Dropbox for iPad

dropboxCloud computing is set to play a much more important role in our lives as more and more people realise the need to share documents between mobile devices and to edit and create documents on the run.

My favourite Christmas present this year was my iPad, and one of the first things I realised I needed to do was to work out the best way to use it to create and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.  Apple have 3 apps for doing this – Pages, Numbers and Keynote – but while these are very professional, they cost $13 AUD each. Quickoffice, a mobile office productivity solutions provider, has now released a Quickoffice app which uses QuckWord, QuickSheet and QuickPoint to allow you to create and edit Word, Excel and PPT documents for $17.99 AUD. This may not end up being the best choice, but so far it does everything I need it to do.

The next thing I needed was a way of transferring documents from my computer to my iPad so I could work on them, and because iPads lack a USB port, the only way of doing this is to access them via “the cloud.” After reading numerous blog posts, I found quite a few ways of doing this, including iTunes, GoogleDocs, MobileMe and Dropbox.

http://gizmodo.com/5508935/ipad-test-notes-how-to-transfer-iwork-documents-to-and-from-your-computer

http://www.knowyourmobile.com/appleiphone/ipad/ipaduserguides/457971/how_to_share_files_between_an_ipad_and_a_computer.html

http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter,/article/193520/ipad_struggles_at_printing_and_sharing_files.html

dropbox-icon-alphaThe easiest method I have found so far is Dropbox – a free app for your iPad or iPhone, which makes transferring documents absolutely simple. The first thing you need to do is download and install Dropbox on your computer, which then creates a folder on your C drive. Whatever documents you wish to transfer, simply copy and paste them into the Dropbox folder and they will automatically be uploaded to the online version of Dropbox where you can access them via the Dropbox app on your iPad/iPhone.

Using Quickoffice, I can then access my documents from Dropbox and save them to the folders which I have created. The free version of Dropbox has good but limited online storage space (2GB) so once you have used this you will need to either delete your documents from your Dropbox (after you have saved them to another program or app) or you can upgrade to a 50GB or 100GB version for $9.99 or $19.99 per month.

Image from http://turin.nss.udel.edu/wiki/dropbox/doku.php

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