How to use Readdle’s Documents app as a file manager for your iPhone or iPad

You can use the Documents by Readdle app to work with files on your device and in the cloud.

Image: Readdle

Apple offers its own Files app as a type of file manager for your iPhone or iPad. The app lets you access local and online files, but it doesn’t offer a plethora of options. If you need a more powerful file manager for your Apple device, you can check out the Documents by Readdle app.

SEE: Apple iOS 13: A Cheat Sheet (Free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Available free for iOS and iPadOS, the basic version of Documents acts as a central hub for your files with access to photo albums and other folders on your device. You can retrieve files stored in the cloud through services such as OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, and SharePoint. You can manage your files by copying, moving, deleting, and sharing them. You can even view and open many types of files.

First, download Documents by Readdle for your iPhone or iPad from Apple App Store. Open the app to see the default folders and sample files already collected (Figure A).

Figure A

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Tap the Photo Albums folder to view all the photos and videos stored on your device. Tap the iTunes Files folder to see all the files you have imported from your computer through ITunes File Sharing. Tap the Downloads folder to access all the files you downloaded through Safari.

As for the sample files, you can either view or delete them. To delete a file (or folder), tap it, then drag it to the section in the left pane that says, “Drop here to delete.” “(Number B)

Number B

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Next, you might want to set up connections to different cloud-based file services so that you can view and manage your files online in Documents. In the left pane, tap the name of the service you want to add, such as iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box. If you don’t see the service you want to add, tap the Add Connection command, and then choose the appropriate service (Figure C).

Figure C

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Log in to the service you selected and grant the necessary permissions. You should see the folders and files stored on this service. The service itself then appears in the left pane under Connections. Continue until you’ve added all of the cloud-based file services you want to access here (Number D).

Number D

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In Documents, you can also connect to a server in your organization or to a NAS or other network storage at your home or home office. To do this, press the Add connection command, then choose the appropriate connection depending on the server: WebDAV Server, Windows SMB, FTP Server or SFTP Server (Encrypted). For example, to connect to my Synology NAS, I would choose the Windows SMB option. Enter your username and password and you will see the folders and files you have access to.

Encrypted

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You can add other files to manage and add them to any location. Tap any of your cloud services to upload a file there, or tap the My Files link at the top to add a file to the app’s default location. To upload a file to the selected location, tap the plus icon at the bottom right. Tap the Photos thumbnail to download an image from your device’s photo library. Tap the Files thumbnail to access a file from the Files app on your device (Figure F).

Figure F

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You can also import a file from your computer. Tap the Computer tile in the Import From pane. On your PC, open the link listed in the Connect to computer window, and type the code displayed. Your PC and iPhone or iPad are then connected through the website, while your computer mirrors the My Files location in the Documents app. On your PC, click the Download button, then select a file to import it into the Documents application (Number G). Click the Disconnect button on your device when you’re done.

Number G

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Tap the plus icon again in the Documents app. Tap the New Folder icon to create a folder at your current location. Tap the Create PDF icon and you can create and edit PDF. Tap the Scan Document icon to scan a document with your device’s camera. Tap the Text File icon to create a text file. And tap the Take Photo icon to take a photo with your device. Additionally, you can import a file to your current location from any of your cloud storage sites (Number H).

Number H

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Then you can add frequently used folders and files to the left pane for quick access. Touch and hold an item, then drag it to the Favorites section on the left (Number I).

Number I

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You can easily manage any folder or file. Tap the ellipsis icon at the bottom right of a folder or file. From the context menu, you can now copy, move, compress, duplicate, rename, delete, email, download or share the item (Figure J).

Figure J

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Finally, you can open many different file types in Documents, including Microsoft Office documents, PDFs, and images like JPG and PNG. You can play different types of audio and videos including MP3, WAV, MP4, and MOV. And you can extract ZIP files. Just tap on the file you want to open or read, and it automatically launches into Documents. From there, tap the ellipsis icon and you can email the file, print any kind of document or text file, and share it (Number K).

Number K

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Donald E. Hollingsworth

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