Sharing PDFs, epub books, between apps?!!?

Discussion in 'iPad OS' started by airdale, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. airdale
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    airdale iPF Noob

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    Hello, total newbie here. Veteran computer guy but this is my first iThing.

    I have been playing around with some readers. iBooks, Adobe Reader, GoodReader, BlueFire, etc. What I seem to be finding is that books are accessible only to the app that was used to import them. Adobe Reader does not seem to have access to pdfs loaded by iBooks, etc. Is this correct? This seems crazy. i ought to be able to open a PDF with any pdf reader that I choose to use.

    More generally, I cannot find any evidence of a file system or any way to look at the files stored on the iPad. Obviously there is a file system in there somewhere but as a user how do I access it?
  2. thewitt
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    thewitt iPad Ninja

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    There is no file system on a stock iPad. Each application has their own space and it's not shared between applications. This is one of the design principles of the device, love it or hate it....

    Open In function will let you copy a file to the storage area of another app, but it's a copy. Not the same file.
  3. airdale
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    airdale iPF Noob

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    Thanks. I was afraid that was the case.

    I bought this thing as an experiment and I have to say that I am quite disappointed. The hardware is wonderfully elegant, but the software is far more crippled than I had expected. Here are some of the things I have so far concluded. I'd be interested to know if any are wrong.


    • There is no one reader that will handle epub, pdf, and Adobe DRM books checked out from the library. I must remember the format of a book in order to decide which app "owns" it.
    • Unlike every other GPS-enabled device on the planet, this one cannot show me satellite status.
    • I am used to running Firefox with AdBlock and Ghostery. There seems to be no available browser that will run these two critical add-ons.
    • The touch keyboard, which stupidly displays upper case letters when in lower case mode, cannot be replaced with a more competent one.
    • I cannot rearrange the main screen icons to, for example, have two rows of icons with an empty row between them.
    • I have had handwriting recognition (RitePen) on my Windows tablet for maybe five years, but with this "advanced" device there is no way to enter text using a stylus.
    • The iTunes interface software is designed to only handle music purchases and downloads to the old iPod line, but has been patched and scabbed to deal with something more closely approximating a real computer. For example, when it is used to download books into the little private parks belonging to apps, you cannot even make multiple selections, so each book must be individually selected from the "Add" button.

    Apple's marketing is brilliant, but I am starting to feel that its guiding tenet is from H. L. Mencken: "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."
  4. thewitt
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    thewitt iPad Ninja

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    Take it back and get something else, or wait for the next generation Windows tablet. You will never be happy with an iPad.
  5. airdale
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    airdale iPF Noob

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    Yes, I think you're right. I have actually been waiting for a tablet with color e-ink because I am a pilot and no backlit display can overcome the sun in a bright cockpit. But we are taking a driving trip in California (Yosemite, Death Valley, Tahoe, etc.) that was a good excuse to experiment with the iPad and I am also curious about ForeFlight, which is the most popular pilot application -- iPad only.

    But I will probably ditch this thing after the trip and plan on getting an Android or Windows machine.

    I did discover that Bluefire will read everything, though, so that is an improvement over what I initially thought.
  6. jtrill
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    jtrill iPF Noob

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    i really wish apple would make it easier for different apps to access the same data, it would make for a much more cohesive OS.
  7. eep02b
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    eep02b iPF Novice

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    I recently bought an iPad to compare and contrast with my ASUS transformer android talet, and they are night and day. As good as the apps are on my iPad, it's something about being able to acces the file system that makes me love android. The fact that u can open one file in multiple programs is awesome to me. I'll end up keeping my iPad though simply cause of the apps. The iPad is a neat package, but until you are ale to access files in multiple programs without jumping through hoops, it will be lacking something for me. I don't need access to the whole file system, just a certain group of files such as docs and pictures. #rantover

  8. Surfinette
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    Surfinette iPF Novice

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    Hi Airdale,
    (if you're still among us iPad owners).

    One year ago I was exactly like you: Computer veteran, iPad noob, and initially I felt exactly the same frustration regarding the stupid file system which requires to duplicate files if you want to access them through different apps. And among other things that drove me crazy on top of the file system, I would add nerves-breaking itunes (after one year, I still can't understand how the sync business work), no straightforward USB-key type of transfer PC <-> ipad, etc...

    Yet, after one year, I'm completely in love with my ipad and couldn't live without it.

    So here are a few advice to come over your frustration:
    - Do some testing and then decide which app to use for each type of document, and once you've chosen stick to your choice. For instance, Goodreader is a very good idea for pdf documents...
    - iCab is a great browser, offering tons of extra features (compared to Safari) and the closest to Firefox that you can get on an iPad (in particular, iCab offers the best adblocker of all browser i've tested on the ipad)
    - Dropbox is your friend in many situations (including for sharing files between different apps)
    - Forget iTunes and use iFunbox to move files between PC <-> iPad... This is the closest you can get to a true "file explorer". Similarly, you can use CopyTransManager to feed the ipod app with songs and playlists. Both iFunbox and CopyTransManager are simple exe files (no installer) but they need to have iTunes installed on the PC to run properly.
    - Jailbreak your iPad, and you'll feel so much freedom when using it... Read carefully the iPad hacking section of this forum to understand what jailbreak is all about. You'd also want to read through the
    Jailbreak Application and Tweak sub-forum to look for the best available tweaks (iFiles is THE file explorer for ipad). Now that I'm using some of these tweaks, I couldn't live without JB. Becareful, if you consider jailbreaking, then don't update your ipad whenever Apple releases a new version of iOS... because you usually can't go back and the new version may not be available for Jailbreak...

    I hope you'll finally get use to your ipad and are able to come over some of its very annoying features... Things that are really great include: the amazing choice of apps for all familly members, battery life (compared to any notebook or Android device), quality of the screen (and I'm only a iPad 2 owner) even in pretty bright daylight, ease of use for non-geek family members (including kids, grand-ma, etc... :) ), stability of iOS...

    Hopes this helps,

    Surfinette
    By the way, I'm also an Android fan: I couldn't live without my Android phone either (good for wifi tethering, playing around with files, desktop customization, and all the things that the ipad/iphone can't do) but for a Tablet, I believe the iPad (still) beats Android
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  9. followthesapper
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    followthesapper iPad Enthusiast

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    Surfinette, I am in total agreement with you, in fact you almost took the words out of my mouth.
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