Costs of Cloud-Storages

29 10 2012

Using a Cloud-Storage increases productivity. Files can be accessed from anywhere, anytime with any platform. If you want to use a Cloud-Storage with an iOS-Device the provider should offer a powerful client, which allows

  • Sharing (e.g. send Link via E-Mail)
  • Open in (another app of your device) Pages, Keynote, Numbers, …
  • WebDAV-Support for access via Apple’s iWork Suite

If you use more than one provider you should have an app, which supports transfer of files between the storages (i.e. USB Disk Pro).

Here is a comparison of costs of different Cloud-Providers.

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Thanks for visiting iNotes4You.





A jazzed up checklist

26 10 2012

If you use Apple’s app ‘Numbers‘ (the easy but still powerful equivalent to Microsoft Excel) you can use a predefined template for a checklist. It’s very simple, maybe too simple.

Here you can see a jazzed up version.
You will get a warning, if the deadline falls within a period (entered in days).

Just download the checklist for free and use it.
The NUMBERS-Document contains a short documentation.

20121008-141900.jpg Jazzed up Checklist
Properties 2012/10/26 EN .NUMBERS iDrive
Alternative Download from Dropbox

20121027-094251.jpg

There are two tables.

  • Table 1 contains today’s date.
  • Table 2 contains your entries for deadlines, the number of days before deadline/warning and your tasks.

The document displays the number of days to deadline and a red point if today’s date and deadline are within the period.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me.

By the way…
The blogger is not liable if you use the checklist and miss your wedding anniversary.





Lacks of iWork

24 10 2012

There are some lacks in Apple’s iWork-Suite.
Consider the following situation.

20121024-190625.jpg

It is not possible to store the document directly on a USB-Stick attached to an Apple Airport-Router. That does not go together with Apple’s aspiration to ensure highly integrated connectivity.

A possible, but not convenient scenario is …

  • Select the document.
  • Select ‘Open in …’ from the menu.
  • Select an app, which can establish a connection to Airport attached storages.

These are for example …

App Developer
Files Connect Antecea
File Browser Stratospherix
GoodReader Goodiware

Another deficit of iWork is …
You cannot send more than one document via E-Mail.
Sorry, I have no simple way of doing it. Even the following scenario did not work:

  • Tap on ‘Send as E-Mail’.
  • Copy the attachment to clipboard.
  • Click on ‘Cancel’ and do not delete the draft.
  • Create a new E-Mail for another document.
  • Insert the first attachment from the clipboard.
  • This looks good, but unfortunately doesn’t work.

If somebody receives this E-Mail he won’t have access to the first attachment.

20121024-201753.jpg

I think all of you agree with me …
There is still some work for Apple to make iPad ready for business use.





May iPad kick off PC?

19 10 2012

Sales of PCs are decreasing, while tablets are gaining popularity.
Is Apple’s iPad a kinslayer? Definitely not … now.

20121019-201932.jpg

Here are the reasons:

  • If you need special software (customised for your job) you will not find it in Apple’s App Store.
  • If you work with documents which are linked to each other (e.g. a table within a text document) it will not be supported by Apple’s iOS-Filesystem.
  • If you visit the site iPad in Business one might get the impression as if the work could be done with these little apps. But look at the details e.g. in Apple’s spreadsheet app ‘Numbers‘: It is not possible to protect cells with formulas and the XLS-Export is in no way compatible with Microsoft Excel! You can find deficits in nearly every app. These are the disadvantages of a very recent and thus not fully developed technology.
  • Are you an attentive user with a high quality short-term memory buffer? If not, you will have problems when working with several cloud-storages and different apps to manage downloaded files. Every time, you use the ‘Open in…’ – Command, your file will be transferred into an app-specific data-directory. Files are expected to be redundant. Where is the latest version?
  • The onscreen keyboard reduces the outline of complex documents. An external keyboard may solve the problem when editing the document. But then iPad comes closer to its remote relative.
  • There are no interfaces except the USB-Connector for charging and connecting to iTunes
  • You cannot do all your work with a small machine as your eyes and fingers won’t shrink. Believe me, there is no built-in gesture which solves the problem.
  • There is no SEARCH-Functionality in iOS which takes all data-directories into account.
  • What else? Please comment on this blog.

