documents in drop box

Discussion in 'iPad 2 Forum' started by Waterbabies, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Waterbabies
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    Waterbabies iPF Novice

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    have a few numbers documents in my drop box. I have numbers installed on my ipad. I can open the documents fine, but I can't input anything. Am I missing something?
  2. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    After the document has downloaded in DropBox tap the share/action icon at the top right (looks like a box with an arrow coming out of it). This will give you the option to Open In… any compatible apps. Choose Numbers.

    DropBox is not for creating or editing documents. It will view most standard document types (including iWorks documents) but it can not edit them.
  3. Waterbabies
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    Waterbabies iPF Novice

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    I can edit them from my Mac mini and my ibook. It seems a bit of a useless app if you can't edit them on the ipad!
  4. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    The computer version of DropBox takes a folder and keeps it synced online. That is all it does. Any editing you do on the computer is with the program you already had there. This is possible because computers have an open file system that any app can access.

    The iPad's OS uses sandboxing. This means that each app has its own file space, and no other app can access it directly. It is a trade off between convenience and security. Sandboxing makes it extremely difficult for malware or viruses to exist on the iPad.

    At this time there is no perfect cloud syncing solution for the iWorks apps. (perfect being my subjective opinion, of course)

    DropBox can be used to Download and then Open In... documents to iWorks. It's main strength is the other apps works with directly, and the smooth syncing on the computer side.

    Box.com has very good integration on the iPad sides. They use WebDAV servers, so you can import and export documents directly to Box.com using the WebDAV option in the iWorks apps. However, they do not have a free syncing utility for the Mac. You have to use a web browser to copy files to and from the computer.

    SMEStorage (and the iSMEStorage app) is a cloud file aggregator. That means that you can take several services (like DropBox and Box.com) and access them all in the same place. The free account gives you the ability to add two services, and it has free WebDAV access. This means you can add DropBox to your SMEStorage profile and then use their WebDAV servers to import and export files to DropBox.

    This is the closest thing to a good solution at this time. There are two draw backs. You have to navigate a much more complex files system to import/export files. SMEStorage does not automatically update it's file list when files are added directly to those services. Another words, if you add a file to DropBox via the computer, SMEStorage will no list that file until you open SMEStorage on the computer (or via the iSMEStorage app) and refresh the view.

    Files added using SEMStorage's services will appear without any issues.

    There is also Apple's iCloud service. With Documents & Data turned on in iCloud's settings, and iCloud turned on in Number's (or other iWorks apps) settings, all you iPad documents will be saved to icloud.com. You can open icloud.com on a computer and go to the iWorks section. From there you can drag documents back and forth between the computer and iPad.

    To the best of my knowledge these are the most common and useful ways to move iWorks files between the iPad and Mac. That none of them are entirely satisfactory is simply the state of things at the moment.


    The new OSX version Mountain Lion is supposed to have more iCloud support, including a way to keep some files synced to iCloud. This may include improved syncing between the iWorks apps on the iPad and Mac, or it may not; but it's worth keeping an eye on. Not that it will do you any good with the iBook, but perhaps your Mac-Mini will be able to upgrade.
  5. dhewson777
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    dhewson777 iPad Addict

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    Just to keep it simple, you need an app that edits the relevant file, just like on your computer you need a program to create and edit say a Word document. Look at Dropbox as purely storage, so you need an app to access and edit the file.
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