the iPad to a Mac or PC are ending. The next feature I would love to see is an app that will send uploads over WiFi to my Western Digital MyBook Live NAS.