iOS app for browsing/transferring files from OS X?
January 16, 2014 12:56 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a good app/process for browsing/transferring files from my MacBook to my iPad?

In the past I've used LogMeIn's Ignition iOS app to remotely control PCs, and that app additionally allows one to browse the filesystem of the target computer and download files to the iOS device directly.

I don't use Ignition anymore, and I miss that file-transfer capability. Do you know of another app (possibly combined with a process running on the target computer) that allows similar access via the internet (not just via a local network)?

Thanks in advance for your tips!
posted by chudmonkey to Technology (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by empath at 12:57 PM on January 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: At the risk of thread-sitting, I will add that I use Dropbox and Google Drive, but neither one gives me access to the complete filesystem of my computer and neither allows for direct transfers of files from my computer to my iPad. The different is crucial to me in this case.
posted by chudmonkey at 1:04 PM on January 16, 2014

Documents offers this capability so long as you're on the same wireless network. It will also open PDFs, videos, etc.
posted by smangosbubbles at 1:16 PM on January 16, 2014

If you're willing to jailbreak, iFile will do this.
posted by crazy with stars at 2:01 PM on January 16, 2014

iTunes File Sharing, for apps that support that part of the iOS API.

Otherwise, as mentioned, you'll have to use cloud apps, or you can jailbreak your device to get root-level access via SSH/SCP clients.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:20 PM on January 16, 2014

What kinds of files do you want to move to your iPad? What do you intend to do with them on the iPad? Stock iOS doesn't have a notion of arbitrary files that are shared between apps, so really you start with the app you're going to use. For instance the iTunes File Sharing thing just linked above shows how to get files into one specific app (if it supports it).

GoodReader is an excellent app if you want to read documents: PDF mostly, but also text and other formats. VLC is great for playing video, with support for more formats and a more convenient transfer method than iTunes. Dropbox is notable for being good at doing something useful with a variety of filetypes. There are many text editor apps as well, I can't recommend one.
posted by Nelson at 4:22 PM on January 16, 2014

iMacsoft iPad to Mac Transfer
Limitations of the free version:
Registration prompt on startup (remind me later).
Batch processing limited to 98 files, over 100, only one file at a time.
posted by unliteral at 6:39 PM on January 16, 2014

Response by poster: Hey gang! I was a little unclear in my initial post: I'm looking for a solution that will allow me to use my iPad to remotely browse the files on my Mac and download selected files. I don't need to transfer any files from my iPad, only to it. The solution I seek will work over the internet and not require a shared local network or physical access to my Mac. I'm an experienced jailbreaker and well-versed in all the features of iTunes and iOS, fwiw.

I really appreciate the time everyone has taken with their answers so far -- thanks bunches!
posted by chudmonkey at 8:09 PM on January 16, 2014

I'm an experienced jailbreaker

Then you should know what to do, I'd think. On your Mac, open up System Prefs and turn on Remote Login sharing to enable the SSH/SFTP service. On your iPad, open up Cydia and look for SFTP clients.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:58 PM on January 16, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks, Blazecock Pileon. I'm sorry I mis-interpreted your suggestion at first and I'm confident your shaming will have the appropriate corrective effect.
posted by chudmonkey at 9:25 PM on January 16, 2014

My approach to this is a combination of what's listed above. Setup the Mac to allow SSH/SFTP, and then use Goodreader on the ipad as the client app. I'd recommend turning off password logins to the Mac and setup private key logins within Goodreader. Goodreader supports quite a few file formats, and allows "open in" for the ones it doesn't.
posted by doctord at 12:48 PM on January 24, 2014

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