Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 29th Jun 2012 22:55 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes "Whenever there is a conversation about the future of computing, is discussion inevitably turns to the notion of a 'File'. After all, most tablets and phones don't show the user anything that resembles a file, only Apps that contain their own content, tucked away inside their own opaque storage structure. This is wrong. Files are abstraction layers around content that are necessary for interoperability. Without the notion of a File or other similar shared content abstraction, the ability to use different applications with the same information grinds to a halt, which hampers innovation and user experience." Aside from the fact that a file manager for Android is just a click away, and aside from the fact that Android's share menu addresses many of these concerns, his point still stands: files are not an outdated, archaic concept. One of my biggest gripes with iOS is just how user-hostile the operating system it when it comes to getting stuff - whatever stuff - to and from the device.
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Millions of Files
by REM2000 on Mon 2nd Jul 2012 10:00 UTC
REM2000
Member since:
2006-07-25

This is a very interesting discussion and it had been really good to read all of the responses. I agree to a point that a lot of the older / classic folder structure is becoming obselete, however i feel that the interim we do require a folder / file structure of some sorts, perhaps one limited to the files we are working with, i.e. PDF's have their own structure.

I also agree that iOS's implementation of a file storage / information storage system is flawed, the problem i have found (which has been highlighted by others) is duplication, this is especially annoying when duplicate files are updated by different applications. For example PDF's, i view make notes on a lot of PDF's of information, on my iPad i primarily manage these through DropBox and a PDF editor/annote app, i have to import the PDF from dropbox to my PDF editor, make an edit, now if i don't upload these back to Dropbox quickly then i could easily make a change elsewhere meaning i would have two versions of the PDF which is then an fustrating case of trying to merge these back togeather. This example also does not take in account that i am losing storage space unnecessarily through file / data duplication.

Apple should have implemented a dropbox solution and baked this into iOS from the start, they should have also implemented this so when you connect the device via USB, the file structure then become visible like a memory stick, easily transfer files. I can understand keeping media such as music and video hidden, but documents and photo's could be exposed via the memory stick view.

I understand what apple are trying to do, they have been doing this for a while, to hide files behind applications, however there has to be a mid step, jumping from files and folders to no folders is quite a jump and leaves a lot of users (linked in the article, in these comments and myself) unable to be truly productive as we can't manage our files easily enough.

One last point, is that with files and folders the one thing to keep in mind is millions of files. Many people could remember the location of a active set of working files, but give it a month or two, many people would have a hard job trying to remember where they saved project files, is it in that folder or another. So the concept of files and folders in the classic way will eventually die away to be replaced with tags, file type, file information such as photo, pdf in a view based system. That like iOS it doesn't matter where the files are saved but only of what type they are.

I have had to help family and friends with computers and the people who are not from a computing background, who scatter files absolutely everywhere, i have given them tutorials, step by step walk throughs on how to create and use folders but they forget and simply save wherever. Files end up in user folder not in the documents folder, they simply perform a search to find them, but the underlying storage is a nightmare, so these merge of abstracted folders like iOS with instant search would certainly benefit them also.

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