I use several different Macs during a given day, from a trusty Macbook Air to my Mac Mini to an iMac at my office job. I also use an iPhone and an iPad for various personal and business activities. It helps to have access to all the documents I need to deal with during a given day, regardless of what device I’m using, or what environment I’m in.
iCloud is a great idea, and OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 6 will continue to take the service forward. Today, however, I’d like to show you how I use two similar products to achieve a seamless document experience on my iOS devices. For me, Dropbox and Google Drive represent the best in class iOS apps to interface with my documents for home and work.
First up, I use Dropbox to store almost everything. Head over to the Drobpox website and sign up for an account – it’s fast and easy. It’s also free for up to 2 Gb, with extra space earned from referrals. Download Dropbox to your Mac, and launch the installer. Once installed, you’ll see a folder on your Mac that you can then drag any file to. It will upload the file to the Dropbox servers, and it will only be able to be seen by you or people you share that folder with.
On the iPhone or iPad, download Dropbox for iOS from the App Store. Once it has downloaded and installed there, launch the app with a tap, and fill in your email and password credentials. Once you do so, the Dropbox app will show you the same files you’ve put into the Dropbox folder on your Mac.
I use Google Drive on my Mac and iOS device for a similar reason, but haven’t quite migrated all my files to it. I mainly use Google Drive to view all my Google docs, built up over the last couple of years, and then open them for editing in Pages iOS, Evernote iOS, and even Dropbox iOS. Yes, the two services work well together.
To install Google Drive on your Mac, head to the Google Drive download page and it will install a folder, similar to Dropbox, on your Mac. You can also access Google Drive from within your Gmail, as a link at the top of the web interface.
Grab Google Drive from the App Store as well, and launch it on your iPhone or iPad. You’ll see the entire list of docs and other files you’ve placed in there on your Mac, just like Dropbox, as well as files you’ve shared with others.
So, as you can see, both Dropbox and Google Drive allow you pretty easy access to all the documents you might need, whether you’re on your Mac or iOS device of choice. If you open a file for editing from Dropbox or Google Drive on one device and make changes, you’ll see those changes reflected in the file on any other device with the same Dropbox or Google Drive account logged in.
Got an iOS tip of your own? Need help troubleshooting your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad? Drop me a line or leave a comment below.