A tool for accessing files remotely with an iPhone (May 14th, 2009)
Product Manufacturer: Readdle
Price: $9.99 ($4.99 until May. 17, 2009)
- Easy to use
- Password protection
- Free 512MB online storage account
- Multiple files can be merged into an archive
- No document search
- Occasional display glitches
The iPhone is capable of doing many things on its own, but the default application set excludes a means of storing documents. ReaddleDocs looks to fill this gap by providing features for wirelessly transferring files, and then viewing them on the go. The app relies on the WebDAV protocol, which allows it to link with any Mac or Windows PC via a Wi-Fi connection. Once a connection has been established, users can move files using a computer's default file browser. ReaddleDocs also can download files from the web using its built-in web browser, or access files kept with an online storage service such as MobileMe or Readdle Storage.
The Readdle browser may not be quite up to par with Safari, but it does offer a few exclusive tools. The browser includes a fullscreen view -- which hides everything including the iPhone status bar -- and the ability to save sites for offline viewing. The browser also can be used to download files directly off of websites into one of the linked storage accounts. If people come across a file they would like to download while using Safari, they can simply add an "r" in front of the URL, and ReaddleDocs' browser will launch. This can save time over having to search for the download page again, and is a great workaround for missing copy and paste support.
All documents stored within the app can be e-mailed to any address without the need to exit. This was especially handy for me when I realized that I had moved a file to my online storage account, but forgot to send it to its intended destination. I logged into ReaddleDocs from my phone while on the move, quickly found the file, attached it to an e-mail and continued along with my daily routine. The app also features the ability to merge several files into a single ZIP archive, which makes sending multiple files simple. Each Readdle Storage account additionally receives a special e-mail address, which allows uploads by attaching files to a message.
The integrated document viewer is capable of displaying most common files, including Microsoft Office and Apple iWork documents. I tested many different filetypes, and found that the ones I use most frequently were all supported. Occasionally there were minor glitches displaying certain files, but never to the extent that a document became unreadable.
Organizational features have also been incorporated, with the ability to create folders and move files between them at will. One feature I felt was missing is the ability to move pictures directly to the Photos app. If images are shuttled into ReaddleDocs remotely, then the only way to move them into your Photo Library is to e-mail them to yourself, which can be a hassle when dealing with multiple images. Unfortunately, this seems to be a feature that is prevented by the App Store rules making it impossible for Readdle to implement at this time.
Overall, ReaddleDocs is a very handy tool that fills a gap missing in the original functions of the iPhone. In today's society, it's beneficial to always have access to important documents wherever you are. ReaddleDocs provides several options for shifting files around, all of which are easy enough to pick up and incorporate into everyday activities. In the future, it would be good to see the ability to add images to the Photo Library from within the app, as well as a document search feature. I only carried around a small number of files at any given time, but could see how finding specific documents might become tedious with higher quantities. ReaddleDocs is ultimately a very solid entry, however, with few shortcomings.