DropBox, Music and the iPad

There has been one nagging problem I have had with the iPad constantly ever since I bought the first one on the day it came out. (which is an interesting story into how Apple works – go look at my first month of posts and find my account if you are interested!)

At the the same time there has been one application that I love to use all the time. The thing about this app is that it is not like you would  expect. I use this app by itself, I access it from within other apps, it is installed on my iPad/Droid/Personal Laptop/School Computers AND I can even use it on a friends computer! I’m not sure if I should be calling this an app or a service? Actually it is both.

The problem I referred to is that on the iPad there is an Open In menu – you know the one with the little curvy arrow on it that when tapped on it brings up choices like Open In “Pages” or Open In… or now Print. You can also find this menu when you Long Tap something like an attachment in Mail. The problem with this menu is that it only gives you 10 choices of apps to open stuff into! Now if you don’t download apps like I do this is not an issue. For instance when I have an email with a Word document in it there are only 8 apps on my iPad that Apple thinks should be able to open that Word doc. NO PROBLEM – But when I have a PDF I would like to Open In another app there is a full list of 10 choice in that menu and I know there are other apps I would like to use that could open the PDF but are not listed. Unfortunately unrealBook falls into the group of apps that is usually not listed – I used to think it was because the Open In menu was alphabetical but it is not. I have not discovered a way to fix this issue using the Open In menu.

The solution I have found is that wonderful App/Service I was talking about a few moments ago. DropBox is an amazing service that you should be using and if you are not don’t even finish reading this post just go sign up for it! https://www.dropbox.com/ This service gives you 2GB of free storage out there in the cloud – it is the ultimate USB Thumb Drive. There are apps for every device out there I think! You can also access it through a web interface as well. The cool part is that when you install DropBox on your computer you will end up with a folder that looks much like any other folder. I usually forget that it is not the same in fact. You simply start dropping files into this folder and it gets synced across to any other device that you have DropBox installed on.

Another beautiful part of DropBox, beyond the obvious access and syncing of files, is that many other apps have DropBox support built right into them. UnrealBook for instance makes it so that if you go to the menu with the curvy arrow on it you will see an option that says Get Files  – this allows you to sign into DropBox and download files WITHOUT having to hook a cable up to your computer, start iTunes, go find your device, go find the apps tab then scroll down and find unrealBook and THEN transfer files! This also allows me to get around the limits of 10 Apps being listed in the Open In menu. I used to email myself files but it doesn’t do any good if you can not get that file into the App you would like it in.

DropBox gives you 2GB for free. You don’t need an invitation to sign up for DropBox you just need to visit the web site and you are in. BUT if you would like to get additional storage space for free then you simply need to invite other people and convince them to sign up too. IN FACE – if you want to help me get some extra storage for myself then send me your email address and I will invite you through my DropBox. That would be wonderful if did it that way. Any way you do it though just do it!

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