The iPad is a perfect device for those who travel frequently and need to carry documents, photos, videos and work files with them. So it would be wonderful to be able to save the files on the Apple tablet and then browse, view or modify them on the fly, as happens with the file managers of Windows, Mac and Linux, right?
Well, if the answer is yes, know that it can be done, and how! Just turn to the app Fillet, integrated "as standard" on all devices of the "bitten apple" starting from iOS 11, including iPad, through which it is possible to browse, view and manage the files saved on iCloud Drive, Apple's cloud storage service , and on other installed apps and services linked to your accounts. It also allows you to save files locally but this is limited only to some specific folders. In short, it has some limitations but it is certainly a very valid tool.
If a version of iOS prior to 11 is installed on your device or if you are looking for an alternative to File, you can contact Documents. This is an excellent free app for iPad (all models) that allows you to view, copy and save any type of file, locally and on the cloud, on the famous Apple digital tablet with the same convenience of the Resource Explorer of Windows or macOS Finder. The application is very intuitive, has an extremely accurate graphic interface and supports all the main file formats which, among other things, allows you to view without having to switch to other applications and to modify them with a simple “tap”. So let's see how to save files on iPad using both resources.
Let's start this guide entirely dedicated to how to save files on iPad by analyzing the functioning of the app Fillet. As already mentioned at the beginning, it is a resource pre-installed on all iPads (and other iDevices) made available by Apple itself starting from iOS 11. You can therefore find it on the home screen of your device and to be used it does not require configurations details. For more info, keep reading, you will find everything explained in detail right below.
Log in to the App
As already mentioned, in order to access the File app you do not need to download and install anything from the App Store. The application is in fact pre-installed on all Apple-branded mobile devices equipped with at least iOS 11 so you can find it directly on the home screen, to be more precise on the dock bar (by default).
To start using it, start the application by tapping on its icon (it is the one with the icon with a white background with a blue folder imprinted on it) and you will immediately find yourself in front of its main screen.
Can't see the Files app on your iPad? Well, most likely it is because it was mistakenly removed from the device. In that case, fear not, you can download it again from the App Store as if nothing ever happened.
To remedy this, open theApp Store pressing on its icon (the one with the blue background and the "A" printed in the center), stop on the item Search which is at the bottom and types Fillet in the search field at the top of the screen that is shown to you. Then press on the first result in the list, step on the relative button Ottieni / Installa and type your Apple ID password or, if enabled, use Touch ID to unlock the download.
Wait a few moments for the download to start and complete, after which you can finally access the application. If you want, you can also connect immediately to the relevant section of the App Store by pressing directly from your iPad on the link that I have given you a few lines already above.
Once the application is open, to start managing your files select the location you want to access, you will find all those available in the section Positions, in the left sidebar. By default, File allows you to access iCloud Drive but also to several other supported apps and services such as dropbox, Google Drive and the same application Documents of which I will go to talk to you in the following lines.
If you can't see a specific location, you can tap on the item Modification which is at the top and add it (if available) bringing up ON the switch you will see appear next to its name. The same is true if you prefer to remove a given position. Bring up OFF its switch and that's it. In case of second thoughts you can always and in any case retrace your steps, in both cases.
In the Tag, also located in the left sidebar of the application, there are instead all the tags with which you can mark your files or that you have already marked. By pressing on each of them you can therefore view all related documents on the fly.
On the right side of the app there are then the search field to find certain files by typing the related keywords, folders and files related to the selected location or the chosen tag. By default they are sorted by name but if you want you can change this by making a slight swipe from top to bottom in correspondence with the reference section and choosing the option that interests you most from the top menu.
Pressing on a specific folder it opens automatically, the same happens for files that are opened directly in the app and that can also be modified (when possible) by tapping the button in the shape of a pencil present at the top right of the tablet screen.
Save the Files
As for the actual saving of specific files in the app that are located outside the app, for example in Safari or on Chrome, all you have to do is press the button of the sharing (the square with the arrow), select the option Save your File from the menu that opens (in the second line) and indicate the destination location, both in the cloud and locally, from the window that opens and tap on Add top right.
For the rest, if on Mac you have activated the synchronization of documents and desktops with iCloud you will find the relative folders in iCloud Drive. Plus, if you create a folder on Mac, Windows, or over the web in iCloud Drive, you'll also be able to access it from the Files app. The same goes for the files you choose to add to the newly created folders or to existing ones from another location.
Finally, I point out that File also includes a section called Recent, which you can access by tapping on the appropriate item at the bottom left of the application window, which, as easily understood, allows you to view all the files most recently opened by the application.
Since, as I mentioned in the previous lines, File also allows you to access the items saved on various cloud storage services and the apps on the device that support their integration, you can save your files on iPad even by marrying them from a location to a other. To do this, press on the voice Select at the top right of the reference screen, step on the file or files you are interested in and use the commands below to perform the desired operation: Share e Move. There are also commands Duplicate ed Delete but, as can be easily understood, they are not used to save files on the device in the strict sense but to duplicate and remove them.
In addition to this as just indicated, you can then move your files also by opening the reference one (click on it in the app), by selecting the sharing top right, then the voice Save your File and indicating the destination position.
