Using Your iPad to Access and Store Lots of Information for Use Offline
Scott J. Grossberg, Esq.
The question has been asked about options for storing lots of information for use on an iPad when there is no internet connection available or allowed. The following should give you some mighty workable solutions.
On the iPad, itself. One of my must-have, go-to apps is GoodReader (http://goodreader.com/goodreader.html). Depending on the memory available on your iPad, this might be the most consistent and efficient way to go. It is how I travel easily and effectively with my iPad. And I carry LOTS OF DATA with me! GoodReader essentially becomes my file management system. Here’s a prior article of mine that explains how I use GoodReader in a little more detail:
Pros: Everything is stored on your iPad so you don’t have to worry about connectivity. Further, you can design the folders and storage of information to suit your personal needs.
Cons: Storage size is everything. If you don’t have sufficient memory on your iPad, you might not be able to use this method effectively.
Dropbox. Dropbox remains that force to reckon with when it comes to Cloud storage. Among other things, it allows you to “star” particular documents for offline reading/use. To use the offline feature, access the Dropbox app on your iPad. From file browser, find the files that you want to save for offline use and touch the “star” icon. This marks the particular file as a “favorite” and it is downloaded to your iPad for later use.
Pros: By using the Dropbox option to initially store all your information/documentation, you have access to it from any computer or mobile device. This makes Dropbox a necessary part of any road warrior’s success toolkit. The offline access, by the way, is part of your free account.
Cons: The files are downloaded onto your iPad. So, storage still becomes an issue. Further, you can’t make a Dropbox folder a “favorite.” This means, if you have to “star” lots of files, it can be very time consuming.
Evernote. Many don’t know that this note taking and archive product also allows offline use for paid accounts. Most importantly, you can enable offline access to an entire notebook at one time. From your iPad and while you have internet connectivity, go to your Evernote app. Touch on your account name to open up a call-out menu. From there, tap on “Offline notebooks.” The menu will change and provide you with several options: “Do not download notes,” “Download all notes,” and “Download selected notebooks.” You can designate certain notebooks with all the notes stored in that notebook from here. Tap on your account name, once again, to finish up.
Pros: You can quickly and easily download all of your notes from one notebook. You don’t have to select each and every file as you are required to do with Dropbox.
Pros: Once again, you will be downloading data to your iPad. Be aware of space availability. This option requires a paid account.
External iPad storage. There are now a number of external drives that will work with an iPad – options that provide wired and wireless solutions. I don’t use one of these external drives, myself. However, you might want to check out products like – Kingston Wi-Drive (http://www.kingston.com/us/usb/wireless#wid) which provides you with up to 64GB of added storage and can be used by three different devices simultaneously (and it’s also a battery charger for your iPad), and the Seagate Satellite Mobile Wireless Storage (http://www.seagate.com/external-hard-drives/portable-hard-drives/wireless/seagate-satellite/) which provides you with 500GB of storage and can be used by eight different devices at one time (and you can even stream three different movies to three different devices).
For those of you who have asked at my live events for a USB reader, here is an option for you, as well: Kingston MobileLit Wireless(http://www.kingston.com/us/usb/wireless#mlw221).
Pros: With external storage, you get the best of both worlds; namely, you can store a great deal of data without having to download it on your iPad. You don’t have to worry about iPad storage capacity with these.
Cons: You must have Wi-Fi connectivity.
There are other options for accessing data offline on your iPad. Other Cloud storage providers have similar options (for example, Google Docs and Skydrive). The ones I’ve outlined, above, for me appear to be the most popular and reliable. As with any offline access situation, the real secret is planning ahead of time. Just give your offline needs some advance preparation and you will easily find a solution that works for you.
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© 2013 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.