If you’re like me, you have a number of different cloud storage accounts – anything from Dropbox to iCloud (Mac/iOS users) or OneDrive (Windows users) with an assortment of others in between. It’s hard to keep up with them all. Yes, they’re all visible in Finder on my Mac desktop, but the primary reason I have all these cloud accounts is to hold the things I want to access from my portable devices – none of which have a file management system that can “look at clouds from both sides now”. [I know, I just couldn't resist.]
The free iOS Documents app from Readdle keeps all those clouds within easy reach. It handles all the major cloud storage systems like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, SkyDrive, SugarSync and more. You can connect to FTP servers and WebDAV servers too. Download something from the Web? Sure, no problem. Documents not only lets you connect, but you can manage files on these services too – upload, download, delete and rename files and even create folders. Want to move a file from one cloud to another? You can do it in Documents by downloading it to the app then uploading it to the new service.
If that was all it did, Documents would be a pretty amazing tool, but it’s just the beginning. Documents is also an impressive media viewer. You can read PDF documents, ePub books, Office and iWork documents. You can view movies and listen to music. With Documents alone, you can search the text of PDF documents, highlight, strikethru or underline text and bookmark pages. If you also have the PDF Expert 5 app [iPad - $9.99] installed on your iPad, it becomes an add-on to Documents giving you even more markup functionality.
The Open In… feature lets you browse your files using Documents, but then open the selected file in another app. For example, I use Byword on my iPad to work on Scrivener projects when I’m away from my desktop. I can find the file I want to edit using Documents, then open it in Byword for editing. And, Documents is one of your Open In… options for email attachments – and the perfect place to send those attachments since it can read almost anything.
This free app is an impressive tool for both the iPad and iPhone. It will take a bit of effort to learn all its capabilities, but that will be time well-spent as it will reduce the time and frustration of trying to chase after those elusive cloud files.