Transferring files to and from iPad using FileBrowser

Many users bemoan the lack of connectivity when discussing the iPad. True, I would love Apple to include native wireless networking similar to the Mac Finder that has access to all files on either iPad or Mac/PC. There are very useful options out there, however, that do the job very effectively. My favorite app for connecting to computers without iTunes or a cable is FileBrowser (available as a universal app for both iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad ).

I’ve been using Filebrowser for a long time and I find it great for transferring work to and from any computer that shares the same wireless network as my iPad or iPhone. It is very simple to set up – all you need is file sharing/network name of the computer you want to access and the username and password for connecting to the computer. At school, I had no problem connecting to a Windows based server with security settings without the IT technician’s assistance. (For full set up instructions and user guide, visit the app creator’s website. They will also give you good email support if you need it.)

Many apps will open in …. Filebrowser, especially PDF and document apps ( annoyingly Apple’s iWork apps don’t – wish Apple would make their apps more open to sharing options; clearly the system allows it when all other apps do   UPDATE – As of iOS 6, Apple’s iWork Apps ( Pages, Keynote and Numbers now work with FileBrowser as well as DropBox and Google Drive). This enables you to transfer a Word-compatible document or PDF file to your computer or workplace network. Any app that can save its content to the iPad’s photo library as a movie or image is accessible to Filebrowser network transferring as well. This is what I want to share with you today.

Working in a school with iPads shared with all the grades, it is important that students and teachers can easily transfer their work from the iPad to the school network. It doesn’t take long for an iPad to fill up if photos, comic strips, movies, slideshows and the like from 28 different grades at left languishing on it. While you can connect the iPad to a computer via USB connector, it can be inconvenient and timeconsuming, particularly with iTunes file sharing as an option for documents. Sure, Dropbox can be used in many cases but not every grade or teacher is using Dropbox at school at present. So a good option for transfer is FileBrowser.

While not as easy as drag and drop or using Save as…’ , the Filebrowser system is a simple matter of selecting, copying and pasting. I have had the opportunity to show some of my staff through morning training sessions but to assist in school wide adoption, I have made this video tutorial using the Explain Everything App and posted it on YouTube.

While it is aimed at my staff, the steps outlined are relevant to any setup you may have. It is predominantly about transferring photos but the same steps are required for saving any document. I hope you find it useful if you are considering this as an option. If you have found other options for network connectivity with the iPad, I would love to find out about alternatives. Filebrowser is not free ($5.49AU at present, but has been as low as $2.99) so will set back a school a bit of money when deployed to a lot of iPads. For me, though, it is worth the money, certainly for individual iPad users who want access to their computers.

12 thoughts on “Transferring files to and from iPad using FileBrowser

  1. There is always someone saying “there’s an app for that” but in most cases the app solution is full of exceptions, necessary work arounds, and sacrifices. In reality, there is not always a solution. Until my HS robotics team can write/compile code on the iPad, our web design class can design sites on it, the math dept can find an equation editor that actually works, and someone can find a way to upload files to our LMS, you won’t see me jumping on the iPad train. The iPad is not there yet. Of course, if he already bought iPad, have a lot of money for buying a bunch of apps won’t do what you need them to do.

    • I definitely can’t disagree with you Sw,there are still many things an ipad cannot accomplish. Schools need to equip themselves with what’s effective for their specific use. I’ve said several times on this blog, if it doesn’t suit the need or the pedagogy, don’t get it. We have a combination of desktops, laptops and iPads so the students can use the right tool for the right job.

    • Mary, as long as the videos are in a format that the iPad supports, you can copy videos from your PC into the Photo Library or My Files in FileBrowser. AVI, FLV, DivX and other PC based files – no. Quicktime movies and mp4/mv4 – yes.

  2. FileBrowser is able to stream videos straight from your network drives. No need to wait for files to copy or sync. These can be watched on the iPad or streamed to AppleTV. For video file formats that FileBrowser isn’t able to play itself, it now has the ability to stream to third-party apps such as GoodReader and CineXPlayer, with FileBrowser acting as the bridge between those apps and your shared network folders.

    • Mrs Ashby, I have tried Instashare. It’s good for a quick transfer of single files and free but at present doesn’t have multi file selection, which makes transferring lots of files and photos too time consuming. Also need to install an app on computer and at the moment it is Mac only, which suits me but not the majority. FileBrowser works with anything, needs no installation of programs on computers, is easy to set up and has multi file copy and paste. Still best solution I’ve found.

  3. Microsoft Word doesn’t provide an option to use the iOS “Open In” feature to pass a document directly to another app, which every other document editing app provides. The only way to transfer a Word document created on the iPad is to email it to yourself or upload it to OneDrive or ‘OneDrive For Business’. FileBrowser supports OneDrive and ‘FileBrowser for Business’ supports ‘OneDrive for Business’. FileBrowser can be used to copy the file from OneDrive to any storage location that it supports, either a local file server or another cloud storage. If you email the document to yourself, holding down your finger on the attachment icon and then selecting “Open In” and then FileBrowser will pass the document to FileBrowser, from where it can be pasted to any of FileBrowser’s locations.

  4. I was trying to figure out how to do this, I even looked on the apple community but your post gave very clear and precise instructions. Thank you.

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