In a recent update of the Apple productivity apps for iOS WebDAV support was added. The productivity apps, known as the iWork suite, include:
- Pages – similar to MS Word (edits .docx) – £6.99
- Numbers – similar to MS Excel (edits .xlsx) – £6.99
- Keynote – similar to MS Powerpoint (edits .pptx) – £6.99
What does this mean?
You can now add a connection to My Files within each of the aforementioned apps. This means you can open a file directly from My Files, edit it and then save a copy back to My Files (WiFi connection is required for My Files access). This provides a secure and integrated alternative to dropbox and also allows you to temporarily save files to your device for offline editing. It is important to periodically remove files from your device as they can take up valuable disk space on on your iPad/iPhone and also bear in mind the sensitivity of files which you plan to edit – do you really want to keep them on your device? The technique outlined below means that you can easily save documents back to My Files directly from within the iWork apps and when you’re happy that they are saved (worth double-checking on a desktop computer) you can delete the version stored on the iPad.
IMPORTANT: you must have a pincode on your device; this workflow could potentially involve handling university data which will temporarily be stored on your device.
The staffcentral app also features online editing tools and the option to open and edit files in any compatible apps which you have on your device and it is a great option too – it is also FREE! Instructions for setting up that app for iOS are available here.
The process is the same in any of the three iWork apps. I have used Pages for demonstration purposes below.