And here are the benefits of Apple’s iPad:

  • The awesome resolution of the Retina-Display compensates much bigger screen sizes. So the 9.7″ display is no disadvantage as long as you need not use is for longer than 2 or 3 hours. Then have a break and call your wife, your children, your girlfriend or whomever with your iPhone.
  • Easily connect to cloud-storages where ever you are and whenever you want without heavy machinery.
  • Receive mails and feeds, read the newspaper or buy something online.
  • Check documents created by your employees or colleagues via Cloud- or VPN-Connections. Make comments and send them back.
  • Help customers or colleagues using Online-Support-Tools like Team Viewer.
  • Syncing of managed data of Apple’s preinstalled apps (Contacts, Calender, Reminders, Photos, Safari-Bookmarks, …), iWork-Documents and other data.

Summary

With Apple’s iPad you should …
control, look, learn, read, surf, blog, cultivate your social contacts and show SAMSUNG users how awesome your device is.





Which Cloud-Provider fits best?

15 10 2012

There is a rapidly increasing number of Cloud-Providers.
You have to decide who fits your requirements best.
Otherwise your data will be spread over the world and its hard to find out where they are.

I checked free accounts of 12 providers and their usability on Apple’s iOS-Devices as well as their PC-Client-Versions.

Summary of the main test criteria:

1 iOS-Client-Software available

  • to display popular file formats like PDF, TXT, XLSX, DOCX, iWork-Format
  • to manage files and folders
  • to get links for sharing files

2 PC-Client-Software available

  • to permanently sync local folders on Mac/PC with cloud folders

3 Encrypted transfer of data between local device and cloud storage

  • to prevent the necessity of special apps for encryption like BoxCryptor for Dropbox

4 Amount of free space

  • should not be less than 5 GB

5 WebDAV-Support

  • to set up an additional connection via administrative tools like
    USB Drive, GoodReader, ReaddleDocs, …
  • to assign shares to a drive letter on a PC and work with this ressources within any application

Best ratings for…

Cloud Free Req Prominent (Deficits)
SugarSync 7 GB fulfilled iOS-Client no WebDAV
Wuala 5 GB fulfilled Security share only for folders
iDrive 5 GB fulfilled Simplicity sync only for one folder
Dropbox 2 GB fulfilled Simplicity sync only for one folder

Except iDrive no provider supports WebDAV. That must be no disadvantage, because the PC-Clients support convenient syncing with local folders and most of the iOS-Tools (like USB Disk or …) support direct access to the storage of these well-known providers.

Best rating in the category ‘Free Space’ goes to German Telekom Mediacenter with 25 GB.
Best rating in the category ‘Backup’ goes to Apple’s iCloud.

Thanks for dropping by.





Infraction against the “UI-Law”

14 10 2012

Sometimes even developers of Apple do not choose the right design of controls. The following example shows an implementation of the ‘Open in’-Task in Apple’s iWork-Suite, Notes and my proposal.

20121014-164231.jpg

Dear developers,
please read the document
iOS Human Interface Guidelines





Every App is an “iLand”

11 10 2012

If you create a document (e.g. with Apple’s Keynote) or receive one via E-Mail you possibly want to further work with it in another app. In Apple’s filesystem this is not possible by default.Interactions of an iOS app are limited mostly to the folders associated with it. This limitation is labeled Sandbox-Mode and was designed to increase the security of the filesystem. Unfortunately it also decreases the usability in many cases.

Note …
One exception to this rule occurs when an app uses public system interfaces to access things such as the user’s contacts or music. In those cases, the system frameworks handle any file-related operations needed to read from or modify the appropriate data stores.

Although usability is decreased Apple continues it’s file system implementation in iOS 7.

20130822-085435.jpg

During installation of a new app, the installer code creates a home directory for the app, places the app in that directory ( /AppName .app) and creates several other key directories. These directories constitute the app’s primary view of the file system and represents the universe for that app and contains everything the app can access directly.

