Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Using GoodReader for file management on iOS, part of Mobile for Business: Using Productivity Apps.
- Even if you use a Cloud server storage, iPhones and iPads still have a pretty big disadvantage when compared to Android and Windows tablets. IOS has no user accessible file storage system. There are lots of things you would do on your hard drive, in Finder on a Mac, or in File Explorer on Windows, that you just can't do on an iPad. Things like sorting files into an organized folder structure, deleting or renaming files, zipping and unzipping files. That's where GoodReader comes in.
GoodReader is an IOS only app and it adds all of this functionality to your iPad or iPhone. I'm gonna launch GoodReader here on this iPad. I already have it installed, but you can download is from the IOS App Store for $4.99. And I want to look at the important components of this app. On the left side you've got your file storage area. Right now I'm at a clean state, I don't really have anything here yet. But we'll add files and folders in just a minute. On the right side is the panel where you have all of your controls for manipulating files.
I can minimize this panel just by hitting the little double arrow button, and it shrinks down. I can tap any of the buttons in this panel to open it back up again. I want to look at the row of buttons across the top here. There's different sections to this panel. There's an option to search the files I have on GoodReader, a Recent area where I can look at the most recent files that I've opened, a section for tagging files. Then there's the Connections panel, which is very important, and the Manage Files panel, which is also important. In fact, everything that we're gonna talk about in this movie is gonna happen in this last two panels.
So let's start in the Connections panel. We start here, because I need to get some files onto my iPad. Now, one way to do that is to connect to one of the Cloud storage services that we talked about in the previous chapter. You may have noticed that I already have my OneDrive and Google Drive connected. Let's connect my Dropbox, so we can see what the process is to connect these. I'll hit the Add button here, and there's a list of lots of different online storage tools that you can connect to, including FTP Servers.
But I want to connect to my Dropbox, so I'll select that. I'm gonna need to give it a readable name. So I'll just call this Dropbox. But you could put in a specific name. Maybe you want to put in Office Dropbox, or Family Dropbox, or something like that. Once I've typed that in, I'll hit Add. Now it's on the list, but I still have not logged in. When I tap on my Dropbox it's gonna jump me over to the Dropbox website, where I'll need to log in with my email address and password.
Then I'll hit Sign In. Now it's asking me to give permission for GoodReader to access the files on my Dropbox, which is exactly what I want, so I'll hit Allow. And now I have access to my Dropbox. I'm gonna hit close on this panel so you can see. I can tap on any of my Cloud storage services, it opens up this panel, I can browse through these files and folders. If I tap on an object, it selects it. But if I hit an arrow next to a folder, it opens up that folder, and shows me its contents.
So using this panel I can download some files from my Dropbox into the GoodReader app. So I'll just select several files here. I want to download these recipe documents. So I'll select those, then I'll hit the button that says download seven items. Then it opens this panel, which is basically the same as the File Management panel we saw a moment ago. The panel that I said was empty, but we were gonna add files to. I could create a new folder, or I could just drop my files right here, which is what I'll do. I'll hit download seven items, now those files have been downloaded.
If I close my Dropbox panel, now when I look at my file list on the left side I have all of those files that we just downloaded. And this process is the same for any of the Cloud storage tools. I went through the same steps to connect my Google Drive and OneDrive, and now that I'm connected to some sources, I can copy files over from any of them. Now Cloud services are not your only option. There are a bunch of ways of getting files onto your iPad using Good Reader. How about this? Sometimes you need to download a file from a website, so I'm gonna close GoodReader, then I'll open up Safari where I already have a webpage loaded.
On this webpage there are several links to files that I can download. Under each of these tour categories there's a button that says, Learn More, and I can click on those to download some files. So scrolling through here, well let me click on the file under the category, From Desert to Sea. So I tap on the Learn More button and this button links to a PDF file. Now, when you open a PDF file in Safari, it just opens it up so that you can view it. But if you tap on that PDF file, up at the top, you get this option for Open In.
When I tap on Open In, it gives me a list of all the apps on my iPad that would open this file. And you see that GoodReader's on the list. So if I tap on GoodReader, it'll jump me back over to GoodReader and it adds that file to my file list. And then it opens it up so that I can read it. Now I'm gonna hit the Back button up here at the top, so we can see that. This is my list of files, if I tap on a file, it opens it up so I can read it. And if I hit the Back button I go back to the file list.
