When it comes to managing documents on your iPad/iPhone, it’s not always the easiest process. There are a few apps I use that require file management and while some allow you do this over WiFi or through some cloud service, there are still those that do not. These require a cable connection to your computer and that means that these apps rely on iTunes for file management. As you probably know, managing these type of files through iTunes pretty much sucks.
I’ll use comic book reader apps as an example for this. I’ve been using ComicFlow for the longest time which allows you to use either iTunes file transfers of WebDAV. I never used iTunes for it because it did not have the ability to create folders or move files into folders if you had them set up. For that reason, I relied on WebDAV through Cyberduck and transferred my files via WiFi. Lately I’ve been having trouble using WebDAV and needed another solution. That’s when I came across a program called iExplorer. iExplorer allows you to connect to your iPhone/iPad without having to use iTunes. You will however need to connect your device via USB cable so there is that one downside, but on the upside, transfers happen much quicker than they do over WiFi.
First, head on over to Macroplant and download iExplorer. You have option of either buying or downloading a demo. I suggest downloading the demo first. Install the app and after which you’ll see a screen that asks you to connect your device.
From here, connect your device and this will bring up the full set of options and menus for iExplorer. You’ll see that iExplorer will tell you quite a bit of information about your device. It will tell you what firmware you are on, how much space you have left, and even your serial number. As great as that is, what you really want to do is explore the file system on your device which you can easily with this app.
On the left hand side, tap “Apps.” This will bring up a full list of all the apps that are running on your device in the main window. Since I am using ComicFlow as an example, I would scroll down until I see the app and then double click on it to open up the ComicFlow files.
From here, you can see that iExplorer allows you to see pretty much all the files that are associated with the app. I really wouldn’t go messing around too much with them so what we are really interested in here is the “Documents” folder. Here is where all your comicbook files would be stored.
Once you’re in this folder, you can just drag your files into it. You can even create folders to better organize your collection. Transfers usually take a matter of seconds.
After that, just go into your ComicFlow app and update your library to see all the new files you put into it. It’s that simple. Obviously, you can also use this for other apps. The process is the same, but you may or may not be able to create folders in those apps. It all depends on if they allow for that or not. Most apps however do use the “documents” folder to keep the files you’ve created. It’s a pretty good app for exploring the files on your device.
iExplorer will also allow for music transfers, photo and video transfers, voice memo transfer, and even your iMessages can be transferred and backed up. It’s a powerful app but I won’t get into any of that other stuff right now.
iExplorer is however not without its little quirks. The app can be a little buggy with little graphical glitches here and there. It also could be optimized more in terms of speed. Other than that though, it’s a really good app for those who want to do a bit more with their device without having to use iTunes.