Further directories in the iOS file system …

  • /Documents/
    Developers should use this directory to store critical user documents and app data files. Critical data is any data that cannot be recreated by your app, such as user-generated content.
    The contents of this directory can be made available to the user through file sharing. The contents of this directory are backed up by iTunes.
  • /Documents/Inbox
    Developers should use this directory to access files that your app was asked to open by outside entities. Specifically, the Mail program places email attachments associated with your app in this directory; document interaction controllers may also place files in it.
    Your app can read and delete files in this directory but cannot create new files or write to existing files. If the user tries to edit a file in this directory, your app must silently move it out of the directory before making any changes.
    The contents of this directory are backed up by iTunes.
  • /Library/
    This directory is the top-level directory for files that are not user data files. You typically put files in one of several standard subdirectories but you can also create custom subdirectories for files you want backed up but not exposed to the user. You should not use this directory for user data files.
    The contents of this directory (with the exception of the Caches subdirectory) are backed up by iTunes.
  • /tmp/
    Developers should use this directory to write temporary files that do not need to persist between launches of your app. Your app should remove files from this directory when it determines they are no longer needed. (The system may also purge lingering files from this directory when your app is not running.) In iOS 2.1 and later, the contents of this directory are not backed up by iTunes.

See the folder structure of an iOS device revealed with the app iExplorer.

20130822-123601.jpg

So … Every app is an iLand island!

But don’t worry. There is a functionality which will reassure you.

It’s called ‘Open in…‘ and looks like this

20130822-061232.jpg

The example shows a website opened in Safari which was converted into a PDF file by using a small piece of code entered in the address bar of Safari.

Another (well-known) application is tapping on an attachment within an E-Mail (e. g. a PDF-Document). The ‘Open in…’-Dialog comes up and you can select an appropriate app for further viewing or editing e.g. Documents by Readdle.

Don’t forget:

Every app is an iLand island!
‘Open in…’ forwards your document to Adobe-Island without deleting it on E-Mail-Island. So now you have two redundant copies of the PDF file.

What You have to do is:

Take care of your devices memory.

Security …

Locking up an app in it’s app specific folder and limiting it’s access to it’s folder and subfolders brings security to iOS devices. This is called the Sandbox Mode.
So security of an iOS device is given by design.

Additionally Apple screens all apps offered in their App Store whether the code contains procedures compromising the device’s security. The security can be affected by the services the app has permission to. The actual versions of iOS asks for permissions to access location services, contacts, camera roll, etc. for every app which is installed on the device and opened for the first time.

This stats published by MyAppleNews Blogspot shows the consequences of Apple’s design concept for it’s operating system.

20130520-091219.jpg

MyAppleNews Blogspot

Pros and cons …

From a technical point of view, there are a number of benefits that come up with this approach.

  • Each app is directly responsible for managing its own content; this gives developers a high degree of control over things like e.g. deciding which data should be cached, backed up, and synchronized to iCloud, minimizing the app’s storage footprint.
  • The sandbox mode limits the impact that it has on the overall file system. In a traditional environment, software tends to leave all sorts of unwanted digital clutter in various folders on a hard drive, and data like preferences, shared frameworks, and even app components have a bad habit of lingering long after the user has decided to remove the app. With everything neatly jailed in its own container in iOS, getting rid of an app means getting rid of all clutter it created (and all noteworthy documents!).

    Note
    You can avoid data loss by regularly saving relevant data via iTunes file sharing.
    Alternatively use a secure cloud storage like iDriveSync to save documents.

Apple’s file system doesn’t reflect the way people work on projects.

Useful information you want to combine in an article on your website might be spread over many app specific folders of your device.
To collect them all and further keep them together can escalate to a troublesome even annoying procedure.
Usually there are lots of apps installed on an iOS device because of all the flaws coming up with one app and compensated by an additionally installed app.

Creating projects cannot be done by thinking on islands. For presenting comprehensive information you need a boat and have to visit all the other islands of interest.

My suggestion for iOS 7 was to allow apps saving some file types in a PUBLIC folder with access from other apps. The limitation to solely access the photo library is insufficient. Sad to say that Apple didn’t go this way in iOS 7.

Related links …

Out of memory

Mobile malware

I reworked this article on August 22, 2013.

Thanks for visiting http://iNotes4You.com.








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