Out of the myriad of announcements Apple put forth on Monday during their 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference, one new technology continues to come back around in my mind time and time again. And yet, I'm not sure if I'm as excited as I am relieved – It's a close call. Files App in iOS for iPad is a game changer. Essentially, Files App is the macOS Finder for iOS. A native file directory shipping with iOS 11 for iPads. Yes! And about time!
T-GAAP's been clamoring for an "AirFinder" (or some form of native Finder for iOS) for years. After all, iOS is a slimed down version of macOS. Apple's mobile operating system has always had a file directory, it's just been hidden from the GUI. Files App for iPad that Apple has, bafflingly so, been holding back for years, may greatly tilt the trajectory of iPad forever.
Like many I've considered an iPad, but it's never been the right tool for my marketing position. I read and write a lot of emails, thus a robust MacBook backlit keyboard is a necessity. I create and store a myriad of PDFs, spreadsheets and CAD models for review, and macOS Finder makes this all possible for easy storage and retrieval. Files App not only delivers this for iOS, but it also provides for a host of cloud solutions to tie into the application. From DropBox to Microsoft's OneDrive, third party cloud storage solutions show up in an organized fashion, very similar to macOS's Finder that can display multiple types of directories.
Files App left – macOS Finder right
iOS 11's Files App, coupled with a revamped Notes and deeply integrated Apple Pencil moves iPad from its primary function of being a content consumption device to a very practical content creation tool. It's a paradigm shift for iOS and the iPad combo. Currently creating hundreds, if not thousands of files and easily organizing them on iPad is a chore to say the least, but that looks to be an issue of the past very soon. iPad running iOS 11 may very well be the mobile solution that removes my icy cold grip off of my MacBook and onto iPad.
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