However, keep in mind that although File also allows you to access files saved in other apps and services, the interface in this case could be the proprietary one with the usual functions and the usual management mode. It all depends on whether the reference application has been updated and whether it supports integration with File.
Let's move on to now Documents, the application to save and manage files on iPad more generally online. To find out how to download it and use it on your Apple-branded tablet, follow the instructions below. It can be used on all versions of iOS and on all iPad models without any kind of problem.
Install the App
If you want to find out how to save files on iPad with Documents, the first step you need to take is to open theApp Store, search for Documents by Readdle and install the application on your iPad by pressing on Ottieni / Installa and verify your identity using your Apple ID password or using the Touch ID sensor for fingerprint recognition (if you have an iPad model that also includes this component).
Once the download and installation are complete, start Documents by pressing the app icon on the home screen of your iPad and press the button Later (top right) to start using the application right away. Entering the email address is not mandatory.
As you can see, in the Documents home screen there are various test files: a music piece, a ZIP archive, a photo, a Pages document, etc. By pressing on each of them, you can view them directly inside of the file manager without using external applications, while if you swipe down you can display the toolbar that allows you to change the display mode of the icons, organize files by name, date or size and create new folders.
On the left, however, there is a convenient quick access bar through which you can quickly search among the documents on the iPad, connect the file manager to your Dropbox account and other cloud storage services (Network) and browse the Internet (Browser). At the bottom of it, there are also links to the most recently opened files, so you can recall them faster when you need them.
Save the Files
There are various ways to save files to iPad via Documents. The first you can try is to connect the iPad to the computer (via cable or wirelessly) and take advantage of the file sharing function of iTunes, which allows you to copy files of all kinds to and from the tablet in a very simple way.
To better understand what I'm talking about, connect your iPad to the computer, start iTunes I will select l 'tablet icon which appears at the top left. In the screen that opens, select the item App from the left sidebar, click on the icon Documents present in the box relating to File sharing and drag the files to be copied to iPad in the field Documents. You will find all files copied from PC to iPad in the folder File iTunes of Documents.
Alternatively, you can upload your files to iPad using the Documents web panel via Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, Firefox or any other web browser. How do you do it? Nothing easier. You have to type in your browser the Documents address and a panel opens through which you can manage and upload files to iPad.
To activate the data transfer function in Wi-Fi, go to the Documents settings by pressing the icon of thegear located at the top left, enter the section Drive Wi-Fi and set to ON the option toggle Activate Drive. The address of Documents (i.e. of your iPad) within the local network is the one that appears at the bottom of the Documents settings menu (it should be something like http://192.168.1.x o http://iPad-di-tuonome.local).
Once you have the Documents address, open the browser on your computer and connect to it. He then authorizes the computer to access the iPad by replying Yes, OK the warning that appears on the tablet screen and upload your files to the device using the button Choose File / Browse located at the bottom of the web page that opened on your computer.
Another way to have your files always at hand in Documents, as mentioned above, is to link the app to your own accounts. dropbox or other cloud storage services (e.g. Google Drive, SkyDrive, etc.).
To do this, you need to select the item In the cloud> Add / Add account from the Documents sidebar, you must select the service to which the app is to be connected and enter the access data for it. In this way you will be able to freely view and modify all the files you have saved in the "cloud". More comfortable than that?
Other Solutions to Save Files on IPad
Did Files and Documents not fully satisfy you? Don't worry, there are many other apps that allow you to share files between your computer and iPad, either via cable or wirelessly. Let's take a few examples right away.
- If you want to copy files from a computer to the iPad, another Apple device or even an Android device, try Send Anywhere. It is a free application that allows you to transfer files to and from iPad, iPhone, Mac, Windows PC, Android devices and computers equipped with Linux. It works very simply under any Wi-Fi network. To use it, just select the files to send from a device, enter the transfer code on the target device and wait for the file copy to complete.
- If you want to transfer files from a Mac to an iPad, you can also rely on AirDrop. In case you've never heard of it, AirDrop is a file sharing system included with all newer Macs and iOS devices that works over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. To use it, all you have to do is select the files to move to the iPad, right-click on them and select the items Share> AirDrop from the menu that opens. iPad and Mac must both have Bluetooth turned on and must be connected to the same wireless network. To learn more check out my tutorial on how AirDrop works.
- If you want to copy videos to iPad but you don't want to waste time between iTunes conversions and synchronizations, turn to third-party players such as VLC (free) and Infuse (free, but with an in-app purchase of 7,49 euros to take advantage of all their potential) that support all the main video file formats and allow you to transfer files to iPad both wirelessly and via cable, via iTunes (using the file sharing function we talked about before). For more details see my tutorial on how to put movies on iPad where I explained how both applications work.
In conclusion, don't forget that you can copy files from computer to iPad using good old iTunes and its sync functions for videos, music, photos and books. Now, given the many alternatives available, it is a bit awkward as a file management method, but it works. To find out in more detail how to transfer files from PC to iPad using iTunes, consult my tutorial on how to transfer files to iPad: everything is explained there.