WinZip Unzips Itself Onto iOS, iPad Users Point And Laugh


Zip. Unzip. WinZip
Zip. Unzip. WinZip

Way back in the mists of 1991, in the dark days when Kevin Costner somehow beat Martin Scorsese for the Best Director Oscar (Dances with Wolves vs. Goodfellas. Seriously?), WinZip was first launched. The frustrating, hard-to-use piece of shareware is still going today, and has just elbowed its way into the iOS App Store. That’s right: WinZip is now available for the iPhone and iPad.

Now you can relive those happy days of zipping and unzipping files to mystery directories, never to be seen again. Only thanks to iOS’ lack of a user-accessible file system, you will instead be able to easily find all of your de-compressed archives, and the app will even present itself in the standard iOS “Open In” dialog for ZIP files.

You can also preview most images and other files from within the app.

But what WinZip lacks in UI polish it more than makes up for with a dearth of features. As its name suggests, WinZip supports only ZIP files. Thus, if you receive TAR, GZIP, Stuffit or multi-part RAR files, you’ll be forced to open up another app on your iPhone or iPad. And guess what? All these other apps also unpack ZIPs (I use iUnarchive, which come in free or $5 versions and supports many cloud services, including Dropbox).

WinZip is at least free, and should you decide to download it, you might also consider further Windows-izing your device with Minesweeper.

  • prof_peabody

    Well written article, but I don’t understand the need for apps like this.  Why would anyone have a zip (let alone a multipart rar or tarball), file on their iPhone or want to open one that way if they got it in email?  

    There might be some fraction of a fraction of a percent of people who are using their phone jailbroken and need/want this but that’s it.

  • joshuacurtiss

    Hey, an article of Brownlee fame for strange tangents and offensive style! Kudos to you for learning from the best! That said, I agree that it is ludicrous for that app to go on the iOS platform at this juncture. :)

  • Greg_in_Dallas

    WinZip has both windows and mac application that do open all types of compression files as well as encryption.  It also has some automation features that are still in production in the data centers.  I like it better than Stuffit because it has more features.

    IT Consultants often put the install disks on their iPods and I’m sure other people move files around with their phones too.  You will not always have access to the internet.  It appears that his is their first iOS WinZip application and it’s free with limited features.  As more iOS devices enter the business world, we will see more such business applications.