Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 30th Apr 2014 19:09 UTC

I deeply, truly, desperately want Apple to add a Files app and DocumentPicker controller to the iPhone and iPad in iOS 8. I've wanted it going on 4 years, and every year more than the last. It is, in my very humble opinion, one of the biggest, most frustrating holes remaining on Apple's mobile operating system, and all the more so because it seems like a model for fixing it has been in successful use for years already. Right now we're saddled with the complexity and frustration of iOS documents locked in app and iCloud jails. We're driven to outdated filesystems like Dropbox because Apple hasn't yet provided a next generation alternative. It needs to happen and so I'm once again asking for it this year and for iOS 8.

iOS has many complexity-inducing frustrations born out of "keep it simple", but none as big as this one. File handling on iOS is so incredibly frustrating and needlessly complex that I have a hard time considering it a mature operating system at all. My line of work requires constant opening and closing of a quarter metric frickton of files, and that kind of stuff is simply impossible on iOS.

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RE: Comment by stabbyjones
by oskeladden on Thu 1st May 2014 22:55 UTC in reply to "Comment by stabbyjones"
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Pretty sure I've said this before, ios is a consumption os.

File access isn't a requirement.

Buy, consume, shut up.

This is an oversimplification. By way of example, my eight-year old this evening used Pages on iOS to write a story. She then searched for some images on Google and added then to the story, and drew a cover illustration on Artrage for iOS which she added to the Pages file. She then emailed the file to her grandmother. This isn't 'consumption'. It entailed working with multiple files, but it didn't require file access. And iOS handled it beautifully.

On the other hand, while she was doing that, I was redrafting a chapter in my textbook to take account of a few recent developments. I was simultaneously working with nine different files across five file types (source material, an SVG illustration, the actual text, etc.) - and that was just one section of one chapter. I need a folder hierarchy to keep the files I'm working with organised, and I need to be able to use the same hierarchy for different types of files. I simply couldn't have done any of this on iOS - which is why my daughter is now the primary user of my iPad.

So I'd say it isn't as simple as a creation / consumption dichotomy. It's probably more accurate to say that Apple is targeting certain types of use (covering both consumption and creation), and as a structures iOS in a way that doesn't work for other types of use.

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