Apple's iPad rethinks file access.
After nearly a decade of speculation, the Apple tablet rumors have been proven true. Some are disappointed and some, like myself, are enthusiastic about the potential it brings, especially to the world of magazine publishing.
Apple and Steve Jobs demo products like no one else. The aesthetic beauty of their products are second to none, but after the unveiling of every product, the nerd in me always wonders how it will work.
During the demo we caught a glimpse of Apple's iWork applications in action. For those not using or unaware, iWork is Apple's answer to Microsoft Office. iWork is comprised of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.
I think after watching the demo I was left most confused by how users will search, send, and manage documents on the iPad. Apple has already taken significant steps to simplify their file systems in OSX with the addition of Spotlight. Apps such as iTunes and iPhoto present their content inside of the apps themselves instead of forcing us to fish through folders looking for files. The iPhone simplifies the file system entirely. Photos and file attachments received on an iPhone stay connected to the email from which they came since it's primarily designed to view files rather that edit them.
With the iPad we'll be able to open and save files, but there's still no Finder or file browser. Apps on the iPad will display the files they know about when they are launched and the files will save within the apps own installation directory.
Wireless Sharing. Finally!
Apple's iWork apps will allow you to specify documents that would like to share wirelessly. You will be able to share your documents with your desktop or laptop by simply dragging and dropping files back and forth as if it were a directly connected drive via WiFi. Documents copied to the iPad's shared folder will be graphically presented by the app in a documents list the next time you launch the app.
For now it seems the iPad will need to sync photos, music, movies, TV shows, calendars, bookmarks and contacts via iTunes as you have with your iPod and iPhone in the past.
The move towards wireless file sharing is huge. Very exciting stuff. It seems inevitable that wireless sharing and synching will make its way into future incarnations of the iPod and iPhone.