Monday, March 28, 2011

iPhone (and iPad!) Explorer

I want to recommend an application I’ve found exceptionally useful for my iPad: iPhone Explorer. This software allows you to browse files on your iPad as you might on a USB flash drive; with this application, the iPad operates in “disk mode”. For me it provides a basic solution to a lot of the concerns that have been raised about managing files on the iPad, especially when it comes to photos.
Here comes the best part: it’s free. You can get it (and more information) here: I have seen other applications which appear work similarly and cost $15 or more. There’s no need to pay a cent.
This is not an application you download onto your iPad, but rather onto your laptop or desktop computer. Then you connect your iPad with its USB cord to the computer and launch the application—now you have access to files on your iPad as if it were a USB drive.
A few words about using the application:
When you launch the program you’ll see all the files on your iPad in a familiar format (see graphic—you can see me accessing my photos--those are actually the photos from the 14th import I did on my iPad, thus the title of the folder 114IMPRT. This semi-coded language takes a little getting used to, but I find it fairly intelligible).
The interface allows you drag and drop (or copy and paste) files from your iPad on to your desktop, and vice versa. You can also delete files from the iPad within the application. The user interface is very straightforward, and it gives you what almost feels like ‘behind-the-curtain’ access to your device. This has been a central criticism of the iPad: there’s no USB drive, you can’t load files on to it in any simple way, its folders are inaccessible, etc. I find iPad Explorer solves these issues, and there’s no need to “jailbreak” your device.
As I mentioned, I found it especially useful for dealing with photos. I’ve tried a couple of applications for editing photos on my iPad, and they’ve been disappointing. This is a drag because it’s such a pleasure to share photos on the iPad—my photos from Costa Rica and Guatemala literally glow on the iPad’s indisputably rich visual display. Now I can download my photos onto the iPad while I’m traveling, edit photos using software on my laptop when I get home, and then load the edited pics back to my iPad for sharing.
If you try the software or have some other approaches to these same questions, please share!


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