Now I want to go back to Safari and I want to download a different file. So I'll hit the Back button here, I'll scroll up a bit. Here, under the California Calm section I'll hit the Learn More button, and this time it links to a Zip file. Now it's not able to open and show me the contents of a Zip file, here in Safari, but I do have that option for Open In. But because I have GoodReader installed, there's an extra button that says, Open in GoodReader, which is exactly what I want to do. So I'm gonna tap on that, it'll download that file and open it in GoodReader.
Now this is a Zip file, and because it's a Zip file, it's giving me the opportunity to unzip it, so that I can get to the contents of that Zip. If I hit Cancel here and go back, anytime I tap on a Zip file it'll open up this question, and I'm gonna go ahead and do it this time, I'm gonna choose Unzip. It'll unzip that file, which gives me a folder, and when I tap on that folder, I can see all of the files that came in that Zip file. I can tap on any of these, it opens up and it shows me that file.
So now I actually have two files open. Notice I've got a tab for the PDF file we opened earlier, and another tab for the PDF file I just opened. I can tap on the X on these tabs to close these individual files, and then I can get back to my file list. I want to go back to the root directories, so I'll hit the Home button here in the top left. So you can see there are lots of ways of getting files into GoodReader. Once I have files in GoodReader, there's lots of things you can do with these files. Lots of things that you might do in the hard drive on your computer.
And that takes me to the File Management mode. So so far we've been in the Connections mode, so I'm gonna hit the File management button. And this is where I go to do all of my organization stuff. As soon as I flip over to the File Management tab, I'm in the File Management mode. That means I can tap next to any of these files to select them. But if you hit the Done button over in the File Management panel, you go back to the Navigation mode, where I can open folders, take a step back, or I can tap on a file to view it.
So you want to make sure you know when you're in the File Management mode and when you're not. To get back into File Management mode, i can just tap on this button that says Manage Files, and when I hit Done, I get out of it again. Okay, so I'm gonna go into File Management mode and talk about some typical things that you might do. For example, I might want to make a new folder and put all of these recipe files into that. So here, in the File Management mode I'm gonna hit New Folder, and I'm gonna call this folder Recipes. I'll hit Okay. Now the File Management mode is still active, so I'm gonna select all of these recipe files.
When those files are selected, I get a lot more buttons that pop up. From here, I'll hit the Move button, and I just need to take a step back here, and I'll see all of my folders. I want to select the Recipes folder and then I'm gonna hit the button at the bottom that says Move seven items here. I'm gonna hit Done to get out of the File Management mode, so that we can see if I select the Recipes folder, all of my recipe files are in there. Let's look at some more stuff we can do here. I'm gonna go back into Manage Files again. This time I want to make a Zip file of all of these files and email them to somebody.
So I can select all of these files, looking at my File Management tools there's an option for Zip, I'll choose that. And now it's giving me a single Zip file that contains all of these others. Now I can select all of the individual files, and I can delete them, if I want. With those selected, I'll hit the delete button, in the File Management tab, confirm that. Next I'll select my Zip file and I'll hit Rename, and I'm gonna change this to Recipes, and I'll hit Okay.
And now it's called Recipes.zip. Now that I've got this Zip file, I might want to share it with somebody. So if I select that I can choose the Email button, and that will create a new email message with that zip fle attached. I could send this to anybody. I'm just gonna cancel it for now, and I'll hit Delete draft. Another thing I might do, I'll go back into Manage Files, I'll select that Zip file again, and there's an option for Upload. So I could upload this file back to one of my Cloud storage tools. So if I want to put the Zip file back on to my Dropbox, I certainly could.
I'm just gonna cancel that for now. And when I'm finished with all of this, I can just hit the Done button, and that gets me out of the File Management mode. Hit the Home button in the top left, and I'm back to the root folder structure. So those are a few common features that I use a lot in GoodReader. Now, GoodReader has a lot of other features and I encourage you to explore. But for the file storage and file management features alone, I really think GoodReader is worth your consideration.
- Using cloud storage
- Managing files on iOS and Android devices
- Working with Microsoft Office and Google apps
- Creating, editing, and reviewing PDF documents
- Taking notes
- Meeting remotely/teleconferencing