File Manager for your iPad

Date: June 2, 2020

This year is a great year for Apple. The introduced the Magic Keyboard for iPad. Now, your iPad is slowly taking over your MacBook Air.

The Magic Keyboard not only gives you the Keyboard, it also gives you the Trackpad. So, you can use your iPad / iPad pro like a Macbook / Air / Pro. and iPad is very powerful. Sometimes, you don’t want to touch your screen so often and it leaves traces of finger prints on the screen. So, Magic Keyboard will be your solution.

Don’t bother to use other brands. Because Apple most likely always do better than third parties. I have 3x Brydge keyboards and now I stored it in my store room. Yes, Brydge has the fucntions keys like brightness control, volume control, but the key function such as the gesture are not there for the Brydge. So, Apple Magic Keyboard win this one.

After IOS 11.4.1, Apple allows you to plug in any USB drives so that you can access your hard disk, and your USB storage. That is very cool indeed.

The next question will be how good is the File Manager?

I would say, not good enough. Apple own stocked “Files” is quite good in accessing iClouds, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. But accesing Synology NAS is a bit weak. I don’t quite like it. So, I need to find a solution for it.

Nowadays, I started to use Lightroom app on the iPad Pro to do all my post processing of my photos. It is very fast and makes my work flow fast too for the post processing of my photos.

So, after you imported your RAW files from the SD card to your Lightroom, what’s next?

You will want to make a backup of the SD card and store all files on your Synology NAS. So, can the Files app do the job? Not quite.

After a few days of research and try out all sort of file managers app. I found one that is usable. In fact this is the only one that is workable for me.

It is called “FileExploere” app. I bought the Pro versuion. (the icon is blue color).

The Pro version is US$4.99

Here is the feature list.

It has a FREE version too. I think you cannot connect to more than 1-2 online storage for the Free version.

Let’s check out why I think it is good.

I can copy files directly from my SD cards onto my Synology NAS.

And you can access the Synology NAS and create the directory on the fly. It is very convenient.

Unlike the Apple “Files”, the FE File Explorer Pro allows you to access the SD card, select the files you want to copy, and copy to Synology NAS or any other NAS, as well as all other online storage too. It has a “Copy to” button. You can “Delete” files too.

Compared to Apple “Files”, Apple own Files manager does not come with a good “Copy” command, and it does not allow you to create directory / folder on the fly. You have to go into the NAS, create the directory, before you can copy to that new directory you just created. Very inconvenient. Apple Files manager can only copy files into the memory then “Paste” it later. Very not user friendly.

Because you sometimes don’t want to copy files to the existing directory. So, you may need to create new folder. It’s ashame that Apple did not thought of that.

Apple Files manager also has some other weakness. For example, when you copy the same file to the same location, Apple will automatically create duplicate copies. Without giving you a choice.

Where as FE File Exploere will ask you to decide. You can choose “Apply to All” for whatever decision you make. You can skip do nothing, you can replace the file, or you can keep both like what Apple did.

So, with these ability to do the file manipulation better and access to Synology NAS better, I choose the File Explorer Pro as my first choice of File Manager.

Beside these basic tasks that I need most, the FE Explorer Pro also allows you to do many other things. They can preview files, play movies, etc.

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