How to Get Files Off Your iPad Without iCloud

How to Get Files Off Your iPad Without iCloud

Joelle Alcaidinho
Sep 30, 2011

Those of us with an iPad know they are great for taking notes. Larger than a phone, but smaller and less noisy than a laptop, the iPad is a great companion in meetings. The main trouble is that in an iCloud-less world how does one manage the files?

iCloud promises to take our documents from one iOS device and push it to others as well as our computers and is definitely welcome in the iPad as a creation device world. Sadly though iCloud is not here yet, so what is one to do in the meantime?

1. Email: Almost all apps that deal with document creation have an email out option and this includes Pages and Keynote. Not the best solution if you want to stay organized, but one of the simplest. If you opt for this method remember to stay vigilant when it comes to keeping track of file versions as it is really easy to get confused when you are sending multiple copies of the same document back and forth.

2. iTunes: Everyone who uses iOS knows that iTunes is the primary mechanism for getting content on the device, but did you know that it also works for getting content off? Send to iTunes is an option in several document creation apps and is pretty self explanatory to use. The downside is to move these documents to your computer you need to plug in to iTunes which we personally don't do very often.

3. Print: Definitely not the most green option or really one that makes any sense for documents that need to be edited, but we would be remiss not to mention that yes, you can print from an iPad.

4. Online Options: Depending on the app, there might be the option to send to, iDisk, or an online hosting option particular to the app. These will vary depending on the app that you are using, and because of that we don't use this option very often since we don't like our documents to be spread across several online app hosting locations.

5. WebDAV: Heads and tails the option we use the most when it comes to getting our Pages and Keynote documents is WebDAV. We use WebDAV to send our documents to Dropbox by using DropDAV as an intermediary since Dropbox alone does not have WebDAV capabilities. Another option for using WebDAV is with OS X Lion Server. Lion Server has wireless file sharing for iPad is built in. When you enable WebDAV in Lion Server, users can access, copy, and share documents on the server. It's very simple and Lion Server does not really require any hardware other than a machine that can run it, which could be the home iMac.

6. App Choice: One of the ways we have made our document syncing lives easier is by choosing apps to create in that sync to the app counterparts on our other devices and computers. Our personal favorite for this is Evernote. While this does not at all work for Keynote and Powerpoint creation, it works well for meeting notes which is the overwhelming majority of notes that we take on our iPad. By the time we finish typing up the notes on the iPad they are already there on the laptop. Evernote also makes organizing these notes a snap, since we take advantage of the Notebooks and Tag features.

How do you get your files off your iPad?

(Images: Joelle Alcaidinho)

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